Tried this recipe from last Saturday when friends Preeti Patil and Jay came over. This starter with its south indian flavors was a hit with them..
Very easy to cook and the key is in cooking the chicken till it is browned well. 

I have tried a lot of recipes from vahrevah and somehow they have always turned out now I am hooked on to the Sanjay Thumma's video stream on youtube

1. Marinate 1/2 kg chicken on the bone with 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp ginger garlic paste and salt to taste. Keep this aside for at least 2 hrs before cooking
2. Take 2 tsp oil in a pan and heat it. When hot, add 1 tsp cumin seeds and saute till it is brown. I also added 1/2 tsp shahi jeera seeds for additional taste. Add 1 finely chopped onion, a pinch of salt and saute. When the onion is pink, add 1 sprig of curry leaves and saute.
3. Now add the chicken and mix well. Cover and cook the chicken on a low flame till about 80% done. This should take around 20 mins
4. Remove the lid and saute to remove the water that must have accumulated. Add 2 tsp vinegar and 1 tsp freshly crushed pepper powder. Keep sauteing in the process browning the chicken. Finally add 1 tsp garam masala powder and mix well. Remove from heat when you think the chicken is well cooked
5. Garnish with coriander  and serve hot as a starter or a side dish.

I love Italian food and though I like Pasta more than Risotto, I decided to cook Risotto again after a long time. Having tried Risotto with pumkin and one other time with chicken and mushrooms, today I decided to cook it with Bell Peppers and Zucchini.
Risotto with Zucchini and Bell Peppers

1. In a large pan, take 1 tbsp of olive oil. When hot, add 1 cup zucchini cut into cubes. I used Golden Zucchini here but you can use the Green one too. Add 1/2 cup each of red and yellow peppers and saute on high heat for 2-3 mins. When gold, add 5-6 pods of finely chopped garlic  and saute for a minute stirring continuously. Remove from the pan and set aside
2. In the same pan, add 1 tbsp olive oil. Add 1 onion cut into fine longish thin pieces. Saute on low heat till pink/translucent. Dont burn/brown the onions. Add 1 and 1/2 cup arborio rice to this mixture and saute till the rice grains are transparent.
3. Add 1 cup of vegetable stock to the rice and stir continuously  Keep adding stock as and when needed and stir constantly. Keep doing this for about 20 mins on low flame, till the rice is cooked but yet crunchy to bite into.
4. Add the zucchini and bell peppers, add 1 tbsp butter and mix well. Sprinkle basil leaves (Since i did not have basil at home, I used tulsi leaves and the taste was very similar to basil) and grated cheese (you need to use Parmesan, but I used Gouda as  I did not get parmesan at the store). Stir gently and remove from heat
5. Drizzle olive oil and some more cheese and serve.

Hussain is my regular autowalla and we have interesting conversations on the way to office. This friday, we were discussing Hyderabadi Biryani when he told me that Biryani has an interesting and easy to cook cousin called Tahiri. He went on to describe the recipe for this easy one pot dish and I noted the recipe in my head. I had to cook it today least I forget the recipe.
So here is Hussain's Tahiri recipe

Tahari (Hyderabadi Meat and Tomato Rice)

1. Clean and Marinate 1/2 kg mutton (with bones) with 2 tbsp curd, 1 cup each of chopped mint leaves and coriander leaves, 3 finely chopped green chillies and salt and keep aside. It is good to leave this marination for at least 2 hours before you cook it.
2. Wash 2 cups of basmati rice and drain the water and keep aside.
3. In a pressure cooker, take 1 tsp ghee and 1 tsp oil and when hot add 2 finely chopped onions and saute till the onions are slightly brown.
4. Add 2 tsp of ginger garlic paste and saute for a minute. Add 2 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp garam masala powder and mix well. Add the marinated mutton pieces and saute well for 5-10 mins. Add 3-4 finely chopped tomatoes and mix well. Now saute all this for at least 15-20 mins mins till the mutton is almost done and the tomatoes are mushy. Since rice cooks well, ensure that your mutton is well cooked before you add the rice.
5. Add the basmati rice and mix well so that it is well coated. Add 5 cups of water (use the same measuring cup as used for rice). Add a handful of finely chopped mint and coriander leaves, 1 tsp garam masala powder and mix well.
6. Pressure cook for 4 whistles and then turn off the flame.
7. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve the Tahiri with dahi raita.

