Sunday, March 1, 2015

Happiness means at times eating Vegetable Biryani!!

It has been quite a very long time I stayed away from blogging for various reasons.  The more I stayed away, I more I was addicted to that in fact.  I was a silent lurker in all this time frame and never missed any of my favorite blogger recipes.   Every time, I wish to resume blogging, I was afraid if I would be able to continue it ever and stayed back for this reason.  However, the thirst of recommencing blogging has always been there at the back of my small brain.

Time flies very fast and now Junior H has grown up and takes care of him individually at most of the times.  He is pretty much like me J, a foodie by nature, and is the first criticizer of my dishes.  This nature of him pushed me the fact of resuming blogging for a purpose; when he gets old he can have the collection of his mommy’s recipes.

Coming to the recipe, I have always enjoyed eating Biryani.  I started knowing the dish when I was about in 10th grade of school.  Ever since, my fondness on Biryani has never faded and I have tried out in several variations which has mastered me in this special dish.  

I have my own set of lunch gang in office and this recipe is derived from one among them with my own variations to suit my family taste.


Mixed Vegetables (Beans, Carrot, Cauliflower, Green Peas, Potato) – 1 large bowl
Mint and Clintaro leaves – 1 cup
Onion – 1 big size
Tomato – 2 medium size
Soya chunks/Meal maker – half cup or as desired (I used medium sized)
Ginger and garlic paste (make with 1/2 inch piece of ginger and 5 pods of garlic)
Green chillies – 2
Basmatic Rice – 1 cup
Chilly powder – 1 teaspoon
Coconut milk – 0.5 cup (optional)
Cardamom – 1
Cinnamon – 1 inch
Clove – 3-4
Ghee – 2 tablespoons (As desired)
Oil – 4 teaspoons
Water – 1.5 cups

1. Soak the basmati rice in warm water for about 30 minutes. 
2.  Wash and chop the vegetables in desired form.
3. In the large bowl, boil hot water with salt, and upon reaching the boiling stage, switch off the flame, and add soya chunks.  Let it remain for 10 minutes.  Drain the water and squeeze out the soya chunks to drain the absorbed water.
4. Heat a pan with little oil and shallow fry the soya chunks.  This would help to remove to raw taste from them.
5. Grind ginger, garlic, and green chilies and keep it aside.
6. Chop the clintaro leaves and clean both mint and clintaro leaves in water to remove the dust.
7. Extract coconut milk from a fresh coconut.  This is completely optional but gives rich taste to the biryani.

1.      Heat the pressure with oil and add bay leaf, cinnamom, cardamom, and cloves.
2.      Add chopped onion and later tomato
3.      Once the tomato has turned mushy, add the cleaned mint and cilantro leaves.
4.      Add the chopped vegetables except green peas and cauliflower and add salt as desired.
5.      After 3 minutes, add the ground paste of ginger, garlic, and green chillies.
6.      After the raw smell of paste has diminished, add chilly powder.  This will give a good color to the biryani.
7.      Add the required amount of water, once it boils, add the basmati rice after draining the water content.
8.     Add coconut milk if you have planned to use, else increase the water content by 1/2 cup in previous step.
9.     Add soya chunks, cauliflower florets, and green peas.
10.  Add 2 teaspoons of ghee.  Close the lid and pressure cook for one vessel.  Remove the lid once the pressure releases.   

Saturday, May 9, 2009


The week was quite enjoyable with the happy occasions, birthday and wedding anniversary on 5th and 6th of May. Mom has come to shower her blessings on us. It was really a blissful day indeed.

As I have told already, today’s topic will mostly highlight on WEIGHT LOSS. Shedding weight is one of the most favorable things everyone wants to do but it needs some determination and enthusiasm. Weight loss will be no more a dream once we are determined about that. Next comes the three mantras; reasonable diet, plenty of exercises, and a good amount of water intake.

Many of us want to lose weight at a quick and rapid pace but I don’t think there is really an easy path. It is easier to gain weight rather than losing it. But if we follow some restrictions in diet, as I said before, weight loss will no more be a dream. Diet restrictions in the sense, I didn’t mean of starving for anything. It should be of balanced one with lot of veggies, carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins, mineral salts, and fibre, however, dinner should be very light. It can be of anything like salads, whole wheat bread, rotis, parathas, fruits, oatmeal, etc.
Diet alone will definitely not help you to lose the optimum amount of fat accumulated but also an effective exercise program needs to be put in place. Aerobics, swimming, and cardiovascular exercises play an efficient role in achieving the optimum weight loss. Both exercise and diet are in same compartment that helps shedding the excessive fat accumulation.

