Sunday, June 26, 2016

Paneer Makhani Biryani

BM # 65

Week: 4, Day : 3

Theme: Rice Dishes

For Day 3 I have a layered Biryani, which was a super duper hit in my house. Pavani suggested this and I fell in love with it when I saw it on her blog. My son in law who is a hard core tomato and paneer lover simply loved it. My hubby enjoyed but he feels Biryani is incomplete without veggies. He is a vegetable lover, so not to be blamed.   

Anyway this is a real rich Biryani, fit to serve the nawabs...oh I mean our guests. You actually need nothing on the side but I liked the spinach raita which Pavani had served, I make the same Raita quite often , so thought why not. It paired very well. This way one gets to eat some greens too. Coming to the recipe.

Paneer Makhani Biryani

2 cups rice
1 tbsp ghee
1 bay leaf
2 cloves
1 small piece cinnamon
1 cup milk
1 cup water
Salt to taste


Heat ghee, add the whole spices.
Saute till aroma release.
Add rice and roast foe a few minutes.
Add a cup of water and a cup of milk.
Add salt.
Transfer the rice to rice cooker and cook on cook mode.
The rice will be ready in 40 minutes.
Keep aside.

300 gms herbed paneer, cubed
Salt to taste
Heat oil and roast the. Paneer on a non stick pan, sprinkle a little salt on it.
Else sprinkle salt and deep fry the paneer

Makhani Gravy
2 onions
2 tsp chilly garlic ginger paste
2 cups tomato purée
1 tsp coriander cumin powder
2 tbsp tandoori masala
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp cashew paste
1/2 cup fresh cream
Salt to taste

Heat oil.
Add the onions and the chilly garlic ginger paste.
Cook till light brown.
Add tomato purée and the spices.
Cook till the moisture is completely absorbed .
Add cashew paste and fresh cream.
Add salt.
Mix well.
Add paneer and cook for a minute ortwo.

In a bakeware dish, drizzle some melted butter or ghee.
Spread it all over evenly.
Divide the rice into three parts.
Spread one part of rice topped with half the Paner Makhani and gravy.
Sprinkle some nuts and fried onions.
Top with another layer of rice and the rest of the paneer and gravy.
Finish the rice with the third layer of rice .
Garnish lavishly with nuts and onions.
Sprinkle a few drops of saffron,which has been dissolved .
Cover with foil and bake at 180 for about 10 minutes.

Fried onions
Fried nuts

I am sorry about the clicks., will click better pics and update the post soon. I know they do not do justice to this fantastic Biryani.

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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Vegetable Pulao

BM # 65
Week: 4, Day : 2
Theme: Rice Recipes

Vegetable Pulao is very frequently made variety of rice in our house. We roast rice and veggies in a pan and transfer them to the rice cooker. I made this Pulao for the second day under Rice Variations. This Pulao has whole spices which lend a wonderful aroma and flavor to the rice.

Vegetable Pulao


2 cups rice

Whole spices
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
6-8 whole black pepper
2 cloves
A small piece cinnamon

Other Ingredients

1 onion, diced
1 cup cauliflower flowerets
1/2 capsicum, diced
1 tomato, diced
2 green chilly, chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp Garam masala
Salt to taste

Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes.
Heat a pan, add a tbsp oil plus a tbsp of ghee.
Add whole spices, let the aroma release.
Add onion, Saute just till it changes color.
Add green chilly and capsicum. Saute for a minute.
Add cauliflower and tomatoes.
Add rice and roast for a couple of minutes.
Add dry spices and continue roasting till all the moisture is gone.
Add 4 cups water.
Switch off the flame and transfer to a rice cooker.
Put the cooker on cook mode.
Serve with a chilled Raita.

*The rice will be ready in about 40 minutes.

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Friday, June 24, 2016

Tawa Pulao

BM # 65
Week: 4, Day : 1
Theme: Rice Dishes

We have a group on Facebook called Foodaholics in Ahemdabad. This is a group of all foodies where everyone generally posts about the food places or new eatery joints or some query on food...well basically anything and everything related to food.

There is a trust called Samvedna who run a Summer Camp for underprivileged children. In this summer camp these children have a whole lot of interesting activities which are related to music, art and dance. These children are provided breakfast and lunch. So the Foodaholics volunteered to cook their lunch. 15 days work shop so 15 lunches that these kids would love, which would be different than Daal and Sabzi. We were on an average about eight volunteers and had to cook for 200 kids and 100 volunteers and staff ( the 100 volunteers were for different fields, music , art, craft, cleaning, dance, photography etc ) . I could manage to cook for only five days as I was traveling after .

