Monday, July 31, 2006

Vegetable Dum Biryani

Hi everyone.....hope u all had a wonderful weekend. My weekend was a usual one, cleaning cleaning and more cleaning. And one good thing about it was that I found my treasure of recipes.....I don't have to worry for the next couple of weeks now, I have so many new recipes to try and share with you and ofcourse my poor hubby's the experimental mouse...hehehe. I call him the OT-official taster. The great thing about my husband Sathyan is that he really tells me how the dish turned out, he just won't flatter me. Let me not bore you with my talk, lets get started on the recipes....this is my second recipe so far.
Biryani........yummmmmmmmmmmm. This brings back nostalgic memories of my college days. Come Ramzan and my friend Rushi would invite us home for a feast.... chicken tandoori fry, mutton biryani and sheer kurma. Wow, those tantalizing aromas and authentic flavors still linger in my memories. Left over biryani tastes heavenly if eaten the next day. It's called 'baasi biryani'. TIP: Any masala dish for that matter tastes better if eaten the next day as all the flavors infuse. So here is the vegetarian version of Muslim biryani as I call it. This is my mom's masterpiece besides many others. Whenever I go to India, mummy makes it for me. My sister always says mummy has some magic in her fingers, whatever she makes turns out to be so tasty. But no matter how accurately I follow her recipe, it never tastes like how she makes them. As my hubby dear puts it " good but not like what mummy makes". Hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do. This recipe is a little tedious but you'll be pleased with the outcome.

Basmati Rice- 2 cups
Mixed diced vegetables-2 cups
(peas, carrots, beans, potato, cauliflower)
Onions - 2 big (1 for grinding, slice the other into thin strips)
Green chillies-2
Red ripe tomatoes-3 big
Fresh ginger- 2 inch piece
Garlic- 7 cloves
Pudina leaves- 1 cup
Coriander leaves- a small bunch
Cinnamon- 1 inch piece
Cardamoms- 3
Bay leaf- 1
Cloves- 3
Juice of one big lemon
Coconut- 1/2 cup grated
Red chilly powder- 2 tsp or according to spice level
Dhania powder- 2 tsp
Turmeric- 1 /2 tsp
Salt to taste
Dissolve a few strands of saffron in 1/2 cup of warm milk

Grind together:
Grated coconut, 1 big onion, tomatoes, green chillies, ginger-garlic, cinnamom, cardamom, cloves and 1/2 bunch coriander leaves. Make into paste with little water.

Wash and soak rice for 15 minutes. Take a huge vessel with lots of water, lemon juice, salt, 1/2 cup pudina leaves, a few pieces of cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Once the water comes to a boil, add the soaked and drained rice and boil briskly till 1/2 cooked. Drain all the water and spread the rice on a large plate.

Take some oil in a kadai, fry the sliced onions till golden brown and crisp. Take it out onto a separate plate. To the remaining oil, add diced vegetables, turmeric, red chilly powder, dhania powder and the ground paste. Fry till a good aroma comes and oil floats on top, add salt and cook till the vegetables are almost done. Be wary of how much salt you add because the rice also contains salt. Now the kurma is made. Next step is to bring all this together by layering.

I use the electric rice cooker to layer and cook the biryani to dum. You can use any vessel of ur choice or even an oven safe container. Whatever you choose to use, put a layer of aluminium foil at the bottom of the pan so that a layer of rice dosen't get burnt.

So start with a layer of rice, then sprinkle a few drops of the saffron milk, sprinkle some fried onions, a few leaves of pudina. Then a layer of the vegetable kurma, then again rice, milk, onions, pudina and so on. Continue and finish off with a layer of rice. Decorate as you please with garnishes and if using a rice cooker, put it on rice cooking and leave for about 1/2 hour. Do not disturb till you are ready to serve. If using the stove top, cover with foil and set it on low heat for 15-20 mins. If using an oven, preheat to 350 degrees F and bake for 15 mins. Yummy biryani is ready to be served. Serve as layers so that the guests can see how beautiful the biryani looks and eat as they mix it themselves. Can be served with any raita of your choice.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Sprouted Moong Kosambri

Here’s an innovative, healthy Indian snack for kids, loved by both the young and the old. It’s called SPROUTED MOONG KOSAMBRI, meaning a salad prepared with sprouted green gram. It’s a very nutritious snack containing sprouts, pomegranate, fresh coconut scrapings, with a pinch of salt and a dash of lemon juice. Studies have shown that sprouts contain significant amounts of vitamins A, C and D.

Sprouts are widely recognized by nutrition conscious consumers and health care professionals as a “wonder food”. The Moong bean sprouts are a good source of protein, fiber and vitamin C. A 3 oz. serving contains just 30 calories ( One pomegranate delivers 40% of an adult’s daily vitamin C requirement. It’s also a rich source of folic acid and of antioxidants.



Dry green moong beans - 1 cup

Fresh Pomegranate - 1 fruit

Fresh Coconut scrapings - 1 tablespoon

A pinch of salt to taste

A dash of lemon juice

A few sprigs of fresh cilantro for garnish

Soak the dry beans in warm water and leave it overnight. Drain all the water the next day and cover and keep in a warm place to sprout. It takes anywhere between 2 to 5 days for the beans to sprout. Combine the sprouted moong beans in a wide bowl with pomegranate seeds, fresh coconut scrapings and salt. Add a few drops of lemon juice and garnish with freshly cut cilantro. Can be chilled and eaten for crispiness.

Friday, July 28, 2006

We had been to India in feb for my son's first year birthday celebrations amongst family and friends. My mom and aunt whipped up this authentic dinner which left us and our guests literally drooling :) The menu included
Sliced cucumber with salt and pepper seasoning
Navaratna kurma
Rumali rotis
Sprouted Moong and Pomegranate kosambri
Vegetable muslim dum biryani
Punjabi pakodi kadi
Shahi tukda

WOW......the arrangement of the dishes itself was breathtaking and we just couldn't wait to dig right in.

I will be sharing all of the above recipes with you so that you can also experience the yummy food mummy cooks.