KERALA VEGETABLE BIRIYANI


India is blessed with different cultures,languages,traditions, so is the Indian cuisine too.If

you take a look at the glossary of  the types of biriyani in India,it is a long list.Today i am

going to share with you a Kerala type biriyani.This is not too spicy but has a good flavor

with  coconut milk creating the twist .Before i go into the recipe i would like to share

with you the method of frying crisp onions for biriyanis and pulaos.

Fried onions for pulaos and biriyanis 

Onions sliced fine (quantity depends on how much you need)

salt.

oil for frying.

Method

Transfer the sliced onions to a bowl.Add salt and ,mix well with your hands for 3-4

minutes and squeeze out the water from the onions .Fry the onions in oil till golden

brown.Drain on absorbent kitchen paper.Use as required

For the Kerala biriyani

500 gm basmati rice washed and soaked for half an hour.

2-3 onions sliced

5-6 green chillies sliced

2 tblsp ginger garlic paste

1-2 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp cummin seed powder

1 tsp whole peppercorns

1 tsp.fennel seed powder

1 tbsp.garam masala powder

2 tomatoes coarsely pureed

few mint leaves

few coriander leaves

2 cups thick coconut milk

whole spices (3 cardamons,3 cloves,2 inch piece cinammon,sea moss a pinch,javitri a

small piece)

2-3 cups vegetables of your choice cut (peas ,carrot,beans,cauliflower,potatoes).

1/2 tsp.turmeric

1/2 cup curd

salt to taste

1/4- 1/2 cup ghee

For the garnish

1 cup fried onions

1/4 cup fried cashewnuts

a few raisins fried in ghee.

saffron strands mixed in 1/4 cup milk (optional)

METHOD

Cook the rice  with required salt until 3/4th done.Drain and set aside.

Heat ghee in a thick bottomed vessel or biriani pot,and add the whole spices,onions and

fry till onions are light brown.Add the green chillies,ginger garlic paste ,salt,and spices

and saute till raw smell is gone.Next add tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes,and then add

the cut vegetables.Saute for a few minutes,and add 1 cup water.Cover and cook till

vegetables are cooked.Add coconut milk and remove from fire.Transfer half of the gravy

into another bowl. Top the remaining gravy in the pot with half the rice ,mint,and

coriander leaves and half of the garnish.Pour the remaining gravy on top of the layered

rice,and lastly the remaining rice and garnish the same way.Add milk and saffron

strands on top if you are using.Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook on a slow fire for 10

minutes.Serve with raita and curries you prefer.

Variations:The same recipe can be done with chicken  too.

                    In addition to the vegan list tender jak biriyani,egg biriyani,paneer,or only cashew 

                    biriyani could be made with the same recipe

Try and let me know your valuable comments

 

GREEN GRAM ‘N’LEEK CUTLETS


Green gram needs no introduction or explanation to health benefits,so I would like to directly 

get into this easy recipe.

INGREDIENTS

1cup cooked green gram dal(moong dal)

1 leeks chopped finely/spring onions

2-3 green chillies finely chopped

1 tsp ginger garlic paste

1 tsp garam masala powder

Salt to taste

1 egg

1 cup breadcrumbs or enough to bind .

Oil to fry.

METHOD

Mix all together in a bowl and bind .Make into shapes you like and fry (deep or shallow)in oil till golden brown.

Variations :You could use vegetables of your choice .

                     You can add 1/4 cup minced mutton or any minced seafood.

                     Grated paneer can be added as another variation

                     Grated boiled egg also can be added.

Anyway try all your innovations too and send me your comments and suggestions !

BEETROOT JUICE HALWA


It was a long time,since i had this on my mind,brought into action only yesterday.Unlike

carrots beetroot is not loved by many.I have posted a recipe of beetroot halwa before

Beetroot halwa.(the link to it),but it was grated beetroot halwa.This time it is made with

only the juice.Whew!the time taken was more than the grated one,but worth the try.Kids

who have an aversion to this healthy and nutrient vegetable,will surely love it.

Let’s get into the recipe now.

INGREDIENTS

4-5 medium sized beetroots

3/4 -1 cup sugar

1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp.salt.

3/4 -1 cup ghee

3-4 tblsp.of cornflour

1/2 tsp.cardamon powder

few nuts (pistachios,cashewnuts,melon seeds)

METHOD

Extract 3 cups of juice from the beetroots  using a blender or juice extractor.

Heat a thick bottomed vessel or a non stick pan.Add the beetroot juice with half of the

ghee and cook for 10-15 minutes (the raw smell has to be out)

Mix the cornflour without lumps in a little water,and add to the beetroot mixture .Keep

mixing ,and you will see the mixture thicken..Do not allow the bottom to get burnt ,so

keep stirring.Next add the sugar and the spices.After you see the sugar blended well,add

the ghee gradually untill the mixture leaves the sides of the pan .Add the nuts and

transfer to a greased tray..Apply a tsp of ghee on top.Cut into shapes you like.

