FESTIVE BIRIYANI


Why I titled it festive biriyani ?Because it is a richly flavoured biriyani ,which can be prepared 

with chicken,mutton,or prawn.My first preference would be with mutton and then comes 

the rest.The preparation in grinding takes a little more time,but it’s worth the labor as this 

recipe has unique aroma and flavour.You could make the biriyani curry the previous day and 

add the rice the following day.This biriyani tastes even better the next day.When I make this 

biriyani I always make more…So now let’s get into the recipe.

INGREDIENTS

1 kg basmati rice

3/4  -1kg mutton

4 onions sliced

4 onions ground coarsely(just pulse in the mixie.Do not grind fine)

5-6 tomatoes

3-4 inch piece ginger

2 -3 whole pods garlic peeled

15-18 green chillies ground separately

6 red chillies ground separately

1 cup curd

juice of 4 limes

1/4 cup coconut ground fine

10 cardamoms

7 cloves

3 inch piece cinnamon

1tsp.saunf

1tsp sea moss(optional)

1 cup mint leaves

1/4 cup coriander leaves

1/2 cup ghee

1/2 cup oil 

Salt to taste.

METHOD

Grind the ginger+garlic together coarsely and set aside.Before you start making.reserve a 

tsp.of ginger-garlic paste,green chilli paste,red chilli paste,and roughly chopped onion 

and set aside this mixture for the final adddition.

Heat the ghee and oil(set aside 2 tblsp of this oil to add later).

Add the whole spices,and the onions and cook till onions are light brown.Next add the coarsely

ground onions,salt,and sauté till translucent.The ingredients have to be added one by 

one,giving time for each ingredient to release its flavour and blend.

Next add ginger-garlic paste,then green chilli paste,and red chilli paste.Add chopped tomatoes

and cook till tomatoes are soft.Now add the mutton and cook for 5-10 minutes.Add curd and 

ground coconut and sauté well.Cover and cook the mutton in its own juices without adding 

water,until it is tender.

Once the gravy is done,remove the meat pieces from the gravy and set aside.Add the soaked 

rice (20 minutes) to the gravy.Pour water 1 inch above rice level.Add lemon juice and check for 

salt.

Heat the reserved oil in another vessel,add add the reserved onions and masala paste,with the 

mint leaves,and sauté till the leaves change color.Add this tempered paste to the meat and rice 

mix.Lastly add the meat pieces on top.Add coriander leaves.Cover and cook on a slow flame till 

done.Mix well and serve with your favourite accompaniments.

Awaiting your comments .

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WHEAT FLOUR PIZZA WITH CAPSICUM SAUCE


This pizza is made with wheat flour ,and no tomato sauce added .I just made a

tangy capsicum sweet sauce(red peppers only).You could add slices of tomato if you

like,or serve with tomato sauce if you like.We had it tomato free.Vegetables can be your

choice.Well,i added only cucumber and some thin green capsicum slices .

The preparation of the dough had a slight change(my twist).Let’s get into the recipe.

Ingredients for the dough

250 gms wheat flour

1/2 cup white flour (you can opt out if you like)

2 tblsp.milk powder or 1/2 cup warm milk

1 egg yolk

2 tsp.active yeast

3 tblsp.olive oil.

1 tblsp.sugar.

1/2 tp.baking soda.

1-2 tp.salt

curd to apply on dough.

Method

Mix in the yeast to 1/2 cup lukewarm water.Sprinkle sugar on top,cover and allow to

rise.Once you see active fermentation,add in to the flour with the rest of the ingredients

and bind to a soft dough.Apply curd on the dough .Cover and allow to double in size.

Once it has doubled roll out into pizza shapes you like.Place on greased trays,cover till

you make the sauce.

For the red pepper sauce

3-4 red capsicum cut and seeds removed.

1 inch ginger

4 pips garlic

1 tsp.chilli paste.

1 tsp.kashmiri chilli powder

2 tblsp.vinegar

3-4 tblsp.of jaggery or sugar(preferably brown)

salt to taste.

Method 

Grind all the ingredients together .Cook on a slow flame till you get a thick saucy texture.

For the cheese sauce.

2 cups milk

2 tblsp cornflour

1 tsp.black pepper powder

1/2 cup cheddar cheese grated.

salt to taste

Method

Make a thick flowing paste with cornflour and milk.Heat the rest of the milk,simmer and

add the cornflour mixture preventing lumps.Next add the rest of the ingredients and

cook for 2-3 minutes.It will look like custard.Set aside.

