Wednesday, January 4, 2012

--- RICE DISHES ---

RICE...RICE...RICE...RICE...RICE...RICE


MUSALAMANI VEGETABLE BIRIYANI


INTRODUCTION

This Biriyani was taught to me by a Muslim cook after three years
of request. This BIRIYANI is among the best I have ever tasted.
Among the Hyderabadi and Tamilnadu Biriyani, Tamilnadu Biriyani
tastes much superior and has a wonderful taste which lingers
in the mouth for a long time. In Madras, Ahmediya Hotel near
old flower Bazaar and Taj Coronation restaurant in Broadway
were two places where I have had the privilege of tasting the
finest Tamilnadu Musalamani Biriyani.


INGREDIENTS

300 gms. Old Biriyani Rice (1.5 cups)
2 medium Onions sliced in rings
2 Medium onions diced
I cup of Mixed Vegetables diced (Green Peas, Carrots, Beans etc.)
3/4 cup Medium sour fresh curd (200 ml)
3 medium Tomatoes Diced
5 Green Chillies Sliced
2 spoons of Raisins optional
10 Nos. Cashew nuts optional
Ghee and oil for frying and Tempering
Salt to taste
Fresh lemon Juice from 3/4 lime.

WET SPICES

2+2 Spoons of Ginger and Garlic paste
1 Onion made in paste
1/4 cup of coarsely made paste of Mint leaves (make this paste or freshly cut mint leaves five minutes before adding to spice mass)
1 spoon of paste of cinnamon, Cloves, cardamom and a little flakes of Nutmeg.

DRY SPICES

10 Nos. cloves
5 Nos. 2" pieces of cinnamon sticks
15 Nos. Cardamom
2 Bay leaves
Some strands of Saffron
1/2 spoon Turmeric Powder
1.5 spoons chilli powder




METHOD OF PREPARATION

First heat a spoon of Ghee in a kadai and light roast Biriyani Rice
for about six to eight minutes.Keep turning the rice .You must take
care to wash and dry the rice first. Set aside the rice. Semi cook
all the diced vegetables with a little salt and a little sugar.
Now prepare all the wet masalas and Dry masala and keep them in a
plate in different small cups. Take care to cut Mint leaves just
before you are adding the same when needed. First semi cook Rice
with a little of salt and see that it is fully drained of water .
Set it aside. Take two ladles of Oil in a kadai and add rings
of onions, fry on a medium heat. When the rings are Brown, take out
and drain the oil. Set the onions aside. Now add all the dry spices
in the same oil, if oil is less, add a ladle or two. And when the
cloves start popping, add diced onions and fry till the onions
are translucent. Now immediately add Tomatoes and fry for about
a minute. Now add onion paste and Ginger Garlic paste. Turn till
the raw smell of onion, Garlic and Ginger goes off .This should
take no more than two minutes. Now add the cooked vegetables and
stir and mix with the masala. At this stage, add curd and stir
well. Now add salt, Turmeric powder, Chilli powder and paste of
Cinnamon, cloves and cardamom etc. Heat over medium flame for
about three to four minutes Now add mint leaves at this time
Heat the mix for further one minute and remove from flame.

SECOND STAGE:

Mix the spiced mixture with rice by making alternate
layers of rice and masala, Let it stand for about 30 minutes.
Now re-cook the rice-masala mix by giving it a Dum in a Biriyani
Handi by placing coal on top and cook on a low to medium flame.
If you do not have this facility, I would suggest you to cook
both rice and vegetables fully and mix the masala and rice.
You may add fresh lemon Juice at this stage The final cooking
will take about 30 minutes if you are giving it a Dum or else,
reheating the rice and masala can be avoided. Leave the mixed
rice for about one hour. Fry cashewnuts and raisins in a little
ghee and add this to Biriyani. Before serving, steam heat the
Biriyani by placing the vessel in a large aluminum vessel or
reheating in a non stick deep pan. Decorate with onion rings,
sliced chillies and Saffron. Even though the process looks a
bit complicated, in practice, it is not so .The end result is
heavenly tasting Biriyani made in true Musalamani Tamilnadu style.
This Biriyani is to be eaten with onion Raitha , Kurma or as it is.
Let me know how it turned out.

VARIATION

Chicken Biriyani can be made in the same manner except, in place of
Vegetables, please cook chicken breast or chicken legs after
marinating in the wet spices for about one hour and steam cooking
along with either rice or separately. Place the chicken in the rice
before serving.


BISIBELEBHATH

1 Cup Rice (new rice is better)
1/2 cup Thoram parappu( Thoor dhall)
1 Potato diced in medium pieces( medium sized)
1 cup of small sambhar onions or two big onions diced
100 gms of Green peas
50 gms of Beans cut in 1" pieces
1 Ball of Tamarind ( small) extract thick juice
Salt to taste

Masala
3 Spoons of Sambar Masala (as given by me earlier)
8 Nos. 1" Cinnamon sticks
7 Nos. Cloves
25 gms of Maratti Moggu
10 Nos. of Red Chillies of Medium hot variety
1 Spoon of Asafoetida
1/4 Cup of Grated Copra
1/4 cup Ghee (about 100 gms.)

This is cooked in Three stages.

In First stage, Cook the Rice and Dhall separately. If you have old rice, overcook the rice so that rice is not hard after cooking. Dhall should not be over cooked or under cooked. See that it is properly cooked and keep them separately. Take care to add one spoon of salt along with rice before cooking.

In second stage, steam cook the vegetables till they are 3/4 cooked. Take care to add little salt and 1/4 spoon of Sugar to the vegetables before you steam cook. This will enhance the green colour of vegetables. Take some oil/ghee in a Kadai and fry Onions till they are translucent. Add the onions to semi cooked vegetables.

Preparation of spices powder
Take two spoons of ghee in a tempering ladle and put Maratti Moggu and heat on a medium flame. When the Moggu starts bursting, immediately remove the Moggu in a cup. Now take one spoon of ghee and add red chillies and all the other spices as mentioned above. Heat on low flame for exactly one and half minutes. Keep on turning the spices in the meanwhile.
Add one spoon Asafoetida just before you remove the spices from stove . Now add these spices to Maratti Moggu. After the mix of spices cools down, make a powder of the spices.
Take care not to make very fine powder. It should be slightly coarse. Also grate copra and set aside.

Grand final mixing
Take a large vessel and add Rice and Dhall Mix thoroughly. Now add partially cooked vegetables and spices powder and three spoons of Sambahar powder. Add Tamarind extract, salt and grated Copra. Slowly mix the spices thoroughly.
Let this semi prepared Bisibele Bhath stand for about one hour or so.
After one hour, add little water till the consistency of the Bhath reaches thick dosai batter.
Now put the whole thing in a pressure cooker and Cook till one whistle. Remove the cooker from the stove and when the steam subsides, add three spoons of Ghee and copra powder and mix well.
Serve Bisibele Bhath piping hot.
There are a lot of quick fix versions of Bisibele Bhath recipes but this method will give you a taste that you will never forget.!!


CAPSICUM BIRIYANI

I am fascinated by capsicum. It is not hot but has fantastic flavour. It tingles up your taste buds when fried. I wanted to create a Biriyani with absolutely different flavour but same taste that of Conventional Biriyani. This set me working. I had to let go of some spices without losing the taste and appeal of Biriyani. I zeroed in on the following combination and Did it work??? Find out for yourself .

1 Rice 1cup (Basmati/Biriyani)
Sour Curds 1/2 cup
Green Peas 1/2 cup
Beans 1/4 cup
Carrot 1 no. Diced in 1 cm cubes
Onion sliced 2 medium sized
Tomatoes 2 nos. medium sized
Garlic 7 to 8 cloves
Ginger 1.5 " piece
Green chillies 2 nos.
Mint leaves paste 1/2 cup
Cloves 6 to 8 nos.
Turmeric powder 1/2 spoon
Chilli powder 1 spoon
Garam Masala 1 spoon
Cumin seeds 1/2 spoon
Oil 3 to 4 ladles
Salt to taste
Capsicums (podu mozaka) 2 mediums sized cut in 3/4" Pieces

Method of preparation
Make Ginger Garlic paste, slice onions Shell green peas, cut Beans in 1" pieces, Dice Carrots and Capsicums and set aside. Divide capsicum in two lots of equal proportion and set aside.

