Tag Archives: yummy

Finger-licking Vegetable Biriyani

Sundays are always good food days at my house. And what dish can beat biriyani? Chicken and mutton biriyani are always scrumptious but I thought of making a vegetable biriyani today. (Also because owing to the Covid, have bid goodbye to non-vegetarian fare) This was the mood in which I began making my preparations but in a little while as I put some potatoes to fry and grilled my cottage cheese, I began to feel excited about how this biriyani will turn out. And let me tell you, it turned out absolutely delicious. We enjoyed it for itself, not as a poor substitute for a non-vegetarian biriyani. Agreed, it took almost as much time to make as a chicken biriyani. But with the lockdown in effect, time is one thing which I have in plenty 🙂 So, do try out this recipe. I can bet you will love it.

Ingredients:

2 big potatoes, cut long and thin (to make french fries)

3 onions, chopped

1 small cauliflower, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

1 capsicum, cut into cubes

A handful of french beans, chopped

100 gms paneer

1 tablespoon processed cheese spread or 1 cube processed cheese

1 tablespoon curd

1 tablespoon tomato puree

2 1/2 cups basmati rice

8-10, cloves

10-14, peppercorns

3 cardamoms

2-3 bay leaves

1 1/2 tablespoon clarified butter

1/2 tablespoon butter

1 cup fried onion or birista

1 cup coriander, chopped

1 cup mint leaves, chopped

1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste 

1 teaspoon red chilli powder, adjust as per taste

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

2 teaspoon butter chicken masala or biriyani masala

1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder

Handful of raisins

Oil

Yellow and green food color mixed with milk

Salt, as per taste

Method:

To start, put water to boil in a deep bottomed pan. To this add, the whol cardamoms, cardamom powder, oil, bay leaves and half of the cloves and peppercorn and salt. Once the water starts to boil, add the rice. Boil till almost cooked. Drain and set aside. Add the yellow color to part of the rice and mix gently. Add the green color to the balance rice, mix and keep aside. Add black pepper and salt to your potatoes. Heat oil in a deep bottomed pan and make your french fries. Once cooked, in the same pan, grill your cottage cheese in a little oil.

Heat oil in a separate pan and add your remaining whole spices. Stir for two minutes and add the onions. Once the onions turn pinkish brown about ten minutes, add your tomatoes. Cover and cook for about 7-8 minutes, then add all your vegetables. Cover and cook for 5 minutes then add half a cup of water, salt and all the remaining spices. Cover and cook till vegetables are almost done. Then add the curd and tomato puree. Let everything simmer for a couple of minutes then add your cottage cheese, butter, cheese and about a quarter of your fried onions. Cook for five minutes and switch of the flame. Garnish with coriander and add half of the clarified butter.

Now, time to assemble your biriyani. In a big deep bottomed pan, pour some oil and spread it out to cover the entire bottom of the pan. Add a thin layer of rice. Top the rice with some french fries. Then add half of your vegetables mixture and a little fried onion. Add another layer of rice. Then all of your chopped capsicum and the remaining vegetables mixture. Cover with remaining rice. Drizzle the remaining clarified butter. Garnish with raisins, remaining fried onion, french fries, mint and coriander leaves. Cover with a lid and place a flat plate on top. Weigh it down with something heavy. You can also seal the plate and pan together with some kneaded flour if you have the energy left. I just went with the weight! Cook on slow flame for 10-12 minutes. Make some raita while this is getting done. Then open the lid, give yourself a pat on the back and dig in!

