Category Archives: Rice

Chilli Prawn Fried Rice

My love for markets is legendary, especially the local one in my suburb (Dandenong) which I would have mentioned on my blog at least a million times.

Looking back, I think it’s destiny that bought us to this suburb. Amidst all the confusion, loneliness and that strange feeling of newness in a foreign country, it was the local market here that was my refuge. The smell, sights and sounds always reminded me of home because I would get every single ingredient that I needed for my style of cooking which means a lot when you are so far from home. And it’s true that food opens doors where none exists. And for me that door was this blog…..

These days, I don’t visit the market as often as I used to but I am still there at least once every fortnight. It’s my space to get inspired and to re-ignite the creativity and passion I have for food. All the beautiful, fresh produce gives me such a buzz and there are so many ideas that pop into my mind after a trip like this.

And with Christmas almost here, markets are just brimming with such amazing produce and I simply couldn’t go past the seafood section. I had to come back with some fresh Australian raw prawns; don’t waste your hard earned money buying prawns from other countries when you can get some amazingly fresh and delicious prawns caught right here in Australia. Believe me, it’s totally worth those few extra dollars.

After all the shopping, I was only in the mind for a one pot dish and nothing elaborate. And this delicious Indo Chinese style prawn fried rice is what came to mind.

Chilli Prawn Fried Rice - a simple and delicious one pot Indo Chinese style fried rice - thespiceadventuress.com

The Indo Chinese style fried rice is quite different from the traditional Chinese version. It’s a lot more fried where the grains of rice are separate unlike the sticky original version. I wanted a bit of a spice kick and used long dry red chillies for smoky hot undertones.

To get the flavour from the dry red chillies, add it to the cold oil and then heat on low flame. Toss in the prawns with a handful of different vegetables along with perfectly cooked rice and finish off with a dash of soy and tomato chilli sauce.

Chilli Prawn Fried Rice - a simple and delicious one pot Indo Chinese style fried rice - thespiceadventuress.com

Chilli Prawn Fried Rice - a simple and delicious one pot Indo Chinese style fried rice - thespiceadventuress.com

Ingredients:

  1. 400gms long grained rice
  2. 500gms medium sized prawns; deshelled and deveined
  3. 1 large carrot; julienned

This post is bought to you in association with Supreme Seafood so the complete recipe can be found here.

Chilli Prawn Fried Rice - a simple and delicious one pot Indo Chinese style fried rice - thespiceadventuress.com

Chilli Prawn Fried Rice - a simple and delicious one pot Indo Chinese style fried rice - thespiceadventuress.com

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Tempered Cauliflower Rice

I have finally jumped on the ‘cauliflower rice’ bandwagon!

The rise of the ‘raw food’ trend has been momentous in the recent times, especially given the current focus on health and natural living.

Cauliflower, perhaps, is one of the first ingredients that began to be used in its raw form as a substitute for grains. If you haven’t got the concept, cauliflower florets are blitzed to a finely grated form to mimic rice. A couple of brilliant cooks and chefs began to come up with delicious and unique ideas of using cauliflower beyond its traditional form. And today, it has a cult following around the globe.

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Though I have come across quite a few recipes using cauliflower in this new avatar, I really didn’t intend to make it. And I almost certainly wouldn’t have if not for the editor of the community magazine where I freelance. ‘R’ has been asking me for an Indian inspired cauliflower rice for months now and I kept putting her off. But finally, here I am with the simplest ‘cauliflower rice’ dish.

So this tempered cauliflower rice is a simple, non fussy dish drawing inspiration from the rice dishes of South India.

A no-brainer really! All that I did is borrow the idea of ‘cauliflower rice’ and the South Indian style of tempering rice and merged it together. Easy peasy, just as Adi would say.

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There are so many ways you can use this tempered cauliflower rice. Have it as the main dish (like I did) with a side of pickle, pappads and salad or you could make a Buddha bowl with chickpeas and an assortment of veggies. It is great as a filling for burritos replacing the lime rice or a nice accompaniment to your steaks (hugely cuts down the guilt factor!).