If you are using Basmati Rice/ Biriyani Rice, ensure that the rice is old otherwise, if the rice is new, toast the rice after soaking in water for ten minutes and draining all the water and toasting in a kadai in two spoons of ghee till the rice is very light creamy or pinkish looking. Toasting for about ten minutes would do. This would ensure your rice grains remains separate when cooking.

Cook Rice such that the grains are properly cooked but not mushy. You must add a little salt before cooking rice. I suggest that you cook rice well in advance because, it will have enough time to separate. Take one portion of Capsicum, Green peas and Carrots in a pressure pan , add quarter spoon of Sugar and little salt. Pressure cook till 3/4 cooked. Immediately remove the vegetables from fire and keep the lid of pan open. set aside. At this juncture make a coarse paste of Chillies and Mint leaves and keep aside. Now take oil in a Kadai and add cloves and Cumin seeds When cloves puff up , add Onions and diced Green Capsicum add little salt also. Light fry till onions become translucent. When fine aroma of Capsicums comes, ensure that you keep on turning the capsicums so as not to let them get over cooked, They must remain whole and yet just soft. Add Ginger Garlic paste, fry just under a minute Add turmeric and chilli powders. Also add Garam Masala powder (pulao masala ) last and briskly mix the whole thing. Add fresh curds and fry for a minute. Add diced tomatoes now and again cook for a couple of minutes. Add mint chilli paste last and required quantity of salt to taste. Remember that there is salt in rice and also a bit in vegetables you pressure cooked.

Now let the whole masala cook for a no more than two to three minutes on low flame.Now take down the cooked masala for mixing. Remove the rice in a broad vessel. Mix first the cooked vegetables and slowly ladle by ladle mix masala and thoroughly mix. Cover the vessel after mixing and let it stand for about half an hour at least. Reheat the Capsicum Biriyani in a Non stick pan or in Micro and serve steaming hot. The flavour of this Capsicum Biriyani and also the taste would surely take your breath away. Believe me ..!!!



CHITRANNA---ELUMICHHA SADHAM-- LEMON RICE (with a difference)

This Rice variety is a favourite of mothers with school going children. Most of us have been having this rice variety since we can remember. But I have tasted this rice in different places with different ingredients and I have imparted my special touch to the recipe which will make you ask for more. Enjoy this rice as it is or with different curries. I assure you that you would come to love this rice once you taste it.

Ponni Rice (old) 1 cup
Shelled Groundnuts 1/4 cup
Onion diced 1 big
Turmeric powder 3/4 to 1 spoon
Mustard seeds 3/4 spoon
Kadalai parappu 2 spoons
Curry leaves 2 sprigs
Green chillies sliced fine 3 nos.
Red chillies 2 to 3 nos. (broken)
Gingly seeds 3 to 4 spoons
Lemon Juice from 2 big lemons
Oil for tempering 3 ladles
Salt to taste
Black gram dhall (ulundhu parappu) 1 spoon
Vendhaiyum (fenugreek seeds) 1 spoon (for tampering)

Cook rice in usual southern manner with each grain separate. Let it get s sufficiently cold. Now add salt, Lemon Juice and turmeric powder. Gently mix them thoroughly and set aside. Take oil in a kadai and fry Groundnuts on slow -medium flame. When they are brownish, remove and set aside. Put Gingly seeds in the same oil, and fry for about three to four seconds, when they become light creamy, remove from kadai and keep it with fried groundnuts. Now add both the dhalls (parappus) and fry till the dhalls are slightly brown, remove and set aside. Now put red chillies, mustard seeds in the kadai, when you find that mustard just starts popping, add Fenugreek seeds 1 spoon .Don't let Fenugreek seeds to become dark brown or black. It will take only two seconds or so for Fenugreek to become biscuit brown. Immediately add diced Onions, Sliced Chillies and Curry leaves and fry till onions become translucent. Pour the tampering with onions etc on rice and mix thoroughly. Taste for salt at this stage. Set it aside for 30 minutes. Warm the rice before serving and Add fried Groundnuts, Fried Gingly seeds and mix everything slowly and thoroughly JUST BEFORE SERVING .You can decorate the rice with freshly sliced Green chillies and few Kothumally leaves . The groundnuts and Gingly seeds should be crisp and not soft. You have seen that this rice has no spices or asfoetida and yet this rice is very tasty. Try and taste for yourself.


CHUTNEY CHAWAL

This is a very tasty Rice variety, which has been appreciated by all our guests. Hope that you too would try and come to love it.

1.5 cups of Basmati Rice/common rice (if you don't like basmati)
2 Medium sized Onions made into paste
2" piece of Ginger
10 cloves of Garlic
1 bunch (medium sized) of Mint leaves
1 bunch of Kothumalli same as above
(The chutney of both the above should be at least one cup.)
1/2 cup of Green peas
1/2 cup of Beans (sliced and cut in 1" size)
1 Large potato diced into small 1/2" cubes
1 small lemon (optional)
8 Green Chillies (increase or decrease the chillies as per taste)
Salt to taste
Oil for tempering and frying

Spices
4 2" pieces of cinnamon sticks
6 cloves
8 cardamoms
1 spoon Jeera
1 Bay leaf
1 spoon of Garam Masala Powder

Cook the rice for Biriyani / Pulao fashion so that each grain remains separate. Remember to pre salt the rice while cooking. Fry onion paste in a little oil till oil separates. Remove from flame and set it aside to cool in a cup. Similarly fry Garlic-Ginger paste and set it aside. Make long slices of chillies and fry in a little bit of oil till nice aroma starts coming. Steam cook vegetables till 3/4 cooked. Put quarter spoon of sugar and a bit of salt while cooking green vegetables. The Green colour will stand out beautifully. Set it aside.

Second stage of preparation
Take the fried onion paste in a kadai, add ginger garlic paste . Mix on a low flame. Now add all the 3/4 cooked vegetables to kadai and stir fry for about two minutes. Add Garam masala and cook only for one minute. Now make chutney of Kothumalli and Mint leaves . REMEMBER NOT TO MAKE A PASTE OR ELSE MINT WILL TURN BROWNISH BLACK. to stop this add just a pinch of sugar.

Take this chutney and add it to the Kadai now. Stir fry only for three minutes. Add chillies to the veg,mass in Kadai. Add salt to taste. Remember that the Rice is pre salted. At this stage, if you want, you can add juice of Lemon for taste. This is optional.

Stir the pre mix taking care that the vegetables are not mashed. Now taste for any addition of salt or chillies etc.

Take an ounce of cooking oil add the dry spices as mentioned above.Heat on a medium flame. When cloves start puffing , add the temperings to the pre mix of vegetables in the kadai.

Take care to see that the whole thing is semi solid and not watery.

Third stage of preparation
When the spiced mix is sufficiently cool, start mixing with the rice bit by bit. Take care to turn the rice carefully so as not to break the grains.

When the mixing is over, the Chutney Chawal is 3/4 the ready. This is because the spices and Rice have not mixed as yet. After about one hour, put some water in a big vessel, put the CHUTNEY CHAWAL on steam cooker stand in the aluminium container. Cover both Chawal container and the larger container separately.

NOW PUT IT ON A STOVE AND INDIRECTLY STEAM COOK FOR ABOUT 20 MINUTES TO 30 MINUTES.

This is a variation of DUM cooking.

Your CHUTNEY CHAWAL is ready. Serve steaming hot.!!! Wait for appreciation by your guests and loved ones.
You can make Onion Pachadi/ Raita as a side dish. I personally like Onion Pachadi.

PS. Even though the recipe seems a bit complicated, in actual practice it is not so.

COCONUT RICE

Coconut Rice or Tengai Sadham is a permanent fixture in Southern Menu. I have been enjoying this rice for many years, I have tasted this rice in different places with different ingredients. Today I am posting this recipe, which I like most.

