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Methi Pulao

I read a lot of recipes for the methi pulao and was not impressed with them all,and decided to go in my own style,but tried out the fried paneer though :).

1 cup Basmathi Rice.
A bunch of fresh methi leaves finely chopped
1 big onion finely chopped.
1 1/2 medium sized tomatoes finely chopped.
1 cup cooked channa(Soak in water 8 hours or overnight before cooking).
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste.
1 inch cinammon.
2 cloves.
3 cardamom.
1 bayleaf.
2 tbsp red chilli powder.
1 tbsp garam masala powder.
1 tbsp turmeric powder.
1 tbsp lemon juice.
10 to 15 paneer cubes.
2 tbsp oil+1 tbsp Ghee Salt(as per taste).
2 cups water

For the fried onions:
Oil for deep frying.

1.Soak Rice in water for 15 minutes.Drain and reserve.
2.Heat the pan,add oil and once its hot add the bayleaf,cardamom,clove and cinammon and saute for a minute.
3.Add the onion and ginger garlic paste fry until the onion becomes translucent.
4.Add the tomatoes and saute until it melts and gets blended with the onion.
5.Now introduce the channa,methi leaves,chilli powder,garam masala powder and turmeric powder and continue to stir until the oil gets separated.
6.In a microwaveable bowl bring the rice and the methi-channa mixture and mix well with 2cups of water.
7.Add the lime juice to the rice mixture and cook at microwave high for 20 minutes.
8.Take the rice outside,once in 10 minutes for the first time and after 5 minutes for the second time and stir the rice.This is to make sure the rice at the bottom also gets cooked well.
9.Once the Pulao is cooked, shallow fry the paneer cubes in oil and add it to the pulao.
10.In a pan add oil and deep fry the onion slices at medium heat until it becomes golden brown in color.Note:Please don't burn it.
11.Serve it hot with Raitha.

As, I am not a great fan of Paneer,I felt I could have substituted roasted baby potatoes instead.The recipe for roasted baby potatoes is as follows
Roasted Potatoes:
Boil the potatoes,remove the skin and marinate the potatoes with chilli powder and salt for 10 to 15 minutes.Shallow fry the potatoes in oil and add it to the pulao.
Read the entire recipe here

Anganan Style Chicken Biriyani

The inspiration for this biriyani is from a famous restaurant in Coimbatore named "Anganan Kadai".The popularity of the restaurant is  very high ,that it can be seen in tamil movies and if I have good memory(hope so ;) ),one of the tamil songs has lyrics about the biriyani.

The biriyani uses Seeraga Samba Rice (a short grained rice variety)and here are few special features about this rice:-(Courtesy: Google)
  • Since the rice of this variety resembles the shape of a spice "Seeragam" it has got the name "Seeraga Samba".
  • The rice is extremely fine and aromatic.
  • Since it is aromatic, it fetches the highest price amongst all indigenous paddy varieties of Tamil Nadu.

Anganan Style Chicken Biriyani
Serves 2 to 3
1 cup Seeraga Samba Rice
1/2 lb (almost 1/4 kg)Chicken(cut into small pieces)
1 big onion finely chopped
few mint leaves
1 tbsp diluted yogurt
10 garlic cloves(whole)
10 cashews
3 to 4 tbsp Ghee
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp turmeric powder
4 Crushed green chillies
3 Whole green chillies(just for the flavor)
Salt as per taste
To grind
1 inch ginger
3 cardamom
2 cloves
1 inch cinammon
6 Green chillies
1 tsp poppy seed
2 to 3 strands of coriander leaves
A fistful of chopped onion
1.Wash and soak the rice(seeraga samba only)in water for 15 minutes.Drain and reserve.
2.Heat the pressure cooker or a heavy bottomed vessel,add ghee to it.
3.Once it becomes hot,add the cashews and fry until it turns golden brown.
4.Add saute the garlic ,onion and mint along with cashews until the onion becomes translucent.
5.Add the ground paste,yogurt to it and fry until the raw smell goes away.
6.Now,add the chicken in the green mixture and give a good stir.
7.Add turmeric powder and mix well.
8.Add rice and salt to the mixture and stir well.
9.Add  2 cups of water to the rice and cook it at less than medium heat,with the  lid closed tightly.
10.When the rice is half done,add the crushed green chillies and lemon juice to the rice and stir well.
10.Check the rice, five minutes once and stir it.It should get cooked within 15 minutes.
12.Just before turning off the stove, add the whole green chillies and give a good stir(this is my usual way-I couldn't stop myself from doing it)-Optional.Also add additional ghee if needed(This enhances the taste).
13.Serve it with raitha and egg kurma.
The Seeraga (Jeeraga) Samba Rice that I bought here in US is even very smaller than the Jeeraga Samba I have seen in India.So,it might take quite longer time for the Indian Jeeraga Samba rice, than what I have mentioned here.

Picture updated and the recipe slightly on July 21st,2011.
Read the entire recipe here

Green Peas-Aloo Gravy

1 cup Peas(sweet peas preferred) and Potato.
1 Onion finely chopped.
1 cup Tomato puree( I ground the canned tomatoes as its already steamed, while processing.You can boil the tomatoes and remove the skin and grind to get homemade puree). 

