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Showing posts with label RAMZAN recipe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label RAMZAN recipe. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Aish-el-saraya ( A Luscious Lebanese Pudding for Ramadan )

Orange blossoms. Rose water. Toasted pistachios. Some of these heavenly ingredients they put in the Middle Eastern desserts just makes me wonder if any of those aromas would be still be lingering in the air after nightfall and adding to the magic of the Arabian nights. Just the vast expanse of white sand, the deep blue canopy of the sky punctuated with a million twinkling stars and the air smelling of roses. Quite the setting to imagine the legendary romance of Alladin and Jasmine.

That bring me to another kind of love. The love for good food. And Ramzan is quite the right time for spreading some foodie love. 'Aish-el-saraya' is one of those luscious middle eastern desserts that can make one forget all about keeping a tab on the calories. It glides like velvet in the tongue and bombards the senses with a zillion delicious sensations that cannot be called anything unlike an orgasm. Yeah, it's that sinful and addictive too. But the good part is that it is quite easy to whip up. Sadly, it takes a while to set.

There are quite a few recipes for 'Aish-el-saraya' floating about on the net. I got mine from Youtube channel 'Heghineh Cooking Show'. It is run by an Armenian Youtuber who makes these really nice real-time videos and is also a mum with a kid running amok in the kitchen. No surprise that she has all my sympathy and support too. Have put the video at the bottom of this page.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 40 mins ( plus loads of standby time )

Ingredients -

  • 1 packet of rusk 
  • 1/2 liter milk
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water or syrup ( I could not find it hence skipped )
  • sliced/crushed pistachios for the garnishing 

For the syrup -

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • juice of 1 lemon

Preparation - Take the bread rusk in a food processor. Pulverize into a fine powder.

For making syrup, take 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and let it boil for 4-5 mins.

Remove from heat and them add the rose water, orange blossom water and lemon juice.

For making the custard, take 1 cup milk and dissolve the cornflour in it. Bring the rest of the milk to a boil, add the cornflour paste and whisk it till it becomes thick. Dissolve the condensed milk and remove from the flame.

Add the rose water and orange blossom water to the custard and mix it in.

Finally when it cools down somewhat, add the whipped cream to it and fold it in.

For the layering - Take a deep glass dish ( 1.2 lt capacity ).

Mix the powdered rusk with just enough sugar syrup in a mixing bowl. Transfer to the deep dish.

Spread into a uniform layer and tap it all over with the bottom surface of a bowl to pack it tightly.

Pour the custard and whipped cream mixture over it.

Sprinkle the pistachios all over the cream mixture. Put it in the fridge and let it set for 6-7 hours.

Just before serving, remove it from the fridge. Cut it carefully and drizzle some over the remaining syrup over the slices.

Enjoy this delectable dessert for Ramadan !!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Kheema Bhindi ( Okra Stuffed with Spicy Chicken Mince ) (Ramadan Special)

The holy month of Ramadan has commenced and the hogging fever has kicked in with full frenzy. Looking at the luscious photographs on social media, I cannot help feeling nostalgic about my Hyderabad days. Haleem and Biryani topped the list as did a plethora of butter/ghee dripping chicken dishes. But having crossed the threshold of thirty, one needs to deal with the stark reality of a slower metabolism. The days of carefree hogging have been left behind and a smart diet is now my prime focus area.

I have always admired the Bengali diet which makes it a point to include veggies and greens even when there is a yummy fish curry or mutton curry on the plate. Since any given person can only eat a certain volume of food, including vegetables reduces the amount of animal protein/fat consumed and hereby the overall calories consumed. Plus one gets a lot of fiber ( it adds bulk and signals the brain that one is full ) and vitamins too. Of course, a lot depends on the preparation method too. For example, lightly sauteing the vegetables or grilling them adds lower calories than what would be added if one curried the same set of vegetables. I will be doing a complete blog post on 'healthy eating' in the near future so watch out this space.

Getting back to the 'Kheema Bhindi' that I prepared as a part of the Ramadan Series, it can be served as a delicious and slightly more healthy starter as compared to the Kheema samosas or the Kheema pops. Okra being a highly fibrous vegetable helps in alleviating constipation, a common complaint when people gorge on oily and meaty dishes. Plus, it is all too easy to cook. For this preparation, pick ones that are tender  and large enough to hold a good portion of the kheema.