Ponni Rice (old) 3/4 cup
Coconut Grating 1 cup
Onion diced /Sambar Onions 3/4 cup
Curry leaves 2 sprigs
Green chillies 3 nos.
Black pepper corns 1 spoon Broken
Ghee /oil for tampering 3 to 4 ladles
Mustard seeds a little
Kadalai Parappu 2 spoons
Broken Red Chillies 2 to 3 nos.
Coconut oil for flavour 2 to 3 spoons
Salt to taste

Cook rice in usual southern manner with each grain separate. Let it get sufficiently cold. Now add salt, and coarsely broken Pepper .Mix thoroughly and set aside. Grate coconut and set aside. Take the Ghee/oil in a kadai and add Mustard seeds, Red chillies and Kadalai Parappu. Heat up the Ghee/oil and when you find that mustard just starts popping and Kadalai parappu slightly brown, add Curry leaves and coconut immediately and turn it briskly. The Coconut grating needs to be fried on a low medium flame for about five to six minutes till coconut turns light pinkish and emits fine flavour. Ensure that the Ghee /oil starts leaving . Empty the grating in a katora. Take a little oil in Kadai again and add a pinch of Mustard seeds and heat. When the mustards crackles, add Onions , fry till onions become translucent. Remove from fire. Add coconut grating back to kadai and also add finely cut green chillies and 2 spoons of coconut oil for extra flavour. Now thoroughly mix with Rice .Before that check for salt. Re heat the rice immediately in the same kadai and serve it Hot. I, however I would like you to cook this rice about an hour before dinner or lunch. This will give delicate aroma of Coconut. You can enjoy this rice with Coconut chutney, plain or for that matter with pickles.


CURD RICE

Open the Tiffin box of any student in South India and chances are, it would have been packed with CURD RICE. This simple looking simple tasting rice variety has been worked upon by me and I have tried variations with great success. Curd Rice which I used to pack in my son's lunch box won him ardent followers in his software company. Today I am reproducing one of the variations. You too can try this and win hearts.

Rice (New) 3/4 cup
Fresh Curds 3 cups
Milk 1/2 cup
Curry leaves 1 sprig
Green chillies 2 nos.
Ginger 1.5 " piece
Onion 1 medium sized
Grapes 20 nos.
Pomegranate 2 to 3 spoons
Pineapple 4 spoons
Mustard 1 spoon
Red Chilli 2 Nos.
Asafoetida 1/4 spoon
Salt to taste
Kothumalli 3 to 4 spoons
Rose petals A few
Oil for Tempering 3 ladles

Cook New rice as usual. If you do not have new rice, use old rice and pressure cook using more water than usual to ensure that the cooked grains are very soft. Hard grains of rice rob the charm of Curd rice. Cut chilli in thread thin slices, grate ginger, cut onion in very small pieces of 1/4 cm size, prepare fruits of choice (don't mix two fruits). Pluck Kothumalli and Rose petals .Set aside all the ingredients. When the rice is sufficiently cold, add fresh curds, and all the ingredients except Mustard, red chillies, Rose petals Curry leaves and Kothumalli. Mix thoroughly. Taste for salt now. Take oil in a tampering Ladle and heat. Add mustard and red chillies. When mustard starts popping out, add curry leaves and immediately pour the temperings on Curd rice. Stir and mix again. If you are going to serve curd rice immediately after tampering, it is not necessary to add milk. But if you are serving it after about an hour or more, add milk about ten minutes before serving. This would avoid souring of curd rice. Decorate the rice with Rose petals and Green Kothumalli . You must have noticed that I have not added asafoetida to tempering. Asafoetida tastes wonderful when added raw in Curd rice. Same is the case about raw onions which you have added in curd rice.
As usual, don't forget to post in your feedback please.


DRY RASAM RICE (My own)

When I want to surprise people, I come up with some of the most basic Ideas with imaginative approach to a dish. DRY RASAM SADHAM is my one such recipe which will give you taste of Rasam Sadham without the watery feeling of the dish but the taste of Rasam in it is tongue tingling. You are sure to make this dish a permanent fixture in your menu for its sheer simplicity and time saving method. So here we go.................

Ponni Rice (old) 3/4 cup
Tamarind Extract 1/2 cup (abt.60 ml)
Curry leaves 1 sprig
Garlic 5 to 6 cloves (if you want to make Garlic rasam)
Asafoetida 1/2 spoon
Black pepper 1 spoon
Coarsely ground
Black pepper powder 1/2 spoon
Jeera 1.5 spoons
Red chilli powder 1/4 to 1/2 spoon
Sugar 1/4 spoon
Ghee for tempering 2 ladles
Mustard seeds 1/2 spoon
Jeera for tempering 1/4 spoon
Red chilli pieces 1 chilli
Kothumalli 1/4 cup
Salt to taste

Cook rice in usual southern manner with each grain separate. Let it get sufficiently cold. Set it aside Make Tamarind extract from Tamarind about 1/2 cup. The extract should be thickish and free of stones. Now take Garlic, Curry leaves, Kothumalli leaves, Jeera (coarsely ground), Chilli powder, Black pepper (coarsely pounded) and also Pepper powder and salt. Make in a paste (thick and coarse chutney type). set it aside. Take a kadai and put Ghee/oil add Red chilli ,Mustard and Jeera. When mustard pops out, add Asafoetida ( if you are not making Garlic Rasam sadham). Tamarind extract and fry till raw smell of Tamarind goes of and the extract becomes thickish. This should take about three to four minutes at the most. Immediately add the ground paste and fry along with Tamarind extract for further two to three minutes. You may add salt to taste now. Remember that you are adding salt for rice also, so that it should compensate for salt. Add sugar. If you want you can add diced Tomatoes after removing the Rasam Gojju from stove. Now when the Rasam concentrate is cold, slowly mix it with plain rice. Taste for salt, if needed add sufficient salt. Let it stand for about an hour. Reheat the rice before serving. This rice will give you the same taste of hot PEPPER JEERA RASAM without the watery feeling. !!!!!!!!!!!! Surprised!!!!!!!!!!! Well you are sure to be.

PS. If you want Parappu Rasam Taste, you will have to use Parappu. I can teach you a method of making dry cooked Thoram parappu for quick fix usage.

Method to make cooked dry thorum parappu powder.
Cook a bout 1/4 kg of Thoram parappu thoroughly. Drain the water fully and place the thick parappu on cloth and underneath place old news papers. Place a cloth on top also and further news papers. Press with flat plate and drain all the moisture. You will have a flat mass of Dry cooked Parappu. Dry it further in pre heated oven for a minute or two and when sufficiently dry, store it in a plastic jar and keep it in fridge. This will not spoil for a long time. You can add salt on top to prevent spoilage. This parappu will save a lot of your time when you are in a hurry.


GHEE RICE KARNATAKA SPECIAL

In today's atmosphere, everything is instant and due to work pressure and time restraints, housewives have little time to allot for cooking and yet the family demands good tasty food. There are some time tested recipes from my own kitchen. Try them and win hearts of people who love you.

Rice 1 cup (Basmati/Biriyani)
Garlic10 cloves sliced in thin pieces
Onions 2 Nos. Diced in small pieces
Green chillies 4 to 5 nos. cut in thin slices
Cloves 8 to 10 nos.
Cinnamon sticks 5 nos. ,1 " size
Cardamom 15 Nos.
Bay leaves 2 to 3 nos. cut in half
Raisins 15 nos.
Cashew 15 nos. split
Ghee 100 ml
Salt to taste

Slice garlic, Dice onions and finely cut/ green chillies. Keep aside.
If you are using Basmati Rice/ Biriyani Rice, ensure that the rice is old otherwise, if the rice is new, toast the rice after soaking in water for ten minutes and draining all the water, and toasting in a kadai in two spoons of ghee till the rice is very light creamy or pinkish looking. Toasting for about ten minutes would do. This would ensure your rice grains remains separate when cooking.

Now take rice and put directly in cooker without any separator. Best to use is Hawkins pressure cooker. Add needed salt. Add enough water to cook the rice and the .Please ensure that you add just enough( 500 ML) for the above. But ensure that you use only old rice. Water quantity must be fixed by you as per the quality and quantity off rice you use.

Now take Ghee in a Kadai and add cinnamon, Cardamom, Bay leaves and cloves. When cloves and cardamom puff up, add Sliced Garlic, when Garlic turns very light pink, add Onions and sliced Green chillies. Light fry till onions become translucent , remove from fire and let it cool. Keep aside.

Take little ghee in a separate tampering ladle and fry cashew nuts and reisins till reisins puff up and cashew nuts become light brown. Remove from fire and keep aside.

When the rice is completely cold, add fried onions, garlic & chillies with ghee to rice. Also add fried cashew nuts and reisins and mix well. Take care and ensure that the Ghee rice has good amount of Ghee and the rice is not dry. If needed, add some more ghee. Cover with a lid and set it aside for an hour to let the spices aroma permeate in Rice.

