Vegetable Dum Biryani

Preparing dum biryani at home may sound quite overwhelming. It is definitely more time taking than your regular pulao and other kinds of rice, but it is totally worth the time you spend making it. If made with the right balance of ingredients and spices, your biryani will taste amazing, bursting with flavors.

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I had asked a friend of mine to bring Kabsa Spice Mix from Saudi Arabia. It is commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisine. The spice mix mainly consists of cardamom, black pepper, cumin, cloves and coriander powder. It can easily be made at home too. I didn’t have to add any other spices to my biryani. The spice mix was more than enough. It just made the whole process so much more easier for a lazy person like me. You can add various other vegetables, dried fruits, etc to your biryani. I chose to keep it simple as I was making it for the first time.

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Ingredients (Serves 4)

1 1/2 Cup Long Grain Basmati Rice (washed pre-soaked for 15-20 minutes)

200 gms cottage cheese cut in cubes

3 medium sized onions (one cut in julienne and two finely chopped)

3 medium sized tomatoes finely chopped

A handful of French/green beans

2 roughly diced carrots

5-6 cloves of garlic finely chopped

3 green chillies

2 tsp finely chopped ginger

1/4 tsp red chili powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

Kabsa Spice Mix (use whole spices if not available)

½ tsp red chili garlic paste

Few sprigs of finely chopped coriander

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 pinch asafetida

2-3 tbsp curd

Oil/Ghee

Salt to taste

Wheat flour dough for sealing the lid (dum)

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Method

  • Boil pre-soaked basmati rice. Add 2-3 whole peppercorns, 1-2 cloves and salt (optional) to it. Keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a non-stick pan and fry onions that we cut in julienne. Sprinkle salt in the oil to release moisture from the onions. Keep aside

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  • In the same oil fry cottage cheese cubes until golden brown (optional). In a separate bowl, add curd, cottage cheese cubes, chili garlic paste, salt. Keep aside

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  • In the same pan, add cumin seeds and asafetida to the leftover oil
  • Next, add garlic, ginger and green chilies. Saute for two minutes until it releases its flavor
  • Add chopped onions and saute until translucent
  • Add chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chili powder, 1 tsp kabsa masala. Mix well and let it cook for 5-7 minutes.
  • Add carrots and green beans. Cover with a lid and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • In the end add cottage cheese and mix well. Add 1/4 cup water if required. Cover and cook until oil comes to the surface. It will take not more than 5 minutes. Add little coriander and mix well.

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  • Next, for the layering; spread one portion of paneer and vegetables, then boiled rice. Sprinkle few crispy fried onions and kabsa spice mix. At this point you can even add saffron and milk or dried fruits at this time.
  • Add another layer the same way. It is up to you as to how many times you would like to layer it. I did it twice. It also depends on the pot you’re using.
  • In the end, cover the pan with a lid and seal it with dough. Put is on a low flame for 15-20 minutes and serve hot. Alternatively, you can layer it in an oven proof pot and place it in the oven for 20 minutes at 180 degrees celsius. The dough becomes hard. That’s when you know your biryani is ready.

Biryani4Serve it with nice chilled raita or plain curd.

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Enjoy 🙂

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Mushroom Pulao

Mushrooms and rice go really well together. You can add various other vegetables like green beans, carrots, cauliflower, etc. to make a different version of your own. I usually don’t like to keep a fixed recipe. Most of the times I add ingredients according to my taste buds at that point of time. That way one can come up with fresh recipes every single time. Hope you all like this one. 🙂

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This is what you will need:-

Ingredients

½ cup Basmati Rice

1 cup diced button mushrooms

1 medium-sized red onion cut in julienne

2-3 garlic cloves

1 green chilli

1 tsp finely chopped ginger

¼ cup diced capsicum

2-3 sprigs of fresh coriander

3-4 black peppercorns

Shahi biryani masala (Everest)

1 pinch asafetida

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp clarified butter

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Salt to taste

Method

  • Heat clarified butter in a vessel. Add cumin seeds and asafetida. Saute on a medium-high flame.
  • Add ginger, garlic and green chilli. Saute for 2 minutes.

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  • Next, add onions and sauté until they turn translucent.

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  • Add button mushrooms

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  • Next, add rice, biryani masala, black peppercorns, salt to taste and around one cup water.

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  • Cover the vessel with a lid and let it cook on a medium low flame for 5-7 minutes. Check at regular intervals. Add more water if required. Give it a taste to see if rice is properly cooked.

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  • Add fresh lemon juice and finely chopped coriander. Have with any nice Indian gravy or curd.

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Happy Cooking! 🙂

Brinjal Fry in Thick Tomato Sauce

The subtle flavor that comes from the brinjal fry combined with a thick tangy tomato sauce just makes this dish so flavorsome and tasty. It does require quite a bit of preparation just like any other Indian curry, but it is just worth the time spent. Nevertheless, it is easy to make and tastes best with a mild dal (lentil) and jeera (cumin seeds) rice – A good combination! Hope you all give it a try and I am sure you all will definitely like it. 🙂

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This is what you will need :

Ingredients (Servings: 3-4)

250 gm brinjal

4 medium sized tomatoes

2 small sized onions

3-4 garlic cloves

2 inch piece of ginger

2 green chilies

1 tsp lemon juice

Whole spices for Spice Mix (1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 green cardamom, 1 black cardamom, 3-4 whole black pepper, 1 small bark of cinnamon stick, 1-2 cloves)

1 tsp cumin seeds

½ tsp red chili powder

1 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp chana masala (optional)

¼ tsp asafetida

4 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp salt

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Method

  • Preparing Spice Mix– Dry Roast whole spices in a non-stick pan on a low flame until they release their flavor. Form a powder with the help of a mortar and pestle. Keep aside.

