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Chicken Biryani in a pressure cooker

30 Sep

Pressure cooker is probably the most important vessel to cook for Indians. Its easy, quick, and healthy as well. But whoever makes biryani in a pressure cooker, honestly, I do. I am always looking for quick meals and I love hosting Indian non-vegetarian meals. In my 30 years of life, I never have and probably never will find anything close to the Mutton Biryani that my dad cooks, but I had to find something that I can replicate yet be quick and easy. Indians have all the spices needed for the recipe at home, you can easily find the spices in Indian stores. It is not the healthiest dish but very very tasty and royal, if you want it to be! I am not sure if everyone knows how to eat  Biryani because you don’t have to eat the whole spices but making is a fun process, and probably you can never get it right the first time, honestly, even I mess up a lot of times. But  a word of caution, if it comes out perfect, the aroma will get your taste buds craving for just that one more serving! If you know your cooker well, and if the meat is tender enough, this recipe will make you a really yummy Biryani.

https://mefoodatarian.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/chicken-biryani-in-a-pressure-cooker/

Tip: To make it royal, just fry dry fruits like cashews, almonds in ghee and garnish the biryani with additional dry fruits like raisins and even pistachios if you like!

All you need:

  1. 2 1/2 cups rice, preferably long grain
  2. 1 lb chicken pieces preferably with bones
  3. 1/2 cup yogurt
  4. 2 green chillies, slit
  5. 2 large or 4 medium onions, finely sliced
  6. 1 tomato, sliced
  7. 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  8. Powdered spices : 1 tsp turmeric powder,1 tbsp coriander powder, 1/2 tbsp cumin powder, 1 tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp garam masala
  9. Whole spices : 1 bay leaf, 1 black cardamom, 1 anistar, 1 mace, 3 green cardomom, 4 cloves, 6-8 black peppercorns, 1 tsp cumin, 1 inch cinnamon
  10. 6 and 1/2 cups of water
  11. 1/2 cup oil
  12. 1/4 cup melted ghee(clarified butter)
  13. few saffron strands dissolved in 2 tbsp warm milk
  14. 2 tbsp chopped cilatro for garnish(optional)

Ready, Set, Go:

  1. Wash gently and soak rice for half an hour.
  2. Marinade chicken with powdered spices, yogurt, salt, green chilies and ginger garlic paste.
  3. Meanwhile heat entire oil and half ghee. Drop in the onions and fry onions till crispy. Reserve remaining oil.
  4. Bring about 6 cups of water to boil. Add whole spices and little salt. Add rice.
  5. Boil for about 3-4 minutes making sure rice is not fully cooked. Drain. Do not throw away the whole spices.
  6. In the pressure cooker, heat the remaining oil and layer some of the crispy onions in the bottom of cooker, make a layer with chicken, rice, onions every layer add little water feom the remaining half cup and little salt. Reserve little onions for garnishing.
  7. Pour warm milk with saffron on top, rest of the ghee, orange food color if you’d like.
  8. Cook on medium low heat with lid on 4 heat for 5 mins. Turn down the heat to lowest possible for the remaining time on 2. Turn off heat and let it sit for about 10 mins.
  9. Add remaining fried onions, cilantro.
  10. Serve with raita if possible.

Weekend Oven Fried Chicken

30 May

image

Ah! Oven fried chicken at home. Great start to the weekend 🙂

Just mixed dried ingredients (salt,pepper,garlic powder, chili powder, cumin powder, quarter cup rice flour and cornmeal) in a plastic bag and smeared about half cup of mayonnaise on 5 drumsticks, dropped them in the bag,shook it well dusting off excess flour mixture and cooked on a greased sheet in the oven at 400 degrees for 35 minutes. Yum! Burp! Oops…sorry ha ha! Have a nice weekend y’all!

