Awadh Vegetable Biriyani

Awadh Vegetable Biriyani

Awadh Vegetable Biriyani

2 cups basmati rice
2 tsp cumin seeds

Vegetable gravy:
3 cups vegetables cut into medium size (mix of beans, carrot, green peas, cauliflower and potato)
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2-3 green chilis
½ cup chopped coriander leaves
½ cup chopped mint leaves
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp red chili powder
1 bay leaf
3 green cardamoms
2 small pc cinnamon
3 tbsp oil
½ cup yogurt
2 tbsp cashewnut powder
½ tsp cumin powder

½ cup fried onions (2 medium onions)
3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
3 tbsp chopped mint leaves
Handful fried cashews and raisins
2 pinch saffron in ¼ cup milk

Add 2 tbsp of saffron milk to yogurt and mix and keep aside.
Take a big thick bottom pan with close fitting lid. Heat oil and add whole spices.
When they crackle, add cumin powder and cashewnut powder, Stir for few seconds.
Add green chilis and ginger/garlic paste and saute till raw smell goes.
Add garam masala, chili powder, coriander leaves and mint leaves and saute.
Remove pan from fire and add yogurt mixture and stir.
Add vegetables and ½ cup water, salt and cook till vegetables are done. Approx 10 mins.

Meanwhile bring 6-8 glasses of water to boil in another pan.
Add rice and cumin seeds and cook till rice is ¾ done.
Add salt, stir and drain the rice in a colander.

Once the vegetables are cooked (should not be very dry), spread half of cooked rice on top.
Sprinkle half of fried onions, cashews, raisins, coriander and mint leaves. Sprinkle half of saffron milk.
Spread rest of rice on top. Sprinkle remaining fried onions, cashews, raisins, coriander and mint leaves. Sprinkle half of saffron milk.
Add few dots of ghee if you prefer.
Close the lid and keep on low flame for additional 15 mins.
Take off fire and keep aside for 10 mins.
Serve with yogurt raita and papad.


Kashmiri Pulav

Kashmiri Pulav

Kashmiri Pulav

1 ½ cups basmati rice
3-4 tbsp ghee/oil
2 bay leaves
2 pcs cinnamon
4 green cardamom
1 black cardamom
3 cloves
3 cups hot water (or milk or combination of milk and water)
2 generous pinch saffron
1 medium onion sliced
½ cup paneer cubes
Handful of cashewnuts
Handful of raisins
Handful of almonds, pista
Vegetables (peas, capsicum pieces, cauliflower, carrot pieces) – optional
Fruits per your liking:
½ apple chopped
½ cup pineapple slices
½ cup purple grapes
Handful of pomegranate seeds

Wash and soak rice in water for 20 mins. Put in a strainer so all water runs out.
Mix saffron with 1 tbsp warm milk and keep aside
Heat a pan with tight fitting lid and add ghee.
Add whole spices and stir.
Add rice and stir gently and saute for 5 mins.
Add vegetables if using and stir.
Add milk or water or a mix of both and saffron and salt.
Bring the flame to low so that there is a simmer. Cook covered for 10 mins.
Take off fire and fluff the rice and keep aside.

Kasmiri Pulav 1

Meanwhile when rice is cooking, deep fry onion (in a mix of ghee and oil) to golden brown and transfer to a plate.
Fry nuts and raisins in the same oil and keep aside.
Fry paneer cubes and transfer to the plate.
Now add all fried items and fruit pieces to the rice and mix well.
Serve hot.

Add fruit pieces per your liking- all or none.
Cooking in milk definitely gives richness to rice. I used a combination of milk and water.
When frying onions, always fry few extra onions and store in refrigerator. Comes handy for a quick garnish.
Water ratio varies for different basmati rice, so use accordingly.

Lemon Rice

Lemon Rice

Lemon Rice

3-4 cups cooked basmati rice
3-4 tbsp lemon juice (juice of 2 lemons)
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp urad dal or chana dal
3-4 tbsp roasted peanuts
2-3 sprigs curry leaves
2 red dry chilies
2 chopped green chilis (optional)
1/8 tsp asfoetida
¼ tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste

If you are cooking fresh rice, add turmeric to the rice while cooking to get even yellow colour.
If you are using leftover rice, add turmeric to the tempering.
Add salt and lemon juice to the rice, mix well and keep aside.
Heat a pan and add 2 tbsp oil.
Add mustard seeds.
When it splutters, add urad dal/chana dal, chilis, curry leaves, peanuts and asfoetida.
Switch off and add turmeric powder.
Pour over the rice and mix well. Add more salt or lemon juice as required.
Serve with chutney or gravy of your choice.

