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Am an open book.. a big time foodie.. an aspiring chef... who has a thirst for knowledge.. loves traveling...loves making friends.. is passionate about writing...wants to capture life through photography...is a loud mouth..a chatterbox...a self proclaimed Bohemian..and the world is my oyster !!!!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Kerala Egg Curry


  • Eggs - 4, hard boiled, peeled
  • Onion - 1, finely sliced (large)
  • Green chilies - 2, slit lengthwise
  • Ginger - 1", finely minced
  • Curry leaves - 1 sprig
  • Tomato - 1, finely chopped
  • Garam masala powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Garam masala whole (clove - 3, cardamom -3, tiny cinnamon stick, bay leaf)
  • Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Coconut milk - 1 1/2 cups, thin
  • Thick coconut milk - 3/4 to 1 cup
  • Black Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp (crushed)
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Red Chilies - 1, tear and de-seed
  • Coconut oil - 1 1/2 tbsps (or any oil)


  1. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed vessel, add the mustard seeds and allow them to splutter. Add the red chilies and  the whole spices and saute for few seconds.
  2. Add sliced onions, few curry leaves, minced ginger and green chilies and saute for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes and saute for 4 mts.
  4. Add salt to taste and thin coconut milk and cook on low to medium flame for 7- 8 minutes. Stir once in a while.
  5. Add the eggs and cook for 2 mts. Add garam masala powder, crushed pepper and the remaining curry leaves.
  6. Add the thick coconut milk and cook on low flame for a minute and turn off heat. Serve with rice, appam, puttu, idiyappam or rotis.

Burmeese/Malaysian Egg Curry


4 large eggs or extra-large eggs, preferably free-range
⅓ cup peanut oil or unroasted sesame oil
⅛ tsp turmeric
2 small shallots, minced
2 tsp minced garlic
¼ tsp red chilli powder or cayenne, or to taste
2 medium tomatoes (about ½ lb), finely chopped
2 tsp fish sauce
½ tsp salt, or to taste
2 or 3 green cayenne chillies, seeded and sliced lengthwise into 3 or 4 strips each


Place the eggs in a saucepan, add cold water to cover, bring to a boil, and cook at a medium boil for 8 minutes. Drain the eggs and cool in cold water. When the eggs are cool enough to handle peel them.

Heat the oil in a wide heavy frying pan (skillet) over medium-high heat. Add the turmeric and stir to dissolve it. When the oil is hot enough to sizzle when a drop of water is dropped into it, add the peeled eggs and fry until golden and a little blistered all over: cook on each side in turn, then try to balance the eggs on their ends to cook the tips. Frying the egg is a fun little task, quickly done, and it makes them very attractive. With a slotted spoon, lift the eggs out of the hot oil and onto a plate. Cut them lengthwise in half and set aside. (optional)

Pour off all but 2 to 3 tablespoons of the oil (the oil can be used again for stir-frying). Heat the oil remaining in the pan over medium heat, add the shallots and garlic, and fry briefly, until translucent. Add the chilli powder and tomatoes and, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, cook at a strong simmer until the tomatoes have broken down into a softened mass, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the fish sauce and salt, then taste and adjust the seasoning if you wish. Raise the heat to medium-high, add the chilli strips, and stir. Place the eggs cut side down in the sauce and cook until the oil sizzles, about 3 minutes. 

Chettinadu Egg Curry/ Muttai Kozambu


Boiled egg-4
Small onion-20 or big onion chopped-1
Chopped ginger-1 teaspoon
10 pods Chopped garlic
Chili powder or sambar powder-1 teaspoon
Coriander powder-1 table spoon
Garam masala powder-1 teaspoon

For grinding

Cocunut-2 to 3 table spoon
Fennel seeds-1 teaspoon
Cumin seed-1 teaspoon
Cashewnut-8 or Kas Kas-1 teaspoon


Boil the eggs. Make a small split in the middle. Grind the coconut paste. Keep the kadai in the stove. In a teaspoon of oil season the curry with a teaspoon of fennel seed, a green chili and curry leaf. Add the onion and garlic pieces and sauté well. Now add the chopped ginger and garlic pieces and sauté that too for few minutes. Finally add the chopped tomatoes and sauté till the tomato pieces get cooked. Now add the chili powder, garam masala and coriander powder. Mix well. Be careful that the powder doesn’t get burned. Now add 2 cups of water and the salt needed. Keep the stove in medium flame and allow the curry to get cooked and reduce to ½ the quantity. Now mix the grounded coconut in a cup of water and add to the curry. Cook for 5 minutes. You will find the gravy thickening due to the cashews in the masala. Now add the boiled egg into the curry and cook for 5 more minutes in medium fire.