Beetroot Sambar

Tasted this dish for the first time at Sahana and Vijay's place in Leeds. Loved it for its simple flavors. I like Beetroot for the unique color of the dishes and have cooked this dish many times after coming back from our UK holidays.
Here is Sahana's recipe for the dish Beetroot Sambar

1. Boil 1/2 cup of toor dal in pressure cooker. Along with Dal, you can also boil 2 beetroots by keeping them in separate vessels.
2. Grind 1/2 cup grated coconut with 2-3 tsp sambar powder with very little water to a fine paste. I used store bought sambar powder. I added 1 small piece of tamarind and some pieces of beetroot while making the paste.
3. Cut the boiled beetroot into pieces and keep aside.
4. Boil 1 glass of water in a vessel and while boiling add 2 green chillies and leave it for 5mins.
5. Add the beetroot pieces, boiled dal and of coconut and sambar powder and cook. Add 1 tsp of jaggery for some sweetness and a pinch of asafoetida and let this cook on a slow flame for at least 10 mins. You can adjust the water according to the consistency you desire.
6. For the tempering/tadka, take a small pan. Add 2 tsp coconut oil, add 1 tsp mustard seeds when the oil is hot. When the seeds start  to splutter, add 2 dry red chillies, 1 sprig of curry leaves and a pinch of urad dal. 

7. When the sambar is cooked, add the tempering/tadka and cover with the lid so that the flavor is absorbed.

Serve hot with rice.

Last week, I had lunch with some colleagues at Rayalseema Ruchulu - one of my favorite Andhra cuisine restaurant. We ordered Chicken curry the Seema style and the gravy was spicy and extremely tasty. Wanted to try the recipe and was searching online yesterday. Surprisingly found out that the restaurant themselves have put up a few recipes online. Cooked this dish and it did not even take me a total of 30 mins of cooking time, chopping included. Highly recommended for everyone who loves South Indian flavours.

Kodi Pulusu( Andhra Chicken Curry)

1. Marinate 1/2 kg chicken with 1 tsp ginger garlic paste, 1/2 tsp turmeric, salt and 1 tsp chilli powder for atleast an hour before cooking. I added 2 tsp curd to the marinade though this was not part of the recipe.

2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. When hot, add 1 sprig of curry leaves and fry them till they are crisp. Now add 2 medium onions finely chopped and fry them till they are brown in color.

3. Add marinated chicken pieces and fry until chicken looses its pink colour. Add 1 tsp garam masala powder, 1 tsp red chilli powder and fry the same. You can give the chilli powder a miss if you dont like your gravy too spicy.

4. Add 1 cup water and bring to boil. Cook the chicken pieces for another 15 mins on slow flame with lid covered or till its cooked.  Keep stirring all the while. Adjust the water according to the consistency you want.
5. Adjust the salt if needed. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve

Came across this interesting recipe on a youtube video last Sunday and decided to cook it. This is probably a Hyderabadi dish because the fried onion, curd and mint combination is something I see a lot in Hyderabadi cuisine. I am glad I cooked this dish because not only was it very easy, but also the richness of the dish makes it a very good dish to cook when you have guests over.
Chicken Hara Masala

1. Take a non stick pan and add 1 tbsp oil. When the oil is hot, add 2 medium sized onion juliennes and saute till brown.
2. When onions are brown, add 2 tsp of ginger garlic paste and saute. Add handful of curry leaves and saute. Add 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, pinch of turmeric, salt and saute till the spices are well cooked. Sprinkle some water if the spices are getting charred.
3. Add 1/2 kg chicken and mix well. Saute for 3-4 mins. Add 1 cup of yogurt to the chicken and mix well.
4. Make a fine paste of 1 cup of coriander, 1/2 cup of mint, 3-4 green chillies and 1 tbsp of grated coconut with little water. Add this to the chicken and mix it well.
5. Add 1 cup of water and cover and cook for 20 mins or till the chicken is well cooked
6. Add cream if you want a richer gravy and a pinch of garam masala before taking it off from the stove

Serve hot with chappatis.

Methi Tomato Paneer

My blog is heavy on non-veg dishes so decided to cook some veg dishes today to balance it out :) 
Last time when I cooked paneer butter masala, I realised that the taste of methi, tomato and paneer is a very good combination. So decided today to cook with original methi(fenugreek) leaves and not kasoori methi. This dish is absolutely tasty - has a bitterness imparted by the methi and the tangy taste from tomatoes.

Methi Tomato Paneer


1. Heat 2 tsp oil in a non-stick pan. When hot, add finely chopped 2 medium sized onions and saute till brown.Add a pinch of salt to the onions for flavor
2. Add 2 tsp ginger garlic paste and 2 finely chopped green chillies and saute for 2 mins. Add 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp coriander powder and saute. Sprinkle some water in case you feel the masalas are getting scorched.
3. Add 1/2 cup of methi leaves and saute for 5 mins till methi is completely cooked
4. Now add 3 finely chopped medium sized tomatoes  and cook for 2-3 mins
5. Add 1/2 cup water and cover and cook till the tomatoes are mushy and well cooked.
6. Now add 200 gms of paneer cut into cubes and mix well
7. Add 1 tsp amchur powder and mix and cook for another 5 mins and your dish is ready.
8. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with chappatis

Chicken Ghee Roast

I had always heard of ghee roast but never tasted it. Decided to cook it finally and it did turn out well. Extremely spicy, hot and tasty :)
Chicken Ghee Roast

1. Marinate 1/2 kg chicken with 1 tsp turmeric powder, juice of 1 lemon, 1 tsp chilli powder, salt and 2 tbsp curd. Keep aside for at least 1 hour.

