Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Egg Biriyani - முட்டை பிரியாணி - Step by step

       Chettinadu is famous for it spices. This biriyani,I learnt from my friend Abi. She is from Karaikudi. Here the masalas are grinded and added to the pan. This gives a nice aroma to the biriyani, I have prepared the biriyani in rice cooker. You can cook it in pressure cooker.This is the second recipe for the "Biriyani series". Stay tuned for other biriyani recipes.Always keep water as 1:1.5 ratio for rice and water.If not the rice will become mushy.

Check my other biriyanis.

To roast and grind:
1.Onion - 1/2
2.Tomato - !/2
3.Green chilli - 1
4.Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
5.Cashews - 4
6.Mint - handfull
7.Cilantro - handfll
8.Cinnamon - 1
9.Cloves -2
10.Elaichi -1
11.Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
12.Oil - 1 tbsp

For Biriyani:
1.Basmati rice - 2 cups
2.Cinnamon sticks - 1 inch
3.Cloves - 3
4.Bay leaves - 3
5.Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
6.Onion - 1/2
7.Boiled eggs - 3
8.Curd - 1/4 cup
9.Green Chillies - 2
10.Biriyani Masala - 1 tbsp
11.Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
12.Water - 3 cups
13.Salt - to taste
14.Cilantro - 1/2 cup
15.Oil - 1/2 cup
* Take a pan add oil, saute cashews,onion,cinnamon,cloves,cardamom,cumin seeds,green chillies, mint leaves,cilantro ,ginger garlic paste and tomato. Saute them ,till it becomes soft.
* Let the mixture cool for some time. Grind it into a paste. Wash the basmati rice and soak it water for 20 mins. 
* In the same pan,add oil,splutter cinnamon,cloves ,bay leaves fennel seeds .Saute the onion till it turns brown.Add biriyani masala powder,turmeric powder to the onion mixture. Let the biriyani masala powder saute .Add tomatoes to the pan.
* Add the ginded paste to the pan and saute. At this point, if we want ,we can add curd . .The masala has to ooze out the oil.
*Now add boiled eggs to the pan. Toss it with the masala. Add salt to the pan. Now strain the water out of rice. Saute the rice in the pan. This way the rice will not break while cooking.

* Now transfer the contents to the rice cooker.Now add water to the rice cooker .Sprinkle with cinatro.
*Turn the rice cooker on and let it cook. When the biriyani is done, fluff it with fork and serve with raita.

* We can also cook the biriyani in pressure cooker. Pressure cook the biriyani for 1 whistle and keep in dhum in medium low for 15 mins.
* While sauting the masala , make sure ,it doesnt get burnt.
* Cook the eggs ,in hot water for 10 mins. If not the eggs will  become hard.
* Also saute the masala, till it oozes out oil.
* If you feel ,that the water content is less, we can increase the water to 31/2 cups.
* If you don't have biriyani masala, you can use plain chilli powder.I have used Achi biriyani masala.
* Always,let the cloves,cinnamon splutter in oil. If not the biriyani will not be flavourfull.

Linking this to "Friendship 5 Series ", started by "Savitha Ramesh" and "Geetha Achal"

Monday, March 2, 2015

Malabar Mutton Biriyani - Step by Step

"Traditionally in kerala the muslims served biriyani on all important occasions. Malabar coast of kerala is a treasure house of biriyanies .Over the years it has become of very popular with other communities in kerala .Rice and chicken are baked in rich gravy to produce a highly aromatic and deliciously spicy preparation." - Sulekha States this.
  Malabar biriyani is rich in texture and taste. Here I have added Poppy Seeds. This gives a thickened curry base for the biriyani. When Geetha and I discussed about the themes for the series, biriyani was my first choice. Since it cannot be prepared at once, prepared all my biriyanis 1 month before ,every other week. Since I have already posted other kind or biriyanis, it was tough to choose some unique biriyanis. Still , I think I have given justice to the series. Stay tuned for other kind of biriyanis in next few days.
Check my other biriyanis.

To  Marinate:
1.Mutton - 1 kg
2.Onion - 1/2
3.Tomato - 1
4.Green chillies - 2
5.Curd - 1/2 cup
6.Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
7.Chilli powder - 2 tsp ( Or biriyani masala)
8.Salt- as needed

For the Biriyani:
1.Onion -   3
2.Tomatoes - 2
3.Green chillies - 3
4.Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
5.Mint leaves - handfull
6.Cilantro - hand full
7.Chilli powder - 1 tsp
8.Salt - as needed
9.Garam masala - 1 tsp
10.Cashew - 5
11.Raisins - 6 to 7 (optional)

a.To temper:

1.Oil - 1/4 cup
2.Cardamom pods - 3
3.Cinnamon - 1 inch
4.Cloves - 4
5.Fennel seeds- 1/2 tsp
6.Bay leaves - 2

b. To cook rice:

1.Basmati rice - 2 1/2 cup
2.Oil - 1/2 tsp
3.Bay leaves -1
4.Cloves- 2
5.Cinnamon - 1/2 inch
6.Water - 5 cups
7.Salt - to taste

c. To grind:
1.Cashews - 3
2.Poppy seeds - 1/4 tsp

Method :


*  Take a pan, add curd,turmeric pwdr,chilli pwdr,chopped onion,tomatoes ,salt and green chilli . Blend the spices well. Now add the mutton pieces and marinate . Let this sit for atleast 1/2 an hour or overnight.
Baking Onions:
* Chop the onions finely. We are going to make fried onion, but in a healthy way. We are going to bake the onions.Take half the onion and place it on the pan. Spray some oil on the onion . Pre heat the oven at 350 degree Farenhiet. 
* Bake the onion for atleast 20 mins or untill the onion turns golden brown. Spray little oil now and then. Turn off the oven and let the onion sit in the oven . This will make the onion crispier.

Preparing the masala:
* While the onions are baking, soak the rice for atleast 20 mins. Take a dutch oven or a oven safe pan, add oil and temper with the tempering ingredients. Now add the remaining onion and saute it till it becomes golden brown.

* Now add ginger garlic paste ,green chillies and tomatoes. Sprinkle salt for the tomatoes to mash.
* Now add the marinated mutton to the pan. Cook the mutton for alteast 30 mins. You can skip this step and pressure cook the marinated mutton along with juice for 3 whistles or untill the mutton is cooked. This is bit time consuiming ,but it tastes good.
* At last, add grinded cashew and poppy seed paste to the gravy. The the gravy,should loose its moisture. The oil should ooze out from the mixture.
Cooking the rice:
* While the biriyani masala is cooking, take a pan add oil and splutter with cloves,cinnamon,bay leaves. Add some baked onion to the pan.
* Now add the soaked rice to the pan and saute till, it turns golden .
* Boil the water to rolling boil. Add it to the pan. Add salt and cover it. The rice should be done.But make sure it does not break.
Keeping the biriyani in dhum:
* Now lets keep the biriyani in dhum. The biriyani masala is ready.As you see the mutton is cooked to 90% . And the masala has released the oil. 
* Spread the cooked rice on top of the biriyani masala.Reserve 1 cup of cooked rice. 
* Now sprinkle the baked onions and cahsews. As I ran out of raisin, couldn't use it .But if youhave ,just use it. When we eat the biriyani, we will have a mix of sweet from the raisins and a spiciness from the biriyani.

* Cover the pan tightly and keep in dhum for atleast 20 mins.I have kept the biriyani pot , in my pre heated oven at 350 degree Farenhiet.You can keep the biriyani in stove top too. After keeping in dhum, mix the rice with the masala.While serving , add 1 cup of biriyani and reserved cooked  rice alternatively .This will give a marble effect to the biriyani.

* Bake the onions till it turns golden brown.
* The gravy for the biriyani has to be thick loosing all the moisture.
* The rice has to be cooked al dente.
* The mutton has to be cooked 90% ,while cooking the gravy.
* We can alternatively, cook the mutton in pressure cooker, to save time.
* Adding raisins ,give a sweet punch to the biriyani.
* The cashews has to be plain, which will give a nutty texture to the biriyani.
* Marinating the mutton makes the mutton sos soft. So don't skip it.
* We can also deep fry the onions ,if you don't like baking.

Linking this to "Friendship 5 Series ", started by "Savitha Ramesh" and "Geetha Achal"

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Phulka Tutorial - How to make Fluffy and Soft Phulka at home - Step by Step

  Phulkas or Rotis are the staple food of North Indians. It slowly found its way into the Southern part of India . It is usually prepared using wheat flour. My mom is a very good phulka maker. She learn it from her Hindi neighbour. Whenever ,she makes the phulka to puff up on direct flame, we will always be amazed. Cooking them on direct flame, makes them puff up and softer. Phulkas are served with dal or any curry. We can either cook the phulka on direct flame or on top of a hot grill, as I have used. These grills ,can be found in any Indian store for $5. Bought this when ,I was in MN. These grills has to be pre heated to red hot, for the phulka to puff up quick.Check my other varieties in rotis.

Preparation time : 10 mins
Cooking time : 10 mins
Serves : 4

1.Wholewheat Flour -  2 cups
2.Water - to knead
3.Salt - as needed
4.Ghee - optional


     Add flour,salt and water to a mixing bowl and knead it into a soft dough.Phulkas get thier softness from the ways the dough is kneaded. Always knead the dough till it achieves maximum softness.Cover the mixing bowl with a damp cloth and let it sit on the counter for atleast 10 mins. This resting time makes the dough softer. Even if we had time, refrigerate the dough. After refrigeration, the dough will be very soft.I have not added any sort of fat into the dough. But if you want,you can add ghee to the dough.