Gobi 65


Cauliflower - 1 clean and cut into small florets
Corn flour - 4 tbs
Rice flour - 6 tbs
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Ginger Paste - 1 tsp
Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Pepper Powder - 2 pinch
Asafoetida - a pinch ( Optional)
Lime Juice - 2 tsp
Orange food coloring – a pinch
Salt - Acc to taste
Onion – chopped
Chaat masala – a pinch
Oil - for frying 


In a vessel of water put the cauliflower florets and add some salt and boil it for 5-8 minutes. Drain the water completely by using sieve. Shift the boiled cauliflower into a bowl and add the corn flour, rice flour, ginger paste, chilli powder, turmeric powder, pepper powder, asafoetida, salt (as per taste) orange food coloring ,lime juice, toss well in the bowl. If need sprinkle very little water in the bowl. Refrigerate it for some time (may be half an hour). Heat oil in a deep frying pan and take the marinated florets from the fridge and deep fry in the heat oil in medium to high fame till golden color.

Note: In the wok add the florets one by one because if you add too much it may stick together.

Garnish with chopped onion, sprinkle some lemon juice and chaat masala and serve hot.

Chicken Manchurian (Dry)


Chicken---------------1 lbs, cut in to pieces, preferably boneless
Oil---------------------as needed


All purpose flour---------1 tbsp
Corn flour------------------1 tbsp
Lime juice or vinegar----1/4 tsp
Salt as needed


Chicken stock------------1/4 cup
Hot sauce-----------------1/2 tsp
Sugar-----------------------1 tsp
Tomato ketchup---------1 tbsp
Soy sauce-----------------1 tbsp
Ginger garlic paste-----1 tbsp
Green chilly--------------1 large, slit lengthwise
Onion-----------------------1 cup chopped finely
Spring onion/green onion ---chopped, to garnish


  1. Mix marinating ingredients (egg, all purpose flour,  corn flour,salt and lime juice/vinegar) in a bowl and marinate chicken for minimum 15 minutes.
  2. Now in a medium heat pan add 2tbsp of oil and fry chicken pieces.(You can also deep fry chicken if you prefer). Fry chicken till it is cooked perfectly. Do not fry too much as  chicken will become hard and rubbery if over fried but will be soft and juicy if fried perfectly.
  3. Keep the fried chicken aside and drain off excess oil using tissue paper.
  4. Now in the same pan add onion and green chilly. Sauté till soft.
  5. Then add ginger garlic paste and sauté in low flame till the raw smell goes.
  6. Then add soy sauce, hot sauce, tomato ketchup, sugar and chicken stock. Bring this to a boil.
  7. Add fried chicken pieces to it and slow cook it covered till all the sauce is fully incorporated with the chicken. Check the seasoning.
  8. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with chopped spring onions.

Chicken tikka/boti kebab


Chicken - 500 gms, boneless, cubed
Desi Ghee - 1 tblsp
Chaat Masala – 1 pinch
Lemon Juice – 2 tbs

Salt as per taste

For the marinade:

Hung Curd - 100 gms, whisked
Garlic Paste - 2 tblsp
Red Chilli Powder - 1 tblsp or more
Red Coloring – 1 pinch
Turmeric Powder – 1 pinch

Garam Masala Powder – ½ tsp
Warm Ghee – 2 to 3 tblsp
Salt as per taste

Method 1:

1. Mix all the marinade ingredients and marinate the chicken pieces for another 10 to 20 minutes.
2. Heat butter in a flat pan over moderate flame.
3. Add the chicken pieces and cook for about 12 minutes or till little moisture remains.
4. Turn the pieces frequently so that it cooks evenly.
5. Remove, sprinkle lime juice and chaat masala and serve hot with a salad and chutney of choice.