The Lockdown Soup

Yeah, you read it right. Hot, nourishing soups are supposed to be good for safeguarding oneself from the dreaded Covid. But the thing is, with the lockdown in effect, what is one supposed to make a soup with? If you are facing this problem then this soup is your answer. It goes easy on the ingredients, is hot and tangy and is absolutely yum. I have used veggies in small quantities and a couple of sauce sachets sitting in our fridge from the pre-Covid takeout days! So, here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

1 small carrot, chopped

4-5 florets of cauliflower

A small handful of corn

1 tablespoon, chopped spring onion

1 tiny onion, chopped

1 sachet soya sauce

1 sachet chilli sauce

1 sachet tomato ketchup

1 tablespoon schezwan sauce or ginger garlic paste

1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce or you can use 1 teaspoon chili powder and sugar

Pinch of black pepper powder

Salt, as per taste

Whole wheat flour mixed with water for thickening

Method:

In a deep pan, bring the carrot, cauliflower and corn to boil. Drizzle some oil in another pan. Once the oil is hot, add the chopped onions and stir fry for a couple of minutes. Then add all your sauces and salt. Let it all simmer for 5-7 minutes and turn off the heat. Pour this mixture to your boiled vegetables pan and add the whole wheat flour mixed with water for thickening. Let the soup simmer for about ten minutes and then add the spring onions. You can use coriander or mint or even some chopped capsicum if you do not have any spring onions. Cover and simmer for some five minutes and you are through! Pour out a big bowlful for yourself and enjoy!

Dee-lightful Doodhi Halwa or Bottle Gourd Sweet

I adore halwas, especially those made at home. Sitting down with a bowl of piping hot halwa with a good book to read..bliss! Doodhi halwa is yummy and healthy being full of the good old bottle gourd. Its the easiest and most delicious way to have doodhi, if you ask me. Of course, it is very rich and oozing with calories but that is the way it should be. And you can always climb the stairs or go for a walk or something. But this beauty deserves to be made…and devoured! Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

2 bottle gourd, grated

2 tablespoon ghee or clarified butter

1 1/2 cup full fat milk

200 gms condensed milk

1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder

Sugar, as per taste

Raisins, chopped almonds and pistachios

Green food color, optional

Method:

Firstly and most importantly, before you begin to grate your bottle gourd taste and check for bitterness. If it is, scrap the halwa plan. If it isn’t, full steam ahead! In a deep bottomed pan, heat the ghee and then add the grated doodhi to it. Then stir it patiently, on and off, till the gourd starts to shrivel. Now this takes time, a lot of time because the gourd has lots of moisture in it. I would suggest you make this halwa when you are anyhow going to be stuck in the kitchen for some time. So, after patiently stirring for about 15-20 minutes, you can now add the milk and start stirring again. 5-10 minutes later, add the condensed milk. Go on stirring off and on, till all the moisture evaporates. Add the green cardamom powder. Check for sweetness. If required, add sugar and keep stirring on slow flame till the water from the sugar evaporates. Add some raisins and chopped nuts. Give it once last stir and DIG IN. I can challenge you, it is impossible to stop with one helping. Don’t believe me? Cook up this scrumptious halwa and see for yourself.

Tangy Quinoa Fried Rice

Sometimes, it seems you can’t make anything nice without using rice! And rice is so white, so fluffy, so yummy, soo fattening 😦 I can do without rice all right but I do love all the lovely rice delicacies.. fried rice, pulao, biriyani!!! Recently, I have discovered that I quite like quinoa and that it lends itself wonderfully for making any kind of dish which needs rice. So, here is my recipe for my favorite quinoa fried rice.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, grated

1 green capsicum, cut into long thin strips

1/2 cup green peas and corn

1/2 cup spring onion, chopped

 1 green chilli, slit diagonally

2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste

1 tablespoon schezwan sauce

1 tablespoon tomato ketchup

Oil

Salt as per taste

Method:

Wash the quinoa in water till the water runs clear, about three times. Soak the quinoa in water for 5-10 minutes. Now in a pan pour 1 cup water and the half cup quinoa. Cook on high flame till the water begins to boil. Then lower the flame, cover and cook till all the water soaks into the quinoa and the quinoa becomes transparent. Let it remain covered for a couple of minutes and then fluff it with a fork. Keep aside.

In a seperate pan, drizzle some oil. Once oil turns hot, add the green chilli and onion. When the onion turns pink, add all the vegetables, season with salt, cover and cook for about 5-7 minutes. Add all spices and sauces and let it simmer for another couple of minutes. Then add the quinoa, mix everything together and cook for about 5 mins. Yummy yet healthy fried rice is ready!

