Saturday, January 31, 2015

Aloo Gobi Matar is a popular Punjabi side dish generally served with Indian flat breads. It is a tomato based gravy you could make it as a gravy or semi dry or dry types. Simple to prepare tasty subzi liked by the people of all around the world. This dish is so versatile you could eat this eat with rotis, rice and also you could stuff and make as a kati rolls and suits for tiffin box or lunch boxes.

I am preparing here lilttle dry to make some kati rolls. Sprinkle some chat masala over the subzi and serve with some chopped onion and wrap it with any roti. A perfect filling breakfast/ lunch or even it is good for a travel food.

Aloo Gobi  aur Matar

Potatoes, cut in to cubes-2
Cauliflower, cut in to separate florets- 1/2 small head
Peas, fresh/ frozen- 1/4 cup
Oil- 3 teaspoons
Cinnamon, clove, cardamom- 3 each
Bay leaves-2
Ginger- 1 inch
Garlic- 3 big cloves
Tomatoes- 2 medium
Turmeric powder- 1/4 teaspoon
Chilli powder- 1 teaspoon
Coriander powder- 1 teaspoon
Garam masala powder- 1/2 teaspoon
Kasuri methi/ Dried frenugreek leaves- 1/2 teaspoon
Salt- to taste
Punjabi aloo gobi matar

  • In a pan add the cut potatoes and the cauliflower florets and add enough water to submerge the veggies and cook with enough salt till soft. But the veggies has to hold its shape.
  • Simultaneously grind the roughly chopped onion, ginger, garlic and tomatoes together as a fine paste; set aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and fry the whole garam masala spices; cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and bay leaves till the aroma arises.
  • Add the ground paste and some salt; cook till the raw smell leaves from the mixture.
  • Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and garam masala powder and cook for thirty seconds.
  • Now add a cup of water  and cook in that oil till the oil separates on top.
  • Drain water from the veggies and add the veggies and mix well to absorb the masala. Sprinkle some methi leaves and mix well.
  • Add the peas(If you use fresh peas cook them for 5 minutes in water; I am using here frozen peas) and mix well. Check for salt, once the moisture reduces from the mixture becomes thick switch off the gas.
  • You could serve this as a gravy by not reducing the gravy.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Pressure Cooker Chicken Biryani: Biryanis are always a most popular food almost allover the world and particularly no doubt about India. There are so many versions of biryanis available through out the world in various names but all varies in some flavour and the basic taste is almost similar.

In India Northern part Mughalai biryani, Lucknowi Biryani are the very famous ones and in South India Hyderabadi Biryani is a spicy type of dum biryani. All these famous biryanis preparation to cooking takes time and have to be cooked carefully to get the proper taste. So today i am sharing with you an easy to make Pressure Cooker version of a 'Spicy South Indian Style Biryani'. This is the Biryani i have tried very first when i started cooking. So this will be easy for the beginners and also for the people those who feels lazy to cook on weekends ends.

Easy Chicken Biryani

Preparation Time:10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Cuisine: Indian

Chicken, cut in to big pieces- 1 kg
Basmati Rice, extra long grain- 3 cups
Oil- 5 teaspoons
Cinnamon, Clove,Cardamom- each 4 piece
Star anise-1(optional)
Bay leaves-2
Shahi Jeera (or) normal Jeera- 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander leaves, chopped- 1/2 bunch
Mint leaves, chopped- 1/2 bunch
Onion, chopped lengthwise- 2 big
Ginger garlic paste- 1 tablespoon
Tomatoes, chopped-2 medium
Green chilies, slit-4
Turmeric powder- 1/4 teaspoon
Chilli powder- 3 teaspoons (Reduce according to your spice level)
Coriander powder- 2 teaspoons
Garam masala powder- 1/2 teaspoon (Do not add much)
Curd/ yogurt, beaten- 1 cup
Ghee- 1 teaspoon
Lemon- 1/2 (optional)
Salt- to taste
Pressure Cooker Chicken Biryani