Method 2:

1.     Mix all the marinade ingredients and marinate the chicken pieces for another 10 to 20 minutes
2.     Place aluminium foil in oven and pre heat to 375 F
3.     Place chicken on foil and cook for 20 mins or till juices start coming out and toothpick when inserted comes out clean.
4.     Brush with ghee and Broil for 2 minutes at high

5.      Remove, sprinkle lime juice and chaat masala and serve hot with a salad and chutney of choice.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Basics of Biryani


(You can click on the Name of the Biryanis above the pictures for the recipe)

Biryani is my most favourite dish in the world. If I could eat only one food for the rest of my life it would be this power packed dish, rich in proteins, carbs and fats - A Complete Meal.  I love to experiment and try to cook various types of biryanis from different parts o the world, my most favorite one being "Chettinadu Biryani"

The name is derived from the Persian word beryā(n) (بریان) which means "fried" or "roasted". Biryani was believed to have been invented in the kitchen of Mughal Emperors. It is very popular in the Indian subcontinent and is a key element of the South Asian cuisineHyderabadMalabarDelhi/Agra,DhakaKashmirKolkata, Tamil Nadu, Lucknow and Lahore, are the main centres of biryani cuisine.

A lot of people get confused between biryani and pulao/pilaf as some of the biryanis are as mild as pulao/pilaf. The difference between biryani and pulao/pilaf is that while pulao/pilaf may be made by cooking the items together, biryani denotes a dish where the rice (plain or fried) is cooked separately from the thick sauce (a greatly reduced curry of meat or vegetables). The curry and the rice are then brought together and layered, resulting in a dish of the contrasting flavours of flavoured rice (which is cooked separate with spices) and intensely flavoured sauce and meat or vegetables. This separation is partly of necessity: the proportion of meat/vegetables to the rice is high enough to make biryani a one-dish meal, and the cooking time of each of the main ingredients is significantly different from each other. In a properly made biryani, the final dish is dry or minimally moist, with the individual rice grains separate.

The spices and condiments used in biryani may include, but are not limited to, gheenutmegmace, peppercloves, cardamomcinnamonbay leavescoriandermint leaves, ginger, onions, and garlic. The premium varieties include saffron. For a non-vegetarian biryani, the main ingredient that accompanies the spices is the meat—beef, chicken,goatlambfish or shrimp. The dish may be served with dahi chutney or Raitakorma, salam, a sour dish of eggplant (brinjal), boiled egg and salad.

There are around 100 varieties of Biryanis. I have elaborated on eight most popular ones that I have tried and  tested in my kitchen with great success. Since vegetarian options are few for biryanis, I will start with vegetarian  ones first. 

Tahari biryani is cooked without meat in it. Rice and different kind of vegetables are cooked together. Potatoes and carrots are mostly used as vegetables in Tahari biryani . In Kashmir, Tahari is served on the roads and streets to the travelers.

Bombay biryani originated in Mumbai, India. The ingredients are vegetables, rice, salt, onions, ginger and garlic paste, yogurt, all spices powder, chili powder powder, white cumin powder, coriander, potatoes, green chillies. Sometimes the vendors use pav bhaji masala and ketchup to make this biryani/pulao and it is a very satisfying, hot and quick meal sold in every street corner in the fast paced Mumbai life.

Calcutta biryani has evolved from Lucknow biryani. When Wajid Ali Shah, the last nawab of Oudh, was exiled to Kolkata, he brought his personal chef with him. Potatoes were used in the biryani instead of meat during the recession, which later became a special feature of the Calcutta style biryani.

Sindhi biryani is a special meat and rice biryani dish originating from the Sindh province of Pakistan. Owing to its popularity, it forms one of the most consumed dishes of Pakistani cuisine and Sindhi cuisine.

Memoni biryani was developed by the Memon ethnic group and is very similar to Sindhi biryani. It has variations though, among families, as do most biryanis, though the Bantva Memons community most commonly makes biryani in this form. Memoni biryani is made with lamb, yogurt, fried onions, and potatoes, and fewer tomatoes compared to Sindhi biryani. Memoni biryani also uses less food colouring compared to other biryanis, allowing the rich colours of the various meats, rice, and vegetables to blend without too much of the orange colouring.

