Thursday, July 31, 2008

Fish curry


Fish curry or fish kulambu or Meen kulambu in Tamil is a yummy dish cooked by my mother in law and my mom. I used to do it like a thick gravy. But the original version is a more liquidized one.Depending upon your taste you can add water to the tamarind paste before making curry.Today i tried the original version with king fish and you can see the picture too.

Items required:
Fish - 1 lb 
(choose any fish like Butter fish ,king fish,anchovy,salmon,catfish etc.Dont choose shell fishes for this preparation.)
thick bottom shallow vessel with a lid - 1
broad spoon -1
sesame oil - 1 tbsp
mustard seeds- 1 tsp
fenugreek seeds- 1/2 tsp
Tamarind - 1 gooseberry size
chilli powder -1 tbsp
coriander powder-2 tbsp
turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
tomato - 1
green chillies -2
curry leaves- 2 brigs.
To grind:
shredded coconut -2 tbsp
red onion(chopped)-1 cup
cumin seeds - 1 tsp

Method:
wash the fish and remove all the fins and scales by a knife.
Then slice it into big chunks.
Apply turmeric powder over the fish and keep aside.
Extract juice from tamarind and add chilli powder, coriander powder, pinch of turmeric powder, salt and mix well.
Heat the sesame oil in vessel .Add mustard and fenugreek seeds. After the nustard seeds crackle add the curry leaves .
Then add chopped tomato and saute it for 1 minute.
Add tamarind juice mixture and let it boil for 5 minutes.
Then add the finely ground coconut-onion paste.
Immediately after this starts boiling add the fish pieces.
cover the vessel and simmer the heat.
Keep the curry gets cooked in simmer heat for 15 minutes.
DO NOT stir the curry after adding the fish, otherwise you may end up with broken pieces.
Then put off fire.Garnish with chopped green chillies and curry leaves and serve hot with rice or chapathi or Idly or dosai .

Serving suggestions:

Serves 5 people.
Serve fried fish and ripe mango as side dish.
If there are only 2 people, just 1 lb of fish is enough.1/2 lb fish can be fried and the other half can be mada as curry.

Tamil meaning for fishes:
shark -pillai sura.
sardine - chalai.
anchovy-nethili
Butter fish- kuthippu,
king fish- seela / vanjiram

(Add a tsp of jaggery / brown sugar before switching off, for  a more subtle taste)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Jack fruit kheer


Jack fruit kheer is also called Jack fruit payasam or pala pazha payasam .It is one of the "must to be served" desserts in a keralite wedding.In USA we cannot get fresh jack fruit, so instead i have used a can of jack fruit. I discard the preservative liquid.

Ingredients:
Jack fruit - 10 pieces (1 can)
green gram - 1 cup
jaggery (crushed)- 1 cup
cardamom - 3
ghee - 1 tbsp
raisin - 10
cashew nut - 10

Directions:
Make puree out of 6 pieces of jack fruit.
Chop the other 4 pieces and keep aside.
Pressure cook the green gram for 3 whistles and mash it.
Heat a vessel with 2 cups of water and add jaggery.
After the jaggery gets dissolved, distill the clear jaggery solution and discard the sandy left over .
Add the chopped jack fruit pieces to the jaggery solution and cook it , till it becomes soft.
Now add the jack fruit puree and the mashed green gram.
Let it boil for 3 minutes.
Crush the cardamom and add it to the kheer.
Heat a frying pan with 1 tbsp ghee.
Roast the cashews,raisins to golden brown and pour it into the kheer.
Heat for 2 minutes and switch off the stove.

Serving suggestion:
Serve hot or cold as dessert.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Cilantro chutney


To grind:
  • cilantro / coriander leaves - 1 bunch
  • green chillies- 3
  • tamarind - 1 inch length
  • salt- 1/2 tsp
  • cumin seeds- 1/4 tsp
  • garlic - 1 pearl
for tempering:
  • sesame oil - 2 tbsp
  • mustard - 1/2 tsp
  • split black gram- 1/2 tsp
Method:
Heat a frying pan . Fry the cleaned , washed cilantro in 1 tbsp oil for 2 minutes.
Add all the items given to grind and stir for a minute.
Put off fire and let it cool.
In a mixer or blender add those fried items.
Grind them into a fine paste.
Add 1 tbsp of oil in the frying pan and put mustard seeds, urid dhal.
After the mustard crackles, add the cilantro paste and stir fry for 2 minutes.
Serving suggestions:
Serve with curd rice , chapathi, Idly, dosa or even as a sandwich layer.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Thattampayaru Kara Kulambu

Small red beans (karamani / thatta payir / thattai payaru / thattam payiru in Tamil), is known as the world's best source of antioxidant. (reference: click to see)


Ingredients:
Red Cow peas (Thattam payaru/chowri)- 1 cup.
(You can substitute black eyed cow peas too.)
Tamarind- 1 gooseberry size
drumstick (vegetable)- 1.
tomato - 1
onion (chopped)- 1 cup
chilli powder - 1tsp
coriander powder - 2 tsp
turmeric powder - 1/8 tsp
cumin seeds - 1 tsp
shredded coconut - 2 tbsp
feugreek (methi seed)-1 tsp
mustard seeds- 1tsp
curry leaves - 1 brig
sesame oil - 1 tbsp

Method:

Step 1:
Soak the cow peas for an hour and pressure cook it till it gets soft.
After the whistle , simmer the stove and switch off the stove after 5 minutes.

Step 2:
Extract the juice from tamarind. Keep it in a bowl.
Add the chilli powder, coriander powder, salt and turmeric powder to the tamarind extract.

Step 3:
In a pan add the oil then put mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds.
After the mustard gets cracked add curry leaves and chopped tomatoes.
Then add the tamarind extract mixture.
Cut the drumstick into 2 inch length pieces and put it in the mixture.
Let it boil for 10 minutes.
Now add the cooked beans along with the remaining water , if any.

Step4:
Grind the coconut , cumin seeds and onion into a fine paste.
Put this paste into the boiling tamarind extract.
Check for salt and put off fire immediately after the curry starts boiling.

Serving suggestions:
Serves for 4 to 5 people.
Serve hot with rice after dhal rice and before Rasam rice.
Plantain flower Paruppu usili stands a good combo with thattam payaru curry.

Masal Vadai

Masal vadai is an evening snack in south India especially Tamilnadu.
When we were in Chennai, I always admire a masal vadai sold in a particular shop in chennai.The shop is a one man show .One day I asked him his secret in his crispy masal vadai. He told me the following recipe and it is a fool proof recipe.
His recipe differs from the normal home made masal vadai by adding yellow peas dhal along with channa dhal and by adding a handful of unground dhal. (I added green split peas).
No wonder that the man maintains a huge customer group and he managed to sell his vadai , paniyaram , bajji for only one Rupee per piece(in year 2006).For your information he maintained strict hygiene also, I mean you can see him making those snacks even from outside.