Before we get down to the recipe, if the idea of ‘cauliflower rice’ has tickled your fancy, here’s another delicious dish I would totally recommend. Sneh is a brilliant cook and she has come up with the perfect pot of cauliflower rice biryani salad!!

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Ingredients:

Note – Make sure that you only buy really fresh and good quality cauliflower, especially when you are using it as a raw food.

1. 1 whole cauliflower; separated into large florets
2. 2 tsp ghee/clarified butter
3. 1 tbsp sesame oil
4. 1 tbsp raw cashewnuts
5. 1 tbsp raw peanuts
6. 1 tsp mustard seeds
7. 2 sprigs curry leaves
8. 3 dry red chilli
9. 1 green chilli, slit in half
10. ½ tsp turmeric powder
11. Asafoetida/hing, a pinch
12. Juice of 1 lemon
13. Salt, to season

Method:

• Wash the florets well and dry completely.
• In a food processor, blitz the florets to get the grainy, rice like texture. If you do not have a processor, then finely great the cauliflower.
• Heat ghee and oil in a large deep pan; roast the cashewnuts and peanuts separately and keep aside.
• In the same oil, crackle mustard seeds and then add curry leaves and dry red chilli.
• Reduce heat and add green chilli, turmeric powder, asafoetida and the blitzed cauliflower.
• Season with salt and add juice of ½ lemon. Mix well and toss on high heat for a minute or two and then remove from heat.
• Taste and add more lemon juice if necessary.
• Serve warm with a dollop of love!

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Goan Fish Biryani

 Easter holidays are here and all of us are in the mood for some fun time with family and friends. And celebrations always mean great food!

Whether you are celebrating this Holy Festival or not, this weekend is a perfect time to gather around a table with your loved ones and relax over some good food. And today’s dish, the Goan style fish biryani is just the perfect one for that.

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The most unique thing about this fish biryani is the addition of grated coconut and black kokum. Though red kokum is used traditionally, I have used black kokum or kudampuli in this one. Medium sized fish like small seer fish or mackerel is best suited for this biryani preparation.

Unlike the meat biryanis which are usually heavy in spices and aromatics, this Goan fish biryani is light but with a bang of flavours from the whole spices, coconut and kokum. It has the distinct coastal flavour stamp which transports you the land of sun and surf – Goa!

And what a delicious way to use kokum, especially the black variety. If you have red kokum, use it by all means but the black also provides that delicious tangy addition which pairs so beautifully with coconut. It’s the play of sweet n’ sour!

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Ingredients:

1. For the rice:
• 4 cups, long grained basmati rice; soaked
• 3 green cardamom
• 1 black cardamom

For full recipe, click here….

Recipe developed, shot and styled for Supreme Seafood

Egg Biryani

How can I even begin to explain what a biryani means to India? The singular rice dish which gets the nation into a culinary and cultural frenzy. The debates are endless…and democracy gets chucked out of the window! Is our biryani better or yours?

Every state of India has a biryani recipe or rather, a style of making biryani. It is amazing that a dish introduced to India by the Arab traders has become the national dish today. I really wouldn’t go into the history or types of biryani; Google and Wiki can do a good job of it.

Though you can find plenty of recipes for egg biryani all across the web, I decided to post this one because I loved the dish and wanted it to be a part of my collection here.

Egg biryani - an aromatic, mildly spiced fragrant rice dish from India - thespiceadventuress.com

The best thing about egg biryani is that it is the perfect crossover between vegetarian and non-vegetarian. More people are egg-tarian these days and this is a delicious way to enjoy it. It is also perfect for days when you want to go meatless yet want some bold flavours on your plate.

No biryani recipe will look simple; there’s usually a ton of ingredients and steps but believe me, if you systematically follow it, this is one of the simplest dishes to cook. And the only accompaniment you need is a bowl of raita or yoghurt dip.