(GHEE RICE IS ALWAYS WHITE)



GUN POWDER RICE

Anyone, who has ever taken Andhra Meals in a Genuine Andhra Restaurant, would be served with Gun Powder with Rice and Ghee. The most beautiful thing about Gun Powder Rice is, the more you have it, the hungrier you become. Keep Gun Powder prepared in your house and I bet you will get addicted to having Gun Powder Rice almost daily. I have seen people just having Gun powder rice and almost nothing else. Go ahead and try out. One of the Most Addicted person is my son who would not refuse it all the 365 days. The condition is, THE RICE MUST BE STEAMING AND THE GHEE SHOULD BE HOT.

Puffed Channa Grams (oduchhu/ pottu kadalai) 350 gms.
Red Chillies 10 to 15 nos.
Garlic 75 to 100 gms.
Ghee 2 to 3 spoons
Salt to taste (2 s p)

Take a kadai and fry red chillies for just 30 seconds lightly. Add Puffed Grams with Chillies and fry/roast for about five minutes in Ghee. The condition is that the grams should leave all the moisture and chillies must be dry. Add peeled Garlic and turn three or four times, add salt , mix properly and set aside to cool. When cold, powder it in a mixi. Sift the Gun powder to remove hard Gram particles. At this stage taste for salt. Powder the hard portion last. The powder should NOT be like maida. Fill it up in a dry glass bottle with wide mouth. Keeps good for months. Prepare rice as usual up to your need. The rice is going to be served steaming so you must cook with minimum needed water. Serve rice which is steaming. Add two spoons of Ghee on top of rice and add required GUN POWDER on top. Mix and enjoy!!! This rice must be eaten while really hot. The rice may feel dry to eat with Gun Powder but surprisingly it will not stick to your chest or throat. The more you eat, the hungrier you will become. So Go and Get Hooked to this Andhra Wonder.!!! After Ghee Rice, I am sure that this will draw maximum response.!! Ps. Fix number of chillies as per your ability to withstand hotness. But I recommend that you must stick to specified quantity.
As usual, don't forget to post in your feedback please.


INSTANT VEGETABLE BIRIYANI

In today's atmosphere, everything is instant and due to work pressure and time restraints, housewives have little time to allot for cooking and yet the family demands good tasty food. There are some time tested recipes from my own kitchen. Try them and win hearts of people who love you.

Biriyani is an all time favourite of South India .I have taken years to perfect this dish .I am thankful to the Musalamaan Khaansama of Rafeeque Ahmed & Co. Madras for teaching the original recipe of Deccan Madras special Biriyani. (Ofcourse I had to beg for more than two years to learn & Know the recipe). I have done my own homework in instant recipe and perfected it. I am sure this recipe would not disappoint you. Please understand one thing that Biriyani grains after cooking should not be very separate. Neither they should be sticky. The grains should be together but not sticky like pongal. Nor separate like puliodhirai.!!

Rice 1cup Sour Curds 3/4 cup (150 gms.)
Green Peas shelled 1/2 cup Tomatoes diced 3 nos.
Carrots diced 2 nos. Garlic 8 cloves finely cut
Onions 2 nos. cut in slices Fresh Mint leaves 1/4 cup
Ginger 2"' piece finely shredded Turmeric powder 1/2 spoon
Red chilli powder 1.5 spoons Cinnamon and cloves powder 1 spoon
Oil (cooking oil of any brand) 3 ladles. Cloves 6 to 8 nos.
Bay leaves 2 to 3 nos. cut in half Cinnamon sticks 3nos Cardamom 6 to 8 Nos.
Lime juice 1/2 spoon Salt to taste Green chillies (shredded) 3 to 4 nos. (hot variety)

Slice garlic, Slice onions and finely cut/shred green chillies. Keep aside.
Remove leaves of fresh mint and keep aside .I generally make a coarse paste of Mint leaves and add to the spices just before closing the lid of the cooker. Prepare the green vegetables like Carrots, Green peas and keep aside. If you are using Basmati Rice/Biriyani Rice, ensure that the rice is old otherwise, if the rice is new, toast the rice after soaking in water for ten minutes and draining all the water and toasting in a kadai in two spoons of ghee till the rice is very light creamy or pinkish looking. Toasting for about ten minutes would do. This would ensure your rice grains remains separate when cooking.

Now take rice and put directly in cooker without any separator. Best to use is Hawkins pressure cooker. Now add all the above cut spices and vegetables in it and add salt. Now add all the dry spices and chilli powder, spices powder and Turmeric powder. Add enough water to cook the rice and the vegetables. Please ensure that you add just enough (500 ML) for the above. But ensure that you use only old rice. Water quantity must be fixed by you as per the quality and quantity off rice you use.

Now take oil in a small Kadai and add cinnamon, Cardamom, Bay leaves and cloves. When cloves and cardamom puff up add sliced onions and green chillies to the oil and let it fry for about a three to four minutes till the onion slices become light pink..Now add sliced garlic and finely cut or coarsely shredded Mint leaves, add along with tempering with onion to the cooker. Stir well. Taste for salt and add if less. Add lime juice and curds now. If the curd that you are using is sour , reduce or avoid lime juice or reduce to quarter spoon. Close the lid and pressure cook for just two whistles.
Let the cooker get cold enough. Keep the cooker open for some 15 minutes This will give time to rice to get properly set.
After the whistles( 45 minutes )open the cooker. Fantastic Aroma of INSTANT VEGETABLE BIRIYANI would tickle your taste buds when you open the cooker.

This Vegetable Biriyani would immediately become your favourite.

INSTANT VEGETABLE PULAO

Rice 1cup
Beans evenly cut 50 gms.
Green Peas shelled 1/2 cup
Tomatoes diced 2 nos.
Garlic 8 cloves finely cut
Onions 2 nos. cut in slices
Fresh Mint leaves 1/4 cup
Green chillies (shredded) 3 to 4 nos. (hot variety)
Turmeric powder (optional)
Garam Masala powder 1.5 spoons
Oil (cooking oil of any brand) or Ghee
Cloves 8 to 10 nos.
Cinnamon sticks 3nos
Cardamom 6 to 8 Nos.
Bay leaves 2 to 3 nos. cut in half
Lime juice 1/2 spoon
Salt to taste

Slice garlic, Slice onions and finely cut/shred green chillies. Keep aside. Remove leaves of fresh mint and keep aside .I generally make a coarse paste of Mint leaves and add to the spices just before closing the lid of the cooker. Prepare the green vegetables like Beans, Green peas and keep aside. If you are using Basmati Rice/Biriyani Rice, ensure that the rice is old otherwise, if the rice is new, toast the rice after soaking in water for ten minutes and draining all the water and toasting in kadai in two spoons of ghee till the rice is very light creamy or pinkish looking. Toasting for about ten minutes would do. This would ensure your rice grains remain separate when cooking.
Now take rice and put directly in cooker without any separator. Best to use is Hawkins pressure cooker. Now add all the above cut spices and vegetables in it and add salt. Now add all the dry spices , and Garam masala powder. Add enough water to cook the rice and the vegetables. Please ensure that you add just enough( 500 ML) for the above. But ensure that you use only old rice. Water quantity must be fixed by you as per the quality and quantity off rice you use.

Now take oil Ghee in a tempering ladle and add cinnamon, Cardamom, Bay leaves and cloves. When cloves and cardamom puff up , add the tempering to the cooker. Stir well and Taste for salt , add if less. Add lime juice now.
Close the lid and pressure cook for just two whistles.
Let the cooker get cold enough. Keep the cooker open for some 15 minutes. This will give time to rice to get properly set.
After the whistles( 45 minutes )open the cooker. Fantastic Aroma of INSTANT VEGETABLE PULAO would tease you when you open the cooker.

This Vegetable Pulao would immediately become your favourite.


KARIVEPILLAI-MILUGU RICE

This Rice variety is" NOT TAUGHT " by the cook who had prepared a similar rice during the wedding I attended last week in Madras. When I asked him, he gave a vague reply to method of preparation. He said "konchum Milagu and Naraiya Kari veppilai. Even though the taste was very Drab, I liked the simplicity of the rice and flavour of Curry leaves. I set working on innovative approach using some flavour and taste enhancing ingredients and came up with surprising three varieties of rice dish which I loved and so did my daughter who is a strict examiner. So here is the first result to make you fall in love with it.