A plate of masal vadai with coconut chutney.
Ingredients:
yellow/green split peas(pattani paruppu in tamil)-1 cup
Channa dhal/ Bengal gram lentil - 1 cup
salt - 1 tsp
green chilies - 3 (chopped)
fresh ginger(finely chopped) - 1 inch
onion (chopped) - 1/2 cup
curry leaves- 1 sprig
coriander leaves (chopped)- 2 tbsp
cinnamon - 1 inch
fennel seeds (peruncheeragam/ sombu)- 1/2 tbsp
dry red chillies - 3
garam masal powder - 1 tsp
cooking oil-250 ml. for frying


Preparation:
Soak both the dhal for 1 hour in water.
Take out a handful of soaked dhal and keep aside.(This gives a wonderful crispy texture to the vadai.)
Grind coarse mixture with red chillies, salt, garam masal powder,cinnamon,fennel seeds and almost no water.
Add the left over dhal,coarse dhal mixture,chopped onions,chopped ginger,chopped cilantro, and curry leaves.
Mix well .
Take a small ball of the mixture (in the size of a lemon), slightly flatten in the palm of your hand then place in the hot oil .
Deep fry on both sides to a golden brown color to mild red color.
Remove the masal vadai , drain oil by placing over a tissue paper .


Serving suggestions:

Makes 15 big size masal vadai.
Serve hot with Coconut chutney


Note:

You can make the mixture and keep the entire preparation inside the refrigerator for 3 days and use whenever needed.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mango kheer.


Mango kheer or Mango payasam is an excellent dessert prepared during summer.

Ingredients

Milk - 1/2 litre
Sago - two tablespoon (Javvarisi in Tamil)
Cashwenuts - 10 pieces
Cardamoms - 3
Fine Mango Puree (from 1 ripe mango) - 1 cup
Ripe mango - 1 chopped.
Ghee - 2 tablespoons
raisins - 10 .
Sugar - 1/2 cup taste

Method:

Soak the sago in water for 10 minutes and cook it completely till it becomes transparent.
Add milk and boil the sago.
Add sugar and powdered cardamom.
Simmer the stove till milk thickens.
Add the chopped mango pieces.
Heat Ghee and fry the cashewnuts ,raisins in it.
Add the fried cashews and raisins to the kheer.
Add the mango pulp and remove from fire.

Serving suggestions:

Makes 5 cups of Mango payasam.
Serve chill or hot.

Snake Gourd -Lentil curry. (Pudalangai koottu)



Ingredients:
Snake gourd- 1 lb
onion - 1
green chilli-2
muctard - 1/2tsp
oil- 1 tsp
shredded coconut - 2 tbsp
green gram dhal - 2 tbsp
water - 2 cups
salt - 1/2 tsp
curry leaves - 1 brig
cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp.

Method:

Wash and soak the green gram dhal in water for 1/2 an hour.
Chop the onions.
Scrub the snake-gourd to remove skin and cut it in to small pieces.
Add water to a lidded pan and put soaked dhal, snake-gourd and onions.
Cook them closed, till the lentils are completely cooked.
Add salt.
Grind the coconut, green chillies and cumin seeds into a fine paste.
Add the mixture to the boiled vegetables. and mix well.
Heat a frying pan with 1 tsp oil.
Add mustard seeds and after hearing the popping sound put curry leaves .
Mix this to the boiled vegetables and mix well in medium heat for 2 minutes.

Serving suggestions:
Serves 4 people.
Can be served as side dish for Tamarind Kara kulambu or sambar.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Vazhai poo poriyal (Plantain flower stir fry)

Vazhai poo poriyal

Valai poo/ Banana/ plantain flower is an excellent vegetable used in Indian cooking. It can be used to make vadai, fry, curry ,salad etc. Though it is a hard task to clean the plantain flower(Tamil-vazhai poo), but it is  worth doing it.
The banana flower should be used within 2 days you buy it.

Cleaning the flower:

First remove the red bracts. Take out the inner flowers. Remove the thick stamen in each flower. Remove the plastic-like portion in each flower.
You can chop the innermost bracts too.
wash them and chop them into fine pieces.
Immediately soak them in buttermilk solution.(1/2 cup buttermilk + 2 cups water)
If you want to know more about cleaning the flower, just read this page.
How to clean banana flower (vazhai poo)?
Also:
http://www.ganeshvilla.com/bananas/banana_flower_salad.htm

Ingredients:

Plantain flower- 1 (cleaned and chopped)
onion - 1
green chillies- 2
mustard seeds- 1/4 tsp
urid dhal- 1/4 tsp
curry leaves - 1 brig
shredded coconut - 2 tbsp.
salt - 1/4 tsp
cooking oil- 1 tsp

Method:

Heat a pan.Add oil , urid dhal and mustard seeds.
After the mustard seed pops, add chopped onion, green chillies , curry leaves.
After 30 seconds add the chopped plantain flowers.
Stir fry everything . Add salt and 1/4 cup water.
cover the pan with a lid.
After 10 minutes the plantain flower will get cooked.Switch off the flame.
Add shredded coconut and cumin seeds. Mix well and serve hot as a side dish with sambar rice.

Serving suggestions:
Serves for 3 people.
It can be served as a side dish for Sambar rice.

Nine grain Adai.(Nava dhanya Adai)



I am sure everybody is interested in making fiber rich recipes. Fiber plays a vital role in reducing body fat.Traditional Indian foods are always rich in fiber and less in carbohydrates. Here is a recipe for adai. Adai can best be served as breakfast or dinner.Since it is full of fiber , it takes a lot of time to digest. so people prefer to have adai fo breakfast or as an early dinner.Navadhanya means nine grains. Those grains are used in Hindu poojas and homams.

Ingredients:
black pepper- 1 tsp
red chilli - 2
red onion - 1
ginger - 2 inch long
garlic- 2 pearls
turmeric - 1/4 tsp
curry leaves - 2 brig
Asafoetida- 1 pinch

Soak the following Navadhanya in water for 4 hours.
1.Bengal gram - 1/2 cup
2.rice - 1 cup
3.Red gram - 1/2 cup
4.Black gram (without skin)- 1/2 cup
5.sesame seeds - 2 tbsp
6.green gram - 1/2 cup
7.wheat - 1/4 cup
8.horse gram - 2 tbsp
9.Black eyed peas/cow peas - 1/4 cup

To grind:
Add the soaked navadhanya to the Indian mixer or grinder.
Add 1 tbsp salt.
Add all the ingredients except onion and curry leaves.
Grind them in to a coarse batter. store in refrigerator.