Hyderabadi Biryani is a Hyderabadi dish based on basmati rice and goat meat. Popular variations use chicken instead of goat.The blending of Mughlai and Telangana cuisines in the kitchens of the Nizam, ruler of the historic Hyderabad State, resulted in the creation of Hyderabadi Biryani.

Ambur Biriyani is one of the famous biriyani recipes of South India which emerged during the Nawab of Arcot’s regime. Prepared mainly in Basmati Variety of rice, both chicken and Mutton are used for this. A full plate of Biriyani with Brinjal curry (Khattay Baigan or Yennai Kathrika) and Onion Raitha (Vengayam Pachidi) makes our feast a delightful one. Such is its very delicious taste, which makes many thousands of passers by in this Golden Quadrilateral track of Chennai-Bengaluru highway to taste it. Apart from this, Pakaathee (Biriyani cooks, as known in this region), are the people who indulge in large scale biriyani preparation and are hired to many places of South India for Biriyani preparation.

The Dindigul biryani originated from the Muslim populations in Tamil Nadu but the recipe was later modified by the Telugu speaking populations who started serving them in small restaurants nearby. Dindigul is a major commodity market for agricultural produce and a confluence of farmers from neighbouring districts to sell their produce to wholesale mandi’s. In recent years few Dindigul Biriyani chains have established their chains in most towns in Tamil Nadu as well as other major cities in India. Well known among them is the Dindigul Thalapakatti Biryani who own trademark rights to the specific name and have won legal battles to uphold their trademark rights.

One of the most popular biryani in Tamilnadu, this is truly a melage of various spices infused with coconut milk a jewel in the crown of the ever popular Chettinadu cuisine.

Well folks, I hope you get to try these wonderful dishes and I shall keep updating more varieties as and when I make them.

I am hugely indebted to Solai's true chettinadu kitchen and Spicy Tasty blog from where I learnt these recipes. I also took the help of Wikipedia for this blurb. Also, sorry about the different font sizes... I'm late for college.. Partnership Taxation class from 6 to 8:30 pm :( will be dreaming about biryani in class tonight :P

Hyderabadi Chicken Dum Biryani


  • Chicken (with bone) : 3/4 kg (washed )
  • Onions : 2 (cut lengthwise)  (fried deeply)
  • Oil : 1/4 cup
  • Ghee : 2tbsp
  • Basmati Rice : 3 cups (washed and soaked for about 20 minutes)
  • Coriander Leaves : 1/4 cup
  • Mint Leaves : 1/4 cup
  • Bay leaves : 1
  • Cloves : 2
  • shah jeera or black cumin : 2 tsp
  • saffron : 1 tsp
Marinade Mix :

  • Green Chilies : 5-6 (according to your spice level) (finely chopped)
  • Ginger & garlic Paste : 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp
  • Coriander Powder : 1 tbsp
  • Salt : required to taste
  • Yogurt : 1/2 cup
  • Shah jeera or Black cumin seeds : 2 tsp
  • Red chili powder : 2 tsp
  • Lime juice : 2 tbsp
To Grind :

  • Coriander Leaves :  1/4 cup (chopped finely)
  • Mint Leaves :1/2 cup (Chopped Finely )
  • Whole Black Pepper / Peppercorns : 7-8
  • Bay leaves : 2
  • Cloves : 3
  • Cinnamon Sticks : 1″
  • Green cardamom : 3
Method Of Preparation :