Ponni Rice (old)3/4 cup
Coconut Grating 3/4 cup
Curry leaves 1 Bunch (to make 1/2 cup of paste)
Black pepper 2 to 3 spoons Coarsely ground
Black pepper powder 1/2 spoon
Ghee for tempering 3 to 4 ladles
Mustard seeds 1/2 spoon
Salt to taste
Cook rice in your usual southern manner with each grain separate. Let it get sufficiently cold. Now add salt, now add coarsely ground Pepper and pepper powder. Mix thoroughly and set aside. Grate coconut and with Green curry leaves together re grind in a chutney bowl and make paste. set aside. Take the Ghee in a kadai and add Mustard seeds Heat up the Ghee and when you find that mustard just starts popping, add paste of Curry leaves and coconut immediately and turn it briskly. The paste needs to be fried on a slow medium flame for two minutes. Ensure that the Ghee starts leaving and a fine aroma of curry leaves is coming. Let the fried paste cool sufficiently. Now thoroughly mix the paste with Rice. Before that check for salt. . Reheat the rice immediately in the same kadai and serve it Hot. I, however I would like you to cook this rice about an hour before dinner or lunch. This will give off more delicate aroma of curry leaves. You can enjoy this rice with Coconut chutney, plain curd or for that matter Rasam. You can pack this rice in small Katoris , press tightly and invert it in serving plate when you serve the dinner. Try to serve coconut chutney with this form of Katori serving. This rice will surprise you by its taste and its aroma. Enjoy!!! Ps. Select mature curry leaves only. They have more aromatic oil content then Young leaves.


KASHMIRI ZAAFARANI PULAO

Saffron or Zafraan Pulao of Kashmir is a famed variety. No marriage in Kashmir is complete without the Legendary Wazwan or "The Big Feast" . First to arrive is the huge plate called Trami filled with heaped Zaffran Pulao with succulent pieces of seek kababs along with Rogan Josh and Methi korma and Curry of Lamb meat delicately spiced and cooked with utmost care. In total, a true WAZWAN has to have seven accompaniments with rice. Once you sit-down for wazwan, it is an insult to the host if you get up in between. The 36 course dinner lasts for more than three hours. Just imagine a huge Kashmiri plate full of sweet scented Saffron Pulao steaming and spreading the aroma in the lazy cold night of Kashmir, and the guests sitting around with samovars of Kahava and santoor notes spreading the magic . and casting a spell. . . . . . . . Oh God . . . . . . . It is unbelievable.

(For a family of 4 once serving)
Rice 1. 5 cup (Basmati/Biriyani)
Onions 1 Nos Cut in rings
Green peas/carrots 1/2 cup (optional)
Cloves 6 to 8 nos
Cinnamon sticks 5 nos ,1 " size
Cardamom 10 nos
Bay leaves 2 to 3 nos cut in half
Raisins 2 table spoons
Figs 3 to 4 nos
Alu Bukhara 4 to 5 nos
Cashew 1 5 nos split
Almonds 10 nos
Walnut 2 to 3 nos
Saffron 1/2 spoon (1/4 gm)
Sugar 1 tbsp
Milk 1/4 cup
Ghee 100 ml
Salt to taste Fresh Fruits of choice (grapes, apple pieces etc) 1/2 cup

Tampering
Cloves 6 to 8 nos
Cinnamon sticks 5 nos ,1 " size
Cardamom 10 nos
Bay leaves 2 to 3 nos cut in half
Raisins 2 table spoons
Black Cumin (shahjeera) This is optional 1. 5 spoons

If you are using Basmati Rice/Biriyani Rice, ensure that the rice is old otherwise, if the rice is new, toast the rice after soaking in water for ten minutes and draining all the water, and toasting in a kadai in two spoons of ghee till the rice is very light creamy or pinkish looking. Toasting for about ten miinutes would do. This would ensure your rice grains remains separate when cooking.

Now take rice and put directly in cooker without any separator. Best to use is Hawkins pressure cooker. Add needed salt. . Add enough water to cook the rice and the . Please ensure that you add just enough( 500 ML) for the above. But ensure that you use only old rice. Water quantity must be fixed by you as per the quality and quantity of rice you use. In Kashmiri Pulao, it is better to add salt and sugared milk and Whole almonds (after removing brown skin) when you cook rice itself.

Clean all the dry fruits, crack a walnut and remove the shell, remove brown skin of Almonds by soaking in hot water for ten minutes. Cut figs in eight pieces, Alu Bukhara in four pieces (remove the seed nut). Fry Figs ,Cashewnuts , raisins and Alu Bukhara in ghee a little and set aside.

Pressure cook Steam cook/Boil and cook carrots/Green Peas after adding a little sugar and salt to enhance green colour. Pressure cook only 3/4 and don't fully or over cook. Set aside. Slice one onion in rings and fry the rings till they become dark brown and crisp. Set aside
Take saffron in a katora and soak it in milk or water for 30 minutes and using a spoon, press it with reverse side of spoon and make a paste of saffron or use a pastel and mortar , prepare paste (1 spoon) set aside.

Now take Ghee in a Kadai and add cinnamon, Cardamom ,Bay leaves and cloves. When cloves and cardamom puff up , remove from fire and let it cool. Keep aside. Shah Jeera (black cumin) is used as per the choice of the grand cook. If you want you can use it.
When the rice is completely cold, mix 3/4 cooked Green peas and or Carrots , add fried Cashew nuts and raisins ,. saffron paste with ghee to rice, and mix well. Take care and ensure that the Pulao has good amount of Ghee and the rice is not dry. If needed, add some more ghee. Cover with a lid and set it aside for an hour to let the spices aroma permeate in Rice.

After one hour, heat up the Pulao with either indirect steam heat or in Micro. Ensure that the vegetables are completely cooked . Place it in serving bowl, garnish with brown onion rings on top and serve piping hot with Sweet Raitha of grapes or pineapple
You can serve it with Korma also. Other accompaniment is shallot curd raitha (sambar vengayam pachadi).


MASALA KHICHADI

Masala Khichadi a very nourishing and tasty dish which can be eaten as it is or with Coconut Chutney or Vengaya Pachadi.

3/4 cup Rice
1/2 cup Thoram parappu (Thoor Dhall)
2 Nos. Onions diced
3 Tomatoes diced
3 Spoons of Ginger Garlic paste
2 Cups of diced vegetables like carrots, beans, green peas etc.
1 Potato (large) diced
3 Nos. of Green chillies sliced
2 spoon of Garam Masala
1/2 spoon Turmeric
2.5 spoons of Salt (add to taste)
1 spoon of Chilli powder (add more if you like it hot)
3 Ladles of cooking oil for tempering

Tampering spices
4 Nos. of 2" Cinnamon sticks
8 Nos. of Cloves
1 Spoon of Jeera
1/4 Spoon of Mustard seeds

Take a cooker (Hawkins) and add all the above ingredients directly in the cooker. Now Heat 3 ladles of oil in a tampering Kadai or Karandi. When it is sufficiently hot, add all the tempering spices .When Cloves get puffed up, and mustard starts crackling, Temper the ingredients in the cooker. Add more water than you add for rice cooking. This is to give you a consistency of Bisibele Bhath. If you like pongal consistency, add slightly lesser water. Check for salt at this stage. Add more if less. Cook for three whistles. Your Masala Khichadi is ready in less than 30 minutes. Enjoy it as it is or with Coconut Chutney or Onion Pachadi.


PHUDINA RICE (MINT RICE)

Rice 1cup
Potatoes 2 nos. diced
Beans evenly cut Green Peas shelled 1/2 cup
Ginger 2" piece shredded Garlic 6 cloves finely cut
Onions 2 nos. Diced Fresh Mint leaves I bunch/1cup
Green chillies (shredded) 5 to 6 nos. Garam Masala powder 1.5 spoons
Oil ( cooking oil of any brand) Cloves 6 nos.
Cinnamon sticks 3nos Jeera/Mustard 1/2 spoon
Lime juice 2 spoons Salt to taste

Dice potatoes, shred ginger, slice garlic, dice onions and finely cut/shred green chillies. Keep aside. Remove leaves of a cupful of fresh mint and keep aside. I generally make a coarse paste of Mint leaves and add to the spices just before closing the lid of the cooker. Prepare the green vegetables like Beans, Green peas and potatoes and keep aside. Now take rice and put directly in cooker without any separator. Best to use is Hawkins pressure cooker. Now add all the above cut spices and vegetables in it and add salt. Now add all the dry spices, chilli powder and Garam masala powder. Add enough water to cook the rice and the vegetables. Please ensure that you add just enough( 500 ML) for the above. But ensure that you use only old rice. Water quantity must be fixed by you as per the quality and quantity off rice you use. Now take oil in a tempering ladle and add Jeera , Mustard and cinnamon and cloves. When cloves puff up and mustard starts to clakle, add the tempering to the cooker. Stir well and Taste for salt and add if less. Add lime juice now. Close the lid and pressure cook for just two whistles. Let the cooker get cold enough. Keep the cooker open for some 15 minutes. This will give time to rice to get properly set. After the whistles( 45 minutes )open the cooker. Fantastic Aroma of Mint rice would tease you when you open the cooker. This Mint Rice rice would immediately become your favourite.



