Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Veg Dum Kofta Biryani

This is yet another recipe I got from my Bhabhi. I have made some slight changes for my convenience. It has become my favorite biryani now! It does take time to prepare but you will find effort is surely worth. Basic ingredient in its gravy is spinach. For making koftas we will use kabuli chana (Cheakpeas). So this is surely very nutritious too.

Ingredients for Gravy:
1 big bunch of spinach/palak cut lengthwise
2 tomatoes finely chopped
1 big onion finely chopped
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp dhania powder
2 tbsp oil

  1. In kadhai heat oil. Add cumin seeds.
  2. When they splutter add onion. Fry for 3-4 minutes till they turn golden.
  3. Add tomato,ginger and fry till they become nice tender.
  4. Add spinach, red chilli powder, dhania powder, garam masala and salt.
  5. Add a cup of water. Let this simmer for 4-5 minutes till nice gravy consistency is formed.

Ingredients for Koftas:
1/2 cup kabuli chana/cheakpeas soaked in water for 5-6 hours
1 onion finely chopped
1 cup coriander leaves
3-4 green chillies
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
3-4 cloves of garlic
3-4 tbsp besan
Oil for shallow frying

  1. Boil soaked kabuli chana till they are cooked.
  2. Spread chana on a cotton cloth for 30-40 minutes till they become dry.
  3. Grind kabuli chana with coriander leaves, green chillies, garlic to a coarse dry powder.
  4. To this coarse powder add onion, lemon juice, salt. Add water just enough to make it moist.
  5. Add besan for binding this whole mixture.
  6. Make small flat koftas with this. Shallow fry them on both sides till they become golden.

Ingredients for preparing Biryani:
1 cup rice
1 tbsp oil
2 cloves
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp cardamom powder

  1. Soak rice in water for 1/2 an hour. Drain water and keep aside rice.
  2. In pressure cooker heat oil. Add clove, bay leaf. When nice aroma comes out add rice. Fry for a minute.
  3. Add water salt and pressure cook the rice.
For layering Biryani:
  1. Heat butter. When it melts add milk and cardamom powder. Bring milk to boil. Keep this aside.
  2. Now for making different layers of biryani take a deep kadhai.
  3. First take small amount of rice and add a layer of rice on the bottom. On this layer make a layer of some koftas. Add a layer of gravy over this. It should cover all the koftas.
  4. Repeat this with a layer of rice, koftas and gravy. Finally on top add again layer of rice.
  5. On the top add milk boiled earlier.
  6. Cover this kadhai with aluminium foil.
  7. Heat pan. Keep this kadhai on pan and heat pan on low heat for 25-30 minutes.
Before serving you can mix all layers in kadhai. But this way your koftas will be broken. So if you like you can also server without mixing.

Preparation time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Guest post in Deepa's blog

My Dear friend Deepa has a wonderful blog Foodlyrics with great collection of recipes. She has started really nice initiative of Guest blogging. Every Wednesday she has reserved her blog for guest post. I am really excited that this Wednesday my post is published as guest post in her blog. I have posted a dessert loved by all of us! Please check it at http://www.foodlyrics.com/?p=875

 Its really humbling to have my post in Deepa's blog! Thanks alot Deepa. Do explore her amazing blog http://www.foodlyrics.com/

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Upasachi Batata bhaji ( Potato Sabji done on fasting days) and Awards :)

I am completely humbled and overjoyed with beautiful awards showered on me by my sweet blogger buddies.

Nithu (http://nithubala-recipes.blogspot.com/) and Devi (http://fresherscookbook.blogspot.com/) have shared with me this cute 'Smart Food Blogger Award'. Thank you so much both of you !! You have fantastic blogs and it is really encouraging to receive award from you!

Nithu has also shared with me these 'Blog lovin award' and 'Lovely Blog Award'. Thanks to you again dear for remembering me!!

Devi has also shared with me this 'Thank You' Award. So so Sweet of you Dearie!

Swapna Sree (http://swapnasridhar.blogspot.com/) and Suma (http://sumarowjee.blogspot.com/) have shared with me Kreative Blogger award. It means so much to me. Many many Thanks to both of you gals. Keep rocking with your beautiful blogs as always!

