Chicken Biryani

Chicken Biryani 2

After writing the recipe down, even I was thinking oh my…such a long recipe!! Trust me; it’s a very easy preparation. Just read through the whole method and you will see. See notes too.

Chicken Biryani

For rice:
2 cups basmati /jeera rice
4 cups boiling water
5 small cardamoms
3 cloves
4 nos. 2” piece cinnamon
1 bay leaf
3 pcs mace (whole)
2 springs coriander leaves (whole)
2 springs mint leaves (whole)
2 tbsp oil

For Chicken: marinate chicken with the below for minimum 1 hour or overnight
1 whole chicken cut into big pieces
½ cup yogurt
1-2 tsp red chili powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala
Salt to taste

For masala:
2 large onions sliced
3 tbsp ginger/garlic paste (I make ginger garlic paste with the ratio 1:2)
2-3 green chilies
3 cardamoms
2 cloves
2 nos. 2” pc cinnamon
1 cup coriander leaves chopped
½ cup mint leaves chopped

For garnish: handful of
Fried onions

Chicken Biryani

Wash rice.
Add oil to a large pan. Add cinnamon, bay leaf, cloves, cardamom, mace.
When it starts to crackle, add water, rice, coriander leaves, mint leaves and salt. The water should be salty to taste.
When bubbles start to appear, close the lid tightly and lower the flame to low. (Not lowest, but less than medium) Don’t open until 10 minutes is completely over.
Open the lid and give the rice a gentle stir, if there is any little water left, (which is very unlikely) cover and cook for 5 minutes more and take off the flame. Don’t stir the rice too much as this will result in sticky rice. Fluff with a fork and discard mint, coriander and the whole spices.

In another pan, heat oil and add the whole spices for masala.
Add onions and saute till almost brown.
Add ginger/garlic paste and green chilies. Keep medium flame and stir till the raw smell goes.
Add a handful of chopped coriander and mint leaves and mix well.
Add marinated chicken pieces along with the marinade. Stir on high flame for few minutes.
Cook on medium flame till chicken is fully cooked and the gravy is thick. Check salt and take off fire.

In a large serving dish, spread some rice. Sprinkle coriander leaves, mint leaves and some fried onions. (Sprinkle dollops of ghee in 3-4 places –optional) Spread chicken pieces on top and layer rice again. Do 2 such layers. Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 10 mins in a preheated oven at 150 degree Celsius. Alternately, layer the rice and chicken in a vessel and place on stove top on low flame for 10-15 mins.
Serve with raita, papad and pickle.

I have used oil for cooking here, but ghee is preferable.
Few things are optional like soaking the rice and frying in oil before adding water. I don’t do either.
Fry extra onions for garnish and store some in the refrigerator, Few sprinkles of fried onions on many foods will change the smell and appearance.

Chicken Biryani 1


Green Chutney

Green Chutney for Sandwiches

Green Chutney for Sandwiches

1 cup coriander leaves packed
Few mint leaves (optional)
½ cup grated coconut
1 large clove garlic
1 small piece ginger
1-2 green chilies
2-3 tbsp yogurt (can substitute mayonnaise)

Grind all together to form chutney. That it!
Spread on bread and cut into wedges. It’s a tasty tiffin for kids.

Green Chutney for Sandwiches 1

Banana Chocolate Fudge

Banana Chocolate Fudge

Banana Chocolate Fudge…healthy version

If you like the combination of banana and chocolate and occasionally feel like a guilt free dessert, this is for me, you.
This makes just 2 serving, but enough to satisfy sweet or ice cream craving……

2 ripe bananas
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp honey or 1 pkt splenda (don’t use splenda for kids)
1 tbsp chopped nuts

Blend bananas, cocoa powder, honey or splenda to a smooth paste.

Banana Chocolate Fudge 1

Pour into a dish and spread nuts on top. Freeze for few hours. Cut and serve or eat:)

Banana Chocolate Fudge 2

Egg Burji with Soya Nuggets

Soya Nugget Egg Burji 1

Tasty egg burji with healthy soya nuggets…. No one will detect soya nuggets unless you tell them.
Soya nugget is a good source of protein, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and is very good especially for growing children.

Egg Burji with Soya Nuggets

1 cup soya nuggets
1 medium onion chopped
1 small tomato chopped (seeds removed)
2 tbsp finely chopped ginger
2-3 green chilies chopped
Few curry leaves chopped
4-5 tbsp coriander leaves chopped
½ tsp pepper powder
3 eggs lightly beaten with 3 tbsp water
2 tbsp oil

Soya Nugget Egg Burji 2

Take soya nuggets in a bowl, add few sliced garlic cloves and pour boiling water. Keep covered for 15 minutes.

Soya Nugget Egg Burji 3

Drain the water and let it cool a bit. Discard the garlic slices. Squeeze the nuggets with your hands to take out as much water as possible. Mince in a grinder with quick pulses. Take care not to make it a paste.
Heat oil and add onions, ginger, green chilies, curry leaves and saute till onions are beginning to brown.
Add tomatoes and fry well. Add soya mince and stir for some time (approx. 5 mins).
Add eggs and mix well. Break the mixture into small pieces with the spoon. Add coriander leaves and pepper powder and stir for few more minutes.
Serve hot with chapathis.

Soya Nugget Egg Burji

Sweet & Sour Mango Pickle

Sweet Mango Pickle 2

Well….I am not a fan of any pickles; be it veg or non-veg. But when I saw the post by Sapana, I wanted to make it. It said sweet mango pickle….well… did say sweet:)

Sweet & Sour Mango Pickle

2 cups mango pieces, sliced thin and long
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar (original called for jaggery)
1 tbsp crushed fennel seeds

Mix all ingredients in a pan and keep overnight.