Read on for the recipe -

For the Chicken Kheema -
  • Minced Chicken - 200 gms
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped tomatoes 
  • 1 small onion
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/5 tsp garam masala
  • 3 tsp oil
  • salt to taste

Others -
  • 15-16 nos Okra
  • 4-5 garlic flakes (thinly sliced)
  • onion rings for garnishing
  • lemon wedges for garnishing

Preparation - Grind the onion, garlic and ginger into a coarse paste.

Cooking - Heat 3 tsp oil in a pressure cooker.  Add the onion-ginger garlic  paste and saute till raw smell goes off.

Add the powdered masalas and saute for 1 min.

Add the chicken kheema and turn up the flame for 2-3 mins. Let it brown a bit.

Once it starts to stick to the bottom, add the chopped tomatoes. Stir fry till the tomatoes are somewhat mushy.

Add very little water, sprinkle salt and close the lid. Cook for 1 whistle.

Once steam has escaped, open the lid. Carefully remove 1-2 tsp of the oil that would have separated. This can be used later to pan fry the okra.

Put the kheema back on the flame and cook it a little more till it just dries out. Leave aside to cool down.

Wash the okras and pat dry. Put a slit along the length and remove the seeds. Stuff about 1 - 1 1/2 tsp kheema into each one.

Heat a pan. Add the oil that one had removed earlier from the kheema. Add the garlic flakes and fry till fragrant. Remove the garlic from the pan.

Place the okras carefully on the pan, sprinkle a tiny bit of salt over them and cook on medium to high flame till just done. The okras should retain a slight crunch.

Remove from the pan. Serve immediately.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Badam Phirni ( Diwali Collaboration with A Dollop Of That! )

The next recipe that I am sharing for the Diwali series is a rich creamy dessert from North India. Known as the phirni, it is basically rice paste cooked in saffron-cardamom flavoured milk and loaded with nuts. While I would have loved to do an Odia recipe (as some of you had requested), I am running short on time and energy as the vacations have started for my kid.

I picked this recipe as it reminds me of yet another Odia recipe known as the 'Gaintha' or 'Attakali'. It is a slightly rustic recipe that is made out of rice paste which is first cooked into a solid mass, broken down into small balls and then cooked in cardamom-peppercorn flavoured milk. To me, phirni always seems to a more glamorized version of the Attakali. My phirni recipe is a slightly more nuttier and richer version of the regular one as I have added almond paste to it while cooking.

Read on for the recipe - ( And do not forget to scroll down to the bottom of this post for another surprise by Parinazz of A Dollop of that !)

Preparation Time - 30 mins

Ingredients -

  • 5 heaped tbsp of any fragrant rice ( Basmati /Jeera/GobindoBhog )
  • 1/2 liter + 2/3 cup milk
  • 15-16 almonds
  • 4 heaped tsp sugar ( as per taste )
  • 2 pinch saffron strands
  • a pinch of cardamom powder
  • pistachios for garnishing
  • rose petals for garnishing

Preparation - Wash and soak the rice for 2-3 hours. Grind into a smooth paste with 3-4 tsp milk. Dissolve in another 1/2 cup of milk.

Soak the almonds in hot water for 1 hour. Remove and peel them. Grind into a smooth paste with 2-3 tsp milk.

Soak saffron strands in 3-4 tbsp hot milk.

Cooking - Heat a wide mouthed nonstick saucepan. Add 4-5 tbsp water to it. This prevents milk from sticking to bottom and getting burnt.

Pour in the milk and bring it to boil on medium flame. Let it reduce by 1/3 rd.

Pour in the rice paste and cook with continuous stirring (preferably using a whisk) to prevent the formation of lumps. Do this for 7-8 mins. The mixture will become thick and take a creamy texture.

Then pour in the saffron milk (just remember to rub the strands with your fingers to get a deeper colour), sugar, almond paste and cardamom powder. Cook for 3-4 mins while stirring continuously.

Remove from the flame. Pour it into the serving bowls and pop it into the fridge.

Garnish with saffron strands, pistachios and rose petals. Serve chilled.

Do not forget to check out these interesting recipes too !!

Parinaaz's - Kesar Pista Biscuits

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Rajma Galouti Kebab

Had my eyes on this for a long time but finally got a chance this week as I was running a little short on vegetables. A good thing that my timing coincides with the holy month of Ramzan as this would be great on the 'iftar' menu. Read about it for the first time in one of those handy cookbooks written by the late Tarla Dalal and quite liked it for its simplicity. Then came an episode on Khana khazana featuring another strikingly different version of this delicacy which seemed to have originated in some far away universe. The latter was loaded by spices and too much of nuts I felt.