Method:

Heat a dosa tava / pancake pan.
coat the pan with sesame oil.
Add chopped onion and curry leaves to the batter.
Spread them into thick dosa/ pancakes.
with a spoon make a small hole in the center and add a drop of butter or oil.
Watch for a red color in the edges.
Turn it upside down with a spatula.
serve hot.

Serving suggestions:

Makes 25 Adai.
Onion chutney or coconut chutney can be served as dippings.
Refrigerate the remaining adai batter immediately. Do not use fermented adai batter, as it is harmful.

Look for Priya Madan's pages for meanings:
http://www.thezeal.com/cooking/ingredients_glossary.asp
(Tamil, Kannada,Telugu,English names for Navadhanya.)
http://www.vedagamasudha.org/GrihaPravesha.htm



English - Kannada - Telugu - Tamil


Wheat- Suji Godi- Godumulu- Goduma
Rice- Akki- Beeyamu - Arisi
Red Gram - Thogari Bele- Kandi Pappu - Thuvaram Paruppu
Green gram- Hesaru Bele - Peraru Pappu - Pasi Paruppu
Bengal gram- Kaddale - Senagalu - Kondai Kadala
Black eyed peas- Aura Bele- Chikudu Pappu- Thattam payaru
Sesame - Yeilu - Nuvullu - Yellu
Black gram - Uddina bele- Nalla Minumulu- Pappu Ulutham
Horse Gram- Hurli - Ullavalu- Kollu

Friday, July 18, 2008

Tomato Rasam.

















Ingredients
Ripe tomatoes - 2
Tamarind extract - 2 teaspoon.
(from a gooseberry size ball of tamarind)
Red chillies - 2
black pepper - 1 teaspoon
cumin seed- 1/2 tsp
garlic - 3 pearls.
turmeric- a pinch
asafoetida - a pinch.
Fenugreek seeds (methi seeds) - 1/4 tsp
mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
curry leaves - 1 brig
chopped coriander leaves - 1 tsp
water - 2 cups
jaggery - very small piece (1 tsp, if crushed)
salt - 1 tsp
oil (ghee)- 1 tbsp.

Method:
Add hot water to the tamarind and extract the juice. Keep it aside.
Chop the tomatoes finely.
coarsely grind the pepper, garlic and cumin seeds. Mix turmeric and asafoetida with it and keep aside.
In a pan add little oil/ ghee and put mustard seeds , methi seeds.
After hearing the crackling sound of mustard seeds add red chillies and curry leaves.
Immediately add the ground mixture to the pan and fry for 30 seconds.
Add tomatoes and stir it till the tomato gets half cooked.
Add the tamarind extract and the jaggery.
Add 2 cups of water
Switch off the flame as you see white bubbles or some froth gathering above.
Do not allow the Rasam to boil.
After switching off the flame , add salt and chopped coriander leaves.
Serving suggestions:
Makes 1/2 litre of Tomato Rasam.
Serve hot with rice after Sambar rice.
It can be served like clear soup after filtering (after dinner). It helps in digestion.

Note:

We can totally avoid that tamarind part , instead add juice from 1/4 lemon after switching off the flame.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Idli (Plain/ traditional)

Idli , sambar, vadai, coconut chutney
 
Idli with mutton leg paya kulambu



Ingredients:
Black gram dhal – 1 cup
Idly rice – 3  1/2cups
Fenugreek seeds – 1 tbsp
Salt (rock) – 3 tsp
(This measurement is for those who use Indian Mixer . If you use an Indian grinder take 4 cup Idly rice and 1 cup urad dhal, 1 tbsp fenugreek / methi seeds)

Method:

Soak rice separately for 8 hours. Dhal and fenugreek seeds need to be soaked together for about 3 hours. After that grind dhal till it becomes smooth. Add ice cold water while grinding to get soft idly. Rice should be ground separately.Don't add lot of water. The batter should be thick like softened butter. Add salt and mix the ground urad dhal with the rice mixture .

Store this in a large vessel so that there is enough space for batter to rise. Grinding and storing of batter should be done the previous day, preferably in the night so that the batter would be ready the next day. The batter should be allowed to ferment for about 15 – 18 hours. In India the room temperature is enough to ferment. But here, I usually keep warm the oven , switch off and keep inside overnight. Some people keep it inside microwave too. Both are good, the thing is we need to prevent cold air to come in contact, that's it. The next day,the batter will double. Mix the batter well and pour in to greased idli plates and steam for 10 minutes in a pressure cooker (without pressure valve).

Water should not be added the next day after it ferments. Dhal should be ground preferably in a grinder for at least 20 minutes and rice for 30 minutes.
The batter can also be made using an "Indian Mixer". It will take only 10 minutes.

Tips:
Adding a very little yeast solution will help in winter times (USA). I don't use yeast.
Before making idli on the first day,  mix gently and divide it in 3 small containers, if we want idly everyday.
From second day, adding 1/4 tsp baking soda to the batter will give very soft idli and dosa.

Serving suggestions:
Makes about 40 idlis, vary ingredients to reduce or increase number of Idlies.
If you want to make Idlies for 3 days, then just separate the batter in to three portions on the first morning itself and keep them refrigerated.
Serve hot steamed idlis with coconut chutney or Sambar.
See my recipes for coconut chutney and sambar here: Coconut Chutney.Idly sambar

Approximate cal:
1 Idly gives 60 Kcal.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Curd Rice.


My 'Mathu athai' taught me to make this heavenly curd rice.She is my Dad's sister. My Mathu athai is versatile in nature . She is a wonderful home maker , knowledgeable zoology Professor ,lovely mom , great aunt , obedient wife , my role model in caring for the husband , reliable person , my friend , good adviser , and i can't explain about her fully . Totally she is a treasure of our family. She taught me this when I was just 15 years old and after that I always follow her method to surprise my mom. Coming to her curd rice,it is a great summer lunch in our house. This kind of curd rice will be creamy and very rich in taste.My hubby loves it very much.


Ingredients:

2% Milk- 1/2 litre. (2 1/2 cups).
raw rice (or) Basmathi rice - 1 cup.
curd - 1/4 cup.
salt - 1/2 tsp
water - 3 cups.
oil - 1 tbsp.
mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
urid dhal - 1/2 tsp
ginger - 1 inch ( chopped )
green chillies - 2.
curry leaves - 1 brig.
cilantro- chopped ( 1 tbsp)
green grapes - 10 numbers (or) raisins - 15 number.