Mahimahi with mango salsa and confetti rice

12 Sep

Well, some dishes are just inspired from the ones I will watch on T.V shows. I will soon share another fish preparation which is my all time favorite and looks like gourmet food. This is one of them. I am not sure why would I have confetti rice with a filling fillet of fish! Ooh, there is some alliteration. He he. So, you could skip the rice and use the recipe with something else like a raita or if you have a big appetite like mine you can always make it all together. This is definitely a summery dish with the fruit salsa!

Tip: You can add papaya to the mango salsa and tweak it with cilantro or mint.

https://mefoodatarian.wordpress.com/

All you need:

For the fish –

  1. Salt
  2. Black pepper
  3. 1 tbsp Cashewnuts roughly chopped (optional)
  4. 1 tsp Butter (optional)
  5. Oil for frying

For the salsa –

  1. 1 ripe Mango
  2. 1 Green/red chili
  3. 1 garlic clove
  4. 1 tbsp lime juice
  5. 1 stem of green onion
  6. Salt

For the rice –

  1. 1 cup rice
  2. 1/4 cup of frozen mixed vegetables or these vegetables : 1/4 cup green peas, 1/4 cubed red bell pepper, 2 tbsp corn, 2 sliced mushrooms
  3. 5-6 whole black peppercorns or 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
  4. Oil to fry
  5. Salt to taste

Ready, Set, Go:

For the Fish:

  1. Season the fish with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a pan and melt butter, toss in the chopped cashewnuts, toast till light brown. Keep aside.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of oil and fry the fish till done or grill or bake as per your liking.

For the Mango salsa:

  1. Peel the mango skin and cut the mango vertically on both sides of the pit and finely chop the mango flesh until it almost looks like puree. Take the finely chopped mango in a bowl.
  2. Finely chop the chili and garlic and add to the mango.
  3. Sprinkle lime juice and salt.
  4. Garnish with chopped green onion stem. You don’t have to add the bulb in it.

For the Confetti rice:

  1. Wash and drain the rice. Keep aside
  2. Boil two cups of water. Add salt. Add the rice. Boil it till almost done.
  3. Drain the rice in a colander so that you get rid of the additional starch and you will have long, plain white rice. Let the water drain completely. This is how I cook my rice everyday! Cover and let the rice sit for a while. It will keep cooking and cooling the rice.
  4. Heat a saucepan and add oil to fry the vegetables.
  5. Toss in the peppercorns or black pepper powder. Check seasoning. Mix the rice with the veggies and you are done.

Now, combining all of this. Place the fish on the serving dish. Layer the cashewnuts over the fish and spread the salsa on top of it. Serve with the confetti rice. The confetti rice can be served with any other curry dish too.

 

 

 

Mayonnaise Dip with Yogurt (5 Varieties included)

2 Jun

This is one of my favorite dips. This goes so well with Biryani, fried fish, pakodas, fritters, chips, almost all snacks. Easy as 1, 2, 3 and you can create varieties by mixing and matching a few ingredients. So here goes.

Tip: The fresher the ingredients and cold while serving, better the taste! You can add salt to the dip just before serving or it might sweat and become watery by the time you serve it. I use Greek Yogurt, mine does not sweat.

image

All you need:

  1. 1 tbsp Mayonnaise
  2. 2 tbsp Yogurt
  3. Salt as required
  4. a pinch black pepper powder

Ready, Set, Go:

1) Mix everything together! Keep it in the refrigerator. Pull out just before serving.

2) Mix everything together, add chopped mint. You can also add sugar to this dip. Keep it in the refrigerator. Pull out just before serving.

3) Mix everything together, add sliced onion, sugar and chopped cilantro. Keep it in the refrigerator. Pull out just before serving.

4) Mix everything together, whisk in olive oil and red wine or white wine vinegar. Keep it in the refrigerator. Pull out just before serving. Toss in lettuce and other veggies for a salad and pour the mixture as dressing over the salad.

5) Mix everything together, Keep it in the refrigerator. Pull out just before serving. Add chopped boiled eggs and voila a side dish!

Chicken Mughlai

25 Apr

Royal food vs. regular daily boring routine food!!! Who’s in? I am for sure!