I decided to go with my favorite cook's recipe and modify/tweak it a bit while making the best use of ingredients available in my pantry. But when I made the first lot, I realized that the rajma gives a dry texture to these kebabs. Typical of any lentil fritters. So the potato/panner/khoya/nuts paste are very much required to impart that silken melt-in-the-mouth kinda texture to the kebabs. The addition of ghee is also crucial for the same reason. They turned out fine with the addition of more potato and unsweetened khoya.Read on for my version -

Preparation Time - 30 mins

Ingredients -

1 cup rajma/kidney beans
1 medium sized potato (boiled & peeled)
1/3 cup grated paneer
4 tbsp grated/crumbled unsweetened khoya
1 medium sized onion
2-3 green chilis
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
2-3 tsp chopped coriander leaves
1-2 tsp chopped mint leaves
1/4 tsp coriander powder
1/5 tsp cumin powder
1/3 tsp red chilli powder
2 pinch garam masala
1/3 turmeric
salt to taste
5-6 tsp oil/clarified butter (gives a more authentic taste)

Preparation - Wash and soak the rajma beans overnight.

Finely chop the onions and green chillis.

Cooking - Transfer the rajma to a pressure cooker with salt, turmeric and 1 1/2 cups water. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles till soft but not too mushy. Allow steam to escape naturally. Then drain the kidney beans and keep aside.

Heat 3 tsp oil in a wok. Add the onions and fry till translucent.

Add the ginger and saute for 30 seconds. Add the powdered masalas and fry for another 20-30 seconds.

Add the kidney beans along with the grated potato, paneer and khoya. Use a heavy spoon or ladle to mash up the beans and get a uniform mix of the ingredients. Adjust salt.

Finally add the chopped green chili, mint and coriander leaves. Mix well. Remove from flame and keep aside till it cools down a bit.

Take small portions from the above mixture and shape into flattened circles or tikkis.

Heat a flat non-stick pan and brush with some oil/ghee. Place 3-4 of the flattened circles on it. Let it cook on one side for 3-4 minutes on low to medium flame. Brush on some oil/ghee on the top of each before flipping it over. Let it cook on this side for another 3 mins. Remove and keep aside.

Serve hot with mint-coriander chutney/ketchup or even a yogurt dip.

Note - There kebabs are actually meant to be deep fried but I wanted to keep the calories in check with all the ghee and khoya going into it. Hence pan-fried them.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Shahi Tukda

A few days back I had posted the recipe for 'Double ka Meetha'. And quite a few people came back asking for the difference between the former and 'Shahi Tukda'. I would say that both have quite a few similarities but have originated from different regions/cultures. 'Shahi Tukda' is the more royal one of the two, soaked up in delicately flavored 'rabdi' or condensed milk and showered with toasted nuts.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 25-35 mins

Ingredients -

  • 2 thick slices of white bread
  • 2 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp condensed milk
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp butter
  • a few strands of saffron
  • nuts for garnishing
  • 4-5 drops of rose essence/syrup (optional)

Cooking - Take the bread and cut off the sides. (This is optional and i usually do not do it) Cut each bread slice into two triangles. 

Heat a pan. Place the bread slices on it and toast for 2 mins. Flip over and apply a little butter on the browned side. Toast the other side for another 2 mins and flip over. Apply a little butter on this side as well.
Remove and keep aside.

Heat 1/2 tsp butter in a pan and add the nuts. Toast for 1 minute or so.

In another saucepan, add the milk. Boil on low to medium flame with regular stirring in between till it reduces to 1/3rd. Add sugar and condensed milk. Simmer for 1 min. Add the saffron strands and the toasted nuts, and keep aside till it cools down a bit.

Lay the toasted bread slices side by side on a plate. Pour the thickened milk all over the slices and some extra too.

Garnish with more nuts and serve warm. (Or you can pop it in the fridge for 20 mins or so as I prefer it.)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Falooda (Faluda)

Another sweet delicacy from Hyderabad! This rose flavored ice-cream shake cum dessert is a must try on a visit to the city (of course after the sumptuous dum biryani). I had it for the first time at Charminar and i still covet the unique taste. It is so thick that one hardly gets a few sips with the given straw. That's why they give you a spoon with it so that you can dig in. One can find it on the menu of quite a few eateries in the city but I would suggest having it at Charminar. And do not think about the calories while you are enjoying it.