2. Take a pan and dry roast 3-4 red chillies, 1 tsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp pepper corns, pinch of fenugreek seeds and grind along with 6-7 garlic flakes and 1 marble sized ball of tamarind.

 3. Place a large pan and add 1 tbsp ghee. Add all the marinated chicken once the ghee is hot and saute for a min. Add the masala paste and fry till the chicken is coated. Add more ghee if you like it. Adjust the salt and let it cook on a slow flame. You can add a pinch of sugar if you like

4.Take of the flame and serve as a side dish.
Had an unused bunch of spring onion lying in my fridge for a week now..wanted to use it for my cooking today was in no mood for Chinese.Hence went online and googled for spring onion recipes and came across this nice Sambar recipe.
The sambar came very close to what is offered in udupi restaurants.

Tomato & Spring onion Sambar


  1. Chop  around 20 stalks of spring onion along with the green leaves and keep aside. Finely chop 2 tomatoes and set aside.
  2. Boil 1/2 cup of toor dal and keep aside.
  3. Grind 1/2 cup of coconut, 2 tsp of cumin seeds, 2 tbsp of sambar powder,  pinch of turmeric powder, 1 marble sized ball of tamarind  and 1 tsp of jaggery powder to a fine paste with water and keep aside.
  4. Heat 2 tsp of oil in a pan and add 2 tsp of mustard seeds. When they splutter add pinch of asafoetida and 1 sprig of curry leaves. 
  5. Add the chopped Spring Onions &  tomatoes and mix well. Cook till the onions and tomatoes are soft.
  6. Now add the ground paste, toor dal and 2 cups water and let the gravy boil for 5 mins. You can adjust the jaggery and salt now.
  7. Garnish with coriander and serve with steamed rice.

I guess I can just replace the spring onions with onions, add more water and get a good sambar to go with hot idlis.

Simple Chicken Gravy

The usual chicken gravy recipe with onion and tomato paste. Very easy to cook, this spicy chicken gravy is ready in less than 45 mins.. You can hardly go wrong with this recipe.

Simple Chicken Gravy

  1. Clean and chop about 500 gms of boneless chicken. Add salt and set aside.
  2. Roughly chop 3 medium sized onions. Blend in a mixie with about 7-8 pods of garlic and 1 inch ginger till you get a fine paste and keep aside. Blend 2 tomatoes in the same mixie and keep aside
  3. Add 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 inch cinnamon, 5-6 cloves, 2 tsp coriander powder, 2 tsp chilli powder, 1 cardamom and blend in the mixie to a coarse powder. You can add some salt if you need to add some volume to blend.
  4. In a pan, add 1 tbsp oil.  Add the coarse masala powder and saute till you can smell the aroma of the spices. Now add the the onion paste and saute till golden brown. Since the onion was blended raw, you need to ensure that you saute for a longer while till the raw smell of onions is gone. 
  5. Add the tomato paste and some turmeric and again saute till the tomatoes are cooked. Add additional chilli powder if you want a spicy gravy.
  6.  Add chicken and coat it with sauce. Add 2 cups of water and mix well. Now cover with a lid and let the chicken cook for 15-20 mins on a slow flame. Keep stirring in between and cook till chicken is tender.
  7. Adjust the salt. Add 1 tsp of garam masala powder. Garnish with coriander leaves. Squeeze some lemon juice on the gravy and serve with rotis.

Achari Dahi Bhindi

As you must know by now, Bhindi(Okra or ladies finger) is one of my favorite vegetable. Felt like cooking okra with dahi. Searched online and found this easy recipe on Tarla Dalal's site. This dish was really easy to cook and the total time is just around 45 mins along with chopping time. Whats best is that the dish is spicy yet not very hot.
Achari Dahi Bhindi


1.Wash, wipe dry and cut around 30 pieces of okra into 1 cm pieces. Cut them diagonally
2. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan and sauté the ladies finger in it for 5 mins till almost cooked. Add a pinch of salt to the okra. Keep this aside.
3. In the same pan,heat 2 tsp oil and add 2 tsp fennel seeds(saunf) and saute for a minute. Add 1/2 tsp of fenugreek seeds (methi seeds) and saute. Now add 1 tsp mustard seeds and a pinch of asafoetida(hing) to it and saute til the mustard seeds crackle. Take care to see that the masala doesn't get scorched.
4. Add 1 inch of  ginger finely chopped to the pan and saute. Now add 1 big tomato finely chopped. Saute till the tomatoes are well cooked. Add 1 tsp of sugar to balance the taste.
5. As the tomato is cooking, whisk together 3 tbsp curds, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1tsp chilli powder, 2 tsp coriander powder and salt and mix well. Add this mixture to the pan when the tomato is cooked and cook for 2-3 mins. Add the okra that was kept aside and mix well and cook for 5 mins.
Serve hot with chapatis.
I had seen this episode of Chak Le India - Kachcha Raasta long back and had noted down the recipe. I like Aditya Bal's style of cooking where I see him char the aromatics regularly. This reduces cooking time and also gives a good consistency to the gravy.
Wanted to cook something quickly today and hence decided to try this recipe. The dish was amazingly tasty and ready in less than a hours time. 