For the topping

Thin slices of cucumber,green and yellow capsicum rings.

tomato slices (optional)

1 cup mozzarella cheese or plain cheese grated .(optional)

Assembling

Apply the prepared capsicum sauce on the prepared dough(if the dough has risen

up.punch it down flat.)Arrange the cucumber and capsicum slices.Drizzle the cheese

sauce.Add mozarella cheese and bake in a hot oven (200 degrees for 10 minutes per

pizza).

Pan pizza also can be made with this dough,as this dough has a nice texture (soft inside

and crispier on the crust.

Note: Olives and herbs can be added as per your choice.

Herbs can be added to the dough too.

INNOVATE AND ENJOY!

 

 

 

DUM KA ROAT HALWA(Ash Gourd Halwa)


This is an awesome halwa originating from South India.It is also known as kaasi halwa.

The dominating ingredient is the ash gourd.I have given pointers to health benefits

before,but as it’s my style to first get into health benefits shall give a few points.

The intense cooling property in ashgourd,gives relief to acidity and peptic ulcers.

The juice of ashgourd taken with lime juice or amla helps obese , diabetic,anaemic

patients.It is best to include this vegetable in any form for general health.It is an

excellent combination when cooked with dhal.

Today i would like to share this sweet and healthy recipe with you all.Believe me it excels

in taste competing with carrot halwa.Let’s get into the recipe now!

Ingredients

500 gm ash gourd (peeled and grated)

1 cup sugar

1 cup mawa /khova(you can use 1/2 cup milk powder if you can’t find khova)

4 tblsp.fine rawa (sooji,rulang,semolina)

3 tblsp.raisins

1/4-1/2 cup cashewnuts

1/4 cup milk (coconut milk also can be used for a variation)

1/4 cup ghee

1/2 tsp.powdered cardamom

a pinch of salt

Method

Heat ghee in a wok ,and fry the cashewnuts and raisins and set aside.In the same ghee

add the grated gourd with a pinch of salt,till the liquid in the vegetable dries up.Next add

the rest of the ingredients,and cook on a medium flame till it gets the texture of halwa.

Transfer to a plate and serve warm or  after it is cool.

Some areas they keep this halwa in the oven for a few minutes to get the crusty burnt

look on top,or maybe for longer shelf life.Well i avoided the oven ,believe me it was

yummy!

Note:Those who want to opt for jaggery( vellam ),instead of sugar also can go ahead and

try.Please do send in your comments.

Those who love to add food color may do so.I have not added color.

 

PRUNE ‘N’ WALNUT PIE


Prunes and walnuts are both listed under nutritious category.Prunes especially,though

the health benefits are excellent,some do not like prunes (dried plums),so this recipe is a

good way to introduce into the diet.To endorse a few benefits of prunes  now

1. The content of fibre,sorbitol (a sugar alcohol that can loosen the stool) and a natural

laxative compound diphenyl isatain  are beneficial to the digestive tract.

2. The high soluble fibre helps to keep the sugar levels stable,as it delays the absorption

of  sugar into the blood stream.It also makes you feel full and satisfied after a meal,hence

overeating is avoided.

3.They help in lowering cholesterol,and improving bone health effectively.

Hope this outline is enough on the health note,and let’s move on to the awesome recipe.!

Ingredients for the basic tart pastry (9-10″ pie)

2 cups flour

120 gm butter

1 egg yolk

2 tblsp.sugar

1/4 tsp.salt

1/2 tsp.vanilla essence

Method

Mix all these ingredients and bind to a soft dough.Keep covered for 30-35 minutes.Do not

knead too much,but lightly put it together.If the dough is kneaded too much the pastry

will be tough.You can prepare this the previous day,and keep covered in the

refridgerator,and use it when needed.For this recipe,you could prick the base of the

pastry, and directly pour the filling,without prebaking the pastry .

For the filling

18-20 prunes

100 gm butter

2 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla

50-75 gm walnuts

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup milk

1 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup rum,or grape juice (lightly heated to soak)

Method

Heat the grape juice lightly and soak the prunes for a few hours or overnight for a richer

taste.If using rum or any other liquor you needn’t heat .Remove the prunes from the

juice(do not discard the juice) and arrange on the pricked and unbaked pastry.

Cream the butter and sugar till creamy.Add one egg at a time ,beating well after each

addition.Sift flour and baking powder,and add to the mixture.Add the rest of the

ingredients,with the rum or grape juice.(it should be of a dropping consistency.)

Pour the mixture over the prunes,and bake in a moderate oven for 45 minutes,or untill

done.Serve warm or cold with cream or a blob of ice cream.

Well!we had it plain.Looking forward to your comments, and suggestions.

Variation:Dates,dried apricots,and dried figs  can be substituted for prunes

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