And yes, they also serve it at the 'iftar' parties during Ramzan. Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 15 mins ( plus 1 hour standby )

Ingredients -

  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp condensed milk
  • 3-4 tbsp rose syrup
  • 2 scoops of vanilla ice-cream ( use 2-3 more scoops if you want it thick but then reduce the quantity of milk by half )
  • 1 tsp basil seeds (sabza) or 2 tsp Chia seeds 
  • 1-2 tsp sugar
  • cherries or nut for garnishing 
  • 2-3 tbsp faluda sev or regular vermicelli 
  • crushed ice (optional)

Preparation - Soak the basil seeds with 1 tbsp rose syrup and 6-7 tbsp water. Keep aside for 1 hour.

Boil the milk with sugar and condensed milk for 2-3 mins. Keep aside to cool down.

Cook the faluda sev or regular vermicelli as per instructions on the packet. Drain and keep aside till cool.

Once the milk is cool, add 1 scoop icecream, 1 tbsp rose syrup and some crushed ice. Buzz for 1-2 seconds in a blender.

Assembling -  Take a tall glass. Pour a little rose syrup on the bottom. Top up with the faluda/vermicelli. Pour a little milk over it.

Next add a layer of the soaked basil seeds. Top it up with the flavoured milk.

Finally add the ice-cream on top and garnish it with cherries/dry fruits and rose syrup.

Serve immediately.

Note - Be careful while assembling the layers. Do it slowly so that the layers do not get mixed up..
But then one can also throw in everything together coz, trust me, it tastes just as good :)

One can also use Rooh-afza instead of rose syrup.

I personally prefer to use Chia as I find that they taste much better .

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Double ka Meetha

I tasted it for the first time when I had moved to Hyderabad sometime during 2006. 'It is just fried bread dipped in sugar syrup', I had exclaimed. But with passing time it slowly grew on me as did the city. While the sugar syrup version is quite common, most good restaurants soak the bread in a flavorsome 'rabdi' and garnish it generously with nuts. Very popular during iftar , it is a breeze to make unlike most of the Ramzan special dishes which require lots of time and effort

Read on for my version of this timeless Nizami dessert. Made it specially for Ramzan -

Preparation Time - 10 mins ( plus extra time for soaking )

Ingredients -

  • 2 slices of white bread
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp butter
  • 1 green cardamom
  • a few strands of saffron
  • nuts for garnishing

Cooking - Take the bread and cut off the sides. (This is optional and i usually do not do it) Cut each bread slice into two triangles. 

Heat a pan. Place the bread slices on it and toast for 2 mins. Flip over and apply a little butter on the browned side. Toast the other side for another 2 mins and flip over. Apply a little butter on this side as well.

Remove and keep aside.

Meanwhile take and water and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to boil and simmer for 3-4 mins. Add the crushed cardamom. Keep aside.

In another saucepan, add the milk and the condensed milk. Dissolve and bring to boil. Simmer for 3 mins. Add the saffron strands and keep aside.

Fry the nuts in a little ghee and keep aside.

Lay the bread slices side by side on a plate. Pour a little of the milk all over the slices and wait for 2-3 mins till completely absorbed. Next pour a little sugar syrup over the slices. Wait for 3-4 mins till it gets absorbed.

Repeat the process 2-3 times till you can see that the bread is no longer absorbing any liquid.

Keep it for 1-2 hours in the fridge before serving. 

Remove from the fridge and garnish with roasted nuts just before serving.

Note - Keep aside some of the saffron flavored milk and drizzle a few teaspoons over the bread just before serving.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Fish Biryani (Kerala style biriyani)

By now I have probably tried out all the popular biriyani varities from South India. Such is my fascination for this awesome one pot meal that every time I read/see about a new variety on someone's blog/newspapers or on the internet, I know I have to give it a try. The last one (hopefully) pending was a Kerala or Malabar style biriyani. Heavy with the fragrance of coconut and spices, this one has the indelible stamp of fabulous coastal cuisine.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 40-45 mins

Ingredients -

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 pieces of fish ( Surmai/seer fish is preferable but I used Rohu instead )
  • 1 large + 1 medium sized onion
  • 2 tsp GG paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 2 large tomatoes (freshly pureed)
  • 2-3 green chilis (crushed)
  • 1/3 cup chopped mint leaves
  • 1/3 cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 1-2 sprigs of curry leaves
  • 1/2 cup thick coconut milk
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 4 green cardamon
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 4 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste

Preparation - Chop the onion into thin long slices.

Wash and soak the rice for 1-2 hours.

Wash and clean the fish pieces. Add salt, Kashmiri chili powder, lemon juice and about 2-3 pinch of turmeric. Mix together and keep aside for 10 mins.

Cooking - Heat 1 1/2 tsp of oil in a frying pan. Add the marinated fish and fry on both sides till done. Remove and keep aside.

