Saturday, November 27, 2010

Lunch Box Series : LBS#57 ~ Vegetable Biryani in Pressure Cooker | Vegetable Biryani with Paneer | Step By Step Recipe

Vegetable Biryani is so convenient to carry for lunch box. In the one hour one gets to get the cooking done, I mostly resort to these quick rice recipes that serve as one pot meal and you get to eat your vegetables and at the same time get things done soon. How much ever I plan ahead, I almost end up spending my first hour just cooking for my kids. 

Konda eats her breakfast and carries a lunch box, while boys just get time to drink their milk and carry their breakfast. Most days I make sure I ask them what they want. Else I know I end up having their lunch box returned without being touched. Konda most days just says anything is fine, yet has a limited list to accept! These days she loves Nutulla on bread, almost for breakfast, lunch and even dinner if I so offer. Once after much persuasion I accepted to send that for lunch one day and she was so happy.

Before getting into the recipe details I would like to share some great news with you. Rebecca whom I met couple of months back has just launched her a Recipe App. The app looks great. and so convenient. And she says "it will surely help the every day cook, have fun in the kitchen trying simple, healthy recipes from around the globe".

Please check out her video where Rebecca talks about the Recipe App. For more details, read the Press Release on the iPhone Recipe App launch.

Even better just hop on to buy the tunes, I am sure you will enjoy it!

Coming to the recipe, if you are wondering on how Paneer came into picture, of course I didn't pressure cook the paneer along with the vegetable biryani but rather garnished the rice with fried paneer. This rice variety was quite easy to make. This was adapted from a book written by Padma Vijay on Rice Treats.

I didn't make any other side dish for this other than the Onion Raitha. And it was good though not very spicy.

I made this last week when it was raining heavily and way through the last stage the power went off. Infact when I started for grinding the masala there was a power cut but luckily it came back just enough time for me to grind the masala. But imagine my predicament when I had to take the picture with my box showcasing the lunch. So the final picture was taken in complete darkness with flash on, still it came out well. Then I requested hubby dear to take a different shot when the power came back.

Step by Step to make Vegetable Biryani in Pressure Cooker.

 Grind the chilies, garlic, onions and coconut to a fine paste
Fry the paneer in 1 tsp ghee

 Remove the paneer and fry the whole spices

followed by the ground paste till the oil comes out,

which will about couple minutes in high.
 Then goes the vegetables
followed by the rice which was soaked for 15 -20 minutes

 Then pour water or coconut milk which ever you are going to use.
The paneer was again sauteed in a non stick pan frying in the pressure cooker got it sticking to the bottom.

Cover with lid and pressure cook it for 3 whistles.

Ok here is the customary picture I have of my lunch box. It was very good to bite in with the paneer pieces in between.

Ingredients Needed:

Basmati Rice - 2 cups
Vegetables - 2 cups (Beans, Carrots, Peas, Cauliflower which I didn't add)
Paneer cubes - 1/2 cup, fried
Cloves - 2
Cinnamon - 2"
Bay leaf - 1
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tsp
Ghee - 1 tsp

For the masala

Onions - 2 medium
Coconut - 2-3 tbsp
Green Chilies - 4 long
Garlic - 4 -5 cloves

Method to prepare:

Wash and soak the rice for 15 - 20 mins.

Grind the onions, coconut, garlic and chilies into a fine paste.

Heat ghee in the pressure cooker, fry paneer. This can be done in a non stick pan to avoid the paneer sticking to the bottom. I wanted to avoid using two vessels and ending up doing that anyways!

Then add the whole spices along with oil and fry, followed by the ground paste. Saute till the oil comes out.

Add the chopped vegetables, salt and a pinch of turmeric. Simmer for couple of minutes with the lid covered so that the vegetables get soft with the moisture.

Add the drain rice and saute for couple of minutes. Then add 3 cups of water or coconut milk. Just before covering with the lid, add the garam masala and pressure cook for 3 whistles.

Once the pressure falls, garnish with fried paneer and serve with onion raitha.

  • If you want you can add the paneer to the rice before pressure cooking, which I did next time. It did came out well. But this way of adding fried paneer tastes different too.
  • As always when cooking with Basmati Rice ensure to use 1: 1&1/2 cups of water. Even when vegetables are added, they get soft when you simmer for few minutes.
  • If you want to use coconut milk, make sure to increase the chillies as the coconut tends to reduce the spice. 
  • Alternate serving can be a milk tomato kurma instead of the onion raitha.
And sorry for hitting on the publish button by mistake! I was at wits to click back on the draft. Hope this recipe interest you enough to come back..

Happy Weekend!

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Moong Dal Payasam in Microwave | Microwave Pesara Pappu Payasam | How to make Moong Dal Payasam Step By Step Recipe

Making sweets in Microwave is pretty easy, especially if you are working with a lentil like Moong dal. So when Priya wanted to have Sweets for this edition of Microwave Easy Cooking Event, I had to think of another sweet that can be made.