So let’s get cooking this delicious, aromatic and flavourful egg biryani!

I learnt this recipe from here.

Ingredients:

1. 1 cup of basmati/long grained white rice
2. ghee/clarified butter
3. 1 inch cinnamon
4. 2 cloves
5. 2 green cardamom
6. 1 star anise
7. 2 dried bay leaf
8. ½ cup fresh coriander leaves/cilantro
9. ½ cup fresh mint leaves
10. 2 green chillies
11. 5 cloves garlic
12. 2 inch ginger root
13. 1.5 cups of large onions, finely sliced
14. ½ cup ripe tomato, chopped
15. 1 tsp red chilli powder (adjust to taste)
16. ¼ tsp turmeric powder
17. 1 tsp cumin/jeera powder
18. 1 tsp fennel/perinjeera/saunf powder
19. 1 tsp roasted coriander powder
20. 1 cups thick coconut milk
21. 1 tsp garam masala (adjust to taste)
22. 3 eggs, hard boiled and halved
23. ¼ cup roasted cashewnuts
24. ¼ cup raisins
25. 1 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped, for garnish
26. 1 tbsp mint leaves, finely chopped, for garnish

Method:

1. Wash and soak the rice for at least 2 hours prior to cooking. Drain thoroughly before cooking.
2. Grind the coriander leaves, mint leaves, green chillies, 1 inch ginger and 3 cloves garlic into a paste and keep aside.
3. Grind the remaining ginger and garlic to a fine paste and keep aside.
4. Hard boil the eggs, shell and cut into halves.
5. In a large pan, heat 2 tbsp ghee and lightly roast the cashewnuts and raisins; drain and keep aside.
6. In the same pan, add ½ cup of sliced onions and fry till golden brown; drain and keep aside.
7. Add the remaining ghee to the pan, and add the whole spices
8. After about 15 seconds or when the spices turn fragrant, add the ground green paste and lightly fry on medium heat for a minute.
9. Add the rice along with enough water to just cook the rice (refer to packet instructions for the rice or use 1:1 ration for long grained basmati rice). Season with salt and bring to boil. Once the rice is done, remove from flame and lightly fluff with a fork so that the rice does not turn mushy.
10. In a deep or heavy bottom pan, heat 2 tbsp ghee and add the remaining sliced onions. When the onions turn soft, add the ginger garlic paste and continue to sauté.
11. As this browns, add the powdered spices and sauté for another minute. Then add the chopped tomatoes and sauté till the tomatoes turn soft and mushy.
12. Reduce flame and add coconut milk along with ½ cup water. Simmer for about 5 minutes and add garam masala and season with salt.
13. Next, add the cooked rice to this pan and lightly mix so that you get a marbled effect to the rice.
14. Place the boiled eggs on top and garnish with the roasted cashewnuts, raisins, fried onions, coriander and mint leaves.
15. Remove from heat and keep covered for at least one hour for the flavours to blend and come together.

 

 

 

Egg biryani - an aromatic, mildly spiced fragrant rice dish from India - thespiceadventuress.com

Burnt Garlic and Ancho Chili Rice

I first met Liz at the Melbourne bloggers meet which took place a couple of months ago. We had interacted a couple of times on social media and through my blog and I came to know that Liz is an entrepreneur and runs ‘The Spice People’.

The very mention of the name excited me – that’s the effect the word ‘spice’ has on me these days. And to top it all, Liz is an Aussie who runs a spice company and is as obsessive about spices as me. Two peas in a pod!

We could talk for hours and we did too! Liz is primarily an entrepreneur turned blogger and I am a blogger and wannabe entrepreneur. And with our common passion for spices, the chats were endless.

Liz developed a love for spices after extensively travelling around the world after marriage. Settling down back in Melbourne, she decided to take her love for spices a step forward and opened the retail venture, The Spice People. You need to drop by her site just to catch a glimpse of the variety of spices she stocks. And you can find her spices and blends stocked at several retailers across Australia too.