Many of the popular dishes in India come from the classic, traditional Mughlai food! Every time I visit Hyderabad, the aroma of saffron, whole spices, ghee(clarified butter), chicken, biryani, even  boiling milk transcends the soul in a different world. I wish I had learnt this recipe earlier. Oh, well, let’s head towards the recipe before my mouth starts watering! Just a quick note, this recipe needs to be marinated for a minimum of 5-6 hours, overnight marinated chicken will taste even better.

Tip: This recipe takes a little love and effort to make, please prepare everything beforehand and keep the ingredients ready. Even if it looks long, it’s all worth it! I only have this pic! I will try making it again for a better picture.

Chicken Mughlai

All you need:

For marinade:

  1. 1 lb Chicken preferably with bones (Washed, cut into medium sized pieces)
  2. 1/2 cup Yogurt
  3. A pinch of turmeric powder
  4. 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  5. 1 tbsp coriander powder
  6. 1/2 tbsp cumin powder
  7. 1 tsp garam masala powder
  8. Salt as required
  9. 1 tbsp oil

Whole and powdered spices:

  1. 1 bayleaf
  2. 1-2 inch cinnamon whole
  3. 3-4 cloves
  4. 3-4 green cardamom pods
  5. 1 black cardamom pod
  6. 1 anistar
  7. 5-10 black peppercorns
  8. 1 tbsp coriander powder
  9. 1 tsp cumin powder
  10. 1/4 tsp ground mace
  11. 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  12. 1/4 tsp garam masala
  13. 1/4 tsp turmeric
  14. 1 tsp red chili powder

Other ingredients:

  1. 1 medium sized onion sliced (I prefer red)
  2. 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  3. 1 green chili finely chopped(I use serrano pepper about half if its a small one)
  4. 2 chicken bouillons
  5.  1/2 cup skinless almonds (soaked)
  6. 1/4 cup unsalted cashews (soaked)
  7. 1/2 cup cream
  8. a pinch of saffron strands
  9. Salt as required
  10. Ghee or Oil as required
  11. Mixed dry fruits like pistachios, almonds, cashews, brown raisins for garnishing.( I only had pistachios! 😦  )

Ready, Set, Go:

  1. Marinate the chicken and keep it overnight preferably.
  2. Heat oil, add onions, fry them until they soften, do not fry till the onions turn brown, add ginger-garlic and fry till the raw smell disappears or for less than a minute, add the chili. Fry for a few more seconds. Turn off the heat, cool it and blend the mixture.
  3. Heat another pan for frying the chicken, fry chicken pieces until they look golden in color on both sides. Reserve the remaining oil in pan. Drain the extra oil off the pieces and keep the pieces aside in a bowl.
  4. In the same pan, in the remaining oil, add the whole spices (numbers 1-7) and fry till you start smelling the aroma, add the onion paste and fry for two minutes, add the powdered spices (numbers 8 – 14). Fry until it starts to stick together.
  5. Add the chicken bouillons and let it simmer for about 8-10 minutes.
  6. Add the chicken pieces. Stir and let the pieces cook in the mixture. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  7. Blend the almonds and cashews together.
  8. Add the paste and saffron to the pan. The saffron will blend well if added with a tablespoon of warm milk.
  9. Cover and cook for another batch of 10 minutes until the pieces get cooked completely.
  10. Check for salt, remove the cover and let the sauce thicken for a few minutes, add cream and let it cook for a few more minutes until everything looks well blended. Garnish with the dry fruits, serve warm with rice, naan or roti.

Shrimp/Prawns Pickle

21 Feb

Tyapp!!!! My mouth is watering already! My dad always made it in a small quantity, and I cribbed, “why” and he would respond saying “it’s a pickle and not a vegetable”. So if you feel like just having something spicy, sour, tangy just to tickle your taste buds you can try making this quick, simple and easy recipe. It could also be served an appetizer. It belongs to my dad, because I do not know anyone who can make such a tasty prawn pickle and I think it could be a his “saraswat” style of cooking. Let me proclaim the love for other prawn pickles like the Balchao and Chemeen achaar, but those recipes may come later.

poohalicious prawns pickle

Tip : Be careful with the amount of Vinegar you put in the pickle.