Next the third one which is quite easier, good amount of water intake. It is recommended to drink at least eight glasses of water a day. It helps in flushing out toxins from the fat cells which are stored in fat tissue and released into the bloodstream.

Hope the above information will be quite useful for those who want to go for the weight loss. I am not an expert but I have shared my experience.

Coming to the recipe, Oats-Buttermilk kanji, this is a perfect and wholesome breakfast/dinner which can be prepared in jiffy. I was not much a liker of oats but this one I don’t mind to take even daily.


Oats – 1 cup

Buttermilk – 3 glasses (increase more if you desire)

Asafoetida – a pinch

Coriander and curry leaves – few

Salt – to taste


· Pressure cook Oats with two cups of water for 2 to 3 whistles.

· Grind curry leaves and coriander leaves to a coarse paste. Addition of ginger to this is purely optional.

· Once pressure is released, add the desired amount of buttermilk, salt, asafoetida, and the ground coarse paste.

· Can be served both warm or cool.

This goes to Mahimaa's 15-minute event event along with tomato-brinjal sambar.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Some of my readers have enquired me about the secrets of weight loss. Definitely, I will share the tips in my forthcoming posts...

Coming to the recipe I am posting today, Veg Biryani, everybody has their own way in preparing this but my mind flashes back to the good old days about learning this recipe…

During my childhood days, biryani’s and pulao’s are not much familiar among vegetarian’s and it is considered to be a nonvegeratian dish..When my mom first heard about this from our neighbor aunty, she was very much excited and wanted to experiment this at home. However, Dad was against to all this masala spices and he strongly rejected it. Hence, mom tried to experiment this with us..When she first prepared, she took a long time in preparing this, even now she says that, but the final outcome was liked by us. She was very happy as she is feeding us with a bowl full of goodness (with veggies, ghee)…Dad was rigid and never attempted to taste that and mom prepared for him some other traditional dish. That was the first time I had my first Veg Biryani (I suppose it was during my 10th or so)..Even now, dad never attempts to try this..

After that, she prepares this specially for us whenever dad is out of station or not at home..When I started experimenting my cooking skills, I slowly collected the recipe of the Veg Biryani from my mom’s friends..Everyone had their own way..I combined whatever I liked and started preparing my own way..It was very much liked by my mom and my brother. I prepare this whenever my cousins or guests come home for vacation…Mom will do the cutting part and will leave the kitchen to me.. There my confidence level and cooking skill started increasing. ..
Here’s the way how I prepare this..

Basmatic Rice – 2 cups

Mix of vegetables – 2 cups (carrot, beans, potatoes, green peas, corn)

Onion – 1

Mint leaves - few

Red chili powder --- 1 tea sp

Cloves - 2-3

Bay leaf – 1

Cinnamom – 1 inch stick

Ghee --- 4 to 5 tbp

Coriander leaves – few

Coconut milk (optional) – As required

Salt to taste

Oil – As required.


Cloves – 3

Cinnamom – 1 inch stick

Saunf/fennel seeds – 2 tsp

Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

Peppercorns – 10

Star anise – 1


Tomatoes – 2 medium or big size

Ginger – 1/2 inch piece

Garlic flakes – 4 to 5

Green chilies –5 to 6

Mint leaves – handful


· Wash and drain the basmati rice and keep aside for 15 minutes.

· Dry roast the ingredients given in grind (1) section and keep aside. This will be a dry masala powder. I strongly feel that this powder only makes my briyani very aromatic and flavorful.

· Grind all the items given in grind (2) list to a smooth paste adding little water.· Heat pan with some oil, add cinnamom stick and bayleaf, allow them to sizzle, add mint leaves, then the ground masala powder. Then add the ground masala paste and fry till the raw smell goes.

· Then add the onions and mix well. When the onions turn light brown, add the veggies and salt. Mix well and keep in low flame for about 5 minutes. · When the veggies are half cooked, add the basmati rice and double the amount of coconut milk/water or a combination of both coconut milk and water, and chilly powder at last. Mix well. Pressure cook for two whistles.

· Once the pressure is released, add ghee and coriander leaves and mix gently.

· Now the aromatic biryani is ready to serve and can be served with any raita or chips.

I am dedicating this recipe to my beloved brother. He is in US now and it has been a long time I made this for him..Through blog, I would like to share this recipe with him.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


It has been a long time I posted the earlier one. My system crashed due to virus and all data got erased, could not take the backup. I have gone to office and worked from there until the problem is sorted out. So could not visit any of your blogs and missed your delicious dishes but I am sitting up late today and planning to catch up all the missed ones all at once now as the system has been formatted and it is behaving like a brand new system now..