Sweet Mango Pickle 3

Cook on low flame till the mixture becomes dry.
Store in the refrigerator if there is any leftover! It’s very addictive…..

Eggless Carrot Cake

Eggless Carrot Cake

Eggless Carrot Cake
Adapted from Sharmispassions

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp nutmeg powder
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup yogurt
¼ cup olive oil or sunflower oil
½ cup grated carrot
½ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
¼ cup nuts (optional)

Sieve flour, baking powder, baking soda. Add salt and nutmeg powder.
Mix yogurt, sugar, vanilla essence and oil till sugar dissolves
Add carrot.
Add flour and whisk till smooth. Add nuts if you are using.
Bake in a preheated oven at 150 degree Celsius for 20-25 mins or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. The top of the cake will attain a light brown colour.
Cut ‘n serve.

Eggless Carrot Cake 1

Vegetable Burger with Garlic Chili Mayo

Vegetable Burger

Vegetable Burger with Garlic Chili Mayo

1 large potato
1 carrot grated (on the big side)
½ cup green peas
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp pepper powder
¼ tsp sage
2 tbsp cornflour dissolved in water to form a thin paste
1 -2 slices tomato
1-2 slices onion
1 lettuce leaf
Garlic chili mayonnaise (recipe below)
Burger buns

Garlic Chili Mayo:
4 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
½ tsp red chili flakes
2 garlic cloves grated
½ tsp mustard paste or vinegar
½ tsp sugar
Salt to taste
Mix all ingredients well.

Chop peeled potatoes to large chunks.
Add potatoes, green peas and 3-4 tbs water and cook covered in a microwave for 5-6 minutes.
Drain excess water. Add grated carrot and mash all. No need to make a smooth mixture. Add onion powder, garlic powder, pepper powder, sage and salt. Mix well.

Vegetable Burger 1

If the mixture is too dry to form burgers, add little of the cornflour paste.
Take large ball of the mixture and form burger shape. Rub little of the cornflour paste on both sides and dip in breadcrumbs. The patty will be little soft and crumbly to handle, but no need to add any other binders.
Pour 2 tbsp oil in a flat pan and brown both sides.

Vegetable Burger 2

Slit a burger bun and smear garlic chili mayo liberally. Place lettuce, burger, tomato and onion slices. Enjoy.

Paneer Butter Masala

Paneer Butter Masala

Paneer Butter Masala

2 cups paneer cubed
1 cup green peas (optional)
1 large onion sliced
2 tbsp ginger/garlic paste
5 tbsp tomato paste
1-2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp coriander powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp crushed fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
½ tsp Shahjeera
1-2 cardamom
1 small pc cinnamon
1 bay leaf
¾ -1 cup cream (substitute ½ cup cream +1/4 cup milk)
3 tbsp oil divided


Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and fry the paneer pieces till all side are slightly brown. Transfer to warm water.
Heat 1 tbsp oil and add onions and saute till translucent. Take off from fire and let it cool. Grind to a smooth paste.
Heat 1 tbsp oil and add cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaf and shahjeera. Add onion paste and saute for few minutes.
Add ginger garlic paste and saute till raw smell goes.
Add chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder. Stir on medium flame for few minutes.
Add tomato paste and keep stirring for few minutes. Don’t be in a hurry here. Keep stirring
Add 1 cup hot water and cream. Add paneer pieces and any other vegetables (cooked) and kasoori methi.
Adjust salt. Add little more water if you need more gravy.
Serve with chapathi or preferably paratta.
I had with homemade no yeast nan. I will be posting the nan recipe soon.

Paneer Butter Masala 1

Mango Yogurt Pannacotta

A creamy melt in the mouth dessert……

Mango Yogurt Pannacotta

Mango Yogurt Pannacotta
Adapted from passionate about baking

1 cup mango pulp (1 medium mango)
1 cup yogurt
½ cup cream
1 ½ tsp gelatin
3 tbsp Castor sugar (optional)
Few mango slices to decorate

Sprinkle gelatin over 3 tbsp cream. When it swells, heat slightly so that the gelatin melts.
Mix yogurt, mango pulp, cream, castor sugar and gelatin with a whisk till smooth.
Pour into a large serving dish or individual bowls.
Refrigerate for few hours, preferably overnight.
To unmould, dip the bowl in hot water for few seconds and invert to a plate. Decorate with mango slices.

It is better to strain the mixture to serving plates as it will ensure smooth consistency.
Don’t dip the bowl in hot water for long as the pannacotta will start to melt.

Mango Yogurt Pannacotta 1

Quick Vegetable Fried Rice

Quick Vegetable Fried Rice

‘Quick’ here means rice cooked in microwave. By the time rice is ready, the vegetables can be cut and sautéed. Just mix and serve.

Quick Vegetable Fried Rice

1 cup basmati rice
2 cups boiling water
1 tsp butter
1 chicken cube
3 nos. 2” celery sticks
1 cup capsicum diced
1 cup carrot diced
1 cup spring onion diced
½ tsp pepper powder
2 tsp soya sauce
1 tbsp olive oil

In a large deep bowl, add rice, celery, butter, chicken cube and water and microwave covered for 12 minutes. Take out and fluff with a fork. Discard celery sticks.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok or large nonstick pan .Add capsicum, stir for few minutes and add carrot and spring onion.
Stir few minutes on high flame. Add rice, sprinkle soya sauce and pepper powder and mix well. Adjust salt if required.
Serve hot.

Quick Vegetable Fried Rice 1