Quite generously, Liz bought along a variety of her spices and blends for me to try out especially ones I have never used before. And very thoughtfully, she had included a pack of ancho chilies because I had mentioned that I hardly find good quality ones in the nearby supermarkets.

The first thing I did on opening the pack of ancho chilies is take a smell. Oh! the smokey fiery earthy smell of these dry beauties – its seriously addictive guys.

Ancho chili is the dried version of Poblano pepper and both are extensively used in Mexican cooking. It is mild to medium-hot and tastes sweet and smokey at the same time. Anchos can be used in different ways, softened in water and used whole, powdered to be a part of spice rubs or softened and pureed to add to sauces and stews.

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Though I have plenty of recipes noted down using ancho chilies, I wanted to try something simple and yet unique with these. And that’s how the idea for this dish came into my mind.

Burnt garlic rice is a popular Asian rice preparation. Though I had never made it before, I have had it plenty of times in Asian restaurants. An extremely simple rich dish with an indulging flavour of burnt garlic, this dish goes well with Asian style stir-fries. But I would totally recommend this burnt garlic and ancho chili rice with this Schezuan chicken dish.

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In this recipe, I added sliced ancho chilies to the garlic and gently sautéed both in oil which imparted a beautiful flavour to the final dish. With every spoonful of rice, you could experience the smokey aromatic flavours from the burnt garlic interspersed with the sweetness from the anchos.

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Ingredients:

1. 2 cups medium-grained white rice; washed and soaked
2. 7 large garlic cloves, sliced finely
3. ½ ancho chili, broken into small pieces or sliced
4. Salt, to season
5. 3 tbsp vegetable oil
6. Roasted garlic flakes, to garnish

Method:

1. Cook the rice in salted boiling water till just done, drain and keep aside.
2. In a wok, heat the oil and add the garlic. Saute on low heat to release the flavours; the browning should be slow so that all the flavour from the garlic is imparted. (on high heat, the garlic browns quickly without imparting much flavour).
3. When the garlic is half done, add the ancho chilies and sauté on low heat till the garlic has browned well.
4. Then add the cooked rice and mix thoroughly to combine. Season with salt if necessary.
5. Garnish with roasted garlic flakes.
6. Serve hot.

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South Indian Curry Leaf Rice (Karu vepillai Sadam)

Curry leaves have always been an integral part of Indian cuisine, especially in the cuisines of Southern India. Though the world is slowly waking up to the benefits of this herb, it still remains underutilized and practically unknown in many other parts of the world.

Highly aromatic, curry leaves are also referred to as ‘sweet neem leaves’ as these are not bitter unlike the ordinary neem leaves. It is a much valued medicinal herb in Ayurveda and is believed to have anti-diabetic and cholesterol-lowering properties.

Since curry leaves do not stay fresh for a long time in the refrigerator, many people tend to use it in the dried and powdered form but these are less aromatic than the fresh leaves. In Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine, these leaves are usually added to hot oil to release the oils and impart flavour to the dish.

Curry leaves - thespiceadventuress.com

Now I am a huge fan of curry leaves, not just because it is such an inherent part of Indian cooking but also because I like the flavour these leaves impart to the whole dish. In the past few months I have been playing around with these leaves in my kitchen trying to use it in different ways especially in my style of fusion cooking. While I was researching on the Web and learning more about curry leaves, I came across this traditional rice dish which is quite popular in a few South Indian states. Now there cannot be a better way to showcase the flavour of these leaves than this dish and I couldn’t resist trying out the recipe myself.

South Indian curry leaf rice or Karu vepillai sadam (as it is traditionally known) – pungent, aromatic and mildly spiced from the roasted curry leaves, red chillies, peppercorns, fenugreek, coriander and asafoetida.

South Indian curry leaf rice - thespiceadventuress.com

I came across this recipe here.