All you need:

  1. 1/2 lb prawns cleaned, shelled and deveined (I got jumbo prawns/shrimp)
  2. 1 tsp turmeric
  3. a pinch of asafoetida
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds
  5. 1/2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  6. 1 tbsp coriander powder
  7. 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  8. 1 tsp sugar
  9. 1 tbsp white vinegar
  10. 1 tsp Garam masala powder
  11. 1 tsp red chili powder (I add 1/2 tbsp but you must adjust as per your requirements)
  12. Salt to taste
  13. 2 tbsp Oil (I take 3 just for the pickle to be yummylicious)

Ready, Set, Go:

  1. Marinate the prawns with salt and turmeric for about 15 minutes.
  2. Heat oil on medium heat in a pan till the oil is running smoothly in the pan and not smoky.
  3. Add mustard seeds, let them splutter. Add a pinch of asafoetida.
  4. Add ginger garlic paste and cumin and coriander powder. Reduce the heat
  5. Add marinated prawns, red chili powder, sugar. Stir until all the ingredients are combined for a minute or so.
  6. Add vinegar. Taste and check if it is sour enough, adjust accordingly. Check salt. Stir for a little longer.
  7. Finally add the garam masala powder and turn off the heat. Let it rest
  8. Serve as pickle(!!)alongside any pulao or curry and roti combination. Also can be served as an appetizer.

Grilled Paneer with Avocado Chutney

21 Sep

I was bored to death just directly diving into the main course. My husband also cribs sometimes for having something healthy but appetizing, so I decided to make this quick and easy recipe I saw on television. Without a doubt I gave it some Indian flavors and it turned out pretty decent! With just one additional serving of an appetizer, the entire night was so pleasant with all the praise I got! So if you like Paneer (Hard Cottage cheese) and you can always make your own chutney, but I loved the avocado dip, go ahead and try this one.

Tip: If you do not know how to prepare an avocado, I have mentioned it at the end of the recipe.*****

Image

All you need :

For the Grilled Paneer:

  1. 200 grams Paneer (Hard Cottage Cheese) cut into big squares
  2. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 1 tablespoon red chilli flakes mixed with a pinch of cinnamon powder and cumin powder
  4. 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  5. Salt to taste

 For the Chutney:

  1. One ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
  2. 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  3. 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  4. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  5. 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  6. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  7. Salt to taste

https://mefoodatarian.wordpress.com/Ready, Set, Go:

For the Paneer: Heat a non-stick pan over medium flame. Brush with olive oil and season with the ingredients mentioned above.  Grill it for about 2 -3 minutes until golden brown. Remember not to grill it too much otherwise it will be hard to chew.

For the Chutney: Just blend it all together. Adjust salt and pepper as required.

Spread the chutney onto the paneer before serving.

*******

 Preparing an avocado: A ripe avocado is soft to touch and must be used immediately otherwise it will oxidize. Rinse the avocado under running water. Hold it down on a chopping board, I prefer it in my hand, cut through till you feel the pit and rotate the avocado and twist the avocado till you have it in half. Strike your knife with a soft blow in the pit, your knife should be stuck in the pit, pick up the avocado and twist the knife, the pit will come off. Scoop out the avocado flesh  from its cover with a spoon. The flesh is ready to be used.

Amritsari Fish Fry or Batter fried fish

28 Aug

The smell of fried fish is revolting to some people. But I love it! Especially in coconut oil. I will post the typical recipes from Kerala, the ones that my husband’s aunt and grandma makes. That is from down south. This recipe is from the north of India. Mostly eaten as an appetizer, but I could have it as a snack even a midnight one! I love the spicy tangy taste and the succulent pieces of fish…yum!