Camp style bori chicken

1. Take 250 gms of chicken, clean and keep aside. I used boneless chicken but you can use one with bones too. Marinate the chicken with 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp oil and salt and keep aside
2. Char the aromatics a la Aditya Bal - 2 medium sized onions cut into cubes, 5-6 garlic pods, 1 inch ginger, 2-3 green chillies and 1 bunch of chopped coriander leaves and stalks. Saute this well till the onions are slightly browned and the raw taste of the aromatics is gone. Keep aside
3. Now dry roast the 7-8  cloves, 2-3 cardamom pods, 7-8  black peppercorns, 1 tsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds and 1 inch of cinnamon for 2 mins. 

4. Grind the dry roasted spices to a nice powder. Add the charred aromatics and again grind to a fine paste. Aditya Bal generally uses a mortar and pestle to grind the spices, but I used the mixer grinder to save on time. Add the paste to the marinated chicken. Add 3 tbsp curd to the chicken and mix well and keep aside. 

5. Take a pan and add 2 tsp oil. Add 2-3 green cardamoms and saute. Add a handful of raisins and saute again. Now add the marinated chicken and mix well. I added 1 cup of water but you can add water according to your preference. Adjust the salt.
6. Cover, simmer and cook for 20 mins. 

Fish Fillets with Lemon Honey Sauce

Have been very busy lately and haven't been able to update the blog. 

I had read this recipe in a magazine sometime back and the simplicity of the dish made me want to cook it. This dish took me only 15 mins to prepare.

Fish Fillets with Lemon Honey Sauce

1. Wash Basa fish Fillets thoroughly. Season with little salt and steam fillets of Basa Fish in a steamer for around 10 mins on medium flame. Add some lemon grass while steaming for flavour
2. As the fish is cooking, prepare the sauce with 2 tsp olive oil, 2 pods of garlic crushed, 1 tsp chilli flakes, 1 juice of lemon, 1/2 tsp honey, 1 tsp soya sauce. Adjust salt and sugar according to your taste.
3. Remove the fish fillets from the steamer. Pour the sauce generously on the fillets.
4. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve.

Healthy recipe, isnt it?

Beetroot Raita

I generally cook this raita as a substitute for a side dish when I feel like having healthy food :)  Just love the color of this dish
Beetroot Raita

1. Boil 1 beetroot in the pressure cooker. I generally club it with dal or anything else that is being pressure cooked.
2. Remove the skin and grate. Add salt and a pinch of sugar to the beetroot.
4. Take 2 tsp coconut oil for tempering in a pan, Add 1 tsp mustard seeds, pinch of hing, 7-8 curry leaves and temper till mustard seeds start spluttering.
5. Stir in curd according to your taste.Adjust the salt and sugar
6. You can garnish the raita with corainder leaves and serve.

My pachi(mausi) is visiting us in Hyderabad and we are having a gala time having tasted all the specialties Hyderabad has to offer!! 
On one of the evenings when we were tired of going out, pachi cooked this awesome dish. I had never eaten this before and instantly liked it.

Stuffed Bhindi with green masala

1. Wash and clean around 300 gms of okra /bhindi and let them dry or pat dry them with a towel. 

2. Cut off the bottom hard part of the okra and then Slit them lengthwise such that it has 2 vertical slits but don’t cut all the way till the end. Cut it such that it can hold the stuffing.
3. For stuffing, add 1 cup freshly grated coconut, 1 tsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, pinch of asafoetida, 1/2 a lemon, 3-4 green chillies and a handful of coriander leaves and salt to a coarse paste with little water (chutney consistency)

4. Fill the stuffing in the bhindi
5. In a pan, take 2-3 tsp oil. When hot, add 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp turmeric, pinch of asafoetida and saute. Add the stuffed bhindi and mix well. Cook on low heat with water on the lid. This helps in condensing the steam and cooks the bhindi quickly without scorching.
6. Remove from heat when the bhindi is cooked. The bhindi cooks in 15-20 mins on low heat. 

Sweet and sour Tawa paneer

A simple recipe - very easy to make and tasty too.

Sweet and sour Tawa paneer


1. Make a marinade of 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, 1 tsp red chilli flakes, 1 tsp tomato ketchup, 1/2 tsp tobasco sauce, 1 tsp sugar, 2tsp olive oil, 2 tsp finely chopped spring onion greens, 1 tsp vinegar, 1 grated garlic clove, 1 tsp chopped coriander leaves and mix well. Adjust the salt. I also added some lime juice to make it more tangy.
2. Marinate cubes of paneer in the marinade and leave aside for half an hour. I used about 250 gms of paneer but you can make the marinade according to your taste.
3. Grill while applying the marinade or fry on a hot tava with 1 tsp olive oil.

