We came home, enjoying the trip back home. They had kept a Bikke in reserve for each and they munched on it on the way. Back home, they asked for their akka and then they remembered their Nanamma was not around. She is normally the one who picks them up. I think it struck them that their daddy will be around too. When I told them that they have gone for an outing, they looked puzzled. Anyway they carried on with their rotinue. We happily spent the next two hours playing and I managed to give them a bath and feed them too. I was happy about it, as Konda was quite apprehensive on whether we three will manage on our own. Sunday was very much the same, with me most of the time feeding the kids. Each session took about an hour or more, what none of them sitting in one place to eat. But it was so much fun, hearing them trying to express each word. While Peddu can say most words in telugu, he manages to say it in Tamil for the ones he doesn't know. Like he was searching for his pant, when he couldn't find it, he said "Kannam". I was laughing at his expression. And other time when I was feeding Chinnu, he was showing me something. When he couldn't find me, he called out "Amma", When Athamma also responded. He turned to her and shook his head and said , "Daddy Amma. ekkada" He nodes his head so cutely, that we keep asking him questions just to make him nod his head.
I guess I managed to cover so much of my kids in one post! Anyway getting back to the recipe for the day, these two wonderful recipes which has been on my head for a while, finally came into existence.Since I was at home, I decided to cook something new. Everybody enjoyed the meal, best was the twins liking it. We absolutely loved the combo and I hope you try and enjoy it too!
Dum Vegetable Biryani!
Basmati Rice - 2 cups
Onions - 2 medium
Tomatoes - 2 medium
Ginger Garlic paste - 3/4 tsp
Green Chillies - 3 long
Cloves - 2
Cinnamon - 2"
Cardamom - 2
Star anise / Anaspuvu - 1
Marati Mogga / Caper / Enugadanta - 2
Javitri /Mace - 1
Bay Leaf - 1
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tsp
Ghee - 2 tsp
Mint leaves - Handful
Coriander leaves few
Carrot, Beans and Potato - 1 cup
Red Food colour 1 pinch (opt)
Water - 2 cups
Method to prepare:
Wash and soak Basmati Rice for 10 -15 mins in the water.
Take a pan that has a lid, heat with oil and 1 tsp of ghee. Add all the whole spices, let it splutter. Then add onion juliennes, sauté for few minutes till they turn brown, then add the ginger garlic paste. Fry for 1 min.
Once the onions are done, add the slit green chilies and finely chopped tomatoes. Simmer and cover with lid, cook till the tomatoes are well mashed. Check in between so that it doesn't get burnt.
Then add in the cubed vegetables. Stir well so that all the masalas are well combined. Add chili powder and salt. Cover for 2 mins in high while you keep stirring, then add the chopped mint and coriander leaves. Cover and again cook in sim for 10 mins. The vegetables will be half done at this stage.
Then drain the rice from water, add to the pan. Stir well so that rice is coated with the vegetables and spices. Add 2 cups of water, bring to boil. Add the remaining ghee. Sprinkle the dissolved food colour over the rice, for separate grains to be colored. This is purely optional. Simmer and cover with lid. Ensure the pan is well covered
Its takes about 10 to 15 minutes to be fully cooked. Stir in interval very gently for everything to be mixed again.
Since we are using only 1 cup water for 1 cup rice, this has to be cooked in dum. End of it, the vegetables are correctly done and the rice grains are really separated yet well cooked.
The addition of all the spices lends a great taste to this biryani and should not be missed out. I am sure its easily available in most spice shops.
It was very interesting to note that Jajikai and Javitri are from the same plant! I haven't used much of either in my cooking before, though I have been having these spices on hand for long. I have cooked with Nutmeg but never with Mace. The dum way of cooking this rice has the fragrance of all these spices imparting their individual flavours!
With just a simple Onion Raitha and a crunchy Masala Potato Wedges, it was a simple yet a delicious meal!
Have a great week ahead!