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Showing posts with label basmati rice recipe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label basmati rice recipe. Show all posts

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Gatta Pulao ( No onion No garlic version )

For someone living south of the state of Rajasthan, the term 'gatta' sounds almost alien. Quite a few of us have grown up thinking that 'gatta' is just another vegetable that could be native to the arid lands of the state. So, it was quite a surprise when I had a chance to taste the famous delicacy. 'Gatta' is nothing but 'besan'/'gram flour dumplings that are first cooked in boiling water, cooled, fried and then later added to any dish. It serves as a substitute for vegetables which are hard to come by in a desert.

It is when most of us want to try such exotic dishes, that we seek to connect with someone who has had experience/expertise with it. And that is where 'TalkToChef' comes in with help at hand. It is  a platform that allows one to connect with real chefs and get any cooking queries answered on a real time basis. TalkToChef is not about recipes but real folks who are ready to dish out information with their vast culinary experience. Make your meals healthier and fix any last minutes issues with expert help so that you do not have to rely on takeaways or frozen meals.Their mantra is simple and can be summed up in the following words - "we envision every table adorned with a home cooked meal as if it were prepared by a professional chef". 

If spicy curries are not your thing and you prefer the sheer comfort of rice dishes, this is another 'gatta' recipe that you must try. While chopped onions and garlic paste do form a part of this rich pulao, I have kept this version 'niramish' so that it can be had on fasting days too. Read on -

Preparation Time - 30-45 mins

Ingredients -

For the Gatta -

  • 1 cup besan
  • 2 tsp curd
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1/3 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp crushed coriander seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • a pinch of asafoetida
  • salt to taste

For the pulao -

  • 3 cups cooked rice ( use Basmati or Jeera rice )
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder (optional)
  • 1/5 tsp garam masala
  • 2 pinch turmeric
  • 2-3 green cardamom
  • 1 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3-4 tbsp raisins
  • 3-4 tbsp broken cashews
  • 3 tsp ghee
  • 1 tsp oil
  • salt to taste
  • cilantro for garnishing

Preparation - Take all the ingredients for the 'gatta' in a mixing bowl. Mix together into a tight dough. If it feels too dry, sprinkle a few drops of water. Cover with a cloth and keep aside for 10-15 mins.

Divide into 3-4 portions. Roll each portion into a sausage like cylinder .

Boil water in a saucepan. Add the cylinders into the water and allow to cook for 12-13 mins. Remove from the water and keep aside till cool. Cut into smaller portions of about an inch long.

Cooking - Heat the oil and ghee in a wok. Add the 'gatta' and fry lightly for 2-3 mins. Remove and keep aside.

Add the whole spices and cumin seeds. Fry till fragrant and then add the raisins and cashews. Add the green peas after 30 seconds. Fry for 2-3 mins.

Add the powdered masalas, fried gatta and salt.  Fry for 1 minute. 

Finally add the cooked rice along with the chopped cilantro. Switch off the flame and mix everything together.

Serve it hot with fresh curd.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Safed Zarda

Zarda is a traditional Pakistani dessert that has rice cooked with spices, sugar syrup and milk solids (mawa). Usually it has yellow food coloring added to it but I have skipped it. Enriched with nuts, milk and milk solids, it is one healthy dessert. An interesting variant to the Indian 'Meethay Chawal' or 'Kanika' (Odia recipe).

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 20-25 mins

Ingredients -

  • 1 cup Basmati rice 
  • 4 tbsp Sugar
  • a few saffron starnds
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 star anise
  • 1-2 strands of mace
  • 1-2 cloves
  • 1-2 green cardamoms
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1/2 cup khoya
  • 4 tbsp warm milk
  • 2-3 pinch salt (optional...not a part of the original recipe)

Preparation - Soak the saffron in the warm milk. 

Boil the sugar with 1/2 cup water till it reaches a thick (one string) consistency. Keep aside.

Cooking - Boil sufficient water for the rice. Add the spices, salt and the washed rice. Cook for 8-9 mins till it is almost done ( 90 % cooked ). Drain and keep aside.

Heat the ghee in a flat bottomed vessel. Add the cashews and raisins. Fry for 30 seconds. Add the rice, crumbled mawa, sugar syrup and milk along with the saffron strands. Cover tightly and cook on low flame for 5 mins. ( one can also place the covered vessel on a tawa to avoid the direct flame ). 

