Monday, December 26, 2016

Kesariya Badaam Kheer


BM # 71
Week 4, Day 3
Theme; Pick an Ingredient and make three courses

For the last day under the ingredient 'Rice' I have a dessert. Dessert is the perfect finale to a meal, and I made this Kesariya Badaam Kheer which is very exotic , rich and delicious. I have always loved kheers and have posted a number of them recently. Infact I shall compile them and make a page so it gets easy to access them . The badaam Kheer is made with rice and some ground almonds. The Kheer is really creamy and saffron makes it aromatic and exotic.



Kesariya Badaam Kheer
Ingredients
500 ml milk
1/4 cup rice, washed and soaked for 30 minutes
1/2 cup soaked almonds
Sugar to taste
Cardamon powder
Saffron

Method
Place the milk to boil.
Add the washed soaked rice.
Let cook till the rice is done.
Peel the almonds and grind half of them.
Chop the rest and keep.
Once the rice is cooked add the almond paste.
Add chopped almonds, sugar ,saffron and cardamon and cook for another 4-5 minutes.
Transfer into a serving bowl.
Make a paste of saffron in a mortar pestle and garnish the badaam Kheer.





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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Hyderabadi Vegetable Biryani


BM # 71
Week 4, Day 2
Theme; Pick an Ingredient and make three courses

For the second day under pick an ingredient and make three courses, I have a rice dish. This is a Hyderabadi Biryani which I served for the Hyderabadi Cuisine that I had posted some time back.

Hyderabad is famous for its Biryanis. The non vegetarian Biryanis are very very popular, but there are enormous variations for the vegetarians too. I have already posted a Hyderabadi Biryani which is a family favorite,Then there is this famous Quabooli, which is yet another delicious Hyderabadi Biryani . Actually these Biryanis do not need any accompaniment, but with this particular Biryani I had a complete spread.


Hyderabadi Biryani

Ingredients
11/2 cup basmati rice
1 cup mix vegetables
3 onions, sliced
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
½ cup yogurt
2 tbsp mint leaves
2 tbsp coriander leaves
Few strands saffron
2 tbsp milk
3 tbsp biryani masala
Assorted nuts ( I did not use any, as my spread was heavy )

Method
Wash and soak rice in three cups of water for half an hour. Drain.
Place a pot full of water with salt and bring to a boil and cook till the rice is three fourth done.
Drain excess water and spread out on a plate to cool.
Boil the vegetables with salt..
Dissolve saffron in warm milk.
Deep fry the sliced onions till golden brown. Drain onto an absorbent paper.
Beat yogurt and add biryani masala, half of the fried onions, ginger paste and garlic paste and boiled vegetables.
Allow to marinate for one hour.
Heat ghee in a thick-bottomed vessel, add the marinated vegetables and sauté for two to three minutes.
Spread the boiled rice.
Sprinkle the remaining Biryani Masala, mint leaves, coriander leaves and the remaining fried onions.
Garnish with nuts and raisins.
Sprinkle saffron milk.
Place a moist cloth on top, cover with a lid .
Place the pan on a griddle keeping the flame at minimum.
Place some weight on top of the lid.
Cook for 10-15 minutes or till done.






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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Rice Noodles


BM # 71
Week 4, Day 1
Theme; Pick an Ingredient and make three courses

Pick an ingredient and make three courses. Yes this is the theme for this week. It sounds easy right? No, actually it is not . Choosing the ingredient is tough. I chose a simple ingredient ' Rice' and have cooked it in different forms all three days.

Frankly speaking I chose Rice as I had all three recipes in my drafts and they worked perfect under the clauses Valli had put.

On the very first day I shall be serving Rice Noodles which I served for breakfast. This is a breakfast that my family likes and I normally make it with bare minimum spices. This time I changed and used a spice paste, which I had used for Masala Beans while cooking my Tamil Spread.