  • I have used 5.5 litre capacity pressure cooker to make this biryani.
  • Soak the basmathi rice in water for 20 minutes that is immediately after cutting the veggies and just before start the cooking.
  • Heat oil in the pressure cooker and add the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, star anise, bay leaves and jeera; fry in oil till the nice aroma arises.
  • Add half of the chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves and fry well for fifteen seconds.
  • Now add the chopped onion with a pinch of salt till the edges of the onion colour changes to golden.
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and cook till the raw smell leaves and the aroma arises.
  • Add the chopped tomato and cook for fifteen seconds and add the green chillies and cook further for about a minute till the tomatoes starts to become mushy.
  • Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and very little garam masala powder; cook for fifteen seconds and immediately add the chicken with enough salt to cook.
  • Mix well the chicken on the prepared masala and cook for a minute.
  • Now add the yogurt and mix well to form a gravy and cook for a minute. Add half a cup of water and mix well to combine with a ladle and check for salt and close with a lid and keep the weight.
  • Pressure cook for a whistle and immediately switch off the flame and allow the steam to release. Once the steam escapes you could able to see a well cooked chicken gravy. Now on top of that add the soaked rice, 2 cups of water (Considering 1 cup of yogurt + ½ a cup of water added earlier reduced in to 1 cup of gravy). So use 2 cups water to cook the rice. (See Notes) and the remaining half portion of coriander and mint leaves and salt; mix twice with a ladle. 
  • Close with a lid and keep the weight; cook till 2 whistles on medium flame and then reduce the flame to sim and keep 2 minutes for dum (water if any to evaporate). You could transfer the pressure cooker to small burner with very low flame.
  • After that immediately switch off the pressure cooker and allow to release the steam by itself.
  • Once the steam escapes immediately open the cooker and add a teaspoon of ghee and mix twice gently with a ladle without breaking any rice.
  • If you like it, add half a lemon juice also when you add the ghee.
  • Allow the biryani to stop the cooking process by carefully transferring the biryani on to a bigger vessel or two vessels.
  • Serve with Onion raita and boiled egg.
  • Note: If you wash and use the rice directly, then use 1½ cup water to cook a cup of rice and cook for 3 whistles on medium flame and reduce flame to sim and cook for further 2 minutes. 
  • If you soak the rice for exactly 20 minutes  add 1 cup of water for a cup of rice and cook for 2 whistles and then reduce the flame to sim and keep for 2 minutes.
  • If you soak by mistake more than 30 minutes  add 1 cup water for a cup of rice and cook for a whistle and keep in sim for 2 minutes.
  • While measuring, include the water content approximately in the gravy (water and yogurt added to cook the chicken).
Pressure Cooker Chicken Biryani

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Pakoras are every ones favourite evening snack. At this winter season with a cup of hot tea tastes irresistible. There are many types of pakoras available through out India. The very popular and easy to make one is onion pakoras. These are basically fritters made with onion and gram flour mixture.

Onion thool pakoda varies from normal pakora in the shape. It does not have a ball shape. It is irregular in shape and size. Thool means powder that indicates the texture of these pakoras. This pakoras couls be made according to your taste. Some like more gram flour mixture and less onions. Some like it more onion with less gram flour mixture. So prepare the mixture according to our taste. Easy to make pakoras with in minutes with the ingredients available in you pantry. Crispy crunchy tasty Onion Pakoras !!!
Onion Pakoras

Gram flour/ Kadalai Mavu- 1 cup
Rice flour- 1/2 cup
Baking powder- 1/4 teaspoon
Asafetida- 1/4 teaspoon
Salt- to taste
Turmeric powder- pinch
Chilli powder- 1 teaspoon
Fennel seeds- 1 teaspoon
Coriander seeds- 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
Onion, chopped lengthwise- 2 medium
Green chillies, chopped-2
Ginger, chopped- 1 inch
Coriander leaves, chopped- 1 tablespoon
Curry leaves- 1 tablespoon
Oil- 2 tablespoon+ to fry
Onion Pakoda

  • In a deep bowl add the gram flour, rice flour, baking powder, Asafetida and salt.
  • Add turmeric powder, chilli powder, fennel seeds and coriander seeds; mix every thing with hand to evenly mix together.
  • Now add the onion, green chillies, ginger, coriander leaves and curry leaves.(After cutting the onions you could sprinkle some salt over onions to sweat and release some moisture to make pakoras crispy- optional)
  • Mix everything with hand to evenly mix well.
  • Now drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil over the mixture and sprinkle some water and mix well to get a wet but slightly dry mixture.
  • If you take some loose mixture with hand it has to hold its shape that show the right consistency of the mixture.
  • Heat oil in a pan well and reduce the flame to low and start frying the pakora.
  • For thool pakora take hand full of mixture and spread the mixture in to small pieces by pinching the mixture in hot oil.
  • For normal pakoras take a small gooseberry sized batter and drop in hot oil and fry till crispy and golden brown colour appears.