MUSALAMANI VEGETABLE BIRIYANI

This Biriyani was taught to me by a Muslim cook after three years of request. This BIRIYANI is among the best I have ever tasted. Among the Hyderabadi and Tamilnadu Biriyani, Tamilnadu Biriyani tastes much superior and has a wonderful taste which lingers in the mouth for a long time. In Madras, Ahmediya Hotel near old flower Bazaar and Taj Coronation restaurant in Broadway were two places where I have had the privilege of tasting the finest Tamilnadu Musalamani Biriyani.

300 gms. Old Biriyani Rice (1.5 cups)
2 medium Onions sliced in rings
2 Medium onions diced
I cup of Mixed Vegetables diced (Green Peas, Carrots, Beans etc.)
3/4 cup Medium sour fresh curd (200 ml)
3 medium Tomatoes Diced
5 Green Chillies Sliced
2 spoons of Raisins optional
10 Nos. Cashew nuts optional
Ghee and oil for frying and Tempering
Salt to taste
Fresh lemon Juice from 3/4 lime.

Wet spices
2+2 Spoons of Ginger and Garlic paste
1 Onion made in paste
1/4 cup of coarsely made paste of Mint leaves (make this paste or freshly cut mint leaves five minutes before adding to spice mass)
1 spoon of paste of cinnamon, Cloves, cardamom and a little flakes of Nutmeg.

Dry spices
10 Nos. cloves
5 Nos. 2" pieces of cinnamon sticks
15 Nos. Cardamom
2 Bay leaves
Some strands of Saffron
1/2 spoon Turmeric Powder
1.5 spoons chilli powder

First heat a spoon of Ghee in a kadai and light roast Biriyani Rice for about six to eight minutes .Keep turning the rice. You must take care to wash and dry the rice first. Set aside the rice. Semi cook all the diced vegetables with a little salt and a little sugar. Now prepare all the wet masalas and Dry masala and keep them in a plate in different small cups. Take care to cut Mint leaves just before you are adding the same when needed. First semi cook Rice with a little of salt and see that it is fully drained of water .Set it aside. Take two ladles of Oil in a kadai and add rings of onions, fry on a medium heat. When the rings are Brown, take out and drain the oil. Set the onions aside. Now add all the dry spices in the same oil, if oil is less, add a ladle or two. And when the cloves start popping, add diced onions and fry till the onions are translucent. Now immediately add Tomatoes and fry for about a minute. Now add onion paste and Ginger Garlic paste. Turn till the raw smell of onion, Garlic and Ginger goes off .This should take no more than two minutes. Now add the cooked vegetables and stir and mix with the masala. At this stage, add curd and stir well. Now add salt, Turmeric powder, Chilli powder and paste of Cinnamon, cloves and cardamom etc. Heat over medium flame for about three to four minutes Now add mint leaves at this time Heat the mix for further one minute and remove from flame.


Second stage
Mix the spiced mixture with rice by making alternate layers of rice and masala, Let it stand for about 30 minutes. Now re-cook the rice-masala mix by giving it a Dum in a Biriyani Handi by placing coal on top and cook on a low to medium flame. If you do not have this facility, I would suggest you to cook both rice and vegetables fully and mix the masala and rice. You may add fresh lemon Juice at this stage The final cooking will take about 30 minutes if you are giving it a Dum or else, reheating the rice and masala can be avoided. Leave the mixed rice for about one hour. Fry cashewnuts and raisins in a little ghee and add this to Biriyani. Before serving, steam heat the Biriyani by placing the vessel in a large aluminum vessel or reheating in a non stick deep pan. Decorate with onion rings, sliced chillies and Saffron. Even though the process looks a bit complicated, in practice, it is not so .The end result is heavenly tasting Biriyani made in true Musalamani Tamilnadu style. This Biriyani is to be eaten with onion Raitha , Kurma or as it is.

Variation
Chicken Biriyani can be made in the same manner except, in place of Vegetables, please cook chicken breast or chicken legs after marinating in the wet spices for about one hour and steam cooking along with either rice or separately. Place the chicken in the rice before serving.



PULIYODHARAI RICE PODI

Puliyodharai podi is really a very sensitive podi. A small mistake and the rice taste goes off. After trying out many a versions of making Puliyodharai using podi, I made my own additions and some changes in preparation to come out with a very beautiful tasting version. I am happy to share the PODI recipe and method to use it as under. Please send me your feedback after you try it out.

Puli (tamarind) for the rice
1 cup of Red chillies (medium hot variety)
1/4 Cup of Coriander seeds (Dania)
1 Spoon Bengal Gram Dhall
1 Spoon Ulandhu (Dehusked)
5 Moru Mozuka (fried in oil)
1/4 Spoon Black pepper
1/2 Spoon Perangayam powder
1/4 Spoon Fenugreek (vendhayam)

Puli and spices mix
8 Red Chillies Pieces of 1" size
5 Green Chillies sliced in two
2 Table spoons of Channa Dhall
3 Table spoons of Groundnuts
1 Spoon of Turmeric powder
2" Ginger shredded
1/2 Spoon of Perangayam (asafoetida)
1 Medium cup of Tamarind extract
1 spoon of Mustard seeds
2 Spoons of Jaggery
120 ml of Gingly oil
Salt to taste

Method of making podi
First Dry roast Chillies and Dhaniya for two to three minutes to drive out moisture.T hen add a little oil and roast it vigorously turning it constantly. This is to prevent burning smell of Dhania and chillies . Just before removing from stove, add 1/2 spoon of Asfoetida (Perangayam) .Keep aside. Now roast each ingredient separately with just a little oil. Dhalls should be roasted to light pink. Hanna Dhall must not be brown. Black pepper also is to be roasted till it starts popping. Vendhayam roasts very fast. Take care not to over roast it. Now roast Mor mozaka and add them to all the other ingredients to powder. Powder the spices well. Please dont make a very fine powder. It should be of sambar powder consistency. Your podi is ready. Cook rice with little less water and some salt. And when ready, cool it and spread on a big plate so that each grain remains separate. Now prepare the wet Masala and other ingredients as shown.

Method of making puli and spices mix
First Dry roast Chillies and Dhania for two to three minutes to drive out moisture. Then add a little oil and roast it vigorously turning it constantly. This is to prevent burning smell of Dhania and chillies .
Just before removing from stove, add 1/2 spoon of Asfoetida (Perangayam). Keep aside. Now roast each ingredient separately with just a little oil. Dhalls should be roasted to light pink. Channa Dhall must not be brown. Black pepper also is to be roasted till it starts popping. Vendhayam roasts very fast. Take care not to over roast it. Now roast Mor mozaka and add them to all the other ingredients to powder. Powder the spices well. Please don't make a very fine powder. It should be of sambar powder consistency. Your podi is ready.

Cook rice with little less water and some salt. And when ready, cool it and spread on a big plate so that each grain remains separate. Now prepare the wet Masala and other ingredients as follows.

Method of preparation
Take oil in a kadai and add Mustard seeds and Red Chillies. Just when they are about to crackle, add Ground nuts and Channa Dhall. Turn vigorously so that the dhall and Groundnuts are fried evenly and also the mustard seeds do not burn. Once the dhall turns golden brown, add the green chillies, Asfoetida and Tamarind extract. Turn for about five minutes till Tamarind loses its raw flavour and then add shredded Ginger and a spoon of Turmeric powder and salt to taste. Turn for about two to three minutes. Add jaggary and mix well.
Remove from fire. Now add half of the Dry Podi in the wet mixture and mix it thoroughly .
Leave it till it becomes cold.

Grand finale of mixing and powdering
Mix wet Puli masala mix and rice, in a large vessel by adding little by little masala and rice.When complete Tamarind mix is mixed with rice, let it stand for about half an hour.
After half an hour to 45 minutes, you will find that each rice grain is separate and hard. Now with great care anoint and cover the remaining PODI POWDER on the rice. Decorate with Green Chillies on top and serve at room temperature.