I remember my blogger friends using lot of Podis and I guess that is what influenced me to use the spice paste. The noodles tasted really good and everyone enjoyed this variation.


Rice Noodles
Ingredients
1 packet rice noodles
1/2 cup mixed vegetables ( grated carrot, beans and fresh peas)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
1 green chilly, finely chopped
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt to taste

Method
Boil noodles with salt.
Drain in a colander and drizzle some oil over it.
Heat oil in a pan.
Add mustard seeds, green chilly and onions.
Saute the onion till light pink.
Add boiled veggies , spice paste, salt and lemon juice.
Immediately add the noodles.
Mix gently, simmer for 3-4 minutes and serve hot.




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Monday, December 19, 2016

Parda Biryani


BM # 71
Week 3, Day 3
Theme: One Pot Meals


It is on Sunday's when I like to cook elaborate meals. I love to make special dishes which the family enjoys. At times I am told off too for making these elaborate meals but I know deep down they all enjoy . On one of the Sunday's I made this Parda Biryani. The recipe will scare you. Seriously , but trust me what you need to do is read it patiently and understand. It is really a simple recipe with awesome flavors.

The Biryani is rich and makes a wonderful meal by itself, though I always serve Raita along with it as hubby wants a gravy, daal or curd with it. I like to enjoy the flavors in the rice without mixing any accompaniments.

The Parda in the Biryani is really delicious and one can actually use the recipe to make flat breads. They would taste awesome.



Parda Biryani


Rice
2 1/2 cups basmati rice
2-3 bay leaves
8-10 black peppercorns
1 tsp cumin seeds
2-4 cloves
1 small piece cinnamon stick
1 big Cardamon
2 star anise
Pinch turmeric
Salt to taste


Method 
Wash the rice well and soak for about 30 minutes.
Heat a pan.
Add 2 tbsp oil + 1 tsp ghee.
Add whole spices in the order they have been mentioned.
Add rice and roast for 3-4 minutes.
Add about 8 cups water , salt and turmeric.
Let the rice cook till 90% done.
Drain in a colander.
Let cool.



Preparing the vegetables
Ingredients
1 cup cauliflower flowerets
1 medium carrot, cut lengthwise
1 medium potato, cut lengthwise
10-15 beans , cut into 2" pieces
1/2 cup fresh green peas

Method
Place a steamer on gas. 
Let the water boil.
Place all vegetables, sprinkle salt and steam the vegetables.
Keep aside.



Stuffing
Ingredients
2-4 tbsp ghee/ oil 
2 onions, finely chopped 
6-8 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
1 capsicum, diced 
Prepared steamed vegetables 
1/2 cup cottage cheese cubes 
1/2 tsp turmeric powder 
1 tsp red chilly powder 
2 tsp Tandoori masala 
1/2 tsp coriander powder 
1/2 tsp black salt 
Salt to taste 
1/2 cup fresh curd, beaten 
1/4 cup cream 
1/4 cup milk

Method
Heat oil/ ghee.
Add onions, garlic and capsicum. Saute till translucent.
Add the prepared vegetables and cottage cheese.
Saute for a minute or two.
Add all the spices and roast the vegetables till oil separates.
Add curd, cream and milk.
Let boil once .
Keep side.

Layering
Ingredients

1/2 cup milk
Few strands saffron
Ghee
Add saffron to the milk.


Garnishing
Ingredients

Fried onions 
Fried cashews 
Fried raisins 
Finely chopped coriander leaves 
Finely chopped mint leaves



For the Parda
Ingredients

1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup wheat flour
1 tsp kalonji / onion seeds
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp butter
Salt to taste
Milk to bind the doug
h

Method

Sieve the flours.
Add onion seeds, salt and baking soda.
Add butter and rub it with your hands , so as to resemble crumbs.
Use milk to bind a soft smooth pliable dough.
Cover with a wet muslin cloth and keep aside.