Samosa Chaat

I love samosas. The crunchy exterior and the yummy potato filling inside..what’s not to like! But some times you are left with a few samosas lying around..everyone simply refuses to have just have another one. So, what do you do? Throw them away or give it to your maid? There is a third delicious alternative. You can turn it into a scrumptious chaat. That is exactly what I did the other day and the chaat turned out really well. Onward to the recipe then.

Ingredients:

2 samosas, broken into small chunks

200 gms curd

1 1/2  cup sev

1 onion, chopped

2 tbsp tamarind

2 dates

2 tbsp jaggery

Red chilli powder, as per taste

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon chaat masala

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

1 tbsp sugar

Salt, as per taste

1/2 cup chopped coriander

Method:

Soak together dates, tamarind and jaggery in some water. Keep aside. In a bowl, whisk together 150 gms curd along with all the condimentss, sugar and salt. Dilute it with a little water and whisk again. You need to thin out the curd because chaat has the tendency to become dry really fast. Now add the samosa chunks, the chopped onions and half of the pomegranate. Using your hand, squeeze out the juice from the tamarind mixture and discard the used tamarind. Now, add half of this chutney to the bowl with the curd and samosas. Sprinkle half cup sev and gently mix everything together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining curd along with some salt and sugar. Pour this curd over the samosa mixture. Pour the remaining tamarind chutney, sev and pomegranate seeds. Garnish with chopped coriander. Let it sit in the fridge for 10 minutes and dig in!

Creamy Veggies Pasta (sans flour)

Ingredients:

250 gms boiled pasta of your choice

1 large onion, chopped

1 carrot, grated

1 capsicum, cut into long, thin slices

½ cup boiled corn

2 tablespoon black olives

1 green chilli or 1 teaspoon black pepper powder

5-6 pods of chopped garlic or 2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon tomato puree

2 tablespoon tomato ketchup

1 cup milk

3-4 cheese cubes, grated

2 teaspoon oregano seasoning

2 teaspoon crushed parsley

NO REFINED FLOUR for the sauce

Method:

Boil the pasta, give it a quick wash in cold water, drizzle some oil and keep aside. In a pan, heat oil. Once hot, add the chopped garlic and green chilli. Once the garlic turns aromatic, add the onions. Add the other vegetables once the onion turns pink. Add some salt, stir and cook covered for about 5-7 minutes. Once your veggies are almost cooked, add the milk, tomato puree and cheese. Add your remaining seasoning after another couple of minutes. And then the tomato ketchup. Let everything mingle for 5 minutes and your pasta is ready. Enjoy!

Naan Sandwich

This is an old, old favourite. As a little girl, this was the one treat which I always demanded. This sandwich uses naan, a kind of bread made with refined flour (yikes!) with a peculiar, yummy, unique flavour. I remember tagging along with my dad to Bohri Mohalla in Mumbai and sitting down in a dingy, ramshackle little stall and feeling on top of the world. Because, I had a plateful of delicious naan sandwich to gorge on. There are many variations of this dish. You can make it with red meat, chicken and there is even a more or less vegetarian version, which is what I am sharing with you today. I have used potatoes and eggs for this naan sandwich. Now, if you cannot get hold of a naan, you can use the bun used for a burger. But I am warning you, it will certainly not taste the same! Now, for the recipe.

Ingredients:

3 boiled potatoes

1 chopped onion

2 eggs, beaten

2 green chillies, chopped

Handful of mint leaves

Handful of coriander

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon garam masala powder

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

Salt as per taste

Method:

Mash the potatoes, keep them a bit chunky and uneven. In a pan, heat oil. Once hot, add the green chillies. Give it a quick stir and add the chopped onions. Add the boiled potatoes and all the seasoning once the onions turn pink. Cover and cook on slow flame, till the raw smell of spices disappears, about 10-12 minutes. Now add the beaten eggs, mix and cook for another 5 minutes. Finish with chopped coriander and mint leaves. Cut your naan into halves. In a skillet, heat a little olive oil and lightly roast your naans. Remove from heat and add the stuffing to your naans. Use the skillet, to lightly toast your naan sandwiches for about two minutes and your extremely yummy sandwiches are ready to be devoured!