All you need:

  1. One lb Fish cut into pieces (Used Tilapia since it was easily available, but preferably a white one)
  2. ½ cup White Vinegar

For Batter:

  1. 1 cup gram flour
  2. ½ cup of whisked yogurt
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1 tbsp red chilli powder ( I wanted mine spicy, adjust as per your requirements) or paprika powder
  5. Salt as per taste
  6. ¼ teaspoon carom seeds (optional for digestion)
  7. 1 tbsp lemon juice
  8. Oil for deep frying
  9. Chaat masala or sour cream or mayonnaise or any other dip to serve

Ready, Set, Go:

  1. Wash and clean fish. Make pieces in the shape you wish, they can be fish fingers or bite size pieces, I cut them in squares. I used fish fillet.
  2.  Marinate the pieces in vinegar for around 10-12 minutes.
  3. Prepare the batter.
  4. Take the gram flour in a bowl. Add the whisked yoghurt, egg, adjust chili powder as per your spice levels, I prefer it hot to the T. It’s the spiciness that gives it the oomph! Add salt. Add ginger garlic paste and the carom seeds if you have (makes it easy to digest since gram flour may cause a little bloating), lemon juice, we have got vinegar in it so be careful about the lemon juice. Whisk the batter till there are no more lumps.
  5. Add the fish to the marinade and keep aside for a few minutes till we heat the oil.
  6. Heat oil for deep frying till almost smoky.
  7. Drop pieces in the oil, only a few at a time.
  8. Turn it carefully and fry till all sides are golden brown.
  9. The outer part should be crispy and the flesh should be tender.
  10. Drain the pieces on an absorbent paper.
  11. Serve immediately, hot and crispy.
  12. You can sprinkle it with chaat masala or serve with sour cream or Mayo.

Sali Par Indu/Eeda

25 Jun

I was so intrigued by the name of this dish. The name suggests eggs on french cut potatoes. This was something my dad taught me while growing up. The dish comes from a Parsi (a community in South Asia) background. The original recipe has like a paste of spices blended together but my dad’s twist is a better version for me.  This dish can be made indulgent or healthy by using more or less oil and will leave your taste buds wanting for more. Eggs and potatoes go so well together, so do try it.

All you need :

  1. 4 eggs
  2. 1 big onion sliced (if small 2 would be better)
  3. 1 big tomato sliced (adjust the quantity as per onions used)
  4. 1 big potato (sliced vertically like french fries)
  5. 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste (if you prefer you could use julienne of ginger and garlic)
  6. 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  7. 1½  tsp chilli powder  (as preferred)
  8. 1  tbsp coriander powder
  9. ½ tsp cumin powder
  10. ½ tsp garam masala/curry powder
  11. 1 ½ tbsp oil
  12. Salt (as required)
  13. Chopped cilantro (for garnishing)

Ready, Set, Go:

  1. Heat a pan and add the oil. Saute the sliced onions till they become transparent.
  2. Add chopped ginger -garlic paste and saute for few seconds.
  3. Now add the chopped tomatoes and cook till they soften up a bit.
  4. Then add the sliced potato pieces and saute for 1-2 mins. Cover with a lid and cook for 2-3 mins.
  5. Add all the spices one by one starting with turmeric, coriander powder, cumin powder, chilli powder and lastly garam masala. Stir it well and cook until oil separates. Add salt and mix it well.
  6. Now spread the veggies evenly in the pan. Break each egg side by side on top of the spread of vegetable mixture. Try to spread the egg white as much as you can. Refer to the picture. Try to keep the egg yolks intact, they look more presentable, but do not fret if they break, it’s all going to get churned in the tummy!  Cover and cook for about 5-8 mins.
  7. Check if the entire eggs are cooked thoroughly. At this point the egg yolk should not be runny but hard.  If not done, cook for a few more minutes. The oil will also separate and come on top. Sprinkle chopped cilantro leaves on it. Serve hot with chapati, bread or roti.
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