  1. Wash and soak the basmati rice for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and add the sliced onion and deep fry them till it becomes crisp and dark brown
  3. Wash the cut chicken and drain them and kept it aside.
  4. Now fry the bay leaves, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and whole black pepper grind them into fine powder and finely add the mint leaves, coriander leaves into ground mixture and again pulse it for 2 sec to make a coarse paste.
  5. Now add the ground mixture with the washed chicken and add the remaining marinade mix and some fried onions into them.
  6. Mix it all together and let it sit for 30 minutes.
  7. Boil the water in a heavy bottomed wide vessel and when it comes to a full boil,  add some oil, ghee, shah jeera, bay leaves (1),  cloves (2), cinnamon ( 1/4 ” ).
  8. When the water comes to full boil add the soaked rice  and just cook the rice in high heat for 3 -4 minutes and check the rice it should be half cooked (50% cooked).
  9. Now carefully drain the rice and keep them aside.  ( make sure it’s only  half cooked, don’t over cook it )
  10. Add the saffron in a 3tbsp of hot water and mix it well.
  11. Heat the  same heavy bottomed vessel add some oil, ghee and spread the marinated chicken at the bottom.
  12. Now add the cooked (half) rice on top of the chicken, spread some fried onions, remaining mint leaves, coriander leaves on top of the rice.
  13. Finally pour the saffron water on top of it.
  14. You can dum cook the biryani by covering the vessel with wheat flour dough or with a thick kitchen towel.
  15. Here I’ve used kitchen towel and put the tight lid on top of it.
  16. Cook on high heat for 2 – 3 minutes till you see water drops inside the lid.
  17. Now completely reduce the heat into medium flame and remove the biryani vessel.
  18. Now place a flat heavy bottomed non-stick pan on the heat  and allow it to heat. (this will make sure the bottom part doesn’t burn)
  19. After that on top of it place the biryani vessel and cook for 30 -35 minutes. (or you can cook the biryani in low heat for 40 minutes)
  20. You will smell a nice aroma after 30 -35 minutes so that way you will know the biryani is ready now.
  21. Now turn it off the heat and remove the vessel.
  22. Slowly remove the lid and kitchen towel and you will see beautifully cooked dum biryani ready for you.

Ambur Biryani


  • Mutton : 1/2 kg (500gms)
  • Zeeraga samba rice: 21/2 cups
  • Oil : 1/4 cup
  • Onion : 1 (large)
  • Tomatoes : 2
  • Ginger and Garlic Paste : 1tbsp
  • Mint and Coriander Leaves : 1 cup (chopped)
  • Red Chili Powder : 1/2 tbsp
  • Coriander powder : 1/2 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp
  • Ghee : 1/4 cup
  • Salt to taste
For marinade: 

  • Coriander powder ; 1/2 tbsp
  • Red chili powder : 1/2 tbsp
  • Garam masala Powder : 1 tbsp
  • Yogurt : 1/2 cup
  • Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp
  • Ginger and Garlic paste : 1/2 tbsp
  • lemon Juice : 2 tsp
Whole spices:

  • Cloves : 3
  • Cardamom : 3
  • Bay Leaves: 2
  • Cinnamon stick : 1 “
  • Star Aniseed : 2
To Grind:

  • Cashews : 10
  • Fennel seeds : 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds : 1/4 tsp
  • Green Chili : 2
  • Garlic : 3
  • Marinate the mutton with the ingredients listed under marinade for about an hour or atleast 30 minutes.
  • After an hour pressure cooker the marinated mutton with 4 cups of water. Pressure cook for 3 whistles and keep it aside.
  • Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes.
  • Grind the cashews, fennel seeds, cumin, green chili and garlic into smooth paste and keep it aside.
  • Now heat Ghee and oil in a wide bottomed pan. Now add all the whole spices into it.
  • Fry them in low heat until a nice aroma comes out of it. After that add the sliced onions into it.
  • Fry them till it becomes translucent and add 1/2 tbsp of ginger & garlic paste. Saute it for 2-3 minutes till the raw smell goes off.
  • After that add red chili 1/2 tbsp of red chili powder and coriander powder. Mix it all together and add turmeric powder.
  • Now add the chopped tomatoes with required salt and fry them for 3-4 minutes.
  • Finally add the mint leaves  & coriander  leaves, mix it all together.
  • Now add the pressure cooked mutton and mix them well finally add the ground paste and saute it for another 5 minutes in low flame.
  • Once the gravy is done transfer it into the electric rice cooker vessel.
  • Fry the soaked basmati rice in the same gravy pan for 2 minutes with 2 tbsp of ghee.
  • After that transfer the rice from the above step in to electric rice cooker pan with that gravy (step 12). Mix it all together sprinkle some coriander leaves and close the lid.