Assembling the Biryani
Take a deep pan or pot.
Brush it with ghee.
Spread a thin layer of rice.
Now spread a layer of the stuffing, again a thin layer.
Repeat a rice layer.
Drizzle ghee and sprinkle milk with saffron.
Repeat the layers, making sure the layers are thin and you add ghee and milk in between the layers.
The last layer has to be the rice layer.
Cover and cook on very slow flame till rice is completely cooked.
Roll out the prepared dough.
Invert a bakeware dish on top this dough and cut 1" extra so the dough can overhang the bowl.
Transfer the rice to a bakeware dish.
Sprinkle fried onions, coriander leaves, mint leaves, fried cashews, raisins.
Cover the bowl with the cut chapati, before placing it, make sure to moist the edges.
Gently stick the edges to seal.
Place in a preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or till nice and golden.


To serve
The biryani is going to be very hot so be careful while cutting the parda.
Take a sharp knife and rotate it around the edges of the bowl to cut the parda on the biryani.
The roti can be enjoyed with Raita or pickle. It can also serve as a spoon.




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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Baked Vegetables and Spaghetti with Spinach and Cheese Rolls


BM # 71
Week 3, Day 2
Theme: One Pot Meals

For the last day under One Pot Meals I have a very delicious and healthy Baked Dish for you. The dish is simple and is a complete meal by itself, but I like to keep some bread on the side ...it is just in case some one wants.

This baked dish has a layer of mixed vegetables, white sauce which is made with wheat flour, a layer of Sphagetti , a layer of red sauce and finally spinach and cheese rolls which are topped with some grated cheese and baked. It is one health packed dish which we like.


Baked Vegetables and Spaghetti with Spinach and Cheese Rolls

Ingredients
1 cup mixed vegetables, boiled
2 cups White sauce
1 cup Red sauce
1/2 cup spaghetti , boiled
Grated cheese for topping
Spinach and cheese rolls

Spinach and cheese rolls
10-12 spinach leaves
1/4 cup cottage cheese, grated
1/4 cup processed cheese, grated
1 green chilly
Oregano and chilly flakes to taste
Salt to taste

Method
Mix all ingredients except spinach.
Wash the spinach leaves.
If the leaf vein is thick trim it.
Lay the leaf flat on the chopping board.
Make a oval ball from the mixture.
Place it in the centre of the leaf.
Fold the leaf from both left and right side and finally roll it.
Place in a steamer for 3-4 minutes.

Assembling the dish
Take a bakeware dish.
Brush it with butter.
Spread a layer of vegetables.
Pour the white sauce over it.
Spread a layer of boiled spaghetti.
Next spread a layer of red sauce.
Arrange the spinach rolls and sprinkle grated cheese.
Bake in a hot oven for 20-25 minutes.











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Saturday, December 17, 2016

Mexican Stuff and Stand Bowl


BM # 71
Week 3, Day 1
Theme: One Pot Meals

I am passionate about traveling and when we travel I love going to the supermarkets or the local markets. I love to explore these to know what new products and ingredients are available.

On our trip to Spain I saw these Stand n Stuff Bowls. Old El Paso is a popular brand which makes tortillas, taco shells, buritto and tortilla kits. I have seen and used their products and they are really good. This bowl was a new product which I had not seen here , though I have seen Mexican restaurants making a bowl from corn and all purpose flour. These bowls are then stuffed with Mexican preparations. Well I am not here to promote the brand , but it is just that I like their stuff and this bowl was an interesting one.

I had some black beans and decided to use these in the rice , I made a Mexican version of rice topped it with salsa and cheese and baked it till the cheese melted. I served this bowl with some extra salsa and sour cream and it made a perfect one pot meal.

Well we used a spoon to finish the rice, but in between took bites of the bowl too, it was actually quite hilarious and we all had a good laugh over the meal. Here is how I made the stuffing for these bowls.