I have already posted one version of making Moong Dal Payasam, which has Poppy seeds for a kick. While this was with different take and one that MW chef showed in a jiffy. Moong Dal works out easy in most dishes and as a sweet it simply rocks. I enjoyed eating this and making it. Do try if you want to have a quick sweet dish in microwave.

With the sun playing hide and seek the past couple of days, we are unsure when it is going to open up. As per norms, it usually rains in the night. But these days it just rains when we are all ready to set out. Imagine having to go out in pouring rain, only to see it all dry the moment you reach your destination. Not that I don't enjoy the rains, while I love getting drenched and don't mind sitting all wet at work too, it kind of puts off when you have to wade through dirty waters. Wish the authorities address the issue, rather than building showy things.

Let's see how to make Moong Dal Payasam Step by Step in Microwave

Micro Milk for 7 mins, keep it aside.

Dry roast Moong dal for 4 mins and soak in water for 30 mins.

Roast Cashew nuts and chopped Coconut in 1 tsp for 2 mins

Melt Jaggary in water and keep it aside.

Cook Moong dal along with the water for 25 mins in micro mode. Then add the boiled milk and micro for 5 mins.

Add the melted jaggary along with sugar and micro for 3 mins.

Finally add the roasted Cashew nuts and coconut and micro for 5 mins.

Stir in between once and put it back for remaining time.

Microwave Moong Dal Payasam

Moong Dal - 3 cups
Jaggary - 1/2 kgs
Sugar - 50 gms
Cardamon a pinch
Milk - 1/2 liter

Method to prepare:

Fry the Moong dal for 4 minutes and soak it in water for 30 mins.

Meanwhile boil the milk for 7 mins in micro mode.

Then cook along with the milk, moong dal for 25 mins in micro mode.

You can boil the milk along with moong dal but this way all the milk gets evaporated, so it is better to boil it separately.

Roast the cashew nuts and coconut in 1 tsp ghee and keep it aside.

When the moong dal is cooked, add these roasted nuts and micro for 5 mins.

Serve it hot
Moong dal tastes best when served hot, but you can refrigerate it for a cool dessert.

Sending this to Priya who is hosting this month's edition of Microwave Easy Cooking themed on dishes fit for a Sweet Tooth!..Have you got your dishes ready?

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

How to Make Pori Urundai Step By Step Recipe | Karthigai Deepam Recipes

Happy Karthigai Deepam to all my Readers!

Ok I have already posted the Pori Urundai Recipe last year. When I told Hubby dear that I am going to click pictures of the Pori Urundai that Amma was going to make, he said Amma makes it every year and I click every year!. I begged to differ saying I hadn't had a chance to record it in the right way, meaning there were no Step by Step recipe.

And trust me, I have not mixed this myself till now. I only do it along with Amma, which I know is very different. You end up getting all the doubts when you attempt it yourself. Also was eager to take the pictures in step by step. Amma was calling me to help her in making the entire batch, while I was under the impression that I called to take the pictures. Well in the end I got both the things done.

This was the lot I ended up making. Amma had some more and I knew Konda will love helping her. so that is reserved for tomorrow.

Amma's Deepam Decoration

Pori Urundai Recipe is same as what I have already posted. This is just going to be tutorial with only pictures!

 Break the jaggary and melt it by adding water.

 Strain it to remove the impurities.

Put it back again and continue boiling till you get the right consistency

Within 5 minutes you will it bubbling like in the picture.

Keep a small cup with water to test the consistency. It should form a ball when you put it into water and when you throw it down, you should hear a thud.

 Continue boiling, see how bright and tempting it looks.

Ok this is when the thud happened. Amma took a small bit to drop into the cup, immediately took it out and dropped it down. We distinctly heard the thud. Well rather Amma heard it as I was busy clicking away!

 See the shape, it formed a ball.

Two types of Puffed Rice are used. One very Crisp as below while one variety is soft and puffed as above.

With the soft one, we made just little. Took the rice on a kadai, poured the syrup over it.
 Immediately mix it quickly to make sure the rice is well coated with syrup.

Ok you get the draft right! Pictures are hazy as the movement makes it tough to capture.

Then we followed with the other variety. In this, Amma added the pori to the kadai and started mixing it.
Ok here goes the mixing part.
 Depending on how well coated the rice is, you continue adding the rice.

Dust your hands with Rice flour and immediately take a handful and catch into balls tightly.

The mix is not that hot and you will be able to manage the heat, especially as you dust your palm with flour.

Continue with the rest of the mix till you are done.

Enjoy the week ahead!

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chicken Fried Rice Indian Style | How to make Chicken Fried Rice Step By Step Recipe

The mention of Chinese Fried Rice takes me down the memory lane. It was the early 90's that the Indian Culinary world was introduced to those tempting fusion dishes from the Chinese Cuisine. Take away packs of Chinese Fried Rice with Chop Sticks was a fad. That was also when most felt that eating out was fashion. Weekend night was dedicated to eating out Chinese.

