Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Chole masala

You can use this masala to cook many more beans other than Garbanzo beans (Kabuli chana).
I use this while preparing rajma, mung beans, green peas too.  Start with a can of cooked beans. Drain out the liquid and take out the beans into a pan. To this beans, add onion-tomato masala (its the basic indian masala in which both onions and tomatoes are stir-fried in oil with a few spoons of  ginger and garlic paste) and a tbsp of this chole masala.

Cook for some time till all the flavors seep into the beans. Lastly you can add beaten yoghurt or fresh cream, milk or coconut milk for a creamier gravy.

I will be sharing recipes for gravies like chole, rajma etc in my other blog Same veggie many ways. Good news is they are all freezer friendly.


1 tsp ajwain (bishops weed)
4 tsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
4 tsp kashmiri red chilli pd
2 tsp turmeric pd ( haldi)
3 tsp coriander pd (dhania pd)
2 tsp cumin pd (jeera pd)
2 tsp anardana (lightly roasted and powdered-dried pomegranate seeds)
1 tsp ground pepper corns (black pepper pd)
1 tsp garam masala pd
1 tsp kala namak (black salt)
2 tsp dry ginger pd and 1 tsp garlic pd  (add this only when you are not adding ginger and garlic paste while preparing the gravy)
4 tsp salt

Crush the kasuri methi with your fingers, and stir together all the above ingredients.
Store this in a glass bottle inside a cupboard away from sunlight.
Use a dry spoon to take out a few spoons of this masala.
Do not keep a spoon inside the bottle as you will be tempted to use this with your wet fingers.
For each cup of cooked beans you will require 1.5 tsp of this masala.

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Monday, 12 January 2015

Shahi egg biryani

Electric rice cooker or
Pressure cooker or
A non-stick heavy bottomed pan with a lid

150 ml basmati rice (click here to see how to cook rice )
300 ml- 400 ml hot water
1 onion
5-6 strands of saffron or 1/4 tsp turmeric pd
2 eggs (hard boiled) (click here to see how to boil eggs)
2 tbsp hot milk (optional)
1tbsp fresh mint leaves or 1/2 tsp dried mint (click to see how to dry mint and green chilli)
1 tbsp oil + 1 tbsp ghee/ butter
1 tsp Salt

Whole spices- (If you do not have these, add 1 tsp pulav or biryani masala after frying onions)
1/2 tsp shahjeera
1 black cardamom
8 pepper corns
1 small piece cinnamon
2 cloves
1 bay leaf

Preparations ahead-

1. Before starting with the biryani put 2 cups of water and  2 eggs in rice cooker, when the water starts boiling and shift the eggs into another bowl along with the water. Keep it covered, the eggs will continue to cook in this hot water. When the eggs are out, the rice cooker pan is free to cook biryani.
2. You can heat 3 cups of water and keep it aside too.
(It is convenient to have a electric water kettle in your dorm... to heat water, it is quicker this way.
3. Take 2 tbsp of this hot water into a bowl and soak saffron in it. You can soak saffron in hot milk too. (or you can put saffron in cold milk and zap it in microwave for 2 mins).Keep this aside.
4. While the eggs are boiling wash the rice and drain and keep aside. Wash the rice only once (this helps in retaining its fragrance).
5. Chop onion into small pieces.

To make egg biryani-

Heat oil in a pressure cooker and put in shahjeera, black cardamom,pepper corns, cloves, bayleaf and stir for a moment. The spices will change color, peppercorns and cloves may pop.Do not keep frying for a long time as the spices will burn and taste bitter. Add onions and fry  till it is slightly golden.
In Electric rice cooker- Put oil, spices and onions into the rice cooker pan and cover it with its lid. Press the cook button and let it heat till onions change color and become soft and slightly golden.

While the onions are frying, peel the eggs and slice them. Saffron tinged milk or water is ready too.