Method:
Wash and cook the rice with the given amount of water.
Mash it as soon as it is hot.(we cannot mash it properly ,if the rice gets cold.)
add salt.
Boil the milk and add it to the rice . Mash it again.
Keep it aside .
Heat a frying pan . Add oil.
Put the urid dhal and mustard seeds . After hearing the popping sound, add chopped curry leaves, cilantro, green chillies ,raisins and ginger.
If you are adding green grapes, then just add them fresh .(Don't fry them.)
If you need the curd rice for lunch , add the given curd just 3 hours before serving ,to the hot mashed rice.
If you need the curd rice by night, then cool the mashed rice completely and add the curd. then the curd rice will be ready by night.

Serving suggestions:
Serves 2 people as a main course.
If served as an additional meal along with any spicy rice, this is enough to serve 4 people.
It can be best served with mango pickles.

Pongal. (venn pongal)

Pongal also known as venn pongal (white pongal) is an authentic meal of India. Often it is served as a breakfast in Indian marriages. Mostly people prefer to have ulunthu vadai ,Idly-sambar and coconut chutney as side dish for pongal.
(you can see my menu card for their recipes too.)


Ingredients :
Raw Rice (pacha arisi or briyani rice) - 1 cup
Moong dal (green gram dhal) - 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp
Ginger-1 inch piece (chopped)
salt - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Pepper corns -2 tsp
curry leaves - 1 sprig.
Asafoetida / hing -1/4 tsp
clarified Butter/Ghee/ butter- 4 tbsp
Water- 4 cups
milk - 1/2 cup (optional)
Cashews- 10 numbers.


Methods :
Heat a Pan .Dry roast rice and dhal, till we get a nice aroma of dhal.
Wash them .Add salt and water .
Keep it in a pressure cooker and allow 4 whistles.
(If you are cooking in a pan, cover it and have a look often. Because the dhal will rise up and overflow when hot.)
After cooking the rice and dhal tenderly, mash them mildly.(not like a paste, but gently.)
Heat a frying pan. Add the ghee.
Add Cumin , Ginger ,cashews, hing and whole pepper.
Immediately after the cashews turn golden in color, add them to pongal .
Serve hot.

Serving suggestions:
Serve hot with coconut cutney, Idly-sambar, ulunthu(black gram) vadai.
Serves 3 people.
It can be served as both breakfast or dinner.

Note:
Always keep the pongal in a tight lided vessel to retain moisture.
If it gets hard, don't shy to add little milk and reheat before serving. 

Friday, July 11, 2008

Tirunelveli Idli sambar

This sambar is specifically made with greengram dhal (Payatham paruppu/ moong dhal) without sambar powder.
In Tamilnadu , almost all the hotels serve 'toor dal sambar' for Idly,dosa and pongal throughout the day. But in Tirunelveli, this paasi paruppu sambar is served especially for dinner (as moong dal is believed to be on the lighter side than the thoor dal).  This belongs to Tamil Saiva pillai cuisine and I learned it from my Rukmani aunty (appa's adopted sister , we say ☺).
Traditionally this sambar is made entirely in stove top (see my method below). The green gram in stove top needs little more attention as it tends to spill while boiling. Nowadays people do this in cooker also, but then the dal wouldn't show its texture, which is more important for this recipe (so cook this in stove top only..☺). The entire cooking time will be less than 20 minutes, if we keep everything ready.
So aunty would start making this sambar (with my assistance in preparations ☺) simultaneously while making idli or dosai ......and an extremely delicious piping hot sambar would be ready for dinner in minutes. My mom loved the way I learned aunty's recipes and used to appreciate my helps on weekends. Though mom would insist me on studying day and night like any other kid☺ she used to appreciate the surprise bed coffee and kitchen holidays I gave her on my vacations ☺. Now I consider myself lucky for learning those recipes as these are the most yummy and healthy homemade foods from my town and my hubby dear loves them very much.


Tirunelveli Idli sambar (paasi paruppu sambar) (updated on Jan 2016)

Idli sambar (green gram sambar)

Ingredients:
Moong dal - 3/4 cup.
Drumstick - 1 (cut into 2 inch size pieces)
Carrot- 1 (cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
brinjal-1(cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
Potato -1 (cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
Green chilies - 6
tomato - 2
onion - 1/2
coriander powder - 1 tbsp.
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
asafoetida / hing- a pinch
Salt for taste

For tempering/tadka/thalikka:
Oil - 2 tsp
Chopped onion(chopped) - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
fenugreek (methi seeds) - 1/4 tsp
curry leaves - 1 sprig

To garnish:
Chopped cilantro _ 1 tsp.


Method:

In a pan dry roast the moong dhal , till it smells good.(It should not become red.).
Then rinse and clean it.
Add 2 cups of water and bring it to boil.Add turmeric, asafoetida . Cook till dal has doubled in size (10 min) and almost cooked . Then add all the vegetables except tomato.
Put a lid half closed and cook the dal completely.
Add the tomato and salt after the dhal gets cooked.(It takes 15 minutes to cook the dhal.)
Now add coriander powder.
In a tempering vessel heat the oil add mustard and methi seeds. Let the mustard splutter. Then add the onion , curry leaf , fry  till golden brown and add to the sambar.
Finally garnish with cilantro leaves and serve hot with idly.

Makes 500 ml of samber.

Serving suggestion:
Serve as side dish with idli, dosai.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Apple Pie.


This is an all time favorite dessert in my house. Don't Panic to make a pie on your own. I am narrating below a 100% fool proof recipe. But follow all the steps to get a perfect apple pie.

To make Crust:

2 1/2 cups All purpose flour.
2 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cold butter, broken into small pieces
5 tbsp. cold vegetable shortening
8 tbsp. ice water
Mix the flour, sugar and salt together.
Add the chilled butter pieces and shortening to the bowl. Mix them coarsely.
Add the ice water. Mix until the dough holds together .(Like pizza crust dough or Indian chapathi dough)
Then divide the dough in to two equal portions.
Flatten each half into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap (clear wrap) and chill for at least half an hour.
Roll out one of the disks on a lightly floured surface until you have a circle that's about 12 inches in diameter.
Put the circle in a 9" pie plate, trim extra dough from the edges . Return it to the refrigerator until you are ready to make the pie.

Next step:
Add filling (see below)
Roll out the second ball of dough and cover top. Use a fork to pinch the edges together. cut a couple slits in the top.

To make Filling:
1/3 to 2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
8 medium sized apples (a medium apple = about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons butter.

Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Remove skin and seeds of the apple and slice it in to small pieces.
Mix sugar, flour,cinnamon, and salt in large bowl.
Stir in apples.
Pour into the already prepared pastry-lined pie plate.
Cover with top crust and seal the edges. Cut slits in the top.
Cover edge with a strip of aluminum foil to prevent too much browning.
Remove foil during last 15 minutes of baking.
Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust.


Serving suggestions:
Makes a wonderful snack or dessert.Some times the left overs can be used as a good breakfast too.

susiyam (Traditional method)

Susiyam is a fried snack more popular in Tamilnadu and Andhra. It is generally a ball made of channa dhal and jaggery , dipped in All purpose flour batter and deep fried in oil. This is usually prepared during Deepavali (Diwali) , Christmas, New year and Easter in Indian families. 


Susiyam I made for Christmas, 2010.

Ingrdients:
channa dhal (Kadalai paruppu)- 1 cup
Jaggery - 1 1/4 cup - 150 gms (8-10 small cubes)
cardamom- 4.
coconut - 1/2 cup shredded
oil - 300 ml (to deep fry)

for outer covering / dipping:
maida / All purpose flour - 1/4 cup
rice flour- 2 tbsp
salt - 1/4 tsp.
baking soda - 1/4 tsp
tumeric powder- 1/4 tsp.


Method:
(1)Soak the dhal for an hour and drain the water. Cook the dhal with 1 cup water  till it is 3/4 th cooked.  Drain water and grind the channa in mixie along with coconut , cardamom.
(2) Add 1/4 cup water to jaggery and heat it. wait until it dissolves. Strain the jaggery solution and discard any sandy leftover at the bottom.
(3) Now add the jaggery solution to the mashed dhal and heat them in a vessel , until the mixture loses any moisture and becomes easy to handle.
(4) After the dough becomes cool, make small balls of the size of a "small Key lemon" or gooseberry.
(5)Mix rice flour, all purpose flour , salt, turmeric powder, with 1 cup of water to get a thin batter like dosa batter.
(6)Heat corn oil in a frying pan . Take a ball , dip in the batter , deep fry the coated balls by fliping once . Take care not to char the balls.

Serving suggestions:
Makes 25 susiyam. It can be served as a dessert or a festive time snack.

Coconut Chutney .


Chutneys are similar to  dippings like blue cheese or tomato sauce. Indian dishes like Dosa and Idly are mostly served with coconut chutney.
Here is my mother's special thengai chutney.

To grind:
Fresh grated coconut - 1/2 cup
(You can substitute it with frozen coconut also. But the original chutney flavor comes with full coconut newly grated only.)
Puffed channa dhal (pori kadalai / pottu kadalai)- 2 tbsp.
green chillies - 4.
tamarind - 1 inch bit.
salt- 1/2 tsp.

To garnish:
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp,
Urid dhal - 1/4 tsp.
curry leaves - 1 brig.
Red chilli -1 (cut in to 2 pieces)
shallot onion (small onion)- 1 .(chopped)
oil- 1 tbsp.
Method:
We need an Indian mixer to grind the chutney. Put all the items given for grind in a small jar of the mixer.Close the lid. First run the mixer without adding water. Then after a second add 1/2 cup water and grind the chutney in to a fine thick paste.
Heat a frying pan. Add urid dhal and mustard seeds. wait to hear the cracking sound of mustard. Add chopped onions , red chilli and curry leaves. Put off the flame. Then add the chutney (while pan is hot, but switched OFF). Mix well.
Then transfer it to the serving bowl.
Serving suggestions:
Makes nearly 200 ml or 1 cup chutney.
It can be served as a side dish / dipping for Dosa, Idly, Vada, Pongal etc.
Note:
My mother inlaw would bring it to a boil before switching off. That too tastes good.
Instead of pori kadalai, we can use roasted groundnut too.

"Fibre rich " susiyam / sooyam (sweet stuffed balls)


Susiyam or seyyam or sooyam is an all time favorite for my husband . So i make it for festivals.Susiyam is traditionally made with channa dhal.But for a change , i tried making susiyam with germinated Green gram and cowpea and it came very tasty than ever.These sprouts are good for health also .

Ingrdients:
Green gram - 1 cup
cow pea (karamani)- 1/2 cup.
Jaggery - 150 gms (8-10 small cubes)
oil - 200 ml (to deep fry)
maida / All purpose flour - 3 spoons
rice flour- 2 spoons.
salt - 1/4 tsp.
tumeric powder- 1/4 tsp.
cardamom- 4.

Method:
(1)Soak the dhals for 4 hours and drain the water. Tie them loosely in a clean cloth and allow it to germinate for a night.
Now our dhals are loaded with vitamin E and vitamin C.
Pressure cook them with 1 cup water for one whistle . Take them out and mash them by a spoon.
(2) Add 1/4 cup water to jaggery and heat it. wait until it dissolves. Strain the jaggery solution and discard any sandy leftover at the bottom.
(3) Now add the jaggery solution to the mashed dhal and heat them in a vessel , until the mixture loses any moisture and becomes easy to handle.Add powdered cardamom.
(4) After the dough becomes cool, make small balls of the size of a "small Key lemon".
(5)Mix rice flour, all purpose flour , salt, turmeric powder, with 1 cup of water to get a thin batter.
(6)Heat corn oil in a frying pan . Take a ball , coat it with the batter by soaking . Then deep fry the coated balls for a 1 minute.
Take care not to char the balls.

Serving suggestions:
Makes 30 susiyams. It can be served as a dessert or a festive time snack.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Sugar Cookies



Ingredients:
granulated sugar - 1 cup
unsalted butter - 1 cup
milk -3 tablespoon
vanilla essence -1teaspoon
egg-1
all purpose flour-3 cup
baking powder-1 1/2 teaspoon
salt 1/2 teaspoon
sugar a little to sprinkle.


Method:

Beat the egg , milk, and vanilla essence .
In a large bowl, combine sugar, butter with the beaten egg mixture.Blend well.
Add flour, baking powder and salt to the mixture and make it into a dough.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 1 hour for easier handling.
Preheat oven to 400 F .
Make small balls and flaten them on silverfoil or ungreased cookie sheet over the oven tray.
( place each cookie 1 inch apart)
sprinkle sugar over the cookies before baking.
Bake at 400 F for 5-9 minutes or until edges are light golden brown.
Immediately remove from cookie sheets and decorate as desired.
Makes 6 dozen cookies.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Wheat Aappam.