Fish Sayadieh

Fish Sayadieh

Fish Sayadieh

2 large fish fillets cut into 3-4 pcs
½ cup corn flour
Salt and pepper

2 cups basmati rice or any white long grain
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp all spice powder
½ tsp black pepper powder
2 large onions sliced
3-4 cups water or any stock
1 cube tastemaker –optional
4 tbsp + 2tbsp olive oil
3-4 tbsp fried onions and nuts (almonds or pine nuts etc)

Wash rice and keep aside in water for 20 mins.
Wash and pat dry fish fillets. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides.
Cut into required size pieces. Roll in corn flour to coat all sides well and keep aside.
Heat a large pan with tight fitting lid (that can be used for frying fish as well as cook rice).
Add 4 tbsp oil and fry fish on medium heat till both sides are brown and ¾ cooked.
Remove fried fish to a plate.
Add 2 tbsp oil more to the same pan and saute onions till golden brown. Keep 2-3 tbsp aside.
Add 3-4 cups boiling water or stock, all spice powders and salt to taste.
Add rice and stir.
Lower the heat to bring to a simmer and close with the lid.
Cook for 8 mins, By now the rice will be almost cooked with very little water left.
Open the lid and spread fish pieces on top. Close again and cook for max 5 mins more.
Take off fire and leave aside for 10 mins.
To serve, remove fish pieces to another plate and spoon rice to a serving plate. Place fish pieces back on top of rice.
Garnish with fried nuts and onions.
Serve hot.

Fish can be fried completely and served with rice instead of placing in the rice pan midway of cooking rice.

Saffron Pulav with Green Peas

Saffron Pulav -Quick and Easy

Saffron Pulav with Green Peas

1 cup basmati rice
½ cup green peas
1 tsp whole black pepper
2 pcs cardamoms, cloves, mace, cinnamon
2-3 generous pinch saffron
1 pinch turmeric powder
1 tbsp warm milk
1 ½ cups boiling water
1 tbsp oil or ghee
Few cashews and raisins fried

Wash and soak rice in water for 10 mins.
Soak saffron in milk and keep aside.
Heat a pan (with tight closing lid) and add oil.
Add cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, mace and pepper.
Add rice, green peas, water, saffron, turmeric powder and salt.
When the water boils, lower flame to low so there is a small simmer.
Close lid and cook for 10 mins.
Take off fire and keep aside for 10 mins.
Fluff with a fork and garnish with cashews and raisins.
Serve with curry of your choice.

Green Biriyani / “Malliyella” Biriyani

Green Biriyani

Green Biriyani / “Malliyella” Biriyani

“Malliyella” means coriander leaves in Malayalam. This is one of the easiest biriyani with no compromise on taste. This doesn’t require cutting and sautéing of onions or marinating the chicken. The recipe was given to me by my sister’s friend. I am sure whoever tries this recipe will be hooked.

To grind:
1 ½ tsp cumin seeds
3 cardamoms
2 cloves
1 pc cinnamon (2 -3 inch)
2 pieces mace
4-5 whole dry red chilies (deseeded for less heat)
½ tsp whole black pepper (optional)

1 pod garlic cloves
1 2” piece ginger
1-2 green chilies (optional)
4 stem mint leaves (leaves only)
1 bunch coriander leaves chopped (approx. 2 cups packed)
1.2 kilo – 1.5 kilo chicken cut into pieces
1 tsp turmeric powder
5 tbsp oil

For rice:
2 cups basmati rice
4 cups water (Depending on rice, I sometimes use 1 ½ cups water for each cup of rice)
2 tbsp oil (1 tbsp oil for every 1 cup of rice)
4-5 tbsp masala mixture (see method below)

Add first seven “to grind” ingredients in a mixie bowl and grind finely.
Then add chopped garlic, ginger, green chilies, mint, coriander leaves and 3-4 tbsp water and grind to a smooth paste. Add few more tbsp water only if required.
Heat oil in a big pan and pour this paste into it.

Green Biriyani 1

Saute on medium heat till all water evaporates and mixture becomes very dark and almost dry.

Green Biriyani 2

Add 1 cup of water and turmeric powder. Keep aside 4 -5 tbsp of this mixture in a small bowl. (for rice)
Add chicken pieces and salt and cook covered on medium flame. When the chicken is cooked, take off the flame. The gravy should be very thick and coating the chicken pieces.