Well, I found some interesting events are going on here…Mahimaa’s 15-minute cooking, Deesha’s South Indies, and EC’s Side dish event…I am sure these events will really be helpful for each and everyone of us and we will get to know variety of tastes…In that case, I think we all are very lucky as we have become a part of this wonderful blogging world, isn’t it?. Blogging is making us a super chef at our home…

Coming to the recipe, most of the weekdays, the breakfast in my home will be mostly either idli or dosa..I rarely go for pongal as it will make me doze off during office hours and avoid fried items like poori, I suppose I had my last poori sometime back one year ago… Making side dish for this regular idli and dosa is really a head breaking task for most of us…Sometime back, Chitra of Ratatouille - Any one can cook has posted a tomato-brinjal-sambhar for idli and dosa. I was very much attracted to this one and I tried it immediately the next day. I am thrilled with the outcome. It has come out wonderful. TH loved this one and was very much pleased. In this short time, I have made this several times. Nowadays, this has become a routine at home. Really, she has done me a favor by posting this one. Thanks Chitra for sharing a wonderful recipe and I am sure you will do more favors to me like this in coming days…

I made slight variations after the trial period is over and I am quite delighted with the outcome.


TOMATO – 5 medium size

Brinjal – 4 to 5 medium size

Red chilies – 5 to 7

Toor dal – 1 small cup

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Urad dal – 1 tsp

Bengal gram – 1/2 tsp

Onion – 1 big size (finely chopped)

Curry leaves and coriander leaves – few

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Asafoetida – 1/2 tsp

Salt – As required

Oil – 1 tsp


· Pressure cook toor dal and tomato-brinjal-red chilies in two separate bowls for four whistles.

· Grind the tomato-brinjal mixture to a smooth paste once it cools down.

Heat kadai/pan with a tsp of oil and add mustard seeds. When it crackles, add urad dal, bengal gram, and curry leaves and fry for few seconds.

· Then add the finely chopped onion, necessary salt, asafoetida, turmeric powder. When the onions become light brown, add the ground tomato-brinjal mixture. Add water depending upon the consistency. Let it boil for sometime, say for about 3-4 minutes.

· Then add the cooked toor dal and keep it in low flame for another 3 minutes. The original recipe did not call for toor dal but I used it and it added more taste to the sambar. To feed my kid packed with proteins, I preferred to add toor dal.

· Finally, garnish with some coriander leaves and serve hot with idli and dosa. I bet even the brinjal allergic persons will also love this sambar.

This goes to Mahimaas 15-minute cooking and EC’s side dish event.

Friday, April 3, 2009


Hip Hip Hurray!!! I have lost around 10 kgs (25 pounds approx) now and you know am feeling great…I was really depressed by the extra weight I have put on during pregnancy and delivery. When my favourite dresses could not fit in, I was so mood off every time but the determination in me has won now….Am gifted by DH three wonderful dresses and of course for blogging purpose, MW and Kitchen Sets.....(hehehe, blogging is dominating more at home nowadays). Earlier I was not much interested in MW but after entering into the blogging world, I am seeing so many fabulous recipies to try but pity me could not try since I don't have the oven..This is the one that came to my mind when DH asked something I really want..I am yet to start baking and I have tried few simple recipies which have come out pretty well so far ..

Thanks to blogging I got to know so many kinds of rotis and parathas and a variety of subjis now. This cauliflower peas combi was one among them and it was a wonderful dish indeed.


Cauliflower – 1 big or medium size separated into florets

Peas – 1 cup

Onion – 1 to 2 medium size

Tomato – 2 medium size

Ginger – 1 inch piece

Garlic – 4 to 5 flakes

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Chilly powder – 2 tsp

Cumin powder – 1 tsp

Coriander powder – 2 tsp

Garam masala – 1/2 tsp

Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

Oil and salt – as required


· Wash the cauliflower florets in warm water with a pinch of salt.

· Grind onion, tomato, garlic, ginger to a coarse paste. I feel the coarse paste will give a bright look rather than a smooth paste.

· Heat pan/kadai with some oil, add cumin seeds and when it becomes brown, add the ground masala carefully.

· Add necessary salt, turmeric powder, chilly powder, garam masala, coriander and cumin seed powder to that and stir for sometime until all the powders get mixed with the masala.

· Then add the cauliflower florets and peas and mix well. Add some water, say for about 3/4 to 1 cup of water, depending upon the consistency.

· Close the pan/kadai with a lid and let it get cooked with the masala for sometime. Keep stirring in between.