Ingredients
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup Luke warm water
1 tsp baking soda
Salt to taste
Coconut oil for seasoning the aappam pan
Method
Mix yeast, sugar and lukewarm water till frothy. Keep aside for 5 minutes.
Add yeast mixture to the wheat flour. Add 2 cups water to make a thick batter. Cover with a lid and keep in a warm place to ferment for at least 8 - 12 hours.
I used to make this batter at night by 9 pm and leave inside oven (turn off oven) and in the next day morning when i take it out my kitchen will be filled with a nice aroma.There will be bubbles on the surface and the batter will have risen
Now heat the aappam pan and wipe a drop of coconut oil or corn oil all over the pan by using a clean cloth.Check the thickness of wheat aappam batter now. It should be in the more thin in consistency than that of dosa batter.If not so add some coconut milk or water.
Pour onto griddle, heated medium to low, to form thick pancakes about 4 inches across. Then Shake the pan in a circular motion so that the flour spreads and expands along the edges.(If batter is too thick and does not spread, add a little more milk or water ). The cooked batter forms a layer of 'lace' around the thicker center portion. It is then covered and cooked in it's own steam over gentle heat.I used to wait to hear a dropping sound of water(condensation of steam) .Now we can be sure that the wheat aapam is cooked.Then by using a dosa spatula (dosa karandi) gently take out the wheat aapam.

Serving suggestions:

"Wheat aapam" is a healthy diet for diabetic people and for people on diet. It goes fine with coconut milk.We get nearly 15 number of aapam. You can store the rest of the aapam batter in fridge and use it later if you dont need this much number of aapams.
Wheat Aappam can also be served with egg curry or chicken curry or channa dhal curry or even sambar.
coconut milk preparation:
Take coconut milk 1/2 can and dilute it with equal amount of water.Spread 1 teaspoon sugar over aapam and add 2 tablespoon coconut milk over the aapam. Enjoy your aapam.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Oats and Raisin cookies. (eggless version)



Everybody knows oats is good for health. So here is a cookie with oats. we can replace an unhealthy snack with this flavorful Oats and Raisin cookies.

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup uncooked oats.
3/4 cup All purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar .
1/4 cup raisins.
1/2 stick butter (1/3 cup softened )
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp baking soda.
1/2 tsp cream of tartar or 1/2 tsp white vinegar / lime juice.
1/4 tsp salt

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 deg F.
Gather everything in a big mixing bowl by hand. Keep it inside refrigerator for easy handling.
After 10 minutes spread an aluminium foil over a baking tray.
Roll the dough into small balls (size of a big gooseberry) and flatten them on the tray by using the bottom of a glass tumbler .
Place all cookies 1.5 inch apart , because the tiny cookies will swell and become big cookies , occupying more diameter.
Bake 9 minutes in 375 deg.
Take out and let it rest , so that it becomes stiff.(take the cookies out ,once the bottom seems mild brown in color. At this
stage the cookies will be soft , but after a few minutes outside they turn stiff.)
This cookies will be more soft and a bit chewy.
variation:
If you want to get more stiffened cookies add 1 egg instead of cream of tartar.

Serving suggestion:
makes 25 cookies.

Palm jaggery / Karupatti aappam from scratch

This is a very old recipe from Tamilnadu. We use palm jaggery (karpatti) instead of white sugar whenever possible, as we are the largest producer of the same:) Here is an aappam recipe using karupatti. Any puzhungal arisi ( par boiled rice ) can be used too.

 see my recipe for making aapam with rice flour , which is much easier.


Ingredients:
rice - 2 cups  + 1/4 cup
urud dal - 2tsp,
fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp(this is to make it soft),
salt - 1/4 tsp,
coconut milk or tender coconut water - 1 cup,
yeast - 1 tsp
baking soda - 1/4 tsp.
Palm jaggery / Karupatti (in tamil)- 1/2 cup crushed

Preparation:
* cook 1/4 cup of rice.
soak the 2 cups rice,urid dal and fenugreek seeds together for 3-4 hours.
Then add the cooked rice and grind nicely.
* Add coconut milk/tender coconut water, salt and  yeast to the flour.

Keep it closed and place in a warm place for 6 hours. I used to make this batter at night by 9 pm and leave inside oven (turn off oven) and in the next day morning when i take it out my kitchen will be filled with a nice aroma.There will be bubbles on the surface and the batter will have risen.
Now take 1 cup of water and add the palm jaggery . Heat it until the jaggery gets dissolved.Allow it to cool. Then take the top layer jaggery fluid leaving the sandy bottom.
Add this mixture to the aappam batter.
Add baking soda just 10 minutes before making aappam each time.
Now heat the aappam pan and wipe a drop of coconut oil all over the pan by using a clean cloth.
Check the thickness of aappam batter now. It should be in the more thin in consistency than that of dosa batter.If not so add some coconut milk or water.
Pour onto griddle, heated medium to low, to form thick pancakes about 4 inches across. Then Shake the pan in a circular motion so that the flour spreads and expands along the edges.(If batter is too thick and does not spread, add a little more milk or water ). The cooked batter forms a layer of 'lace' around the thicker center portion. It is then covered and cooked in it's own steam over gentle heat.I wait to hear a mild "dropping/ cracking" sound of water(condensation of steam) .Now we can be sure that the aapam is cooked.Open the lid.Then by using a dosa spatula (dosa karandi) gently take out the aapam.


Serving suggestions:

Aapam goes fine with coconut milk.Take coconut milk 1/2 can and dilute it with equal amount of water.Spread 1 teaspoon sugar over aapam and add 2 tablespoon coconut milk over the aapam. Enjoy your aapam.
We get nearly 15 number of aapam. You can store the rest of the aapam batter in fridge and use it later if you dont need this much number of aapams.
Aappam can also be served with egg curry or chicken curry or channa dhal curry or even sambar.

Aapam (made by grinding rice)



 rice - 2 cup
cooked rice - 1/2 cup

urid dhal - 2tsp,
fenugreek (venthayam) seeds - 1/4 tsp.
salt - 1/4 teaspoon.
coconut milk or tender coconut water - 1/2 cup.
yeast - 1 teaspoon.
baking soda - 1/4 tsp.


Method:

Soak rice,urid dal and fenugreek seeds for 5 hours.Then add the cooked rice and grind in an "Indian Grinder" or "Indian mixie" to a fine paste. It should be like thick idly batter.
Add coconut milk/tender coconut water, salt and yeast to the batter.
Keep it closed and place in a warm place for 6 hours. I used to make this batter at night by 9 pm and leave inside oven (turn off oven) and in the next day morning when i take it out my kitchen will be filled with a nice aroma.There will be bubbles on the surface and the batter will have risen.

Before making appam add the baking soda and mix well. If needed add some water to get a runny liquid stage.

