Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Simple Chicken Biriyani

I loveee briyanis and I enjoy making them but only when I am in the right mood to make them. I’ve noticed if someone makes me mad while I am cooking especially by crowding the kitchen while I am cooking the dish won’t turn out as I expect. So whenever I am making biryani, since it is kind of a longer process I make sure that everyone is out of my way and I am left alone.

This is a very simple briyani dish and came out very well. Please give it a try…


For rice:
Basmati Rice: 3.5 cups, washed and soaked for 30 minutes
Cloves: 5
Cardamom: 3, slightly crushed
Cinnamon: 1” stick
Bay Leaves: 2
Mint: about 10 leaves
Turmeric Powder: ¼ tsp
Ghee: 1 tsp

For Masala:
Chicken: 3 lbs, (I used chicken legs for this dish)
Onion: 2 big, thinly sliced
Ginger-Garlic Paste: 2 tsp
Green Chili: 2, minced
Turmeric Powder: ½ tsp
Coriander Powder: 3.5 Tbsp
Chili Powder: 2.5 tsp
Garam Masala: 1 tsp
Shahi Jeera: 1 tsp
Fennel Seeds: 1 tsp
Cloves: 5
Cardamom: 3
Cinnamon: 1” stick
Mint leaves: ½ cup, minced
Cilantro: ½ cup
Ghee: 2 Tbsp
Vinegar: 2 tsp
Cashews: Handful
Raisins: Handful

Marinate Chicken:
Lemon Juice: 2 Tbsp
Turmeric Powder: ½ tsp
Chili Powder: 1 tsp
Coriander Powder: 1.5 tsp
Yogurt: ½ cup
Ginger-Garlic Paste: 1 tsp

To make Rice:
In a thick bottom pan heat ghee and add cloves, cardamom, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, turmeric powder, and salt and sauté for about a minute or two
Add soaked rice with enough water and mint leaves and cook till rice is almost cooked but still has a bite to it
Drain the rice and set aside

To make Masala:
Marinate chicken using the ingredients under Marinate Chicken for 45 minutes
Heat 1 tsp of ghee in a pan and fry cashews and raisins and set aside
Add 1 Tbsp of ghee in the same pan and add marinated chicken pieces and cook till its brown on the outside, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer that to another dish and let it set for few minutes
In the mean time add rest of the ghee to the pan and add fennel seeds, shahi jeera, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom for 2 minutes
Add onion, ginger-garlic paste and green chilies to this and let it sauté for about 5 minutes
Add turmeric powder, chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala and salt to this, sauté till the raw smell goes away
Now add the chicken back to the pan along with vinegar and mix well
Add ¼ cup of water, cover and cook in medium heat for about 15 minutes
Open the lid add mint and cilantro to the pan, mix well and cook it uncovered for another 10 minutes in medium heat
Now layer the rice, and chicken, to an oven safe dish with lid, add cashews and raisins on top, drizzle some ghee on top, and cover tight with the lid
Preheat the oven and transfer the dish to the oven and cook for about 15 minutes (425 degree F)
Serve the dish with pickle, raita, and pappadam!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Baked Tandoori Chicken

I have always used store bought Tandoori masala to make tandoori chicken at home, but was never satisfied with the taste. The taste wasn't even comparable to the ones we get at local Indian restaurants. Then I came across Julie's Tandoori Chicken recipe and fell in love with it. It tasted even better than the ones I tasted in restaurants.


Chicken Drumsticks: 14, skinless
Yogurt: 1/2 cup
Ginger-Garlic Paste: 1 tsp
Food Color: a pinch (optional)
Lemon Juice: 1. Tbsp
Turmeric Powder: 1/4 tsp
Cumin Powder: 1 tsp
Coriander Powder: 3 tsp
Chili Powder: 2 tsp
Pepper Powder: 1 tsp
Garam Masala: 1/4 tsp
Oil: 3 tsp

  • Wash chicken thoroughly and pat dry with a paper towel
  • Make couple of deep gashes on the chicken pieces
  • Mix rest of the ingredients with yogurt and check for salt
  • Add the chicken pieces to this mixture and refrigerate it overnight 
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degree F
  • Arrange the chicken pieces in a baking rack
  • Lightly brush oil on top of each chicken piece and bake it for about 25 minutes
  • Turn the chicken pieces brush oil again and bake for another 25 minutes
Drizzle some lemon juice on top of the chicken and enjoy it hot :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Easy Spicy Egg Fried Rice


Rice: 2 cups, cooked & cooled
Egg: 3
Carrots: 1, diced
Beans: 1 cup, chopped
Green/Red Bell Pepper: 1, thinly sliced
Onion: 1 small, diced
Garlic: 1 clove, minced
Ginger: 1” piece, minced
Hot Sauce: 2 Tbsp
Soy Sauce: 1.5 Tbsp
Black Pepper Powder: ¼ tsp
Turmeric Powder: ¼ tsp
Salt & Oil


  • Beat the eggs with black pepper powder, turmeric powder and enough salt till its frothy and keep aside
  • Heat oil in a pan and scramble the eggs till it’s done
  • Heat oil in the same pan and sauté onion, ginger, and garlic for about 3-4 minutes in medium heat
  • Add carrots, beans, and bell pepper and stir fry it’s done and still has a bite to it
  • Add hot sauce, soy sauce and scrambled eggs to the veggies and stir well
  • Now add rice and mix everything together and let it sit in the heat for few minutes uncovered


Monday, November 14, 2011

Vellarikka Moru Curry (Cucumber in Yogurt sauce)


Cucumber: 1 cup, diced
Yogurt: 1 cup
Water: ¼ cup
Shallots: 5, thinly sliced
Garlic: 1 clove, thinly sliced
Green Chili: 2 split
Dry Red Chili: 4, broken
Fenugreek Seeds: 1 pinch
Mustard Seeds: ½ tsp
Turmeric Powder: ½ tsp
Curry Leaves: 1 sprig
Salt & Oil


  • In a pan heat oil and splutter mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds
  • Add curry leaves and dry red chilies and sauté for about a minute in low heat
  • Add shallots, garlic, green chili, and turmeric powder and sauté till shallots are light brown in color
  • Now diced cucumber and salt. Cover and cook till cucumber is soft (No need to add water. If you want to add water add about 1 Tbsp)
  • Add yogurt and ¼ cup of water. (You can add more or less water depending on the thickness you prefer)
  • Let it warm through. As soon as it starts simmering, turn off the heat and serve warm with rice