1 green chilly.
1 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste.
Red chilli powder(as needed).
A pinch of turmeric powder.
A pinch of cardamom,clove and cinammon powder.
3 tbsp Heavy cream.
Salt as per taste.
1 tbsp Sugar/Honey.

1.Heat the oil in a pan and while its hot add the Garam masala powder(cinammon,clove and cardamom).
2.Add the onions and ginger garlic paste,green chilly and saute until the onions becomes translucent.
3.Add the Tomato puree to it and saute for a while.
4.Add the peas and potato(cooked and cubed) to it and continue to stir.
5.Add the turmeric and red chilli powder and salt and stir well.
6.Add water to it and cook covered for few minutes.
7.Now,add the whipping cream to the gravy and allow it to boil for 5 more minutes until the gravy thickens.
8.Just before switching off the stove,add the sugar/honey.
9.Serve it hot with Rotis or Parathas.
Read the entire recipe here

Pasalai Keerai Kadaithathu(Mashed Spinach)

This is a dish which is found in our menu at home very often.Its very easy to cook and as you all know Spinach is a healthier leafy vegetable to consume.

This is a dish which I discovered,when I started my fist step into the kitchen.Those were the days,where I use to spend nearly 3 hours to cook rice and a curry :).But,my experimentation became an hit with this spinach gravy and the beet thuvaiyal.

Updated: Found later that mom also prepares this mashed spinach the same way except the tomato :(

3 cups Spinach.
1 Big Onion chopped.
1 medium size tomato chopped.(optional)
2 to 4 Garlic Cloves.
2 Tbsp Cumin(Jeera) seeds.
1 Tbsp Coriander seeds.
2 to 3 Green Chillies.
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder.
3 tsp Oil.
Salt(as per taste)

1.Heat the oil in a pan.
2.Add the Jeera and coriander seeds to it.When it turns golden brown, add the onion ,green chillies,garlic with turmeric powder and saute till the onion becomes translucent.
3.Add the tomato and saute for a while.(optional)
4.Now add the spinach and salt and cook covered, until the spinach gets tender.Do not over cook the spinach.
5.Once cooked allow it to cool for 10 minutes.
6.Mash it using a clay pot(which is the traditional method) using a masher called ' Mathu '.or using the blender or using the food processor(I use the so called food processor which came along with the blender,which makes the perfect  texture I want-the coarsely mashed spinach)
8.Serve it with hot rice along with ghee(optional).

Coriander seed is widely used in Coimbatore and its surroundings for the tadka, and you can see me using it in many kongunadu recipes.

Read the entire recipe here

Chicken/Mutton Liver Fry

1/2 lb Liver(Chicken or Goat).
1 finely chopped big onion.
1 finely chopped medium sized tomato.
1 tsp Jeera(Cumin)
1 tsp Saunf (Fennel seed)
1 inch Cinammon stick.
3 Cardamom.
2 cloves.
10 to 15 curry leaves.
1 1/2 tbsp Oil/Ghee.
For the marination:
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste.
1 tbsp Turmeric powder.
3 tbsp Black pepper(preferred Freshly ground).
1 tbsp Red chilli powder.
Salt(as per taste).

1.Clean the liver properly in water.
2.Marinate the liver with the marinade for 30 minutes.
3.In a pan,add oil /ghee.Once it gets heated add the cumin seeds,fennel seeds,cardamom,cinammon and cloves one by one.
4.Add the chopped onion and curry leaves and saute till it becomes translucent.
5.Saute the chopped tomatoes along with the onions for 2 minutes or until it blends with the onion.
6.Now, add the marinated liver to it and saute continuously for 5 to 7 minutes(By that time it should get cooked) till the oil gets seperated(you could see it in the pictures(no: 6 and 7).
7.Garnish with coriander leaves.
8.Serve it with hot rice and rasam.You can have it as a side dish for rotis even.

Read the entire recipe here

Surakkai(Bottle gourd) dosai

Recently,found this dosa recipe in a cookbook.The bottle gourd available here is way too big for our family(Bala,Myself n Akhilesh) and I had to keep it in the refrigerator for a week before finishing it completely.So,this recipe has become a worth one for us.The recipe I read had only rice in it.

I felt ,
1.Adding Toor dhal would make the dosa crispier.
2.Adding Jeera would give nice aroma to the dosa.

1 cup raw rice(Pacharusi).
1 cup bottle gourd(cut into pieces).
1/4 cup Toor dhal.
1 tbsp Jeera.
4 Dry Red chillies.
1 tsp Tamarind paste.
Salt(as per taste).

1.Soak the rice,Toor dhal along with Red chillies in water for 4 to 5 hours.
2.Grind them along with bottle gourd and Jeera.
3.Add tamarind paste and salt to this batter.
4.Allow it to ferment for 5 more hours.
5.After the fermentation period,heat dosa tava and make dosas as you do it for ordinary dosas.
6.Serve it hot with ginger chutney or chutney of your choice.
For people who are fed up of making simple dosas,this dosa is a welcome recipe.
Read the entire recipe here
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