 

 

 

OLD FASHIONED RICE FLOUR CAKE


This recipe comes from an old recipe book which i found lately.Can’t make out which

year but it should be more than 50 years.The recipe was with only milk,but i thought

coconut milk will taste better with rice flour,and it did.To get a richer taste cashewnuts

may be added,which i did not add,but still tasted good.So,let me share this recipe with

you now.

INGREDIENTS

16 oz.flour(white flour/maida)

8 oz rice flour

8 oz.butter

8 oz.sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp.baking powder

1 tsp.vanilla

a pinch of salt

1.5 cups coconut milk.

1/2 cup cashewnuts

METHOD

Separate egg whites and yolks. Beat the butter and sugar till light and fluffy.Beat egg

whites with a pinch of salt till stiff and set aside.

Add egg yolks and beat well.Fold in the flours with the rest of the ingredients.

Fold in egg whites finally ,and bake in a greased tin for 2 hours or until done.(180

degrees)

 

WOODAPPLE CHILL(DIMBUL KIRI)


As the summer is taking full control ,in Tamil nadu ,i think it’s best to keep hydrated with

cool and healthy drinks,avoiding fizz or aerated ones.Today i’m going to share with you

woodapple nectar or dimbul kiri called in Srilanka,In Srilanka this fruit is widely

available and also consumed raw like a  spicy sambol,and the ripe ones are either eaten

in the shell with sugar or made into a drink.This fruit with a hard wooden shell has loads

of health benefits.It is good for diabetic patients,nursing mothers,fights bacterial and

viral infections ,a  good blood purifier,good for respiratory problems as it eases out the

phlegm in the system.So now i’m getting into the benefits of coconut milk..why?As it is

part of the drink.

Coconut milk rich in fibre,and highly nutritious with  minerals like iron,calcium

,magnesium,..and Vitamin group of C,E,B1,B3,B5,B6.Unlike cow’s milk,it is lactose

free.Consuption of coconut milk (medium chain saturated fatty acid) may protect the

body from infections,and viruses.

So let me close the healthy part and get into the recipe.Simple recipes got big write up….

INGREDIENTS

2 ripe woodapple pulp

1 cup coconut milk

sugar to taste.

a pinch of salt.

METHOD

Blend the pulp,coconut milk and the rest of the ingredients.Chill in the refridgerator and

serve.Those who like it thin may add more coconut milk or water.

Serve with vanilla ice cream for the extra richness.Even chocolate ice cream can be

served with,but i like it with vanilla ice cream,

Without ice cream itself it tastes excellent,so its your choice .

woodapple-700x525

TANGY ROSEMARY CHICKEN


The  fragrant herb is a good combination with chicken and lamb.It is a good

antioxidant,memory booster,and also improves in digestion.It is also rich in iron,calcium

and Vitamin B6

Pregnant women and those who take statins,blood pressure medications,and diuretics 

like lasix should not take these more ,as it may cause miscarriages and side effects.

So let’s get into the recipe now

INGREDIENTS

500 gm boneless chicken preferably

1-2 tblsp.flour

Lemon sized tamarind

Few rosemary leaves

3-4 green chillies chopped 

1 tblsp chillie paste

Ginger-garlic chopped fine 

1/2 tsp pepper

Salt to taste

1 tblsp sugar or jaggery

Oil for frying

METHOD

Toss the washed chicken in flour and fry till golden brown and set aside.

Put tamarind in a pan with a cup of water and boil till the tamarind is soft and pulpyPut off the 

flame,add chilli paste,jaggery,salt,pepper powder and cook till it is thick like sauce.

Add a tblsp of oil(from the fried oil) to a wok and heat it.Add garlic,ginger,rosemary,green 

chillies and sauté for a few 2-3 minutes.Add the fried chicken and the thickened sauce 

andblend well.Remove from fire.Pieces of fried omelette may be added while serving.

CASHEW ‘N’ PEAS (SIDE DISH)


This is served with biriyanis and pulaos.Some make it with pieces of chicken liver ,or

goat liver.I’m going to share with you the basic recipe.The option of adding liver is yours.

So now let’s get into the recipe.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup cashewnuts

1/4 cup fresh green peas

1-2 green chillies

1 tblsp.white khus khus(poppy seeds)

3-4 cashewnuts

1/4 cup thick coconut milk

1 tblsp.curd (optional)

1/4-1/2 tsp.pepper powder

salt to taste.

1/4 cup liver boiled (cut into small pieces)

1 tsp.butter (optional)

a pinch of grated nutmeg

METHOD.

Cook the cashew and peas in 1/2 cup water.Grind the bold listed.