Heat 2 1/2 tsp oil in a wok. Add the onions along with the curry leaves and fry till onion turns light brown.

Add the GG paste and crushed green chilies. Fry till raw smell goes away. Add the tomato puree and fry till oil starts to separate out.

Add turmeric, chili powder, pepper powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and garam masala. Fry for 1 minute.

Add the soaked rice along with the chopped mint and coriander leaves. Fry till the leaves wilt up a bit. Add 2 cups warm water and the coconut milk. Add salt to taste. Finally drop in the fried fish, whole spices and ghee.

Cook on a medium low flame for 1 whistle (approx 12-14 mins). Remove and keep aside for 15-20 mins. Open the lid and fluff the rice grains with a fork.

Serve hot with raita. 

Note - While the curry leaves and coconut milk add authenticity to this recipe, I would suggest that folks with less than adventurous taste-buds skip these two ingredients.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Lagan ka Murgh ( Hyderabadi Chicken Curry )

Have been watching a lot of Khana khazana and you tube these days. While there are so many impressive recipes that I do want to try out, I have been rather partial to recipes that offer a higher ROI in terms of taste. For some reason(s), I dread spending more time in the kitchen these days.

This is one such recipe that I caught on youtube. The mind-blowing taste belies the minimal effort that goes into its making. It was a chef from Marriot (Hyderabad) who was detailing the recipe. He just threw in all the ingredients in a lagan, gave it a mix and put it on the stove. It can hardly get simpler than this. By the way, the lagan a wide and deep vessel with a thickened bottom used in Indian cooking (more like Mughlai cuisine me thinks). But the only problem was that he was measuring everything in grams. Since I do not have a weighing scale (kitchen purpose ones are easily available these days), I have converted everything into spoons and cups.

Read on for the 'asan sa' recipe -

Preparation Time- 35 mins (Includes a lot of standby time)

Ingredients -

500 gm chicken on the bones
1 tbsp poppy seeds
3 tbsp broken cashew
1 tbsp chiroli (charmagaj)
2 tbsp grated dry coconut (copra)
1 tsp red chilli powder ( I only had the Kashmir variety in stock which gave the dish a reddish hue )
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
2-3 clarified butter or desi ghee
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 1/2 cups tomato puree (freshly made)
1 1/2 cups fried onions ( I used two medium sized onions, sliced thinly and deep fried )
1/2 cup finely chopped mint leaves
1 cup finely chopped coriander leaves
3-4 crushed green chillis
1/2 cup yogurt (and just a little more)
salt to taste

Preparation - Dry roast the poppy seeds, cashews, chiroli and dry coconut. The coconut should start turning brown. Remove and allow to cool down. Grind into a smooth paste with as little water as possible.

Take a lagan or a deep and thick bottomed vessel. Put in all the ingredients except for chicken
(take care to crush the fried onions before adding to the vessel ).Add 1/2 cup water and mix together.

Wash and marinate the chicken with salt and a pinch of turmeric.

Cooking - Put the vessel on medium flame. Allow the contents to come to a boil. Let it boil for 2-3 minutes.

Add the chicken pieces, mix thoroughly and cover the vessel with a heavy lid. Cook covered on a medium low flame for 15 mins (give a stir once in a while).

Check if the chicken is done. Else cook for another 3-4 minutes. Remove from the vessel once done.

Garnish with coriander and serve hot.

Note - I did not use coconut as I did not have any in stock but the curry still tasted heavenly. However, if you are partial to the flavor of coconut, do add it. One can also add some thick coconut milk instead.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Instant Gajar Halwa (Microwave Method)

Merry Christmas to All !!!!

Holidays are a time to catch up with friends and take a much needed break from work. However one does feel the need to savor/cook up a special meal on such days, especially when a friend decides to drop by. While I usually make a Chicken Biryani and raita for the main course, I used to be stumped when it came to desserts.

But since I discovered this very quick version of my favorite sweet, the Gajar ka Halwa, desserts have been a breeze. No more stirring the milk and carrots till one's arm went numb. And the best part is that it tastes as good as the one made by the traditional method. Read on for the recipe:

Preparation Time - 10 mins ( + time taken to grate the carrots )

Ingredients - 2 cups grated red carrots, 4 tbsp ghee, 1/3 cup whole milk, 4 tbsp milk powder, 3 tbsp sugar, pinch of cardamon, nuts for garnish (optional).

Cooking - Take the ghee in a microwave safe container and heat on high for 10 seconds.