Now heat the aappam pan and wipe a drop of coconut oil all over the pan by using a clean cloth.
Check the thickness of aappam batter now. It should be in the more thin in consistency than that of dosa batter.If not so add some coconut milk or water.
Pour onto griddle, heated medium to low, to form thick pancakes about 4 inches across. Then Shake the pan in a circular motion so that the flour spreads and expands along the edges.(If batter is too thick and does not spread, add a little more milk or water ). The cooked batter forms a layer of 'lace' around the thicker center portion. It is then covered and cooked in it's own steam over gentle heat.I used to wait to hear a dropping sound of water(condensation of steam) .Now we can be sure that the aapam is cooked.Then by using a dosa spatula (dosa karandi) gently take out the aapam.

Serving suggestions:

Aapam goes fine with coconut milk.Take coconut milk 1/2 can and dilute it with equal amount of water.Spread 1 teaspoon sugar over aapam and add 2 tablespoon coconut milk over the aapam. Enjoy your aapam.
We get nearly 15 number of aapam. You can store the rest of the aapam batter in fridge and use it later if you dont need this much number of aapams.
Aappam can also be served with egg curry or chicken curry or channa dhal curry or  kadala curry or  sambar.

Aappam (Using rice flour) - perfect recipe


Traditionally these pancakes are cooked in a small wok shaped mud pan. Luckily we have non stick aapam pans now.The pan is swirled so that the cooked batter forms a layer of 'lace' around the thicker center portion. Its also called Lace aapam or palappam.It is then covered and cooked in it's own steam over gentle heat. Since most of us do not have access to grinders as in India , try this method of using rice flour instead of grinding the rice.

Appam is one of the delicacies made on Christmas or Easter morning.

 I personally like this recipe very much. I think this is my very own recipe for aappam. I use left over dosa batter to make aappam, by adding rice flour and yeast to it.
I am sure this recipe will give a  100% perfect aappam.



Fermented aappam mavu.





Ingredients:
rice flour - 2 cups.
rice flour - 1 tablespoon
tender coconut water- 1/2 cup (optional)
fresh grated coconut- 1/2 cup
yeast - 2 teaspoon
sugar - 2 tablespoons
urid dal - 2tsp,

salt - 1/4 tsp,
baking soda - 1/4 tsp. (optional : add just before making aapam)

For serving with aapam:
Sugar - 2 tsp for 1 aapam.
coconut milk - 1 cup,


Method:
Mix 1 tablespoon rice flour with 3/4 cup water and cook on stove until thick. Then allow it to cool.

Soak  urad dhal for 1 hour and grind with 1/2 cup shredded coconut to a fine paste.

In a large bowl, mix the cooked rice flour, rice flour, urid dal  paste,salt, tender coconut water, yeast, sugar to form a batter of thick pouring consistency (like idly batter consistency).

Keep it closed and place in a warm place for 6 hours. I used to make this batter at night by 9 pm and leave inside oven (turn off oven) and in the next day morning when i take it out my kitchen will be filled with a nice aroma.There will be bubbles on the surface and the batter would  have risen.

Now add the baking soda and mix well.

Now heat the aappam pan and wipe a drop of coconut oil all over the pan by using a clean cloth.

Check the thickness of aappam batter now. It should be in the more thin in consistency than that of dosa batter.If not so add some coconut milk or water.
 Pour 2 ladles of batter,keep heat at medium to low.
Then Shake the pan in a circular motion so that the flour spreads and expands along the edges.(If batter is too thick and does not spread, add a little more milk or water to the batter for the next aapams ). The cooked batter forms a layer of 'lace' around the thicker center portion. It is then covered and cooked in it's own steam over gentle heat.
I wait to hear a dripping sound of water(condensation of steam) .Now we can be sure that the aapam is cooked.Then by using a dosa spatula or spoon gently take out the aapam.


Serving suggestions:
Aapam goes fine with coconut milk.Take coconut milk 1/2 can and dilute it with equal amount of water.Spread 2 teaspoon sugar over aapam and add 4 tablespoon coconut milk over the aapam. Enjoy your aapam.

We get nearly 15 number of aapam. If you dont need this much number of aapams you can store the left out aapam batter in fridge and use it later.

Aappam can also be served with egg curry or chicken curry or channa dhal curry or even sambar.

Note:
Instead of cooked rice flour + urid dal + coconut paste,   we can simply use 1 cup of left over dosa batter and coconut paste alone, for an easy version.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Kootan Choru. (Mixed vegetable rice).


Introduction:
This is a very simple "one pot cooking "(that means you can cook the entire dish with one pot).It is a dish cooked without a drop of oil.It is a famous main course among village kids of Tamilnadu, India.
I can remember my childhood days , while cooking this food. During summer vacations my mom chose a full moon night for a family get together in our backyard garden.In the evening she used to teach us to cut the vegetables and to help her to cook this aromatic dinner. we love those Kootanchoru nights very much.My mom and aunts grind the garnishing masala and "Paruppu thovaiyal" (kind of toor dhal chutney) in a hand mortar. we help her in bringing water, kindling the fire etc.
After cooking we used to sit in a row in our open terrace and will have that wonderful kootan choru with appalam (pappadam) and paruppu thovaiyal. Happy Memories !
Even today i try cooking that Kootan choru here in USA as a Sunday lunch. Though we cannot cook it outside , the flavor remains almost the same. Just try this different but "authentic Tamil dish" in your home and have fun

Ingredients: (for 2 people)
Rice - 200 gms(1 cup)
Thoor dhal- 100 gms (1/2 cup)
Turmeric - a pinch.
Asafoetida - a pinch.
tamarind - small gooseberry size.
salt.
To grind :
grated coconut - 3 spoons.
cumin seeds- 1/2 teaspoon.
garlic- 2 pearls.(optional)
Red chillies - 3 numbers.
vegetables:
unripe banana- 1 small size.
brinjal/ eggplant - 2 small.
drumstick - 1.
carrot -1 .
spinach or murungakeerai (leaf of drumstick) - a handful.
red onion - 1/2.

Method:

Soak the thoor dhal for 1/2 and hour. cut the vegetables into big pieces.Bring 4 cups of water to boil and add thoor dhal, turmeric, asafoetida. cook it almost soft. Then add rice and vegetables. After everything gets 100% cooked add tamarind extract and salt. Add some more water and let the rice be in a semi solid state. Then grind the items mentioned above into a coarse mixture and add it to the rice. Reduce the flame and Cover it. After 10 minutes put off the flame . Now Kootan choru is ready.
Serving suggestions:
Serve it hot with Paruppu thovaiyaland Appalam. Look for my recipe for paruppu thovaiyal.
Serves for 2 .