Ingredients:

1. 4 cups white rice; washed and soaked
2. ½ tsp mustard seeds
3. ½ tsp urad dal (vigna mungo/dehusked black gram)
4. ½ tsp chana dal (split bengal gram)
5. ½ tsp cumin/jeera seeds
6. 2 red whole dry chillies for tempering
7. ½ tsp turmeric powder
8. Cashew nuts roasted for garnishing/peanuts also may be added
9. Salt to taste
10. 2 tbsp sesame oil ( this oil makes a great difference to the taste )
11. 1 tbsp vegetable oil

For the curry leaf spice blend:

12. 1 ½ cups washed curry leaves firmly packed
13. 8 whole dry red chillies
14. 1 tsp pepper corns
15. 1 tsp coriander seeds
16. 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
17. Tamarind , size of a small marble
18. Asafoetida/hing powder

Method:

1. Cook the rice in salted water till just done, drain and keep aside. It’s important not to get the rice mushy or overcooked.
2. Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil and roast the curry leaves till dry and lightly crisped up; remember to do this on low heat or the leaves will burn.
3. Cool the leaves and grind with the rest of the ingredients under spice blend. It might get a little pasty due to the tamarind; just add a few drops of water which will help bring all the ingredients together.
4. In a wok or large pan, heat sesame oil, crackle the mustard seeds and then add the lentils, dry red chilli, cumin, cashewnuts and turmeric. Add the ground curry leaf spice blend and mix well for a minute. (If you prefer less heat, add only half of the curry leaf spice mixture).
5. Add the cooled rice and stir through till well mixed.
6. Serve hot with raita/yoghurt dip.

South Indian curry leaf rice - thespiceadventuress.com

Iftar with Roz ma mucasarat (Arabian Rice with Nuts and Saffron)

Before I start off about this delicious, fragrant rice dish, I have a serious bit of news for all my readers. Due to copyright and legal issues, I am forced to change the name of my blog. It has been an emotional past one week ever since it was bought to my notice that my blog name resembles a company which has trademarked the term ‘skinny chef’. And so, I am left with no choice but go for a complete name change.

After a lot of brainstorming, I have shortlisted a couple of names and will soon be deciding on one. But this is going to be really difficult; it is almost as if I am having an identity crisis wondering if it is going to affect all the hard work I have put in the last one year. But then I think – my readers are here for the food, the recipes; not because of my blog’s name. And this thought gives me a lot of confidence to go ahead with this task. Please do let me know all of your thoughts on this; every opinion would count and mean a lot to me.

So, don’t be surprised to see a new blog name popping on your screen soon; it’s still me!

Ok, let’s talk of happy things now like today’s dish – Arabian rice with nuts and saffron.

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A rich, decadent rice dish but an extremely simple one to make which makes it a beautiful way to break your Ramadan fast (if you are following it) and embrace Iftar. Roz ma mucasarat is a traditional Arabian rice dish which dates back several centuries as nuts were used in cooking long before agriculture cultivation took off. This is a rice dish that is usually prepared during celebrations, special days and weddings but I could eat it just about every day.

You can use just one type of nut but the indulgence of this dish comes from using a medley of nuts like I did. A pinch of saffron ties in the flavours adding a hint of sweetness to lift off the nutty flavours. A truly beautiful rice preparation which goes well with just about anything – be it a well spiced curry, roasted meats or all by itself.

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Recipe courtesy – Traditional Arabic Cooking – Miriam Al Hashimi

And here, you can read a review of this cookbook.

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Ingredients:

1. Rice – 2 cups
2. Almonds – ¼ cup
3. Cashewnuts – ¼ cup
4. Walnuts – ¼ cup
5. Pine nuts – ¼ cup
6. Pistachios – ¼ cup
7. Saffron – a pinch dissolved in warm milk
8. Salt – to season
9. Ghee – 2 tbsp
10. Vegetable oil – 1 tbsp.