 Stuff and Stand Bowls
Ingredients
2 cups cooked rice
1 cup refried black beans
1 onion, finely chopped
1 spring onion, finely chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small red capsicum, finely chopped
1 small yellow capsicum, finely chopped
1 small green capsicum, finely chopped
Oregano, chilly flakes to taste
Salt to taste
Grated cheese for topping

Accompaniments

Oregano
Chilly flakes

Method

Heat a pan.
Add some Olive oil, immediately add garlic.toss till it turns pink.
Add onion, all capsicums and give a good toss.
Add the herbs and salt.
Mix in the rice and toss.

Assembling the bowl

Fill the bowl with rice, top with refried beans.
Sprinkle spring onion.
Finish with grated cheese.
Bake in a hot oven till cheese melts.
Serve hot with chilly oil, salsa and sour cream.



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Monday, December 12, 2016

Basket Chat


BM # 71
Week 2, Day 3
Theme: Birthday Snacks

Kids and grown ups love chats and they are just a perfect snack for serving at parties. These Basket Chats are simple and quick to make and make a real party pleaser. The baskets are store bought and the chutneys can be made in advance. All you need is some boiled potatoes and some chopped onions. The Sev too can be store bought or made in advance. These Baskets too can be made at home, but I have used store bought ones. Chats are very popular in Uttar Pradesh and I made these as a part of my Thali from the state.


Basket Chat

Ingredients
1 packet basket pooris
1 large boiled potato
1 medium onion
Chaat masala
Red chilly powder
Kala Namak
Salt to taste
Green chutney
Sweet tamarind chutney
Gram flour vermicelli / Sev
Pomegranate pearls

Method
To prepare the stuffing for the baskets chop the boiled potatoes finely.
Mix in the finely chopped onions.
Add all spices.
Fill in about a teaspoon of this stuffing in the baskets.
Top with the chutneys.
Sprinkle the Sev and finish with pomegranate pearls and coriander leaves.



Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#71



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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Aaloo ki Tikiya


BM # 71
Week 2, Day 2
Theme: Birthday Snacks

Day 2 under Birthday Snacks I have Aaloo ki Tikiya. This is one of my favorite snacks and most of the Sindhi houses make it whenever they have guests. I had made this for my Uttar Pradesh Thali. This Aaloo Tikiya is a perfect party snack , the kids love it, the grown ups too enjoy this with some fresh mint chutney and the sweet tamarind chutney. You could serve them as it is or even serve them as Aloo Tikki Chat or Tikki Chole or stuff them in a bun to make burgers. These are so versatile. So let's get to the recipe for this Aaloo ki Tikiya.



Aaloo ki Tikiya

Ingredients
4 boiled potatoes
1 green chilly, finely chopped
1 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped
Few mint leaves
1/4 tsp kala Jeera
1/2 tsp Garam masala
2 slices bread
Salt to taste
Method
Mash the boil potatoes.
Pulse the bread in a mixer.
Add all ingredients to the boiled potatoes, including bread.
Mix well.
Make tikkis.
Deep fry to a golden.

Normally we deep fry the tikkis, these are very crunchy. You could even shallow fry them . The quantity of chilly varies according to taste and the spice level.

















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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Car Sandwich


BM # 71
Week 2, Day 1
Theme: Birthday Snacks

It is always fun to plan Birthday Parties. With no small children I miss those good old days when I used to plan these parties and make spreads which were their favorite food. Those days all snacks were made at home , and I always baked fancy shaped cakes. I guess it's the joy and excitement of your own kids birthday that makes you go overboard. I wonder if I would put in similar efforts now .....perhaps I am aging.


Well the theme this week is Birthday Snacks and for today I have made a Car Sandwich for the kids. The sandwich is simple, and can be made from white or brown bread. One just needs to cut it into the car shape. You could do so with the help of a cutter or make a template . It has simple cuts so any one can cut these. Filling the sandwich is your choice. I applied some butter and a thin layer of jam. The wheels of the car are made by chocolate chips and I have used a glazed cherry on the top. I have used jam as glue to stick these. The signal is made from wafer biscuits and tutti fruity .