     Divide the dough into equal sized balls.Smooth out the balls, so that they don't have any cracks. all the balls has to be of equal size.

    Dust the working surface with flour. Flatten the dough into thin discs. Roll it into thin rotis. The rotis can be quarter inch thicknessed roti.

   Roll out other rotis similarly. Let them sit on the counter ,till we are done cooking. Arrange the rolled rotis ,without touching each other.

      If you are going to cook the phulkas in open flame , then this step can be skipped. If you have induction stove like me, then heat a griddle red hot. That is the griddle has to be really hot ,for the phulkas to puff up.Let the griddle be like this, till we are done with the rotis.

  Cook the rotis on a dry tawa, on both sides. Till you see brown spots on both sides.

     Now place the rotis on the red hot grill. After a minute, it will puff up like in the picture. a perfectly rolled roti will puff up. If you roll it unevenly, then the phulka will not puff.Immediately remove from fire and place them on plate.Don't leave the phulkas longer on the grill, if not the phulkas will become hard.

     Apply ghee or butter on top of the phulkas.If have not used any ghee or butter.Let the phulkas sit in a plate, till they are warm. Once they are warm, transfer them to a kitchen towel and wrap them properly. Cover them inside a hotpack.

   Serve phulkas with dal or curry. When we keep the phulkas sealed in the freezer, it helps us to save time ,when we are busy.

* Phulkas has to be served when hot.
* Don't leave the phulkas long on the grill, if not they will become hard.
* While kneading the dough, you can add little oil or ghee.
* Always spread ghee or butter ,after the phulka is puffed on the stove.
* Rest the dough for atleast 10 mins for softer phulkas.
* we can also freeze the rotis and cook them when needed.
* These phulkas stay soft, even in the morning.
* If the grill is not red hot, then the phulkas will become hard.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Mutton Soup - மட்டன் ரசம் - Step by step

         Mutton rasam or soup is prepared using the stock of mutton. This is very flavourfull, if we add the masalas without skippin . I learnt this rasam recipe from my friend. When we visited her home, she served this rasam. It was nice but bit sour. so I altered according to my taste. She even asked to add garam masala, but I skipped it. These wood planks, I saw in farmer's market here. They were very cute and just $3 each. It was a steal,compared to the ones we get in arts and craft store. So grabbed them, while shopping. Here farmer's market has fresh vegetables. They cost pretty less compared to those we get in super markets. Cilantro,green chillies,curry leaves comes in big bundles and cost just a dollar each. It reminds me of our market,back home. Check the recipe and prepare it ,this weekend. don't forget to send me your pictures.

Check my other carieties of rasam here

Preparation time : 5 mins
Cooking time : 5 mins
Serves - 4

1.Mutton stock - 2 cups
2.Onion - 1/4
3.Tomato - 1/2
4.Tamarind extract - 1/4 cup
5.Green chilli - 1
6.Curry leaves - hand full
7.Cilantro - hand full
8.Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
9.Oil - 1 tsp
10,Cinnamon - 1/2 inch
11.Cloves -3
12.Salt - to taste
13.Turmeric powder - a pinch

To crush :
1.Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
2.Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
3.Pepper corns - 1/2 tsp
4.Garlic pod - 1


* Chop onion,toamto and slit the green chilli. Pressure cook mutton with little turmeric powder for 4 whistles and strain the stock . Extract the juice out of the tamarind and keep it ready.

* Crush the fennel seeds, cumin seeds,pepper corns and garlic finely using a mortar and pestle. They should be crushed not grinded.
* Take a pan, add oil and temper with cinnamon ,curry leaves and cloves. The cloves should burst out to give good flavour.
* Add thinly sliced onion to the pan along with green chilli. The onion has to be sliced thinly sliced.We can also use crushed pearl onion instead of big onion.

* Now add crushed ginger garlic paste and saute.The raw smell has to be removed from the paste. Use little ginger garlic paste, if not the soup will have bold flavours as in curries.
* Now add chopped tomatoes to the pan and sprinkle little salt. The tomato has to be mashed well.

* Now add the mutton stock to the pan and bring it to boil.  (Alternatively, if you want to use mutton in the rasam, add it now to the pan and saute. Once sauted, pressure cook the mutton along with 2 cups of water . Once cooked, take out the bones and mash the cooked mutton into the rasam ) . 
* Now add the crushed masala to the pan ,along with chopped cilantro. Adjust salt to taste.

* Once the rasam comes to boil, turn off the heat and serve with hot piping rice. We can also serve it plain as a soup.

* Adjust the spice level according to your taste.
* The crushed masala has to be added at the end. It should not be sauteed.This gives a very good aroma to the rasan.
* Always use less tamarind paste the rasam.We can increase the amount of tomato, if we want the rasam to be sour.
* If we want it bit spicy, we can temper with red chillies too.
* We can also add some cooked mutton pieces, without bones.
* This goes very well with white rice.

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