SPICY SALSA-BEATEN RICE

INDO-MEXICAN VENTURE # 1

After coming over to USA, my first venture was to adopt local ingredients and blend them with Indian Spices and create New Dishes.
The first recipe is as under.
I promise you that you would just fall head over heels in love with this simple but magically tasty dish.

Aval (Beaten Rice) 150 gms.
Boiled Potatoes 2 (medium) nos.
Salsa Hot/Medium 5 to 6 Table spoons
Onion cut in small pieces 4 to 5 Tsps.
Green Chilli 1 nos (hot)
Curry Leaves 1 sprig
Sambar Masala 1 spoon.
Cumin powder 1/2 spoon
Chilli powder 1/2 to 3/4 spoon
Asafoetida 1/2 spoon
Salt to taste
Sugar 1 spoon
Lime Juice 2 spoons
Cilantro/Kothumalli 3 to 4 spoons

Tempering
Cooking oil 3 ladles
Mustard 3/4 spoon
Cloves 5 to 6 nos
Cinnamon sticks 4 to 5 nos of 1" size

Boil potatoes and when done, remove the skin and prepare 1/2 to 3/4 inches big cubes. Set aside.
Pluck cilantro and cut chillies finely. Set aside.
Soak Aval in water for ten to 12 minutes till they are soft. Using a strainer or filter, drain off excess water by slightly pressing the beaten rice. Spread on a cloth or paper to dry off excess water.
Take a kadai and add oil. Heat on a medium flame . Add mustard first. When it just starts to crackle, add other temperings. When cloves puff up,first add green chillies and Curry leaves and after 5 seconds add onions . When Onions become translucent, add Salsa. Just stir for 10 seconds and immediately add the Aval (beaten rice ). Mix both salsa and Aval a little. Now add diced potato pieces . Add all the dry spice powders like Chilli,Turmeric, Jeera , Sambar powder etc. Add salt, sugar and Asafoetida (raw powder). Mix thoroughly but very lightly. Let it stand for about fifteen to twenty minutes if you have time.
Or else, just put it in Micro for exactly one and half minutes.
Serve piping hot. The taste will steal the hearts of your family.
Eventhough I am againt the usage of Micro , if you are in a hurry and have no alternative, this is the form of cooking you may use.
Otherwise, please heat everything in a pan and serve piping hot.


SWEET RICE CHILDREN'S SPECIAL

We have so far talked of the grown up's tastes and have neglected children. I remember looking forward to Sweet rice cooking done by my aunt on special occassions.She would dust off the SPICE DIBBA which housed all spices which were used rarely and then set about cooking the ORANGE SWEET RICE. I never liked the orange colour but the rice in its heavenly sweetness was more than welcome may it be of any colour.I am bringing back the magic of SWEET RICE of course minus its artificial orange colour. I have made some changes in the recipe I hope the departed soul of my aunt would pardon me for that. (needless to say that she was a great cook)

Rice 1cup (Basmati/ Biriyani)
Powdered sugar (with cloves 5 nos, cardamom 5nos) 1/4 cup
Powdered sugar 1cup
Cinnamon sticks 5 to 6 nos.
Cloves 8 to 10 nos.
Cardamom 10 nos.
Saffron strands 1/4 spoon (wetted)
Bay leaves 2 to 3 nos. cut in half
Raisins 3 to 4 spoons
Cashew 10 nos. split
Ghee 75 ml.
Warm water 15 ml to 20 ml.

If you are using Basmati Rice/ Biriyani Rice, ensure that the rice is old otherwise, if the rice is new, toast the rice after soaking in water for ten minutes and draining all the water, and toasting in a kadai in two spoons of ghee till the rice is very light creamy or pinkish looking. Toasting for about ten miinutes would do. This would ensure your rice grains remain separate when cooking. Cook this rice such that all the grains remain seperate. Cool the rice by spreading and keep aside. Now take Ghee in a Kadai and add cinnamon, Cardamom, Bay leaves and cloves. When cloves and cardamom puff up, remove from fire and let it cool. Ensure that you remove the tempering in a separate cup or else it will burn the spices if left to cool in a kadai. Take little ghee in Kadai and fry cashewnuts and raisins till raisins puff up and cashew nuts become light brown. Remove from fire and keep aside. When the rice is completely cold, add Powdered sugar to rice. Make powder of sugar along with cardamom, Cloves and add that to rice. Also add now Saffron which is wetted and crushed with a mortar. Gently mix the sugar and rice. We add a little sprinkling of water here because sugar when added to rice, hardens the grains. Ensure thorough dissolution of sugar by sprinkling warm water along with sugar powder. You must ensure that the rice is absolutely dry before adding sugar and water or else the sugar adding with water would make it mushy. Add the tampering and fried cashew nuts and raisins and mix well. Take care and ensure that the rice is not dry (meaning with less Ghee) .If needed, add some more ghee. Cover with a lid and set it aside for an hour to let the spices aroma permeate in Rice and let sugar to dissolve and mix. Now place this rice in a milk Boiler .This is to heat up the rice by indirect heat and totally assimilate sugar .If you don't have a milk boiler, heat it up in a non stick pan or in a micro oven for a little while so that the cold rice becomes warm. Serve just moderately hot to warm ..Never serve sweet rice steaming hot. The Aroma and taste of Sweet rice would be just great. The success of this effort on your part can be measured by the length of the smile your children and guest's faces . This is a great rice dish for children's birthday party. Enjoy!!!!! And ask your children to give the feedback please. even Grown up members are considered as children when BHOJYESHU MATA is feeding them.

TOMATO RICE

Rice 1 cup
Tomatoes 300 gms.
Onions 3 nos.
Ginger 1.5"Piece
Garlic 8 to 10 cloves
Shelled Peas 1/4 cup
Carrots 1 no.
Curry leaves 2 sprigs
Green chillies sliced 4 to 5 nos.
Mustard seeds 1/2 spoon
Jeera 1/2 spoon
Cloves 6 to 8 nos.
Cinnamon stick 1" 4 pieces
Chilli powder 2 spoons
Turmeric powder 1/2 spoon
Oil 3 ladlefuls
Salt to taste
Black Pepper powder 1/4 spoon
Garam Masala Powder 1 spoon

Cook rice in a manner where all the grains are separate. Take care to add a spoon of salt when you are cooking rice. Set aside the cooked rice. Dice Tomatoes in small 1/4 " pieces, shred Ginger, cut Garlic in very small pieces, shell the peas and dice the Carrots in small pieces. Also cut Onions in small pieces.

Now take half the quantity of oil in a kadai and set it on medium heat, add Mustard and Jeera seeds and when the Mustard starts to crackle, add Tomatoes and stir-fry on medium heat till the Tomatoes start leaving oil. Now add Diced Onions and stir-fry till Onions become Translucent and soft, now add cut Garlic and Shredded Ginger and fry in the Gravy for three to four minutes. Finally add 1 spoon of Garam Masala to Tomato mix and set it aside after frying the Garam Masala for fifteen to twenty seconds. Some people prefer to fry Garlic first and later add Tomatoes and Onion, but I am not of that view.

Steam cook Carrots and Peas after adding a bit of salt and sugar to retain the natural colours

At this stage, add salt, Chilli powder, Turmeric powder, Black pepper powder, Green Chillies and curry leaves. Heat the mixture for about two minutes. The consistency of Tomato Gravy should be thick like Puliohara Gojju.

Now when the Tomato Gojju is medium cold, take one ladle of oil in a Tempering ladle and add cinnamon and Cloves and heat. When the cloves start puffing, pour the tempering in Gojju.Mix it well and finally start mixing Vegetables and Tomato Gravy and Rice layer by layer. Finally mix the whole thing thoroughly and reheat in a large mouthed Vessel with steam only. Your Tomato Rice is ready.!!! Serve piping hot.