Trust me these five days were a real learning experience where the Foodaholics, who were complete strangers met and became friends. We had just one thing to talk about FOOD ! On one of these days we made Tawa Pulao. Tawa Pulao is very very popular in Gujarat wher rice is boiled and mixed with cooked veggies and spices. A chunk of butter is the highlight of the rice.

We boiled 16 kg rice, the total out put was 30 kg, which included onions, tomatoes, potatoes, garlic. Peas dry spices and lots of oil and butter. We had just one big burner and we finished making the rice in about 3 hours.

I am scaling down the recipe for you guys..

Tawa Pulao

1 cup rice
1 tbsp garlic, pounded
1 onion, medium
1 tomato, large
1 boiled potato
1/2 cup green peas
2 green. Chilly
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp red chilly powder
1/2 tsp Pav Bhaji masala
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves
A chunk of butter

Wash and boil the rice in a pot.
Drain the excess water, and let the rice cool.
In a pan add 1 tbsp oil.
Add onion, capsicum and garlic and green chilly. Toss.
Add cubed potatoes, boiled peas and dry spices.
Add rice and tomatoes and toss.
Remove from fire , sprinkle coriander leaves and a chunk of butter.

Here are some glimpses of those days...

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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Tomato Basil and Cheese Salad

BM # 65
Week: 3, Day : 3
Theme: Soups and Salads

For the third day under salads I have a salad with cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. This is a salad that my son made and we all loved it. The combination of basil, fresh mozzarella is absolutely awesome and the slightly tarty cherry tomatoes just enhances the taste. This kind of salad would be just a perfect for any kind of party.Again there is no recipe for this salad, adjust all ingredients according to your taste.

The ingredients going in are...

Tomato Cheese Salad

Cherry tomatoes
Fresh mozzarella
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Black pepper
Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients and adjust the seasonings according to taste.
Chill the salad before serving.

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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Watermelon Feta Salad

BM # 65
Week: 3, Day : 2
Theme: Soups and Salads

Next in the series of salads I have a very very refreshing salad, just right for the weather. In this peak summer chilled watermelon just soothes you . A salad with watermelon, Feta cheese, fresh basil leaves and olives is sure to win many hearts. You could use any proportion of these, depending on your taste and preference, just make sure that the salad is really nice and chilled.

Water melon Feta salad


Watermelon, cubed
Feta cheese, cubed
Basil leaves, roughly torn or as it is
Salt to taste
Pinch sugar

Mix all ingredients, chill the salad and serve.

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Cabbage Salad

BM # 65
Week: 3, Day : 1
Theme: Soups and Salads

The theme for this week is Soups and Salads. Since I am not a soup person, I shall be making salads for all three days. Fortunately I had all three salads in my drafts, to tell you the truth except for a dish or two I have been using my drafts since the Mega Marathon. This folder will soon exhaust as I am not doing much these days. Coming back to salads this is a salad which is on the lines of The Thai Papaya Salad, but with cabbage. The taste is awesome and it will surely be a hit. Check out.

Cabbage salad

2 cups finely chopped cabbage
1tbsp carrots, grated
1 tbsp onion, sliced
1 tbsp capsicum, thinly sliced
1 tbsp French beans, sliced
1/4 cup peanuts, toasted and coarsely ground
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 green chilly, pounded
1 tbsp vinegar
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
Salt to taste
Tomato and coriander for garnishing
Mix all ingredients , except the peanuts.
Place in the frig for at least half hour for the flavors to infuse.
Garnish and top with crushed peanuts.

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Sunday, June 12, 2016

Idli with Fresh Garbanzo Beans

BM # 65
Week: 2, Day : 3
Theme: One veggie cooked in 3 ways

I have been cooking with Fresh Garbazo beans since the last two days.These greens have a wonderful taste and one can eat them right out of the pod. anyway today I have made a Rawa Idli  with these beans, let me tell you how...

Idli with Fresh Garbanzo Beans

1 cup sooji
1 cup curd
1/2 cup fresh garbanzo beans 
1 green chilly, crushed
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tbsp oil
1/2 sachet ENO
Salt to taste

Mix sooji and curd .
Pulse the beans for a couple of minute , they should be coarsely ground.
Add crushed beans, ginger paste and green chilly.
Heat oil.
Add salt and enough water to make a semi soft batter.
Let rest for 15 minutes.
Place a pot of water to boil.
Add ENO to the batter and mix well, it will become bubbly.
Immediately pour the batter in a greased idli mould and place it to steam.
These should cook in about 10-12 minutes.
Check by inserting a knife, it should come out clean.
Once done, let cool for 2-3 minutes.