Onion Thool Pakoras

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Strawberries are now in season and the taste, colour and the flavour of the strawberries are just amazing in any dessert. I bought some strawberries to make this easy pectin free version of strawberry jam. After making this jam i can able to feel the freshness of the jam. With toast it tastes really Yum.

We could not get the the bright colour, rich taste of strawberries and the freshness of the jam in any store bought jams. I bet you are going to love this jam to the core. This jam simply applied over a bread tastes divine like a dessert. So easy to prepare jam in minutes. Finger Licking Good Jam!!!

Strawberry Jam

Home made Strawberry jam

Strawberries, fresh/ frozen- 15 nos, big (1 packet)
Sugar- 3/4 cup
Lemon juice- 1/2 small

  • Select deep red coloured fully ripen strawberries for making jam.
  • Remove the stem and also the leaves of strawberries.
  • Take a bowl full of water and dip the strawberries  to remove the clay particles.
  • Drain the water and wipe the berries and cut them into smaller pieces about 6 pieces.
  • Keep the strawberries on a pan on which you are going to make jam.
  • Add the sugar on top of the strawberries. Switch on the gas and keep stirring till the sugar get melted on medium flame.
  • Reduce the flame to low and cook the strawberries on the syrup further till the strawberries cook till soft.
  • Mash them with the back side of the laddle while cooking. The strawberry pulp makes the jam to get thicker and gives the colour and also gives proper texture to the jam.
  • Within minutes the jam thickens and get the colour and proper glossy spreadable consistency.
  • Add the lemon juice and cook for a minute and switch off the flame and allow the jam to cool.
  • To check the consistency of the jam, when the jam is slightly warm draw a line on the pan using a spatula the gap formed should not merge ensures the right consistency of the jam.(Check last picture)
  • Transfer the jam on to a sterile air tight bottle and refrigerate. Use within two weeks.
  • Notes: If you jam turns too thick add some water and boil again till you get the spreadable consistency.
  • Right consistency is important otherwise the jam run off from the bread or could not able to spread.
  • If you get small strawberries reduce the quantity of sugar added to 1/2 a cup and proceed with the recipe.
Strawberry jam without pectin or any preservative

 Bread Butter Jam:
  • Take two bread slices and apply butter at one side and the other side with strawberry jam.
  • Sandwich both the slices and cut diagonally and serve.
  • Best sandwich which can be made for kids snack box.
Bread Butter Jam Sandwich

Strawberry Fruit

Monday, January 26, 2015

Earlier i have shared a fish fingers recipe which is very mild, less spicy and kids friendly recipe. That could be eaten as a starter. But this recipe is a spicy one suits perfectly with rice with any curries like rasam.

Easy to make crispy, spicy fish fingers. The crunchiness lasts for hours after frying. Perfect for this cool climate when had it with rasam and rice. Delicious fish fingers prepared in Indian style as a side dish to go with rice.

Any fish with white meat suits to make this preparation. Even kids love this with rice because of its shape, crunchy texture as well as the taste.

Indian Style Fish Fingers

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Cuisine: South Indian
Makes: 8 pieces

Fish, white meat, cut in to thin strips-8
Turmeric powder- 1/4 teaspoon
Chilli powder- 1 teaspoons
Pepper powder- 1/2 teaspoon
Ginger garlic paste- 1 teaspoon
Garam masala powder- 1/2 teaspoon
Salt- to taste
Lemon- 1/2 (or) tamarind juice- 1 teaspoon
Eggs-2 (or) Corn flour/ Cornstarch - 3 tablespoons
Bread crumbs- 1 cup
Oil- to deep fry
Spicy Fish fillets

  • Cut the fish in to long thin strips without bones and skin.
  • In a bowl add turmeric powder, chilli powder, ginger galic paste, garam masala powder, salt and squeeze the lemon juice.
  • Add some water and mix to make a thick paste.
  • Take the fish strips and apply the paste and allow to marinate for 10 -15 minutes minimum.
  • Roll the marinated fish in All purpose flour or in bread crumbs to seal the masala.
  • In a bowl beat the eggs (or)If you are using corn flour/ starch dissolve with some water as a thick paste.
  • Then dip the strips in beaten egg(or)corn flour slurry.
  • Immediately roll the strips on bread crumbs.
  • Heat oil in a deep pan till hot and reduce the flame and fry the strips till golden.
  • Serve hot with rice and rasam or any curries of your choice.

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