· When the florets and peas have become tender and cooked well, transfer the contents to a bowl and serve hot with rotis or parathas.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


As everyone of us know that Mahima speaks more by her photographs than by her words. After seeing her Masala Milk, I was so tempted to try that. She was remembered about this by Priya of priyaeasyntastyrecipes. Thanks both for posting a wonderful and delicious recipe. I tried at home shortly. It was a hit at home and nowadays this has become a must at home on weekends. Of important note is that my little demon also liked this very much and is drinking the whole cup of milk without giving a pause for breath!!!!!!


Milk - 3 cups

Sugar – 3 spoons

Condensed milk – 1 tsp

Cinnamon – 1

Cloves – 3

Cardamom – 2

Turmeric powder – a pinch

Badam and Cashews (sliced in strands using the grater) –5 each

Pepper powder – 1/4 tsp (optional)


· Heat milk in a heavy bottomed vessel. Once it starts boiling, add cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, sugar, and a pinch of turmeric powder to the milk and heat it for a while in low flame. Add condensed milk in between and keep stirring for sometime. Adding condensed milk will give a unique taste to the masala milk.

· Discard the spices by filtering and add the almonds and cashews strands. As I had sore throat, I added pepper powder at the end. It was also good.
· Serve hot. This is usually taken after dinner which will give a good sleep.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Hi buddies, thanks for all your good wishes. I felt very cheered up to see your heartfelt love through your comments. I have come out of the blues and doing pretty good now though I get tired very soon then and there while doing the routine chores. Hope I will be back to normal soon!!!

After seeing Sanghi’s fall in love with tomato event announcement, my brain had forced me to travel back in time and reveal those cherished moments once again, albeit with a sigh!!

During my childhood days, I was not a liker of tomatoes and I hate that yucky tangy taste tomatoes. Whenever, I get tomatoes accidentally served in sambar/rasam, I avoid the whole part. I can remember even a petty fight with mom for preparing tomato rice for lunch. I donno exactly what made me to hate tomatoes to that extent…

During my class V, there was an Anglo Indian boy who joined my school due to his father’s job transfer. My school is a normal English medium standard school and not a very posh one like convent or matriculation type. The lessons were taught and explained in my native language, though the medium of education is English. The new boy does not know my native language and he insisted teachers to explain everything in English. His pronunciation was also of very high, obviously it would have been as he is an Anglo Indian product. Until his addition to my class, I had always been the topper and he took my place in every class tests and examinations then. He has become a pet to the teachers too because of this. Whatever effort I put in, I could not beat that guy in any examination. After school time is over, me and my brother used to wait for my father to get picked up. Till then, I will be doing my home works and my brother will be playing in the ground. That new guy will also be waiting for his mom to get picked up and he insists me to teach the native language. He taught me the basics in English and I taught him Tamil…He used to narrate stories too sometimes. He always ends up telling stories on tomatoes like tomatoes were going here and there, fighting with this, became juicy..some blah blah blah…..He must be craze on tomatoes, I think now.. Slowly, I too got interested in eating tomatoes after hearing repeated nonsense stories from that guy daily…Finally, I have landed here today saying that “I fell in love with tomatoes there.”

I am craze of tomatoes now and without tomatoes, I can hardly manage the kitchen/menu once and I will go mad after that. Whenever I want something refreshing, I always take tomato juice served chill. See, how taste changes in life!!!!

Coming to the recipe, this tomato thokku is again my mom’s signature dish. I learnt this from my mother. Whenever I got to go there or she comes to see me, she will always prepare and bring this thokku for me. My little demon also likes this. I can easily feed him the idlys and dosas in no time if this is the side dish.


Tomatoes – 1 kg

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Hing – a small piece

Tumeric powder – 1 tsp

Red Chilly powder – 5-6 tsp (depending upon the spiciness level)

Asafoetida – a small piece

Fenugreek– 1 tsp

Oil – As required

Red color kesar powder – a pinch (optinal)


· Heat kadai and dry fry fenugreek until it turns brown and grind this to a fine powder. Keep it aside. You will get more flavor out of it when dry frying them.

· Cut tomatoes into small pieces and make it juicy with the help of processor/juicer.

· Heat kadai/pan with oil (liberally), add mustard seeds and asafoetida and when it splutters, add the turmeric powder and tomato juice. Add necessary salt. Keep stirring then and there until the consistency becomes thick. It takes at least 45 minutes to an hour for the juice to dry up.

· Add red chilly powder, fenugreek powder, and red color kesar powder (optional) when the oil starts to separates from the thokku.

· Keep stirring now until the oil starts to float. Remove from fire and store in an airtight container. This will stay good for 15 to 20 days if refrigerated.

Am dedicating this to my mom as she taught me this authentic recipe and to my Class V friend (I donno where he is now, Haha) who made me to taste tomatoes.