Remove from flame and keep aside for 10 mins before serving.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Mushroom Biryani ( Celebrating my 400th post )

My 400th post. So it had to be something celebratory. My sincere and heartfelt gratitude to all my regular and not so regular readers. Your comments and encouragement is much appreciated and help me keep going. And a big thanks to my husband for putting up with my experiments in the kitchen. Thanks everyone for being a part of this wonderful journey.

Preparation Time - 40 mins

Ingredients - 2 cups basmati rice, 200 gms button mushrooms, 2 large onions, 2 tsp GG paste, 1 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp garam masala, 4 tsp thick yogurt, 3 tbsp tomato puree, 6 tsp chopped mint leaves, 6 tsp chopped coriander leaves, whole garam masala ( 1 mace, 1 star anise, 2 pinch nutmeg powder, 3-4 cloves, 1 inch cinnamon, 1 green cardamon), 1 tsp ghee, 4 tsp oil, salt to taste.

Preparation - Clean and wash the mushroom. Cut along the length into slices of medium thickness.

Soak the mushroom in a pan with water and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder for 1 hour. Drain off the water and pat dry with a paper towel.

Take the yogurt, GG paste, cumin powder, chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric half of the chopped mint and coriander leaves, garam masala and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix well. Add the mushrooms and coat them thoroughly with the marinade. This helps the mushroom absorb the spice flavors. Allow t rest for 1-2 hours.

Cut the onions into thin long pieces.

Cooking - Heat 1 tsp oil in a wok. Add half of the sliced onions and fry on low flame till they turn brown. You can add 1/2 tsp sugar to hasten the process. Remove the caramelized onions and keep aside.

Add 2 tsp oil to the same wok. Add the remaining onions and fry till light brown. Add the tomato puree and fry for another 2-3 mins.

Add the marinated mushrooms along with the marinade. Cook for 4-5 minutes till the excess water evaporates and masalas are well cooked. (It is ok if mushroom is still under-cooked, it gets done along with the rice.)

Heat 1 tsp oil in a pressure cooker. Add the remaining mint and coriander leaves. Fry for 1 minute.
Add the whole masalas and fry for 30 seconds.

Add the washed basmati rice, mushrooms and 2 2/3 cup water (add another 1/3 cup if you want softer rice). Mix gently. Sprinkle ghee and salt over the contents. Add half of the caramelized onions. Close the lid and cook for 1 whistle.

Allow steam to escape before opening lid. Keep aside for 10-15 mins before serving. Just before serving gently mix the rice and mushrooms so that they are evenly distributed ( mushrooms tend to rise to the top while cooking ).

Serve hot with raita and papad.

Note - Add 1/2 cup capsicum to the marinade along with the mushrooms. Give a really nice twist/flavor to the mushroom biryani. ( Again it depends on whether you like capsicum ). Also if you are not really into mushroom, try a combination of baby corn and capsicum which is equally good.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Rajma Chawal ( without onion and garlic )

Rajma-chawal remains one of my favorites right from my childhood days. I love this amazingly tangy curry with copious amounts of onion in it. But since it cannot be savored on certain no onion-no garlic days, I have been planning to find a way to substitute the onions. The current onion crisis which has hit us hard seemed to be the perfect excuse for some action.

I have used ginger and cumin liberally to get the desired pungency, and lots of yogurt and tomato puree for an added tang. Even the amount of chilli powder is more than I usually add .The sweetness provided by the sugar balances it out and all the flavors come together beautifully.

Preparation Time - 30-40 mins

Ingredients - Rajma/kidney beans ( 1 1/2 cups ), yogurt ( 5-6 tbs ), tomato puree ( 5-6 tbs ), whole spices ( 1 small bay leaf, 4-5 cloves, 1 inch long cinnamon, 1 tsp cumin seeds ), ginger ( 1 1/2 inch julienned ), red chilli powder ( 1 tsp ), cumin powder ( 1 tsp ), coriander powder ( 1 tsp ), turmeric ( 1 tsp ), sugar ( 1 tsp ), oil ( 2-3 tsp ), salt to taste.

Preparation - Wash and soak the rajma overnight.

Transfer to a pressure cooker, add salt and half of the turmeric and cook for 1-2 whistles. They should be cooked but left with a little bite ( not too soft ).

Take the remaining turmeric, chilli powder, coriander powder and cumin powder in a bowl. Add 3-4 tbs of water and make into a paste.

Beat the yogurt lightly and keep aside.

Cooking: Heat the oil in a wok. Add the whole spices and then follow with the ginger. Fry for 1-2 mins.