There is no proper recipe for these sandwiches so just go ahead and make them the way I have made them or use your imagination and use veggies like tomato, carrot or cucumber to make these cars.




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Monday, December 5, 2016

Mexican Basil Rice


BM # 71
Week 1, Day 3
Theme: Make a Meal



For the last day under Make a Meal theme I have a Mexican Meal. Sometimes I really can't decide which is my favorite cuisine, I enjoy eating Mexican, at the same time I like Chinese and I am a great fan of Italian, if a meal is well cooked it becomes favorite. How many favorites, is another story.



But for today it is a meal where I made Basil Rice , a Mexican curry and some stuffed chillies. Whenever I make. Mexican rice and curry, the curry recipe is the same. I just minus or plus the veggies in it. It is the rice that I like to change, and this time I made rice with fresh Basil leaves. I love the aroma and flavor of this herb, and the stuffed chillies well, I remember eating similar stuffed chillies in a Mexican restaurant in London and since then have been on my to do list, finally I made them.



So let's get to the recipe of Rice today

Mexican Basil Rice

Ingredients
2 cups rice, cooked with each grain separate
1 onion, chopped
1/2 green capsicum, finely chopped
1/2 red capsicum, finely chopped
1/2 yellow capsicum , finely chopped
1/2 cup boiled kidney beans
1/2 cup corn kernels, boiled
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
Chilly flakes to taste
Salt to taste

Method
Heat some Olive oil.
Add onions , toss for a minute.
Add all capsicums and toss for a minute or two.
Add kidney beans, corn, chilly flakes and salt.
Mix well .
Add basil leaves and once again mix.
Cover and cook on slow fire for 2-3 minutes.
Serve hot with curry or enjoy as it is.



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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Maharastrian Mini Meal


BM # 71
Week 1, Day 2
Theme; Make a Meal

For Day 2 under Make a Meal , I have made a simple Maharashtrian meal. Thalipeeth and Zunka are relished by all in the family. We normally go to Swati Snacks a famous restaurant where you get authentic traditional regional cuisines. The restaurant is pretty expensive but the preparation is very good. Anyway I wanted to replicate their Marathi menu.



For this meal I made Thalipeeth which has enormous variations. Every family makes their own Thalipeeth. From what I have heard and read it is a mix of flours, which is called Bhajani Flour but my Maharashtrian friend makes it with just Jowar flour, so I followed her recipe. I do plan to make the Bhajani Flour soon , which would definitely taste different.


Zunka is made from gram flour  and it should be spiced up really well, Masala Dahi , Thecha and stuffed green chillies are a perfect accompaniment.

For today I shall share the recipe for Thalipeeth, but before I do that let me give you a few tips to make it.

1 . The Thalipeeth dough should always be mixed just before cooking.
2. It should never be kneaded, kneading the dough makes it chewy.
3. Mix only enough flour for making 2 thalipeeths at a time, once done mix for the other two.
4. Cook the first side of the Thalipeeth covered and the second uncovered.
5. Make a hole in the centre or make more holes across the entire surface for quicker and even cooking.





Thalipeeth

Ingredients
2 cups Jowar flour
1/4 cup coriander leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup onions, finely chopped
2 green chillies
5-6 cloves garlic
Pinch turmeric
Salt to taste
Luke warm water for binding

Method
Coarsely grind the green chilly and garlic.
Put the flour in a bowl.
Mix in all ingredients.
Make a well in the centre.
Pour warm water and mix the flour and make a firm pliable dough.
Make small balls and pat them with hands.
Make a hole in the centre.
Heat and lightly oil a griddle, and place the Thalipeeth on it.
Cook covered for 11/2 minutes, till brown, occasionally drizzling oil around edges.
Flip the Thalipeeth over.
Cook uncovered, till brown and crisp, drizzling oil all around.
Serve hot.




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