Method:

Since there are many who seem to struggle with cooking rice perfectly, here’s how I do it;
1. Wash the rice 3-4 times with plenty of water. Soak the rice for at least 30 minutes prior to cooking. For 2 cups rice, boil 6 cups of water, season with salt and add the rice. Cook on high heat till the rice is 3/4ths done. (Add more water if you need to as some types of grains absorb more water than others). Switch off flame and keep covered for 5 minutes. Drain into a colander and keep aside for non-sticky, fluffy rice.
2. While the rice is cooking, blanch the almonds and pistachios to remove the skin easily. (Blanching the pistachios in salted water helps to retain the green colour of the nut). Chop all the nuts roughly.
3. Once the rice has drained well, heat oil and ghee in a pan and add all the nuts in together. Saute on low to medium heat for 2-3 minutes taking care not to burn the nuts.
4. Add the saffron soaked in milk and cook for another minutes. Add the rice and mix well to combine. Since the rice is cooked with salt, you wouldn’t really need extra salt, but do taste and season more if required.
5. Serve hot with accompaniment of choice.

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Mixed Vegetable Fried Rice

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A few days earlier, I had posted the recipe for Szechwan chicken and I had mentioned that this is best paired with fried rice especially the Indo-Chinese style rice. Though I had prepared the same that day, couldn’t find the time to post the recipe. Since many people have asked me the recipe, I decided to post the same today.

A stark difference between the Indo Chinese style fried rice and the traditional Chinese one is that the latter uses sticky or a day old rice and sesame/peanut oil which lends a distinct flavour to the rice. But the Indo Chinese style uses the long grained rice generally and the veggies, egg or meat are cooked in vegetable oil.

This is quite a beginner’s recipe and can be made easily by anyone. The only thing to remember is to keep all the ingredients chopped and ready. The veggies have to be stir fried over high heat to retain colour and crunch. Add the ingredients which require the longest time for cooking at the beginning and follow in that order.

You can use just about all kinds of vegetables, meat or egg for preparing fried rice though I have done a mixed vegetable fried rice. And this makes an awesome tiffin box recipe too since children just love this stuff.
So, here is the recipe for mixed vegetable fried rice….

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Ingredients:

1. Long grained rice – 2 cups, washed, soaked and drained
2. Red onion – 1 large, chopped
3. Tender green beans – a bunch, chopped
4. Carrots – 1 large, chopped
5. Green bell pepper – 1 large, chopped
6. White mushrooms – 1 cup, sliced
7. Spring onions – 4, chopped
8. Vegetable oil – 3-4 tbsp
9. Salt – to season
10. Freshly milled black pepper – to season
11. Soy sauce – 2 tbsp
12. Tomato sauce – 1 tbsp
13. Red chilli sauce – 1 tsp

Method:

• Cook the rice in salted boiling water till just done. Make sure the rice has not gone overcooked or mushy.
• Heat oil in a large deep pan and add the onions; sauté over high heat for a minute and add the green beans. Cook for another minute and add the carrots. Saute for 30 seconds and add the mushrooms. Cook for a minute on high heat and add the bell pepper. Cook for another minute and add the spring onions.
• Add the seasonings and sauté for another minute on high heat.
• Lower heat and add the rice; stir through to combine and remove from heat.
• Hot, delicious fried rice is done.

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Bombay Biryani

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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Such an overrated day (my opinion!) but it is kinda hard to miss it. Suddenly, the world around you has burst into pink…..

I have never celebrated Valentine’s Day in my life, not when I fell in love or after marriage. I have never received or given a Valentine’s Day gift either. And the day passes by for me just like any other beautiful day God has blessed me with.

Being non-judgmental, most people love to spend the day in a special way with their loved one. Gifts, flowers, chocolates, fancy dinners etc… etc…

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This recipe has nothing to do with Valentine’s day but if someone asks me what dish would I make to bring on a full 100 watt smile on my hubby’s face, the answer is – biryani. Usually I make the Arcot style lamb biryani at home but when I saw this Sanjeev Kapoor recipe, it reminded me of the tawa pulao which we enjoyed a lot while we lived in Pune, India. This Bombay biryani called for boneless chicken pieces but I decided to use chicken legs/drumsticks for this dish.