Add the masala paste and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add a little water if it is getting too dry.

Add tomato puree, sugar and salt, and cook till it thickens and darkens in color.

Add the yogurt and stir it for 3-4 minutes till it starts leaving the sides of the wok.

Finally add the boiled rajma along with 1/2 - 2/3 cup water. Allow to simmer for 4-5 minutes. Remove from flame.

For the Basmati rice -

Take 1 cup of washed Basmati rice in a cooker. Add 3/4 cup milk and 1 cup of water. Sprinkle salt and 1/4 tsp of ghee over it. Close lid and cook for 10-12 minutes on a medium flame.


Sending this to Priya's event CWS-Cumin : August 2013 .

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Vegetable-Soya Biryani

Nothing beats the comfort and warmth of a one pot meal. And biryani happens to be one of my favorite ones. Chicken, mutton, prawn, vegetable, soybeans or even kabuli chana, i enjoy all the varieties that come with this awesome dish. The Hyderbadi 'Dum' style of making biryani is the closest to my heart. And i have managed to replicate the results by using a presure cooker instead of a handi. 

One can get very close to the 'hyderabadi biryani' by half boiling the rice in a vessel and then transferring it to a pressure cooker ( with the whistle taken off ) along with the 3/4th cooked chicken for the final dish. But i always end up making it a one step process due to shortage of time. 

When we moved to Blore, my husband used to get very nostalgic about Hyderabad and that made him frequent 'Ammi's biryani'. It is the best we have had till date in Blore. and they deliver at your doorstep too. But the effects do show up on your waistline and that made him stop. 

Home made biryani allows more control over the quantity of ghee and spices used. Plus one can cook the chicken/mutton/vegetables/soya and keep it in the fridge for 4-5 days and make some mouth-watering biryani whenever desired. Vegetable biryani can provide the right balance of carbohydrates and fats along with dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. This time i combined the vegetables with some soya chunks to enrich the protein content of my meal. 

Here is the recipe:

Preparation Time - 30 mins.

Ingredients - Basmati rice ( 2 1/2 cups ), milk ( 1 cup ), chopped carrot ( 1 /2 cup), chopped beans (1/2 cup), chopped onion ( 1 no, medium sized ), boiled soya granules (1 cup), green peas (1/2 cup), coriander powder ( 1 tsp ), cumin powder ( 2/3 tsp), chilli powder (1 tsp), turmeric ( 1/3 tsp), garam masala powder ( 1/6 tsp), ghee (2 tsp), oil (2 tsp), curd ( 3 tbs), ginger garlic paste ( 1 1/ 2 tsp), 1 inch cinnamon stick, 1 green cardamon, 1/2 of a mace, 1 star anise, 4-5 cloves, salt to taste.

Preparation - Take the curd, chilli powder, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix together. Add the boiled soya granules, green peas and chopped vegetables. Mix and allow to marinate for 30 mins.

Cooking - Heat 2 tsp oil in a wok. Add the chopped onion and fry till translucent. Add the marinated ingredients and cook for 5-6 minutes to get rid of the raw smell and half cook the vegetables.

Put a pressure cooker on the flame. Add 1 tsp of ghee and fry the whole spices in it for 20-30 seconds. Wash the rice and add to the cooker. Pour in the milk. Add enough water to cover the rice and an extra 1 inch above it. Stir in the cooked vegetables and soya . Drizzle the remaining ghee on top and close the cooker lid.

It takes about 10-12 minutes or 1-2 whistles to cook through. Remove from flame and allow to stand for 10 mins.

Serve hot with Dahi pacchidi/phalahari raita.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Kanika is a fragrantly sweet pulao that is traditionally prepared in Orissa. It finds a place of pride among the 'chappan bhog' or 56 items that form part of Lord Jagannath's menu. Before the fried rice and biryani became popular in Orissa, it used to be served at all wedding feasts, picnics and family gatherings. It is stronger in flavor than a traditional pulao and also a little sweet. Usually prepared with arua chaula 'raw rice' ( one can find it outside Odisa by the names Ambebhog/GovindBhog ), one can replace it by any other aromatic rice ( Basmati for example ). Though these days it is usually prepared for offering as prasad, I have many a childhood memories of sampling it with some finger-licking mutton/chicken curry.