We predominantly cook fish curries in 2 ways..this is my favorite way which goes well with some fishes like pomfret, kane(ladyfish) and even prawns.
Fish curry Konkani style (Kane Alle Kande Ambat)

1. Wash 7-8 Kane fish(also called Lady fish) thoroughly, apply a little salt and set aside.
2.  Take a small pan, add  1 tsp coconut oil and when hot, add 1 -2 tsp coriander seeds, pinch of fenugreek seeds and 5-6 whole dry red chillies. Saute lightly for 2 mins
3. Grind them with 1 cup of grated coconut,  pinch of turmeric powder and 1 inch ball of tamarind to a fine paste. 
4. Take a bigger pan. Heat 2 tsp coconut oil and add 1 onion finely chopped and saute till pink.Add a pinch of fenugreek seeds, 2 green chillies slit at the centre and saute. You can use any other oil, but coconut oil gives it a distinct Konkani flavor.
5. Add the coconut paste and fry for 2-3 mins. Add 2-3 cups of water and let the mixture come to a good boil. I also add 2-3 Dried Sol for added sourness. 
6. Now add the fish and let the curry come to a good boil. Adjust the salt according to taste. This fish cooks within 5 mins. 
7. Serve hot with plain rice. 
Came across this recipe on Food Network that I have subscribed to and had to try it from the moment I had seen it. Finally tried it today and it was as tasty as it looked.
Here is my version

Grilled Chicken with Salsa
1. For the marination, take a bowl. Add 2 tsp of olive oil, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1/2 tsp cumin powder, 1/2 tsp coriander powder, freshly ground pepper, some red chilli flakes, and 2 grated garlic cloves. Add 2 tsp of lime juice, salt and mix well. Marinate 250 gms of Breasts of chicken with the mixture. You can choose to butterfly the chicken as mentioned in the above recipe but I did not do that - I just cut the chicken into smaller pieces. Leave aside for 2 hours.
2. Make the salsa with 2 tsp olive oil, 2 tomatoes, 1 onion, 1/2 capsicum finely chopped. Add 2 tsp lime juice, salt and refrigerate.
3. After 2 hours, grill the chicken. I just chose to fry the chicken on a pan with olive oil on low heat , turning on both sides till cooked.
4. Serve hot with the salsa on top of each piece. You can garnish with freshly ground pepper and red chilli flakes.

Spinach Mutton

I am a fan of spinach and hence decided to make Mutton with spinach today. Most of the recipes of Saagwaala Mutton and other spinach mutton use Spinach Puree but I thought of adding finely chopped spinach instead. The dish was absolutely tasty! Highly recommended

Spinach Mutton

1. Blend 1 cup coriander leaves, 5-6 cloves of garlic, 1 inch ginger, handful of mint leaves and 2 green chillies in a mixer. Add salt and marinate 1/2 kg mutton for at least an hour before cooking.
2. Take 1 tsp ghee and 1 tsp oil in a pressure cooker. When hot, add 1 bay leaf, 3-4 cloves, 1 inch cinammon, 1 cardamom, 1 tsp cumin seeds and saute till the cumin splutters. Add 1 big onion finely chopped and saute till pink.
3. Add 2 medium tomatoes finely chopped and saute till mushy. Add the mutton and saute for some time till the raw taste of ginger garlic goes away. Now add 2 cups of water to the pressure cooker, close the lid, add the weight and cook for 4-5 whistles.
4. Remove the lid when the pressure is off and add 2 cups of finely chopped spinach and 1 tsp kasoori methi and cook till the spinach is well cooked.

Serve hot with chappatis. You can add more water in case you need a gravy to go with rice.

Veg Biryani with coconut milk

Came across this recipe in my cook book and decided to cook this today for lunch. Tasty and the best part is that my 9 month old relished it. The flavor of the coconut differentiates this from the normal version.

Veg Biryani with coconut milk

1. Soak 2 cups of basmati rice in water for 15 mins to remove the excess starch. Drain and keep aside.
2. Take 1 tsp butter and 1 tsp oil in a pressure cooker. When hot, add 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 inch cinammon, 2-3 cloves, 2-3 pepper corns, 1 star anise, 1 bay leaf and saute for a minute. Add 2 medium onions slit into long thin slices and saute till pink. Add 2 finely chopped green chillies.
3.  Add 1 tsp ginger garlic paste and saute for a minute. Add 1/2 cup of finely chopped coriander leaves and 1/2 cup of finely chopped mint leaves.
4. Add 1 potato cut into cubes, 1/2 cup of carrots cut into cubes, 3-4 tsp pf green peas, 1/2 cup of cauliflower florets. I added some soaked black channa and 5-6 snap peas. Saute all the vegetables for 2 mins
5. Add 1 tsp chilli powder and 1 tsp garam masala powder and saute well such that the vegetables are coated with the masala.
6. Add the rice and saute till all the vegetables and rice mix well. Now add 25 gms of coconut milk powder added in 2 cups of water to the pressure cooker. Add 3 more cups of water, mix well and close the lid of the cooker with the whistle on.
7. Cook for 3-4 whistles. Remove the cooker from the flame. Remove the whistle once the pressure is off and separate the rice with a fork.