I think the invasion was through Egg Fried Rice, Chicken Fried Rice, before the Vegetable Fried Rice came into picture. There was really not much of a difference with the basic recipe being the same and you can just spice up the main ingredient and add them. With years passing, this become such an integral part of our restaurant menu that Chinese got dropped and Fried Rice became a standard item. As Cauliflower Manchurian is. Flip through any Restaurant and you will find Fried Rice, Chicken Fried Rice, Egg Fried Rice, Cauliflower Manchurian without fail.

At our home these were regulars at least once a month. Needless to say Amma makes all these so very well. Somehow after my marriage these dishes took a back seat. Nevertheless they appear on table once in a while. Especially when we are entertaining guests. These dishes are also special for me, as these are few of the dishes that I end up making exclusively when cooking together with Amma. And this recipe is very much a chinese fried rice restaurant style with the smoky effect.

Today's recipe was cooked many months ago, when parents had guests for dinner. I was called for making this Chicken Fried Rice and naturally I won't miss the opportunity of clicking away the pictures. But can you believe, I actually forget to take a final picture. So you got to do with seeing how it looked at the final stage on the Kadai. When I realized this, Amma said we can naturally cook it again and take a picture. I said that can wait but the post can't. Will surely update a final picture when I get around making it again.

Get all the vegetables ready by chopping them into fine pieces.

Heat a wok or a kadai with oil. Saute onions, cumin seeds. Once done, add the capsicum, saute till half done.
 Tilt the kadai to a side so that the oil along with vegetables reach the flame. This will make sure it gets the smoky effects.

See how the vegetables catch flame and it lets out a good smoky smell. But ensure you are very careful with all vegetables not catching fire.

Then add rest of the vegetables and continue with the smoky effect if required
Next goes the cabbage, beans.
 Add the soya sauce to the vegetables, salt and ajinomoto.

 Then add the cooked rice to the kadai. Mix well

Finally add the pepper and spring onion greens.

Meanwhile pressure cook the chicken as mentioned below and remove the bones from the chicken.

Heat a pan with oil, saute the green chili sauce, then followed by the chicken pieces and pepper. 

Finally add the chicken pieces to the rice or remove the portion you want to add to the chicken and mix together.

Chinese Fried Rice with Chicken
Serves 6

Ingredients Needed:

For the Rice

Basmati Rice - 3 cups
Spring Onions - 1 bunch
Capsicum - 1 medium
Beans, Carrot and Cabbage - 2 cups
Salt to taste
Ajinomoto - 1/4 tsp
Soya Sauce - 2 tbsp
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Pepper powder - 1 tbsp

For Chicken

Boneless Chicken - 250 gms
Ginger Garlic paste - 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Pepper powder - 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala / Green Chili Sauce / Red Chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1 tsp

Method to prepare:

To make the Rice:

Clean and soak rice for 15 mins. Cook the rice in a non stick pan with 4 & 1/2 cups of water. Since the rice has to be non sticky and separate, you can even reduce quarter cup of water. You can either pressure cook or cook directly on stove. Once its cooked, remove and spread it on a plate so that you have each grain separate.

Chop all vegetables finely. Onion bulbs can be chopped as circles. The stock is saved to be used for garnish at the final stage. Rest of the vegetables can be chopped finely.

Heat a wok or Kadai. Wok works out best as you an flip the vegetables to come directly in touch with flame, which brings out the characteristic smoky effect. Add 2 tbsp of Oil, to this add cumin seeds. When it splutters, add chopped spring onions. Fry well, then add all the chopped vegetables. Sauté well with the flame high. To get the smoky restaurant effect, tilt the kadai to a side and let the vegetables catch the flames. The moment the vegetable in oil gets burnt you can smell the charred or smoky smell. Tilt it back and keep sautéing till the vegetables are crisp and cooked. This dish requires the vegetables to be crisp and not over cooked.

Then add Ajinomoto, salt and Soya sauce. Sauté well. Slowly add the cooked rice and mix well. Add the pepper powder and adjust the salt. Sprinkle the spring onion stocks over the rice.

Every step in this needs to be cooked on high flame.

To make the Chicken

Pressure cook the chicken, along with salt to taste, turmeric powder and Ginger Garlic paste.

Once it is done, remove the bones and keep the boneless chicken pieces aside. We normally don't add water for pressure cooking as chicken will let out water. If you are not making any gravy, you can cook the chicken to make it dry.

Heat a pan with oil, add chili paste/ red chili powder, whichever you are going to use. Sauté in the chicken pieces, sprinkle pepper powder and garam masala if you are going to use that. Once it is dry, add the chicken pieces to the rice.

If you want to make sure vegetarian eat,  make sure you remove a portion and add the rest to the chicken pan.


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