Add the grated carrots and mix well. Microwave on HIGH power for 2 mins. ( Stir once in between )

Add the remaining ingredients and mix thouroughly. Microwave on high for 7-8 minutes . (Stir at interval of 2 mins)

Remove from microwave, garnish with the nuts and serve hot/cold.

Sending this to Cook With Red Event at Shweta's blog Merry Tummy.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


Happy Diwali to All.

The blogosphere has been bombarded with traditional Diwali recipes. While I do not hold anything against following our customs, I simply did not want to ruin my vacation slaving over those laddoos/kalakand or even kheer. That is when I zeroed in on Mahalabia. Also known as Muhellabia, this is one light milk and easy pudding recipe from the Middle East . The first time I read about it in a travel magazine, I was bowled over by the ease and simplicity of this dish. While it does remind me of another Indian dessert (Phirni), this one makes use of cornflour rather than rice flour. It has a light custard or thick yogurt like texture.

Read on for the recipe:

Preparation Time - 15-10 mins

Ingredients - 2 cups whole milk, 1/2 cup milk powder, 3 tbs corn flour, 1/2 cup sugar ( or less as per preference ), 3 tbs rose water, 2 whole cardamoms, nuts for garnishing.

Cooking - Bring the milk & milk powder to a boil. Allow to boil for 7-8 minutes. Dissolve in the sugar.

Dissolve the corn flour in a little milk. Add slowly to the boiling milk and stir continuously till it thickens to a custard consistency. Add the rose water and cardamon at this point and mix in.

Pour in glasses & put into the refrigerator.

Garnish with chopped pistachios & almonds. Serve chilled.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Haleem ( Ramzan special recipe )

The Holy month of Ramzan is drawing to an end. And my tastebuds were craving for some Haleem, not having any chance to devour some of this sinfully indulgent delicacy in Banglore. How i miss Hyderabad and the Chicken haleem (@ Hyderabad House) and mutton haleem (@Pista House).

On an impulse I decided to give it a try. Since the preparation involves slow cooking the meat fr 6-8 hours, it looked a little daunting. Did a bit of research on the net and found that a pressure cooker can be used to significantly cut down on the cooking time.

Next was to zero in on the masala. Homemade or off the shelf , which way to go ?? Luckily i found this packet of 'Shan' haleem masala on the shelves @ Total superstore and the decision was made.

So, i washed and soaked the pulses overnight. Brought fresh mutton from the neighbourhood butcher on a sunday morning (Yeah...u get the best mutton on a Sunday morning). I kicked off the preparation with much fanfare.

Midway into the cooking, i realized that the curry looked much darker than the ones i had in Hyderabad. And the grains were still whole (though they were fully cooked).

'Ditch that advice on the net, go by your instincts' said my mind. So, i ended by separating the mutton from the rest of the curry and straining the gravy. Once i had ground the whole grains/lentils, the colour turned very much lighter. On combining everything in the wok this time, i knew i was bang on target. All's well that ends well. Pat on the back. My haleem turned out to be delicious and it was worth all the time/effort invested.

Now it would be criminal on my part to keep this delicious recipe to myself. So, here we go:

Preparation Time- 60-70 mins

Ingredients - Mutton ( 250 gm ), whole wheat ( 2 tsp ), barley ( 2 tsp ), toor dal ( 2 tsp ), channa dal ( 2 tsp ), ghee ( 3 tsp ), haleem masala ( 1 1/2 tsp ), 1 large onion (chopped), mint leaves ( a handful ), chopped almonds ( 7-8 nos ), ginger garlic paste ( 1 tsp ), sour curd ( 1 tbs ), raw papaya ( 1/4th cup ), for garnishing ( coriander leaves, mint , lime juice, green chilli, caramelized onions ), salt to taste.

Preparation - Wash and soak the wheat, barley, toor dal and channa dal overnight.

Marinate the mutton with sour curd, chopped raw papaya, ginger garlic paste, pinch of turmeric and little salt for 2-3 hours.

Cooking- Heat 2 tsp of ghee in a pressure cooker. Add the marinated mutton and haleem masala. Fry for 5 mins.Add the soaked grains and lentils along with 3-4 cups of water. Close the lid and cook for 40 mins.

Once the pressure cooker cools down, open the lid and check if the mutton pieces have started to fall off the bones. If not, close lid and cook for another 10-15 minutes.

Separate the mutton pieces from the gravy and remove the bones from them. Mash the mutton pieces using a heavy spoon/fork.Strain the gravy and keep the liquid aside. Grind the lentils/grains (left on the strainer) into a smooth paste.