Serve  this biryani hot with Onion- Tomato Raita

Chicken Shammi Kabab

I used to always wonder how kakori kababs in restaurants melt in our mouth. Then when I saw this dish being cooked on Foodistan I was inspired to try it. I searched online and this dish is my adaptation from different recipes.
Chicken Shammi Kabab
  1. Add 2 tbsp oil. Add 1 tsp shahi jeera, 1 cardamom, 1 inch cinammon, 2-3 cloves and saute for a minute. Add 2 medium finely chopped onion and saute till brown.
  2. Add 1 inch  ginger finely chopped and 5-6 pods of garlic finely chopped, ½ cup of mint, 2 green chillies finely chopped,1 tsp turmeric and saute.
  3. Now add around 300 gms of boneless chicken cut into smaller cubes (this is actually a mutton dish but I tried with chicken) and cook till the meat is tender and almost cooked.
  4. Now add 1 tbsp chilli powder, 1tsp garam masala, ½ cup coriander chopped, and 1 cup Chana Dal (which is soaked and boiled - remove all the water before adding). Saute for around 2 mins and then let this mixture cool a bit.
  5. Now grind the above mixture in a mixer grinder to a coarse paste. The strands of chicken should be seen.
  6. Adjust the seasoning if needed. Beat 1 egg in a bowl.
  7. Make small balls with the batter, flatten it, dip it in the egg and shallow fry on a pan on a slow flame on both sides till cooked.
This will make around 20 medium shaped kababs - serve with mint chutney.
I had tasted Pithla at my friend Mona's home and liked it a lot but never ventured to cook it on my own. This is the first time I tried it and I have decided that I am going to cook it regularly
So here is my modified version of Mona's Pithla recipe..

Spicy marathi besan curry - Pithla

1. Add 3/4 cup besan to 2 cups water and mix well so that  you do not have any lumps. Keep aside.
2. Heat oil in pan. When hot, add 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds.  When they splutter add 2 finely chopped green chillies and 2 sprigs of curry leaves. Also add a pinch of asafoetida and saute well. 
3. Now add 1 finely chopped onion and 3-4 finely chopped cloves of garlic and some salt. When the onion is slightly pink add 1 tsp ginger garlic paste and continue sauteing till onion is brown in color.
4. Add  1 finely chopped tomato and 1/2 cup of spring onions greens. (Spring onion is not part of the original recipe - but I added it for the added taste.)
5. Adjust the salt as required and 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp red chilli powder(again not part of original recipe) and saute. Now add the besan mixture and keep stirring regularly to avoid lumps 
6.  Cook for 10 mins or till the raw taste of besan goes.
7. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves, some spring onion greens and serve piping hot with Jowar Rotis (Bhakris)

Mexican Salsa

I have always liked nachos with refried beans and cheese - but what I like even more was always the salsa that came with it.
I tasted store bought nachos with this salsa recently at Deepali's place and loved it. Have tried this recipe many a times after an awesome starter esp when you have vegetarian guests :) Thanks Deepali!

Mexican Salsa

1. Take 3-4 tsp of olive oil in a bowl. 
2. Mix 1 onion, 2 tomatoes, 2-3 tsp of red pepper, yellow pepper and green pepper finely chopped. You can also choose to blanch the tomatoes and coarsely grind it before adding it to the mixture. But I left it like this for crunchiness.
3. Add salt, juice of 1 lemon, red chilli flakes, 1 tsp pepper, oregano and mix well (you can adjust the spices according to your taste). I also added some 2 tsp of raw mango sliced finely just for added sourness.
4. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving with Nachos

Pepper Chicken

We had ordered Miryalu kodi (Pepper Chicken) at Rayalseema Ruchulu in Hyderabad last week. The taste of this South Indian (mainly Andhra cuisine) starter with  of pepper and curry leaves was too good. I tried looking for the recipe online but could not find it.  I tried my own version of Pepper Chicken and here is how I cooked it..turned out pretty close to the original.. 

Pepper Chicken

1. Marinate 1/2 kg boneless chicken with salt, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp ginger garlic paste, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, 2 tsp pepper powder, 1 tsp freshly ground pepper, 1/2 tsp garam masala powder  and leave aside for at least 1 hour.
2. Take 2 tsp oil in a non stick pan. When hot, add 1 sprig of curry leaves. When it splutters add the chicken and let it cook. Stir occasionally. Cover and cook on a low flame else the spices may burn.
3. Remove the lid after 15 mins and cook on low flame till chicken is cooked.
4. Sprinkle lemon juice, freshly ground pepper according to taste and serve.