To cook rice:
In a large pan add the reserved 4-5 tbsp green mixture, boiling water and oil.
Add rice and season with salt.
When it boils, lower the flame (there should be slow simmer) and cook covered for 10 minutes.
Don’t open and stir often. After 10 minutes, stir and check the water level.
If there is more water (very unlikely) cook for 3-5 minutes more and take off fire.
Layer the rice and chicken alternately in a serving dish. Sprinkle fried onions, cashewnuts and raisins if you wish.
Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 15 mins in preheated oven at 160 degrees. Alternately, layer in a pan and place on the stovetop on the lowest flame for 15 mins.
Serve with yogurt raita and papad.

Green Biriyani 3

The green mixture should be sautéed well on medium flame. Don’t let it burn.
I don’t usually soak rice or saute in oil before cooking, but it is recommended if you have the time.

Quinoa Pancake

Quinoa Pancake

Quinoa Pancake

1 cup cooked quinoa
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
3 tbsp sugar
¾ cup yogurt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essence
¼ tsp grated nutmeg (optional)

Place flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and nutmeg powder in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
Grind cooked quinoa and yogurt to a smooth paste. Add egg and vanilla essence and pulse to combine.
Pour into flour mixture and use the whisk gently to combine. Batter will be thick, but add little water if required.
Heat a nonstick pan and brush little butter.
Pour 1 large ladleful and spread to form thick round.
When bubbles start to appear, flip over and cook for few seconds more.
Serve with maple syrup or honey or any topping of your choice.

Easy Mushroom Biryani

Mushroom Biriyani

Easy Mushroom Biryani

1 cup basmati rice
2 cardamoms
2 cloves
2 pieces cinnamon
1 bay leaf
½ tsp shahjeera

For masala:
250 gms button mushroom
2 onions sliced
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 green chilis
½ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp garam masala
Few curry leaves
4 tbsp coriander leaves chopped
2 tbsp mint leaves chopped
4 tbsp yogurt
Salt to taste
3-4 tbsp fried onions and cashewnuts for garnish

Wash mushrooms and cut into 4.
Heat oil in a pan and add sliced onions, green chilis and curry leaves and saute till onions are almost brown.
Add ginger garlic paste and stir till raw smell goes.
Add chili powder, turmeric powder and garam masala and mix well.
Add mushroom and yogurt and stir. Cook covered for few minutes.
Add coriander and mint leaves and mix well.
Cook till water evaporates and gravy is thick.
Meanwhile, wash rice and boil 1 ½ cups of water.
In a tight lid fitting pan add 2 tbsp oil.
Add whole spices and stir for few seconds.
Add rice and hot water.
Add little salt.
When the water boils, lower the flame just so the water simmers.
Cook covered for 10 mins.
Open after 10 mins and fluff the rice with a spoon and take off fire. Keep covered for some time.
Take a serving bowl and alternate rice, mushroom masala and fried onions.
Garnish with fried onions, cashewnuts and coriander leaves.
Serve with yogurt raita.

Quinoa Salad in Tomato Bowls

Quinao salad in tomato cup

Quinoa Salad in Tomato Bowls

8-10 medium size firm tomatoes
½ cup cooked quinoa
½ red capsicum chopped
½ green capsicum chopped
1 small onion chopped
1 small cucumber chopped
1 green chili chopped or ¼ tsp dry chili flakes
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
4-5 tbsp tbsp yogurt
Salt to taste.

Cut a small piece off both ends of tomatoes and cut each into two.
Scoop out the inside with a spoon and place inverted on a kitchen paper.
Mix the rest of the ingredients.
Spoon the quinoa mixture into each tomato bowl.
Serve and enjoy.

Quinoa salad in tomato cup 1

You can make this ahead. Just don’t add salt to the mixture and refrigerate.
Add salt and mix and make bowls just before serving.

Quinoa Granola

Quinoa & Oats Granola with sunflower seeds

Quinoa Granola

2 cups oats (I used quick oats)
½ cup quinoa uncooked
½ cup chopped almonds
¼ cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp canola/coconut oil
2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
2-3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon powder

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.
Quinoa can be used unwashed.
Add oil, honey and mix well to combine.
Spread on a parchment paper covered tray and bake in a preheated oven at 160 degree for approx. 25-30 mins.
Stir at least 2-3 times in between. After 30 mins, switch off the oven and give the mixture a good stir. Leave it in the warm oven till it cools.
Add raisins or chopped dry figs if you wish. Store in an airtight container.