Heat the remaining ghee in a wok. Add the chopped onion and fry till golden. Add mint leaves and chopped almonds and fry for 30 seconds. Add the mashed mutton, strained liquid and lentils/grains gravy along with 1-2 cups of water and bring to a boil.

Simmer on low flame for 15 minutes. Stir in some caramelized onion and coriander leaves and cook for 5 minutes more.

Garnish with coriander leaves, mint leaves, caramelized onion, line juice and green chilli. Serve hot.

Note- If you do not get Shan Haleem masala , try Banne Nawab's. It available online. Else go for a homemade spice mix ( coriander, cumin trmeric, red chilli powder, nigelle seeds, bay leaf, cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, ginger, garlic ).

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Instant Sabudana Kheeri

Cooking time required: 5-8 mins
Cost of preparation: 15-20 rupees


  • 1/2 cup Sabudana/Sagu
  • 1 1/2 milk 
  • 3 tsp raisins
  • 2 tsp cashews 
  • 3-4 tsp sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp ghee 

Preparation: Soak the sabudana for 2-3 hours.

Cooking: Heat the ghee in a saucepan. Add 1 tsp sugar and allow it to turn brown.

Next add the raisins & cashews. Stir fry till the raisins swell.

Add the milk and soaked sabuadana.

Boil for 5-6 mins while stirring at short intervals as it tends to stick to the bottom of the pan.

Serve hot.

Note: One can also add a little cardamon/saffron for the flavouring.

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Mutton Biryani

Cooking Time Required: 1 hour
Cost of Preparation: 250-300 rupees
Serves: 4-5 nos.

For the marinade: Mutton (1/2 kg), ginger garlic paste ( 1 tbs ), mustard oil ( 1 tsp), sour yogurt ( 1 tbs ), dry red chillis ( 3-4 nos), salt, turmeric.

For the gravy: Onion ( 1 medium ), red chilli ( 2 nos), coriander seeds ( 1 1/2 tsp ), cumin seeds ( 1 tsp ), cardamon ( 3 nos ), cinnamon ( 1 inch long ), cloves ( 3-4 nos), tomatao ( 2 nos, medium ).

For the biryani rice: Basmati rice (1/2 kg), ghee ( 1 tbs ), bay leaf ( 1 no), star
anise ( 2-3 nos), javitri ( 1 flower), onion ( 1 medium), red chilli (2-3 nos), salt to taste.

For cooking: 5-6 tsp oil ( mix of oil and ghee is also good ), ginger garlic paste ( 1 tsp ).

Preparation: Mix all the ingredients for marination and keep aside for 2 hours.

Grind all the gravy ingredients into a fine paste.

Cut the onion into rings and keep aside.

Cooking: Heat the oil in a wok. Add the ground paste along with a bit of salt. Allow to cook for 3-4 mins. Add ginger-garlic paste and cook till the oil separates from the masala.

Add the marinated mutton and cook for 10 mins in the open vessel. Transfer to a
pressure-cooker and add 1-2 cups water along with salt. Close lid and cook for
2-3 whistles or till it is soft.

Remove from fire and keep aside.

Wash the basmati rice, drain and keep aside.

Heat another pressure cooker ( large one, 5ltr preferably). Add the ghee followed by the whole masalas and red chillis, and fry for 30 secs. Add the cooked mutton and the washed rice. Mix well.

Add 1 1/5 cups of water for every cup of rice. Sprinkle salt and the onion rings. Close lid and allow to cook for 2 whistles.

Remove from fire and allow to stand for 10 mins. Serve with ajwain raita.

Note: Tastes best when the mutton has a bit of fat in it.

Mutton Biryani

Monday, October 25, 2010

Quickie pudding

Cooking Time Required : 15 mins
Cost of preparation: 20-25 rupees

Ingredients: Eggs ( 2 nos ), fruit bread ( 4 slices ), milk ( 3/4 th cup ), sugar ( 3tsp ), vanilla essence ( 4-5 drops ), raisins ( 1/4 th cup ), cashews ( 1/4 th cup ), salt ( a pinch ), ghee ( 1/3 tsp ), sweetened cornflakes/wheatflakes ( 1/2 cup ).

Preparation: Cut and remove the sides of the fruit bread. Break into small pieces and soak in a mixing bowl with warm milk for about 15 minutes.

Whisk the two eggs and add to the mixing bowl along with the sugar, raisins, cashews and vanilla essence. Beat well.

Cooking: Grease the sides of steel bowl ( one with a lid that fits tightly ). Pour in the mixture. Close with the lid.