Vegetable clear soup

I like vegetable clear soup and recently cooked this for my 8 month old. She loved it too - so guess I will make this more often from now on.
Vegetable clear soup

1. Heat 1 tsp ghee and 1 tsp butter in a pan. Add 1 finely chopped small onion and saute till pink.
2. Add 2-3 cloves of garlic finely chopped and saute. Add 3-4 tsp each of carrot finely chopped, beans finely chopped, cabbage finely chopped, sweet corn chopped into smaller pieces and saute the vegetables for 2-3 mins.
3. Add 3 cups of water to the pan and let the vegetables cook.

4. When the veggies are almost cooked, add 3 tsp of cornflour mixed in water (such that there are no lumps) and add it to the pan.
5.Mix the corn flour with 5 tsp's of water without any lumps and add it to the pan.
Adjust the salt according to taste and let the soup cook for more 4-5 mins,

6. Add  pepper powder according to taste and garnish with spring onion greens and serve.

For my baby, I took out some soup before adding the pepper and spring onions - she just loved the taste.
I am not a big fan of potatoes in my gravy and sabzis but this one dish is an exception.
Potato in Coconut Gravy (Batate Song- Konkani Style)

1. Boil 2-3 big potatoes. Peel them and chop them into cubes and keep aside.
2. Finely chop 1 onion
3. Finely grate 1 cup coconut. Dry roast the coconut till it turns reddish and leaves a nice aroma.
4. Grind coconut with 1 tsp coriander seeds, 5-6 red chillies and 1 marble sized ball of tamarind to a smooth paste.
5. Heat 1 tsp of coconut oil in a pan. Fry the onions till they are pink. Add the potatoes and the masala and salt and let it cook. Add a little bit water and cook till the masala is cooked. You can adjust the water depending on the consistency you want.

This is an amazing side dish with rice, goes well with chappatis and also rice rotis.

Pachi pulusu (Raw Tamarind rasam)

This is one traditional Andhra recipe that I really like and look forward to this dish  in our office canteen. I love the tanginess of this dish and the crisp onions taste good too. It goes well with rice and can be just had like a drink along with food.I searched the recipe today and decided to make it - the best part is that its so easy to make and takes hardly some 15 mins and doesn't need any heating.
Pachi pulusu (Raw Tamarind rasam)

1. Take a small vessel. Add 1 tsp oil and roast 2 dry red chillies. Grind them to a fine paste with some water.
2. Soak 1 lemon sized ball of tamarind in 3 cups of water (I used slightly warm water).  Extract the juice of the tamarind and discard the pulp. 
3. Finely chop 1/2 a onion, 2 green chillies. Add this to the tamarind pulp with water, and add salt according to taste.
4. Heat 1 tsp oil in a small pan. When oil is hot,  add 1 tsp mustard seeds. After they splutter, add 1 tsp cumin seeds and 1 sprig of curry leaves. Pour this seasoning over the tamarind mixture. Add a pinch of sugar/jaggery to balance the tanginess.
Serve cold.
I had tasted this dish at hubby's friend Lt. Col Kartik's place. His wife Chabi is an awesome cook and I was totally bowled over by this dish. The best part is that it is a complete dish and you don't need to cook anything else. Also looks extremely presentable with a lot of accompaniments. 

I felt like cooking Khow Suey today and searched online for recipes. Surprisingly I found only Indian recipe blogs :) Now  I really wonder whether this is authentic Burmese - need to do some research later. 

The recipes I found contained garam masala, dhaniya etc so I think it must be the Indianised version of the Burmese recipe (if that exists that is). Here  is how I cooked the dish

Burmese Khow Suey (Indianised version)


1. Take 1/2 cup oil in a pan and deep fry 1 onion cut into longish slices,  till caramalised. In the same pan deep fry thin slices of 3-4 pods of garlic. Drain and keep aside for garnish
2. Add 250 gms of boneless chicken slices marinated in salt  and Saute for 10 mins or till 80% done. Drain and keep aside. 

3. Now in the same pan, add 1 finely chopped onion and saute. Add 1 tsp finely chopped ginger, 2 red chillies finely chopped and 1 tsp finely chopped garlic and saute till onions are brown. Add 1/2 tsp of turmeric, 1 tsp each of red chilli powder, and 2 tsp of coriander powder (alternately you can add Curry masala powder if you have that at home). Add salt and cook for another 5 mins. 

4. Add the chicken and cook. Now add some water  so that the chicken is covered, 2 tsp lemon juice and cook till the chicken is almost cooked.

5. Parallely, keep 1 pack of egg noodles (I used Ching's egg noodles) for cooking according to instructions on the pack. Time it such that it is just cooked before you are ready to serve the dish. You should ideally strain the noodles from hot water and drain it under cold water to stop the cooking process. I added some salt and oil to the noodles while cooking.
6.  Add 200 ml of coconut milk to the chicken. I also added some Maggi chicken cubes mixed in water for additional taste.
7. You can add some basil leaves and lime leaves if you have them readily available. Let the whole dish come to a good boil and the khow suey is ready to be served.
5. Meanwhile chop some coriander leaves and some spring onions for garnishing.