I would like to share all these awards with my blogger buddies. Please accept them.:

I would like to share 'Thank you' award with Nithu (http://nithubala-recipes.blogspot.com/) for all the encouragement. Also I would like to share 'Blog Lovin Award' and 'Lovely Blog Award' with Devi (http://fresherscookbook.blogspot.com/) . Please accept them!

Now coming to todays recipe:

In Maharashtra, there are many dishes made especially on fasting days. To name a few Sabudana/Tapioca Khichdi, Sweet potato fry, Varaiche tandul (Samo rice) are just to name a few. These dishes are so delicious its really hard to fast with such food prepared :) I remember as a child, for me and my bro fasting was just an excuse to relish on all these fantastic dishes. Fasting was left only to my parents :) This potato sabji is something which we always ask our mom to prepare. It is very easy and tastes great just by itself or as side item.

4-5 medium sized potatoes
1/2 cup roasted groundnut powder (little coarse)
3-4 green chillies cut lengthwise
2 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
2-3 tbsp ghee

  1. Boil potatoes in pressure cooker till they are nicely cooked.
  2. Peel potatoes and mash them.
  3. In kadhai add ghee.
  4. When ghee melts add jeera, green chillies.
  5. Add potatoes, salt and groundnut powder. Mix well. Fry for 4-5 minutes.
  6. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Preparation time: 20-25 minutes

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Homemade Paneer (Indian cheese)

Weather here is not giving any break from snow and wind chills. With such low temperatures I just dont feel like getting up on weekends. On such lazy mornings, I get little bored of day to day cooking. Only thing which makes me go in the kitchen on weekends is trying something new.  If I am doing something different than my regular dishes, I get excited to cook. :) This weekend  I decided to make Paneer at home for some wonderful dinner. I have never made Paneer at home before this Saturday and I really wondered why I did not try this before. It is so easy to make Paneer at home rather than buying little costly Paneer from Indian store. Also home made fresh Paneer tastes so much better!

1/2 gallon (8 Cups) whole milk
4-5 tbsp lemon juice
cheesecloth or thin cotton piece
  1. Heat milk in a vessel till it boils. Occasionally stir milk to avoid it sticking to bottom.
  2. Just before milk rises, add lemon juice. Stir and switch off the heat.
  3. Stir properly so that lemon juice gets mixed nicely to milk. Soon milk will separate into small curd like granules and water (whey).
  4. The color of whey(water separated) should be greenish yellow. If it is not greenish yellow, it means there is still some fats present in it. Add some more lemon juice in such case.
  5. Let this rest  for few minutes. When it has cooled down a little bit ( It should still be warm) drain mixture through cheesecloth or any thin cotton cloth.  Paneer will get collected in cloth. Make sure you collect the whey too in some vessel. This whey is nutritious and can be used for making chapati/roti dough. Chapatis made with such dough comes out really soft.Also you can use this whey for making gravys. This water helps making gravys cremy and rich.
  6. Bring edges of cloth together and squeeze it to remove excess water present.
  7. Keep cloth covered panner on a flat surface. Flatten paneer by patting to rectangular shape. Flatten it till you get required thickness.
  8. Put any flat surface on cloth covered paneer. On its top place anything heavy. I had put my pressure cooker filled completely with water. Keep like this for 2-3 hours.
  9. Cut paneer into cubes of required size.
 Half gallon of milk will make more than 250 gms of paneer. Enjoy taste of fresh home made paneer!

Preparation time: 20-25 minutes.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Ukadiche Modak ( Steamed dumplings filled with coconut & jaggery mixture) plus an Award :)

Sankashti Chaturthi is a fourth day of Krishna Paksha(Dark fortnight) during every month in Hindu Calendar. Sankashti which falls on Tuesday is known as specially auspicious. It is called as "Angaraki Chaturthi". This last tuesday was Angaraki chaturthi. On Angaraki Chaturthi many observe fast and have their meal only after moon rise. This is a day we pray to Lord Ganesha. And Ganesh Puja is incomplete without offering of his favorite Modak. This sweet is always prepared as prasad on Ganesh Chaturthi. Ukadiche (Steamed) Modak are Maharashtra's wonderful delicacy. Just looking at these Modaks brings smile on my face :)

Another thing which brought smile to my face was these beautiful Awards shared with me by my dear blogger friend Jyoti (http://theveggiehut.blogspot.com/). Thank you so much Jyoti! You have such a lovely blog. Thanks alot for remembering me. So Sweet of you!