Dindugal Thalapakatti Biryani

To Marinade:
(Marinate for atleast one hour)
  • Chicken : 500 gms
  • Yogurt : 1 cup
  • Red chili Powder : 1/2 tbsp
To Prepare:
  • Onions : 1 1/2 (large)
  • Green chilies : 4-5 (according to your spice level)
  • Ginger & Garlic Paste : 3 tsp
  • Mint leaves : 1 cup
  • Coconut Milk : 1 cup (optional)
  • Red chili powder : 4 tsp (adjust according to your spice level)
  • OIl : 4 tbsp
  • Ghee : 2 tbsp
  • Salt : to taste
  • Basmati Rice : 4 cups
Masala to Grind:
  • Bay leaves : 2
  • Cloves : 5
  • Cinnamon : 3 pieces (small)
  • Cardamom : 5
  • Fennel seeds : 4 tsp
  • Coriander Seeds : 2 tsp
  • Whole Pepper : 1 tsp
  • Wash and soak the basamati rice for 20 minutes.
  • Heat oil and ghee in a pressure cooker and add chopped onions and green chilies.
  • Fry the onions till it becomes translucent and add ginger & garlic paste.
  • Fry them for 4-5 minutes till the raw smell goes off.
  • Now add the marinated chicken, ground masala, red chili powder and salt into it.
  • Now fry the above mixture and cook in medium heat for about 15- 20 minutes or till the oil gets separated.
  • Finally add the mint leaves and mix it all together.
  • If you want you can fry the soaked basmati rice in a wide pan with little ghee. If not skip this step.
  • Now add the soaked basmati rice into the pressure cooker and add 1 cup of coconut milk, 6 cups of water.
  • Once the mixture comes to a boil close the lid and put the whistle in the pressure cooker.
  • And let cook the biryani in medium heat for 15 minutes or till one whistle.
  • Remove from heat and after 15 minutes or till the pressure goes off open the pressure cooker.
  • Serve it hot with some raitha.

Chettinadu Biryani


Basmathi rice -2 cups (400 gms)
Chicken - 1/2 kg (500 gms)
Big onion-2
Coconut milk -1 cup or milk taken out of a small coconut

Ingredients for grinding masala

ginger -3 small pieces
garlic-10 pods
fennel seeds-1 teaspoon
green chili-4
red chili-4
Cinnamon-small piece
Mint leaves-handful (gives the real flavor)

Ingredients For Marinating the Chicken

Curd -1 tablespoon
Chili powder -1 tablespoon
Coriander powder -1 1/2 tablespoon
Turmeric powder-1 teaspoon
Grinded masala- half portion

Items for seasoning

Brinji leaf2 small pieces
cinamon-2 pieces
Marudani mokku -2
Curry leaf-little
Mint leaf-handful
Fennel seeds-1 teaspoon


Marinate the chicken with the items given for marination. Let the chicken stay marinated for at least 30 minutes. Mean while wash the rice and soak for 10 minutes. Drain the rice and roast in a kadai in little butter or ghee (1 tablespoon).The rice should be roasted in medium fire for 3 or 4 minutes till rice don't stick to the kadai. Keep the cooker in the stove. In 2 tablespoons of cooking oil mixed with little ghee season the biryani with the items given for seasoning. saute the minced onions and tomatoes for 3 minutes. Add the grinded masala (the remaining half) and saute well. Now add the marinated chicken and saute well.Keep the flame in medium and just keep the lid on top of the cooker. No need to lock the cooker or put weight. Cook the chicken for 6 minutes or till it gets half cooked. Make sure that there is not much water in the chicken. Now add 1 cup of coconut milk mixed with 2 cups of water. (1:1 1 /2) .Those who want the rice to be well cooked can add 1/2 cup more water. Add the salt needed and the rice. Mix well. Close the cooker. When pressure starts coming put the weight. Keep the flame low once the whistle comes. In medium flame, cook for exactly 8 minutes. Once the pressure gets released open the cooker and mix well without smashing. Your biryani is ready.

I thank Solai's True Chettinad Kitchen for this recipe.