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  • Drop in your green chilies, ginger, garlic and onions in the mixer grinder. Add 2 tbsp water and form a paste.
  • Add tomatoes in the mixer grinder and blitz to form a puree. Keep aside.

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  • Marinating and Frying Brinjal- Cut brinjal into thin slices and drop them in water for a minute or two.
  • Combine 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp salt (adjust it to your liking) and spice mix (keep 1/2 tsp aside for the tomato sauce) and rub it evenly on the brinjal slices.
  • Heat 3 tbsp oil in a pan and place the slices evenly and fry on a low flame. Check and turn after 5 minutes. Cook and keep aside.

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  • Preparing the gravy- Heat olive oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and asafetida. Let it release its flavor.
  • Add ginger garlic green chili and onion paste. Sauté for two minutes.
  • Add tomato puree and let it cook.
  • Next, add leftover turmeric powder, chana masala, red chili powder, leftover spice mix and ½ cup water. Simmer and cook until oil comes on top. Add lemon juice.

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  • Combine brinjal with tomato sauce and serve hot.

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It tastes good with rice and mildly spiced yellow dal (lentil)

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Enjoy! 🙂

 

 

Corn on the cob and Green Bell-Pepper in Cashew Nut Gravy

This is a delicious and creamy dish which is so enjoyable to have. I say enjoyable only because you are bound to use your hands for this. We all know eating with hands is the best way to really connect with food. Biting into the corn on the cob and sucking the juice out from it is a different feeling altogether.

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Although, it is up to you whether you want to use corncobs or kernels alone. Either way it a delightful dish to savor. Bell-peppers and corns are a great combination. Feel free to adjust the quantities of the spices used according to your taste.

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This is what you will need: (Serves 4)

Ingredients

2 whole boiled corns

1 green bell-pepper cut in small cubes

1 red onion cut in julienne

1/4 cup green chili ginger garlic paste (2 green chilies, 1 tsp chopped ginger, 5-6 cloves garlic)

½ cup fresh cream

1 cup cashew nut paste (Soak cashew nuts overnight/5-6 hours and blitz to form a smooth paste)

½ tsp red chili powder

¼ tsp turmeric powder

¼ tsp pav bhaji masala (optional)

1 tsp cayenne pepper garlic chutney

1 tsp cumin seeds

¼ tsp asafetida

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt to taste

Juice of half a lemon

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Method

  • Add a tsp of salt to water and boil corn in a pressure cooker for 1 whistle. Keep aside.

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  • Heat olive oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and asafetida. Let it release its flavor.
  • Add ginger garlic green chili paste on a medium flame. Sauté for two minutes.
  • Add onions and a dash of salt. Add a little water if you think the bottom of the pan might burn.
  • Next add in your cashew nut paste and cayenne pepper chutney (optional). Give it a mix and add 1/2 a cup of water. Let it cook for 2 minutes and add fresh cream.
  • Add turmeric powder, salt to taste, pav bhaji masala, red chili powder. Give it a mix and cook for another 2-3 minutes on a medium flame. Squeeze juice of half a lemon.
  • Add bell-pepper and boiled corns.

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  • Cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes on a low flame. Give it a taste and serve hot with flavored rice or just plain will do too.

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Enjoy 🙂

Burnt Ginger Garlic Vegetable Fried Rice

When it comes to cooking delicious food, always make sure never to compromise on good quality ingredients. Try your best to find the the best possible quality available. There are so many different kinds of rice. If you want each cooked grain of rice separate from one another, it is important to use rice of a good brand.

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If you have leftover rice, you will have yummy fried rice in front of you in no time. Toss it up with your favorite ingredients and you will be good to go.

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This is what you will need:

Ingredients

1 cup uncooked basmati rice (Wash and soak rice for 15 minutes. Boil rice four cups of water. Add ½ tsp salt. Check after 5-7 minutes. Squeeze half a lime. Drain the water when done and let the steam escape. )

4-5 finely chopped garlic

1 tbsp finely chopped ginger

1 green pepper finely chopped

1 tbsp finely chopped green chili

2 medium sized finely chopped red onions

1 cup finely diced blanched carrots

1 tbsp dark soy sauce

1 tbsp white vinegar

½ tsp asafetida

1 tbsp olive oil

Salt to taste

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Method

  • Heat olive oil in a wok and add ginger and garlic. Brown them completely on a medium flame. They will become crunchy. Add asafetida and green chili. Saute.

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  • Add onions and saute until translucent.

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  • Add soy sauce and vinegar. Next add in carrots, green pepper and rice. Season with salt.  Mix well and serve hot with your favorite gravy.

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Note: We had fried rice with potato gravy. To make it, fry the potatoes and keep aside. Heat oil in a pan. Add asafetida, tomato ketchup, 1 tsp honey, chili flakes, soy sauce, water, cornflour to thicken the gravy. Add in the potatoes and season with salt. Sprinkle dry coriander.

Happy Eating! 🙂