Serve the chicken gravy on the noodles and top it with the caramalised onions, garlic, spring onions, sliced boiled egg and coriander leaves. Try this dish - I am sure you wont be disappointed.

Last Sunday, we had one of the best parties of our lives at a friend's farmhouse in Hyderabad. It was a pot luck barbeque party and I carried among other dishes, some prawns. Deepali, my friend who is my culinary guru, asked me to try marinating the prawns in Chinese sauces and this turned out pretty good and different from the Indian bbqs. 
Prawns Barbeque in Chinese sauces

1. Devein and deshell 1 kg prawns. Leave the tail on.
2. For marinade, add 2-3 tsp soya sauce, 2 tsp chilli sauce, salt, pepper, red chilli flakes, 1 tsp honey and 3 tsp olive oil in a glass bowl. You can change the proportions according to your taste.
3. Toss the prawns in the marinade such that all the prawns are covered and refrigerate for 24 hours.
4. Arrange the prawns on a wet wooden skewer. 

5. Grill in barbeque - keep basting with the leftover marinade and oil while grilling. 

You can also try adding some sesame seeds (Till) to the marinade. I will try it next time. The prawns can also be barbequed at home on a pan - it wont taste smoky but then this will be a good second option.

Sweet and sour shrimps

I like the sweet and sour dishes in Chinese cuisine. I think its the yin and yang concept that manifests itself in the recipes.  
Sweet and sour shrimps
1. Marinate about 250 gms of deshelled and deviened prawns (I left the tail on) for about an hour with 2 tsp soya sauce, 2 tsp red chilli sauce, 1 tsp vinegar a little bit of honey and salt to taste.
2. Cut 1 onion into lengthwise thin strips. Julienne  about 1/2 cup of carrot  and 1/2 cup of capsicum. Finely chop about 1 tsp of garlic and 1 tsp of ginger. In Chinese cooking most of the ingredients are cut in the same shape. You can also cut all the vegetables into cubes instead of julienne. Cubes takes slightly longer to cook.
3. Take 2 tbsp  of oil in a pan. Add 2 tsp of cornstarch to the prawns. When the oil is hot, saute the prawns till they are pink and start to curl. Dont overcook the prawns as then they become harder.Remove from pan and set aside

4. In same pan, add 1 tsp oil and saute the carrots for 2 mins till slightly soft. Remove from pan and set aside
5. In same pan, add 1 tsp oil and saute the onions. When the onions are pink, add the ginger and garlic and saute briefly on medium flame. Add capsicum and carrot and saute till the vegetables look cooked. 
6. Mix 2 tsp soya sauce, 2 tsp vinegar, 2 tsp red chilli sauce, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp corn starch and add this to the pan and bring to boil. The mixture will thicken and coat the prawns and the vegetables beautifully.
Serve with rice /noodles. 
As I was writing this post, I wondered whether what I bought today was shrimps or a prawns? Googled and found this post. The differences are so subtle that  I would rather enjoy my food - anyways whats in a name....

Spicy Bhindi

This is a very simple dish of one of my favorite vegetables - I believe one can hardly go wrong with bhindi.
Spicy Bhindi


1. Wash, pat dry  and cut 1/2 kg of  Bhindi (OKRA) into 2 pieces lengthwise after cutting off the edges.
2. Take oil in a pan. When hot, Add 1 tsp cumin seeds and  a pinch of asafoetida (hing)and  2 -3 crushed garlic pods .
3. Add  bhindi  when the cumin seeds crackle and stir for 5 mins or till the  bhindi  looks slightly cooked.
3. Now add 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp red chilli powder, pinch of turmeric powder, 1 tsp amchoor powder and saute till the  bhindi  is coated well with the masalas.
4. Add salt and 1-2 tsp besan powder and saute till the bhindi is well cooked.

Serve hot with chapatis.

Mango Ice Cream

I have tried many ice cream recipes but none have  given me as consistent results as this one. This mango ice cream came very close to the one they serve at Natural's parlours. I have tried this same recipe with different fruits like jackfruit, chickoo, custard apple, banana, guava, dates, apricots and they have all turned out tasty. Thanks to my cousin Kalpana tai for parting with her secret recipe :)
Homemade Mango Ice Cream

1. Take 1 cup of full toned milk, 1 cup of any of the above fruit/dry fruit pulp (Here I used Alphonso Mangoes finely chopped) , 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of milk powder. You can also add some fresh cream if you like. I add slightly less than 1 cup sugar but you can adjust the sugar according to your taste.
2. Blend them all in the grinder till an even consistency is achieved. You can taste it now and add sugar/ pulp according to your liking.
3. Freeze the mixture - takes about 8 hours to set well.
You can serve this ice cream topped with some freshly cut pieces of the fruit.

Boost your productivity by reading more in less time.