Add 2 cups of water to a pressure cooker. Transfer the bowl into the pressure cooker and close the pressure cooker lid. Put on the stove and allow for 3-4 whistles ( 12-15 mins).

Remove from the stove and allow steam to escape. Open the pressure cooker and remove the bowl. Cut the pudding into small pieces and sprinkle the crushed cornflakes over it.
Relish it hot.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hyderabadi Chicken Dum Biryani (Pressure cooker method)

Cooking Time Required: 45 mins
Cost of preparation: 100-150 rupees

Ingredients: Basmati Rice ( 2 cups), skinless chicken ( 600 gm), curd ( 1 cup ), cumin seeds ( 1 tsp), ginger garlic paste ( 2 tsp), coriander seeds ( 1 tsp), tomato puree ( 4 tbs), cinnamon ( 1 stick, medium), cloves ( 4 nos ), star anise ( 2 nos ), cardamon ( 2 nos ), javitri ( 1 no), nutmeg (2 pinch), onion ( 1 large ), oil ( 4 tsp), milk ( 1/2 cup), saffron ( 1 strand ), chilli powder ( 1 tsp), turmeric ( 1/2 tsp), handful of mint leaves, handful of coriander leaves, salt to taste.

Preparation: Heat a pan. Dry roast the coriander and cumin seeds and ground into a fine powder.

Beat the curd, cumin-coriander powder, ginger garlic paste, chilli powder, turmeric, tomato puree, salt, powdered cinnamon and cloves, star anise and javitri togather. Add the chicken pieces to it and allow to marinate for 2 hours.

Cut the onion into thin rings and keep aside. Soak the saffron in the milk.

Cooking: Heat a pan. Add the oil. When it becomes hot, add the onion rings, mint leaves, corainder leaves and stir fry till they turn opaque. Add the marinated chicken pieces and cook for 15-20 mins or till the chicken is 80% done.

Wash the rice and add to a pressure cooker. Add 2 cups of water, crushed cardamon, nutmeg and the saffron-milk along with the chicken pieces . Mix well. One can also add 1 tsp ghee at this stage to prevent the rice grains from sticking to each other. Close the lid and allow to cook for 10 minutes. Remove from fire and allow the steam to escape. Serve with raita.

Tip: The most important part of getting the biryani recipe is cooking the rice just right. Make a trial of cooking the rice in a cooker before making the biryani, just to get the cooking time and water proportion right.

[The below pics are my latest ones ( taken on 08/05/2014 ).....I guess blogging has really helped me improve on everything fom cooking to presentation and even my photography skills. ]

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Meetha Suji (Suji ka Halwa)

Meetha Suji. I kind of grew up eating this version of 'Suji halwa' as it is popularly known in most parts of the country . Seasoned with bay leaves and just the right amount of ghee, it was the answer to every Odia kid's 4 o' clock hunger pangs. 

Cooking Time Required : 10-15 minutes

Ingredients -

  • 1 cup Suji/semolina
  • 4-5 tsp sugar 
  • 1/4 cup ghee
  • dry fruits (raisins and cashews, i skipped as my kid does not like )
  • 2-3 nos bay leaves
  • 1 pinch salt

Cooking: Heat a pan. Put 1 tsp of ghee on it. Add the suji and stir periodically till it darkens a few shades(light brown). Remove from fire and keep aside. Fry the cashews and keep aside.

Pour 2 cups of water into a deep vessel (kadai) and put on the stove. Bring to a boil. Add the roasted suji and mix it continuously to prevent lumps formation. When the suji starts solidifying, add the sugar, cardamon and ghee. Mix it till the sugar almost dissolves, add the cashews and raisins, and remove from the stove. Keep it covered for 5 mins. Serve it hot.

An old of mine with lots of added raisins and cashews :) :) !!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Carrot Vermicelli Kheer

Cooking Time Required: 30-40 min
Cost of preparation: 50-60 rupees

Ingredients: Carrot ( 200 gm or 2 nos), vermicelli (1/2 cup), milk (1/2 ltr), milkmaid (condensed milk, 1 cup), ghee (3 tsp), raisins, kaju , sugar to taste.

Preparation: Grate the carrot and keep aside. Roast the vermicelli in a pan using very little ghee. Also fry the kajus to a golden shade.

Cooking: Heat a deep vessel. Add the ghee followed by the grated carrot. Fry the carrot for about 5 mins. Add milk, and bring to a boil. Allow to cook slowly for 15 mins. Add raisins, kaju and milkmaid. Boil for another 5 mins and add sugar (according to taste).

Tasty kheer is ready to eat.

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