Once the peas is cooked add butter if using ,or add the rest of the ingredients except the

curd,and cook for few minutes till it is well blended and thick.Remove from fire.Add

curd and serve.(Please do not add color)

Note: It is best if you could use the grinding stone to grind the khus khus mixture

 

PEPPER CHICKEN BIRIYANI


This biriyani’s main spice is black pepper,not colorful,mild on spice,no tomatoes,and

those who love the taste of pepper will love it.Not only black pepper ,white pepper is also

used  in making biriyani (will post recipe soon).Let’s get into the recipe now.

INGREDIENTS

500 gm chicken

500 gm rice(basmati or seeraga samba)

2-3 onions sliced

3-4 green chillies slit

10 cloves of garlic

2 inch piece ginger

2 green chillies

juice of 1 lemon

1/2 cup coconut milk

few sprigs lemon grass

a handful of mint leaves

1 tbsp.biriyani masala powder/garam masala powder

Equal quantity of pepper,cummin seeds,fennel seeds powdered .(Use 2 tblsp of the

powder).

salt to taste.

1/2 tsp chilli powder (optional)

1 tsp cardamon powder

1/2 tsp sugar

Ghee 1/2 cup

whole spices (cardamons,cloves,cinnamon,sea moss,a small piece mace,fennel seeds)

few fried cashewnuts for garnishing.

METHOD

First fry the onion till brown and set aside.Grind the bold listed to a paste.

Marinade the chicken with the ground paste,curd,lime juice,salt,pepper powder

mix,half the fried onions,and set aside for minimum 1/2 an hour.If you can marinade

more also it will be fine.Wash rice and soak in water for 20-30 minutes

Heat ghee in the same pan you fried onions,add whole spices,slit green chillies,ground

paste,fried onions,lemon grass,and saute till you get a nice aroma.Next add the

marinaded chicken ,and the rest of the ingredients and cook in its juices covered for 10

minutes.Next add the rice (do not discard the water in which rice was soaked),and

cook for 5 minutes.Add the coconut milk,and the water (1 inch above the rice

level).Check the salt taste.Add mint leaves ,Cover and cook on a very slow fire for 20

minutes.Its easy if you transfer to a rice cooker.If using the dum method (slow

cooking)Cover with a banana leaf,and then the lid,with a heavy object kept on the lid

(not allowing steam ). Garnish with fried cashewnuts .Serve with raita ,or any other

dishes you prefer.

 

SEMOLINA CAKE (PANTHOL)


This is an age old traditional recipe from  the South of Tamil Nadu.They bake these  in

old age firewood ovens those days.Well ,i have cherished memories when i was a kid

and had the opportunity to see it baking in the firewood  ovens.The process of baking

,the aroma and the produce was more than awesome.In fact,when i made, i did not get

that exotic taste,which i still remember.Anyway ,let me share this traditional  recipe with

you.This can be stored for some time ,and no doubt it tastes good.

INGREDIENTS

300 gms semolina

5 eggs

300 gm powdered sugar

150-175 gm ghee

1 tsp.cardamon essence or 1 tsp cardamon powder

1 tsp.baking powder

a pinch of salt

1/4 tsp.powdered nutmeg.

1/2 cup cashewnut ground coarse and a few to add on the top (not in the recipe ,i wanted

to add to the taste)

METHOD

Melt the ghee lightly,add  to the semolina (with the baking powder) and set aside.Beat the

eggs well and add to the semolina mix,and set aside for 5-6 hours.

Sugar should be added only after the semolina is well soaked.

Now add the sugar ,and the rest of the ingredients.Mix well and pour into a greased and

lined baking tray.Bake in a slow oven for 120-130 degrees.

 

 

 

 

 

CHOW CHOW CHUTNEY


Chow chow a pear shaped vegetable/fruit ,belonging to the gourd category along with

melons cucumbers and squash is rich in vitamin C and is a good coolant for summer.You

could cook with dal ,make avial,or make pies like apple,or pear pie.Iv posted  a chow

chow recipe along with other chutneys before and here’s the link to it. HEALTHY

VEGETABLE CHUTNEYS

Today i want to share another version of chow chow chutney.

INGREDIENTS

1 big chow chow (150-200 gm)

2 tblsp.ulundu (urad dal)

few curry leaves

2 tblsp.coriander

2 tsp black cummin seeds or the normal cummin seeds

tamarind (half the size of a lemon)

5-6 pips of garlic

10-12 dry chillies (reduce if you like)

salt to taste.

juice of 1 lime

1/2 -1 tsp sugar/jaggery/honey

1-2 tblsp.gingelly oil.

METHOD

Peel the chow chow and cut into tiny cubes.Heat the oil ,and add the cut chow

chow,curryleaves,garlic to it and fry till you see the vegetable turning light brown at the

edges Transfer to a plate.In the same pan,roast the rest of  the ingredients till you see the

urad dal turning brown.Remove from heat,and powder this first.Add the fried chow

chow to the powder and grind again to a coarse or fine paste.Add lime juice , sugar and

salt to taste.

Can be served with iddli,dosai,vada,bajji,or used like a dip for fries.