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.