Delish Cottage Cheese Sizzler

I can have sizzlers every week and still never get tired of them. Who can say no to the delectable combination of rice, noodles, vegetables, chicken and fries! Drizzle some spicy sauce and I for one am in my happy place 😊 But one can’t really eat out that much, even if it’s a sizzler so I began making sizzlers at home. There are a lot of advantages of a homemade sizzler. For one thing, its much healthier than the restaurant one, you can make as much quantity as you want (and eat!) and its definitely lighter on the pocket. But yeah, making sizzlers is a lot of work. Its not really difficult but that there are many elements. But when you lay eyes on your own steaming, sizzling, yummlicious sizzler you will find its worth it! So on to the recipe.

Ingredients:

1 carrot cut into long, thin stripes

1 capsicum cut into stripes

1 capsicum cut into cubes

1 onion cut into cubes

1 small cabbage, shredded (leave a few cabbage leaves full and intact, to layer your sizzler with)

3 potatoes, cut long and thin

2 cups cooked rice

1 cup cooked noodles; you can also use a packet of instant noodles

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste

2 tablespoon cheese spread or grated cheese for garnishing

1 tablespoon butter

For the sauce:

1 teaspoon barbeque sauce

1 teaspoon tomato puree

1 tablespoon tomato ketchup

1 teaspoon schezwan sauce

Your choice of protein, boiled chicken or cottage cheese, I have used cottage cheese for my sizzler

For the rice bombs:

1 teaspoon chili sauce

1 teaspoon soya sauce

1 teaspoon tomato ketchup

2-3 slices of bread

3 tablespoons cooked rice

Handful of chopped coriander

Method:

Drizzle a pan lightly with oil, add your grated veggies along with a little black pepper and salt. Cook until just done. Season your cut potatoes with salt and black pepper and deep fry till nice and golden. Set aside. Drizzle a pan with some olive oil, add the ginger garlic paste and your rice. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Switch off the flame. In a pan heat oil. Once the oil is hot drop in your onion and capsicum cubes. Fry for a couple of minutes and then add all the ingredients of the sauce except for the protein. Add a little water to cook the capsicum. Add your chicken or cottage cheese after a few minutes. Check seasoning and adjust accordingly. If using instant noodles, cook as per packet instructions. I have used instant for my sizzler or you can simply used boiled noodles seasoned with a little salt. We are almost at the end now! For the rice bombs, in a bowl mix together all the ingredients and shape into cutlets. Drizzle a pan with some oil and shallow fry your cutlets till a nice golden brown. Now for assembling the sizzler. Heat up your sizzler plate till its very very hot! Wash your cabbage leaves in water. Add butter to the sizzler plate. Use a spoon to spread it evenly across the sizzler plate. Immediately lay down the wet lettuce leaves. Now your sizzler has started to sizzle. Assemble the rest of the elements just the way you like ‘em. Garnish with some cheese. Now sit down, take a deep breath and start eating!  

A Nutty Affair

This is an old family recipe. Try this recipe, when you are short of time and there is nothing much to cook at home but you are determined to still have something home cooked! This recipe is healthy and also quite tasty. And its versatile, you can use it in so many different ways. As a spread in a healthy burger, as a dip to go with your favourite chips, as a stuffing or you can simply have it with a chapati or some pulao. And the beauty of this dish is, it takes ten minutes tops from start to finish. Now for the recipe.

Ingredients:

1 tomato finely chopped

2 cups salted or unsalted peanuts

1-2 green chillies

8-10 cloves of garlic

Salt as per taste

Method:

In a mixer, coarsely grind together peanuts, green chillies and garlic. Heat oil in a pan. Once hot, add the chopped tomatoes. Cook till tender and then add the ground peanut mixture. You can add water depending on how you mean to use it. Add water, if its for a dip and keep it dry if you want it as a stuffing for some dish. Check for salt. Garnish with fresh coriander. Hit stop on your stopwatch. See how long it took you. Now take a spoon and dig in!