Put in the drained rice and stir briefly (a minute or two is enough)

 Put in the sliced eggs, soaked saffron in milk and hot water into the rice. Add salt (3/4 to 1 tsp).

Cover the cooker and cook till rice is done.
If you are cooking in rice cooker or a non stick pan, check in between to see whether you need 1 more cup of water.
If you cooking it in pressure cooker,2 cups of water is sufficient, and cook till you hear 1 whistle.

Let the rice sit in the pan covered with lid for another 10 mins. Open the cooker and transfer the rice to a wide bowl and let it cool for 5 mins. Garnish with fresh mint leaves or mint pd.

Eating with-
You can eat it with curd, raita, kadhi or dal.
You can discard cloves, cinnamon and black cardamom before eating this. This are used only to flavor the biryani and are not to be eaten.

You can buy plain boiled rice and boiled eggs and stir fry together using the above spices.
You can use left over boiled rice and eggs to make this.
If you want it hot add red chilli pd or green chilli pieces while frying the onions.

Hope you found this recipe useful. Do share this recipe with anyone who needs it.

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Instant semia payasam and seviyan kheer

 This recipe is for anyone who wants to have a quick snack or dessert. It does not belong to any region, it is just a simple modern Indian dessert. Feel free to change the flavors by adding cloves and raisins (fried in ghee) or khoya if you are missing payasam or kheer. Instant Indian dessert mix is used to turn this simple kheer (pudding) into a thick and creamy dessert. Earlier, I had used this mix to make bread halwa and to garnish bread pudding. You can make variations by adding cocoa pd and fruits into this. Look out for the tips to prepare these versions, at the end of this recipe.

Instant Indian dessert mix
In south India ,vermicelli payasam is prepared. It is of thinner consistency and some roasted raisins and cashew  are added into it. Payasam is flavored with cloves and cardamom.
People in most parts of Northern india enjoy making thick creamy kheer out of vermicelli.
Thickened milk solid (khoya / mava/ khova) is used to make it thick and  the  kheer is flavored with rose or kewra.

You need not measure anything , if it is less sweet add sugar, if it turns out slightly thin add vermicelli, if it is thicker than desired add milk to thin it out. It is a very easy recipe.

1/2 cup super thin vermicelli (nylon)
1.5 cups milk (full fat/ toned/ low fat can be used)
2 tbsp Instant Indian dessert mix
2 tbsp Sugar (or add as required)


Nylon vermicelli is pre-roasted, so it saves some of your time.
These vermicelli are very long and it is difficult to take it out of the packet.
Break the vermicelli into bits by bending the packet.

Cut open the packet and take out the quantity that you need, into a thick bottomed vessel or a rice cooker pan.
Put in milk and press the 'cook' button. Do not cover the pan. The milk tends to overflow when covered.
After the milk starts bubbling and vermicelli is cooked add the instant pd and sugar.
Let if boil for 2 more minutes. Check the sweetness. You might need few more spoons of sugar.
Switch of the rice cooker and leave the pan in it.
Stir from time to time to avoid cream formation.
If you are hungry eat it piping hot.
If you can wait let it cool to room temperature / chill it and you will get a creamy Indian dessert. If it thickens on cooling add 1/4 cup milk.

You can heat the milk and then add the vermicelli. Vermicelli cooks in 3 mins.
If you are planning to make this with thicker vermicelli-

Heat 1 cup water and then add the pre-roasted vermicelli(use Bambino/MTR brand). Let it cook for 8-10 mins and then add milk, instant dessert pd and sugar and cook for 5-8 mins. Switch off the cooker and leave the pan in the hot rice cooker for another 10 mins.

Fruit and vermicelli kheer- Try adding orange segments, banana slices, mango cubes into the cooled /chilled  kheer.
Mix in 1 tsp cocoa pd or 1 tbsp hot chocolate mix into the milk to make chocolate kheer.

It is a very easy dessert when you have to cook a complete meal.

Hope you found this recipe useful. Do share this recipe with anyone who needs it.

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