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Saturday, June 11, 2016

Hare Chane ki Sabzi

BM # 65
Week: 2, Day : 2
Theme: One veggie cooked in 3 ways

For the second day with cooking one vegetable in three ways I have a simple yet flavorful curry made from these fresh green Channa. The green Channa is a winter supply and I have this post from my drafts. Since I made it in winters I served this with rice and radish and chilly ginger pickle, which are a winter specialty too. These Channa are made in a typical Punjabi style.

Hare Chane ki Sabzi

1 cup fresh green channa
2 onions, finely chopped
2 flakes garlic
A small piece ginger
2 tomatoes
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/8 tsp Garam masala
Salt to taste

Heat 2-4 tsp oil in a pressure cooker.
Add the onions , garlic and ginger.
Cook till the onions turn pink.
Add tomatoes.
Simmer the gas and cook till soft and mushy.
Switch off the gas and let the mix cool.
Blend this mixture to a smooth paste and return back to the pressure cooker.
Add all dry spices and the Channa.
Cook for a while till all the moisture has dried up.
Add water and check consistency.
Pressure cook for 2-3 whistles.
Serve hot with rice.

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Friday, June 10, 2016

Foetaa / Fresh Garbanzo Beans

BM # 65
Week: 2, Day : 3
Theme: One veggie cooked in 3 ways

We are into the second week of BM 65 and for this week I will be cooking one vegetable in three styles.I have chosen to cook Choliya or the fresh green garbanzo or hare channe. While I lived in Delhi we called these Choliya, here they call it Leela channa and the Sindhis call it Saava Foetaa. Saava implies to the green color. The names might be different but for sure these are considered among exotic veggies and are pretty expensive.

I go back some 40 years back when I was a teenager, my dad used to get bushes of these Choliya , and my granny used to pluck out each pod from it. It was a tedious job , but she never grumbled and after removing the pods she would cook them. The method is simple and these tastes awesome and are terribly addictive. I would say total time pass. The new generation would love to eat but who has the time to peel each pod and patience ! Right? 

For today it is my granny's recipe, cooked by mom while she was here in winters. Here is how they are made..

These are the bushes and each pod has to be separated.

The pods are roasted in a iron kadai , sold as street food.


Whole pods of Choliya

Wash the Choliya .
Heat a pressure cooker, add a tsp of ghee.
Add the washed pods, sprinkle some salt.
Add a few teaspoons of water and pressure cook for one or two whistle.
Switch off the flame and let the pressure drop.
Open the cooker, remove the pods with a slotted spoon.
Sprinkle dry mango powder and red chilly powder.
Enjoy !

Well how does a person eat these?
Some people, like me do not have the patience to peel the cooked pod and eat, so I eat the pod as it is, the peel of the pod has a wonderful flavor.You then spit out the dry peel. There is some water in these pods and it is a treat enjoying it. Well , some people peel the pods and then eat, some take the whole pod , hold it at the end and then just pull it two get both the peel flavor from pod as well as the bean inside.

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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Paani Poori Lollies

BM # 65
Week: 1, Day : 3
Theme: Summer Coolers

You all know my love for Paani Poori. I need it at least twice a week. I love to try different versions of this awesome street food. During the previous marathons I have made paani Poori with different flavored waters too. This time I made regular water and I had some leftover water. Normally I hate to waste, specially this spicy water. I just drink it up the next day, but this time I decided to freeze it and make a lolly out of it. Since the water was quite spicy I thought it would be interesting to finish it up with some sweet Meethi chutney.

So here is how I made these Lollies

What you need

How to go about
Mix the water very well , and pour in the lolly mould.
Place them in a freezer for 20 minutes, remove and blend for a few seconds.
Pour it back in the lolly mould and this time freeze till almost done.
Add two teaspoons of the sweet chutney and refreeze , till completely frozen .

The idea behind freezing and pulsing is to blend back all the spices, else they just settle at the bottom.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#65

This post also goes to PJ who is hosting Kid's Delight this month.

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Saturday, June 4, 2016

Strawberry Lollies

BM # 65
Week: 1, Day : 2
Theme: Summer Coolers

For Day 2 under summer coolers I have Strawberry Lollies. I made these with the ready strawberry syrup that I had. The syrup just had strawberry flavoring and some edible color. I normally stock a lot of such sharbats , squashes and crushes. They come in really handy during these prickly hot summers.

Since my grand kids were here they enjoyed all these treats.

Strawberry Lollies
Strawberry syrup

Mix the strawberry syrup and water, check for sweetness.
Pour these into lolly moulds.
Freeze for a couple of hours.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#65
This post also goes to PJ who is hosting Kid's Delight this month.

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