Here goes the recipe!
1 cup fresh grated coconut
1 cup crushed jaggery
1 cup rice flour
3-4 tsp oil

  1. First we need to prepare filling. For that, in deep kadhai take grated coconut and jaggery. Heat this mixture over low-medium heat.
  2. Keep stirring this frequently. Soon jaggery will start melting. Heat this till jaggery and coconut mixes properly and nice homogeneous mixture is formed. Turn off the heat and let this mixture cool down.Our filling is ready now!
  3. Now we need to make cover. Make this just before you want to prepare modak. We can not prepare and keep this dough aside.
  4. In a deep kadhai bring to boil 1 cup of water. When it starts boiling add 2 tsp oil and 1/2 tsp salt.
  5. Lower the heat and add rice flour immediately. While you are adding rice flour , keep stirring mixture with other hand. Mix this quickly taking care that lumps are not formed. Cover with a lid for a minute.
  6. Switch off the heat and take dough in a plate. Apply oil to your palms. Now when dough is still hot, knead well. Don't forget to apply oil on hands. Knead this dough properly so that no cracks are present on dough.
  7. Cover dough immediately. Take care that dough is warm till we complete preparing modak.
  8. Make a lemon sized ball of this dough. Keep remaining dough covered. Apply little oil to hands. With both hands, flatten ball of dough to make it in a shape of Puri. Thickness should be little thicker than puri.
  9. Keep coconut filling( approximately 1 1/2 tbsp) at the center of this.
  10. Pinch edges at 4-5 places. Bring all edges together at the center and close them at the top. Make remaining modak with the same procedure.

     11. For steaming, take a stainless still sieve and apply little oil to its bottom. Keep modaks inside this sieve taking care they do not stick to each other.
     12.  In deep vessel add water so that vessel is filled 1/4 th. Keep sieve with Modaks on top of the vessel.
     13. Cover sieve with a lid. Heat vessel for 10-12 minutes till Modak get steamed.

Delicious Modaks are ready. Serve hot with ghee on the top.

Preparation time: 1 hour

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Medu Wada with Award & Reward :)

The Foodie Blog Roll Contests: Winner!I have more than one reason to be happy today! My blog was selected as last week's winner for the Foodie Blogroll "Comment to win a copy of Sanjeev Kapoor's Party Cooking Book" contest!

Contest: Comment to win a copy of Sanjeev Kapoor's Party Cooking Book

I received this book today and I am really excited to see all new and amazing recipes in it. Thanks to foodie blogroll for this awesome reward.

Another wonderful thing is my blogger buddy Aparna (http://ladiesspecialadukkala.blogspot.com/) has shared Kreative Blogger award with me. She has very beautiful blog. Thank you so much Aparna for remembering me. So sweet of you!

Now coming to todays recipe which is Medu Wada. This is one of the most preferred breakfast item. Whenever I go out for breakfast I will keep switching mu order between Dosa and Vada :) Wada with hot sambar and chutney makes a very filling breakfast. I love eating just wada by itself when it is nice warm. So  I was frying these wadas with one hand and eating hot wadas with other hand. :)
 So here goes the recipe:
1 1/2 cup urad dal
3 green chillies finely chopped
7-8 crushed curry leaves
1 tbsp ginger grated
15-20 small pieces of fresh coconut
pinch of hing/asaphoetida
oil for frying


  1. Soak urad dal in water for atleast 6 hours
  2. Drain the water. Grind urad dal to a coarse paste. While grinding add very very liitle water. You can simply sprinkle water; just enough for making a paste.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to paste except oil and mix nicely.
  4. This step is very important for making vadas nice and fluffy. You need to beat the batter with egg beater so that air gets incorporated in batter. This aeration will help in making vadas fluffy.
  5. I got one very nice trick from video of Vahchef(VahreVah.com) for this. To check wheather aeration is done or not, drop small dollop of batter in a bowl filled with water. The batter should float and should not sink to bottom. If it sinks, beat batter for some more time.
  6. Heat oil in deep kadhai for frying. Apply water to your palms. Make a lemon sized ball of batter. Flatten it a little bit and make hole in it by thumb. Slide it gently in oil. Deep fry on low-medium flame till it turns nice golden brown in color.

Enjoy hot wadas with Sambar or coconut chutney. 1 1/2 cup Urad dal makes mediun sized 18-20 vadas.
Preparation time: 40 minutes.
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