Quite a different style of preparation, I have no clue as to the history of this dish because I have never eaten it before. But the dish came out beautifully and we enjoyed it to the very last morsel. So if your hubby/loved one is as crazy about biryani like mine, then you ought to try out this one.

 

Delightfully light, loaded with flavour, succulent chicken legs and simple to make!! A sure hit with all the biryani lovers…..

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Ingredients:

1. Basmati/long grained rice – 4 cups; washed, soaked and drained
2. Chicken legs/drumsticks – 8-10, depending on size
3. Vegetable oil
4. Red onion – 6 large, sliced
5. Potatoes – 2 large, sliced
6. Garlic paste – 2 tsp
7. Tomatoes – 3, chopped
8. Roasted cumin powder – 3 tsp
9. Red chilli powder – 3 tsp
10. Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
11. Ginger – 1 inch, cut into thin strips
12. Yoghurt/curd – 1 cup
13. Salt – to season
14. Kewra essence – a few drops
15. Garam masala – 1 tbsp.

Method:

• Heat enough oil in a pan for deep-frying the onion slices. Fry half of the sliced onions till golden-brown, drain on absorbent paper and keep aside.
• Deep-fry the potatoes in the same oil till light brown, drain and keep aside.
• Heat 4-5 tbsp oil in another deep pan; add the remaining onions and garlic paste. Saute on medium heat will the onions have turned translucent and light brown.
• Add the tomatoes and sauté again till the oil clears and then add the cumin powder, chilli powder and turmeric powder. Add the chicken pieces and mix well. Cook on medium heat for 2 minutes.
• Add 8 cups of water (2 cups of water for 1 cup of rice), season with salt and bring to boil.
• Then add the potatoes, ginger strips, curd and cook for another 5 minutes.
• Add the drained rice and cook on high flame for 5 minutes.
• Lower the heat and cook for another 10 minutes or till most of the water has been absorbed.
• Layer the top of the rice with the fried onions, kewra water and garam masala. Cook covered on low heat till the rice is completely done.
• Mix just before serving. Best accompanied with raita/yoghurt dip, pickles and roasted pappad.

 

 

 

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Cajun Rice (with Purple Asparagus and Mushrooms)

After coming to Melbourne, my culinary world has opened up to so many new ingredients – some of which I did not even know existed in this world. And one among those is the purple asparagus! I have had green asparagus before and have always enjoyed the crunchy texture of these stalks. So when I came across these purple ones at the local farmer’s market, I knew I had to try and make something interesting with it.

I have always had asparagus as an accompaniment, roasted or blanched, with meats. I went ahead and did a rice dish, chopping these beautiful asparagus along with some brown mushrooms and seasoned with hot Cajun seasoning. The result – a pilaf, pulao or fried rice; name it what you want.

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This one is a simple and easy to make rice dish, perfect for weekday dinners. Add a cucumber raita/yoghurt dip and you are good to go!

Now, let’s get cooking….

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Ingredients:

1. Long-grained rice – 2 cups, soaked and drained
2. White onion – 1 large, chopped
3. Purple asparagus (remove the bottom ends) – 4 stalks, chopped
4. Brown mushrooms – 4 large, chopped
5. Garlic – 2 cloves, chopped finely
6. Coriander leaves – ½ cup, finely chopped
7. Cajun seasoning – 2 tsp (add more to suit your taste preferences)
8. Salt – to season
9. Black pepper – to season
10. Vegetable oil – 3 tbsp.

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Method:

• Cook the rice in salted boiling water, drain well and keep aside.
• Heat oil in a pan, add garlic and onions; sauté for a minute.
• Then add the mushrooms and asparagus and sauté for another 2 minutes on high heat.
• Lower heat and season with Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper. Remember that the rice has been cooked in salted water so add salt accordingly.
• Add coriander leaves and stir well.
• Add the rice and mix well to combine.
• Serve with chilled cucumber raita/yoghurt dip.

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What is your favourite rice dish?

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