TOMATO RICE (Quick fix type)

Tomatoes 250 gms.
Rice 1cup
Ginger 2" piece shredded
Garlic 8 cloves finely cut
Onions 3 nos. Diced
Chilli powder 2 spoons
Turmeric powder 1/2-spoon
Garam Masala powder 1.5 spoons
Pepper powder 1/4 spoon
Jeera powder (coarse) 1 spoon
Cloves 6 nos.
Curry leaves 2 sprigs Oil (gingly) 3 ladlefuls
Cinnamon sticks 3 nos.
Jeera/Mustard 1/2 spoon each
Salt to taste

Dice tomatoes, shred ginger, slice garlic, dice onions and if you like it hot, add two or three green chillies sliced. Keep aside. Now take rice and put directly in cooker without any separator. Best to use is Hawkins pressure cooker. Now add all the above cut spices and vegetables in it and add salt. Now add all the dry spices like, turmeric, chilli powder and Garam masala powder. Also add jeera powder which is coarsely powdered along with pepper powder. Add enough water to cook the rice and the vegetables. Please ensure that you add just enough ( 500 ML) for the above. But ensure that you use only old rice. Water quantity must be fixed by you as per the quality and quantity off rice you use. Now take oil in a tempering ladle and add Jeera , Mustard and cinnamon and cloves. When cloves puff up and mustard starts to clakle, add the tampering to the cooker. Stir well and add couple of sprigs of curry leaves. Taste for salt and add if less. Close the lid and pressure cook for just two whistles. Let the cooker get cold enough. Keep the cooker open for some 15 minutes. This will give time to rice to get properly set. After the whistles( 45 minutes )open the cooker. Fantastic Aroma would hit you when you open the cooker. This Tomato rice would steal the hearts of your children and your husband too.


TRI-COLOUR VEGETABLE RICE

In today's atmosphere, everything is instant and due to work pressure and time restraints, housewives have little time to allot for cooking and yet the family demands good tasty food. There are some time-tested recipes from my own kitchen. Try them and win hearts of people who love you.

Rice 1cup (Basmati/ Biriyani)
Carrots 2 nos. Diced in 1 cm. cubes
Onion diced 1 medium size
Capsicums (podu mozaka) 2 medium sized cut in 1 cm. Pieces
Garlic sliced 4 to 5 cloves
Green chillies 4 to 5 nos. cut in thin slices
Cloves 8 to 10 nos.
Cinnamon sticks 5 nos. ,1 " size
Cardamom 6 to 7 Nos.
Oil 3 to 4 ladles
Salt to taste

Slice garlic, Dice onions and finely cut/ green chillies. Keep aside. Dice Carrots and Capsicums and set aside.

If you are using Basmati Rice/ Biriyani Rice, ensure that the rice is old otherwise, if the rice is new, toast the rice after soaking in water for ten minutes and draining all the water, and toasting in a kadai in two spoons of ghee till the rice is very light creamy or pinkish looking. Toasting for about ten minutes would do. This would ensure your rice grains remains separate when cooking.

Now take rice and put directly in cooker without any separator. Best to use is Hawkins pressure cooker. Add needed salt.. Add enough water to cook the rice and the. Please ensure that you add just enough (500 ML) for the above. But
ensure that you use only old rice. Water quantity must be fixed by you as per the quality and quantity off rice you use.

Take a little oil in a kadai and fry carrots till they are properly cooked. You may pressure cook the carrots also after adding a little salt and sugar. Take care not to over cook the carrots.

Now take oil in a Kadai and add cinnamon, Cardamom, and cloves. When cloves and cardamom puff up , add Sliced Garlic, when Garlic turns very light pink, add Onions and sliced Green chillies. Light fry till onions become translucent , remove from fire and let it cool. Keep aside. Put a spoon of oil on a tawa and when its hot, tawa fry the Capsicum pieces briskly for a minute .When fine aroma of Capsicums comes, remove immediately from tawa and keep it spread in a plate and set aside. You must take care never to over fry the Capsicum and ensure that the green colour is not lost.

When the rice is completely cold, add fried onions, garlic & chillies to rice. Also add fried Capsicums and cooked /fried Carrots and salt, and mix well. Take care and ensure that the rice has proper amount of oil and the rice is not dry. .Cover with a lid and set it aside for an hour to let the spices aroma permeate in Rice.

Tri colour vegetable rice looks and tastes very different from the other rice varieties posted so far by me. You may try to prepare this rice with Ghee if you like. When you are serving this rice, reheat by placing in a micro or use indirect steam heating. You may also reheat in a non stick pan. But ensure that the rice is Hot.

The special aroma of Capsicum adds a very different dimension to this rice. This rice can be enjoyed with Raitha made of plain curd with cucumber/boondhi or Plantain. You may also make Kurma of Ghee Rice as an accompaniment


VENDHAIYUM THALACHU RICE

This Rice variety is My wife's favourite. She generally uses a shortcut of using the leftover rice .It is my favourite because I really love the simplicity of spices and Great taste that goes along with it. Enjoy this rice as it is or with Avakkai Uruga or with curd. I assure you that you would come to love this rice once you taste it.

Ponni Rice (old) 1 cup
Chilli powder 1.5 to 2 spoons
Turmeric powder 1/4 spoon (optional)
Asfoetida 1 spoon
Vendhaiyum (fenugreek seeds) 1spoons (for tampering)
Mustard seeds 1/2 spoon
Vendhaiyum 1 spoon coarsely powdered after frying in oil.
Curry leaves 2 sprigs
Red chillies 2 to 3 nos.
Oil for tempering 3 ladles
Salt to taste

Cook rice in your usual southern manner with each grain separate. Let it get sufficiently cold. Now add salt, chilli powder and turmeric powder. Add quarter spoon of Raw Asafoetida powder. Gently mix all the ingredients thoroughly and set aside. Now take oil in a kadai and add Red chillies, Mustard seeds .Heat up the oil and when you find that mustard just starts popping, add Fenugreek seeds 1 spoon and Curry leaves .Don't let Fenugreek seeds to become dark brown or black. It will take only two seconds or so for Fenugreek to become biscuit brown. Immediately add rest of the Asafoetida and immediately pour the Tampering oil on rice. Now take just a few drops of oil in still hot kadai and fry 1 spoon of Vedhiyum seeds till light brown. It will hardly take two to 3 seconds. Coarsely powder it and add it to rice. Mix thoroughly .Reheat the rice immediately in the same kadai and serve it Hot. This rice will surprise you by its taste rather than its aroma.


VANGI-BHATH Karnataka (quickfix type) 1st variation

This Rice variety is the favourite of Karnaka and Maharashtrian cusine lovers. Vangi Bhath has many recipes ranging from usage of maximum number of spices to a bare minimum fare. I am posting the recipe which is a shortcut method but equally tasty. You would marvel at the simplicity of preparation and the taste. I would post detailed traditional recipe in coming days.
Enjoy this rice as it is or with Green chillies pickle or with Avakkai Uruga or with curd. I assure you that you would come to love this rice once you taste it.

Ponni Rice (old) 1 cup
Black Brinjals seedless 200 gms
Chilli powder 1 spoon
Sambar Masala Powder (karnataka style) 3 spoons
Turmeric powder 1/4 spoon
Asafetida 1 spoon
Mustard seeds 1/2 spoon
Vendhaiyum (fenugreek seeds) 1/2spoons (for tampering)
Curry leaves 2 sprigs
Red chilies 2 to 3 nos.
Ghee/oil for tampering 3 to 4 ladles
Salt to taste
Lemon Juice (1/2 lemon)

Cook rice in usual southern manner with each grain separate. Let it get sufficiently cold. Now add salt, chilli powder and turmeric powder. Add quarter spoon of Raw Asafetida powder. Gently mix all the ingredients thoroughly and set aside. Here Asafetida is optional.
Use long green Brijals of seedless variety. If you don't have this variety, get any seedless variety subject to it is sweet variety. Dice the brinjals in 1.5" long piecesof middle finget thickness. Immerse in water to prevent blackening of brinjals.
Now take Ghee/oil in a kadai and add Red chilies, Mustard seeds . Heat up the oil and when you find that mustard just starts popping, add Fenugreek seeds 1 spoon and Curry leaves . Don't let Fenugreek seeds to become dark brown or black. It will take only two seconds or so for Fenugreek to become biscuit brown. Immediately add rest of the Asafetida and immediately Add diced brinjals and salt (for brinjals), curry leaves and saute for four to five minutes till brinjals turn soft. Now add Sambar Masala powder (karnataka style. ) and further saute for three minutes at the most. Take care that the masala does not stick at the bottom. Add lemon juice from quarter lemon. This prevents brinjals from getting mushy and adds a tang to taste.

Let rice get sufficiently cold. Take a wide mouth vessel and mix the brinjal masala and rice. Mix thoroughly. Reheat the rice immediately in the same kadai and serve it Hot.

Voila!!!!!!!!!!!! Vangi Bhath is ready. Another variation is use oil fried sambar onions /diced onions (50 gms) along with Brinjals.

PS.
If you do not have Karnataka sambar masala, add two spoons of the powder made from Maratti moggu, cinnamon and two cloves to Madras Masala Powder.

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