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Bitter gourd Koottu.





Bitter gourd koottu is a good side dish for sambar , more kulambu etc. This koottu has very little oil and it will not show much bitter taste .
Ingredients:
Bitter gourd - 200 gms.(2 numbers,big size)
onion- 1/2 (chopped)
curry leaves - 1 brig.
Red chillies- 2 numbers.
mustard seeds- 1/2 teaspoon
urid dhal- 1/2 teaspoon.
shredded coconut - 2 spoons.
oil- 1 tablespoon
Tamarind - 1 gooseberry size
salt to taste
Method:
Choose the bitter gourd to be very dark in color. Slit the bitter gourd into two and remove the seeds. chop it finely. Extract juice from tamarind.soak it in tamarind juice for 2 hours or even better the whole night before preparing the food.
In a frying pan , add oil and put mustard seeds and urid dhal. after the mustard seeds crackle add onion, red chillies and curry leaves. wait till the onion turns golden brown and add the bitter guard along with tamarind juice. Then add salt .cover and cook.
After the bitter gourd gets cooked , add cumin seeds and grated coconuts.stir fry and put off flame.
serve hot with yellow pumpkin sambar.

Garden Pizza

We both love pizza very much , that too for the weekend dinner.This Garden pizza is a vegetarian pizza , which is not only easy to make but also tastes great.I got my inspiration to do this while we had a similar kind of pizza in a restaurant called Culpeppers in O'Fallon, Missouri. Onion rings or french fries and a soda will make your dinner a complete one. I always store some frozen onion rings or frozen french fries in my freezer and i will bake them along with the pizza. Start your long weekend with this dinner , if you prefer to enjoy your July 4 inside your house.
Happy Independence Day.

Pizza base:
1/4 cup warm water
3 spoon vegetable oil
1 sachet dry yeast (1.5 tablespoon approximately)
1 teaspoon salt.
1 teaspoon sugar
2 small cups of all purpose flour(just enough to make 4 normal chapathi )

mix water oil,yeast,salt,sugar and keep it for 10 minutes.
mix with flour
make a chapathi dough
cover it in a tight vessel and keep it for 1 hour inside oven(not hot).

Sauce:
Ragu sauce(old world style)- 1/2 cup

Pizza topping:
Shredded mozzerella cheese - 1 cup
tomato sauce 1 spoon, chilli sauce 1/2 spoon
1/4 red onion - cut in to small pieces
capsicum - 1/4 cut in to small pieces
mushroom -6 cut into big pieces
black olive fruit -3 cut in to two.

mix every thing except cheese and add salt to taste.
keep it aside for 1 hour or you can prepare it at your leisure time, keep it inside fridge for future use.

Pizza procedure:
Take the dough and roll into a big size chapathi of thickness 1 inch.
place it on the flat baking tray.
put a little oil over the flattened dough.
Spread the ragu sauce.
then spread the topping.
Above the topping spread cheese.

heat oven to 425 F (220 C) . place the pizza in the middle rack and bake it for 15- 18 minutes.
serve hot with tomato sauce , onion rings / french fries and any soda.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Chicken Biriyani (Dum biriyani).

This is the very first dish I learned from my mom. Dedicating this recipe and the whole blog for my mom. Mom, please bless us, guide us and be with us always!



Ingredients:

Basmathi rice / Jeeraga samba raw rice - 3 cups
Chicken with bones - 2 lbs
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Red onion - 2 (medium size)
Tomato - 2
cilantro- 1 handful.
mint leaf -1 handful.
Ginger paste - 2 tsp
Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Fennel - 1 tsp
bay leaves - 2
star aniseed - 1,
cinnamom stick - 2 inch
cardamom - 2
cloves - 4
curd -1 cup,
ghee - 2 tbsp
olive oil - 3 tbsp
chilli powder - 2 tsp ,
green chillis - 5 (uncut).
Lemon - 1
cashew nuts -10
raisins- 10.
salt.
saffron color- 2 drops
rose essence-2 drops
milk - 2 tbsp

Note:
The meat in the biryani always tastes plain . So if we want to make them more juicy and tasty we should marinate the chicken or any meat the day before preparing the biryani (but not earlier than that).
Then place the marinated meat tightly packed inside the refrigerator (not freezer).

Marination:
wash and clean the chicken pieces.
Cut it in to big portions. Apply 1/4 tsp turmeric over it.
Marinate the chicken with 2 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp garam masal powder, 1 tsp ginger paste, 1/2 tsp garlic paste, 1 cup curd,
2 tsp salt and juice from 1/2 a lemon.
Keep it inside a Ziploc cover and place it inside a closed container . Keep it refrigerated .

Biryani gravy preparation:
Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a broad bottom vessel.
Add fennel ,star aniseed , cinnamon stick,cardamom ,cloves, bay leaf .
Then goes the chopped onion .
Fry it till golden brown and take half of it aside.
Now add the chopped tomato and cook till the oil oozes out of it.
Then add the remaining ginger garlic paste and stir well till the raw smell goes.
Now add the marinated chicken pieces and stir well. cook it completely. we will see a chicken gravy now.

step 2:

wash the rice and soak it for 1/2 an hour.
Water for briyani = (number of cups of rice x 2 )- 1
Pour the rice to the chicken gravy, bring it to a boil.
Add the juice of half a lemon and 2 tsp salt. check salt taste. It should taste lil salty now.
Then add the soaked rice and cook till it absorbs water (but not fully cooked).

For garnishing:

Roast the cashews and raisins in 1 tbsp ghee. keep aside.
Chop cilantro and mint leaves. Add over briyani

In oven:

Take an aluminium foil baking tray. Place the briyani.
spread the chopped mint leaf, cilantro, uncut green chillies, fried onions, cashews and raisins.
sprinkle 1 tbsp ghee over that.
Now cover the tray with an aluminium foil.
Preheat the oven to 250 deg C and cook the biryani for 1 hour (or) more, till the rice is cooked completely. My biryani got ready in 90 minutes.

Mom's method:
Making biryani without oven:
Place the briyani in a thick bottom vessel.
cover it tightly with a lid . seal the edges with a chapathi dough or aluminum foil. Heat a dosa tawa and place the vessel over the tawa. Reduce the heat to minimum.
Boil 2 liters of water and keep that vessel at top of sealed briyani vessel as dhum.
Hot charcoal can also be placed to get a good dum briyani.
Cook it in slow fire for 90 minutes or till the biryani flavor fills the house:)
Dum style Chicken biryani is ready.

Serving suggestions:
Serve chicken biryani hot with onion raitha and chicken gravy.
Serves 5 people.