Preparation Time - 20 mins

Ingredients - Basmati rice ( 1 cup ), ghee ( 1 1/2 tsp ), raisins ( 10-12 nos), cashews ( 10-12 nos), whole spices ( 1/2 black cardamon( bada aleicha), 1 green cardamon (chotta aliecha), 1/2 inch long cinnamon ( dalchini), 2-3 cloves ( labanga), 1/4 of a mace (jaitri), 1 big bay leaf ( tejapatra) ), 1/6 tsp nutmeg powder, sugar ( 2-4 tsp ), salt to taste, 1/5 tsp turmeric.

Preparation - wash and soak rice for 1 hour. Drain all water and spread on a plate.

Sprinkle the turmeric over the moist and mix it gently with rice. Allow to dry for 1-2 hours in natural air circulation ( can also put it in the balcony but not under direct sunlight )

Cooking - Heat the ghee is a deep and thick bottomed vessel. Add the raisins and cashews. Fry till cashews swell up but do not burn them. Remove with slotted spoon and keep aside.

Add the whole spices and stir for 20 seconds. Add the dried rice and fry it gently for 3 minutes. Still better if you can gently toss it instead of stirring as with the latter one might end up with broken rice grains.

Add enough boiling water ( a little more than two cups in my case ) to cover the rice. Add salt. Allow to cook on a low to medium flame.

Stir gently at an interval of 4-5 mins. Once rice is almost done, add the sugar, nutmeg powder, cashews and raisins, and mix them gently with the rice. (Keep aside a few cashews and raisins to garnish later.)

Allow all the water to dry up. Remove from the flame.

Serve with mutton jholo or if vegetarian, go for channa dali-amba khatta.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Corn-Peas pulao with Fried chicken and Apple raita

Cooking Time Required: 30-40 mins
Cost of Preparation: 150-160 rupees
Serves : 2

For the Corn-Peas pulao:

Ingredients: Basmati rice ( 2 cups ), corn ( 1/2 cup ), green peas ( 1/2 cup ), coriander stems ( cut into small pieces, 1 tsp ), jeera ( 1/2 tsp, optional ), jeera-lanka ( roasted cumin-chilli ) powder ( 1/2 tsp ), chilli powder ( 1/3 tsp ), star anise ( 2-3 nos), javitri ( 1-2 flowers ), ghee ( 1-2 tbs ), salt.

Cooking: Boil the basmati rice using sufficient water ( 4-5 times the quantity of rice ) in a open vessel. Add salt, star anise, javitri and 1 tsp ghee to the water.

Cook the rice for 10-12 mins or till it is almost done. Strain all the water and keep aside.

Heat the remaining oil in a wok/pan . Add the jeera, followed by the coriander stems, green peas and corn with a pinch of salt. Stir fry for 2 mins.

Now add the jeera-lanka powder and red chilli powder. Add the strained rice after 30 secs.

Mix well. Add more salt if desired.

Keep covered for 2-3 mins.

For the Fried Chicken:

Ingredients: Chicken legs ( 2 nos ), lemon juice ( 1 tsp ), thick curd ( 1 tsp ), chicken tandoori masala ( 2/3 tsp ), coriander powder ( 1/2 tsp ), cumin powder ( 1/2 tsp ), chilli powder ( 1/3 tsp ), ginger garlic paste ( 1/2 tsp ), turmeric ( 1 pinch ), onion ( 1 no., small ), garam masala ( 1/4 tsp , optional ), salt, oil ( 3-4 tsp ).

Preparation: Mix all the ingredients into a thick paste except for the chicken legs, onion and oil.

Make small cuts/slits into the chicken legs . Rub the paste all over and keep in the fridge to marinate for 5-6 hours ( 1-2 hrs will also suffice if you do not have time ) .

Grate the onion and keep aside.

Cooking: Heat the oil in a wok. Add the onion paste and fry till it turns brown. Add the marinated chicken.

Stir for 2-3 mins and add a little it of water. Cover with a lid for 5 mins.

Uncover and stir fry till the chicken is done. Remove and keep on a bloting paper to absorb excess oil.

For the Apple Raita :

Ingredients: Apple ( 1 no. ), yogurt/curd ( 5-6 tbs ), jeera-lanka powder ( 1/3 tsp ), roasted coriander powder ( 1/5 tsp ), sugar ( 1 tsp ), salt.

Preparation: Beat the yougurt with salt, sugar , coriander powder and jeera lanka powder, Add water to get desired consistency.

Cut the apple into small pieces . Add to the yogurt and mix well.

Serve with the corn-peas pulao.

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