Tag Archives: Indian rice recipes

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

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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

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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Kashmiri Mushroom Pilaf

I seem to have hit a mental roadblock when it comes to spending time in the kitchen. I know it’s a temporary phase which will soon pass but while it is happening, it’s time for all those easy peasy recipes to come out which will enable me to wind down, relax and revive myself.

And Kashmiri mushroom pilaf is just that – easy peasy. I found this one by Piyali Banerjee on one of the food groups on Facebook (just can’t seem to remember which one!).

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The main ingredient is of course, mushroom and I used an assortment of mushrooms like oyster mushrooms, Swiss buttons, brown mushrooms and shitake mushrooms for this rice dish. This is a mushroom lover’s dish as the predominating flavour comes for these earthy fungi.

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The mushrooms soak up all the flavour from the whole spices and caramelized onions lending a sweet, yet rustic flavour to the pilaf. Pair it with a cold raita/yoghurt dip, pappads and pickle and you have a simple, easy and delicious dinner up in no time at all.

Note – The original recipe called for the use of a pinch of saffron which I didn’t use. But if you have some, go ahead and use which will only help to enhance the flavour of the mushroom pilaf.

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Ingredients:

1. Basmati/long grained rice – 2 cups
2. Mushrooms (use any variety/assortment that you like) – 1 cup, sliced
3. Ghee – 1 tbsp
4. Vegetable oil – 1 tbsp
5. Black cardamom – 2, lightly crushed
6. Green cardamom – 2, lightly crushed
7. Cinnamon – ½ inch bark
8. Cloves – 2
9. Black peppercorns – 5-6
10. Bay leaf – 1 large
11. Ginger – 1 tsp, finely chopped
12. Garlic – 1 tsp, finely chopped
13. Red onion – 1, finely sliced
14. Garam masala – ¼ tsp
15. Sugar – ¼ tsp
16. Salt – to taste
17. Kewra water (optional) – 1 tsp
18. Coriander leaves – ½ cup, finely chopped


Method:

• Wash and soak the rice for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
• Heat the ghee and oil in a large kadai/pan. Add the whole spices and let splutter.
• Next add the onion, ginger, garlic, salt and sugar. Saute till the onions caramelize and turn golden brown.
• Next, add the mushrooms and lightly brown on medium to high heat.
• Next, add the mushrooms and lightly brown on medium to high heat.
• Cook till the rice is almost done and then add the kewra water.
• Sprinkle the coriander leaves on top and cover the pan. Remove from heat and let rest for some time for the flavours to absorb well.
• Mix just before serving.

Note – If you are using saffron, then soak a few threads in the kewra water and add this to the rice.

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Bagara Rice

The first time I heard of Bagara rice was on Kannur food guide (https://www.facebook.com/groups/KannurFood/) where a dear friend had made the same and posted. In the discussions that followed, I learnt that this is a traditional Hyderabadi rice dish that is quite famous in the region. I decided that I had to learn more, so did a little bit of Google digging and found a wonderful website (http://chowdersingh.com/recipe/bagara-khana-recipe/) which not only explained the history of the dish but also the original recipe.

This rice dish gets its name from the term ‘Bagar dena’ which means addition of tempering. And this is an age old Muslim cooking style that is not restricted to Hyderabad alone. So in short, Bagara rice loosely translates as tempered rice which is exactly what it is.

Bagara rice is common fare in most Hyderabadi households. In fact, it is considered as an alternative to biriyani for eating everyday as it is less complicated and does not contain meat.

I loved this dish because it is simple and easy to make but extremely flavourful and goes well with just about any type of curry, veg or non-veg.

So here’s the recipe for Bagara rice…..

bagaara rice

Ingredients:

1. Basmati/long grained rice – 600 gm; washed, soaked and drained
2. Vegetable oil – 60 ml
3. Ghee – 15 gm
4. Onion – 1 medium, finely sliced
5. Green chilli – 1, chopped
6. Cinnamon – 1 inch stick
7. Green cardamom – 3
8. Cloves – 3
9. Shahi jeera/caraway seeds – 1 tsp
10. Ginger-garlic paste – 1 ½ tbsp
11. Mint leaves – ½ cup
12. Coriander leaves – 1 cup
13. Salt – to season

Method:

• Heat oil and ghee in a deep pot. Add the whole spices and cook on low heat for a minute.

spices in oil

• Add the sliced onions, ginger-garlic paste and green chillies; sauté till the onions turn golden brown.
• Add the mint and coriander leaves and sauté for another 30 seconds.

onion, garlic, ginger, mint, coriander

• Add the drained rice and cook for 2 minutes. Do not stir too much as this will break the rice.

rice added

• Add enough water to cook the rice; season with salt.

water added

• Cook till done and serve hot. Garnish with fried onions and coriander leaves.

close up

Being a true Hyderabadi preparation, I decided to send this to the South Indian cooking event being hosted by 2 wonderful food bloggers, http://nandooskitchen.blogspot.in/2014/01/south-indian-cooking-event.html and http://anuzhealthykitchen.blogspot.com.au/

southindiancooking1_png

Manga Saadam / Raw Mango Rice / Mamidikaya Annam

Having lived almost a decade in Tamil Nadu, I thought I had tasted almost all different types of variety rice preparations. But this recipe caught me totally by surprise, and I eventually learnt that this is a very traditional preparation of Andhra Pradesh with a good fan following in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

I got this recipe for manga saadam /raw mango rice from a famous cookbook, ‘Cooking at Home with Pedatha’ which is considered to be a treasure-trove of traditional Andhra cuisine.

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Raw mangoes have always been a favourite of mine (if given a choice, I will always reach for a raw mango instead of a ripe one). There are plenty of memories associated with this green, tangy, sour fruit – holiday trips to Kerala where my cousins would climb trees and pluck the raw mangoes, split it open by throwing it forcefully on the ground, gather the pieces, hurriedly wipe it on the clothes and then teach me how to eat it with a spicy mixture of red chilli powder, salt and oil.

So naturally, I was quite excited to try out this recipe. Just another way to reinforce my love for raw mangoes.
So let us get cooking…..mango saadam or raw mango rice!

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Ingredients:

1. Long-grained rice – 1 cup
2. Sour raw mango – 1
3. Salt – to taste
4. Coconut mixture (to grind):
• Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
• Scraped fresh coconut – ½ cup
• Green chilli – 1
• Fresh coriander leaves – 1 tbsp
5. For tempering:
• Chana dal – 1 tsp
• Urad dal – 1 tsp
• Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
• Dried red chilli – 1-2
• Asafoetida powder (hing) – ¼ tsp
• Curry leaves – a handful
• Ground nuts – 1 tbsp
• Oil – 1 tbsp.

Method:

1. Wash the rice and cook it until soft but not mushy. Spread on a big plate to cool.
2. Wash, peel and grate the mango.
3. Grind all the ingredients under 4. to a coarse paste.
4. Heat a kadai with oil, crackle the mustard seeds, add the channa dal, urad dal, groundnuts and fry until the dals turn golden.
5. Next add the dry red chilli, and finally add the hing and curry leaves.
6. Add the grated mango and a pinch of turmeric powder. Saute for about 2 to 3 minutes on medium flame.
7. Next add the ground paste and fry for a minute.
8. Finally add the cooked rice and salt. Mix well and remove from heat.

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Chickpea (Chana) Biriyani

The first time my mum made this biriyani, I was a little skeptical as to how it would turn out (blame it on my lack of culinary skills at that point). But years later, when I became interested in cooking, this was one of the first recipes I learnt from her. Simply because, it is helluva easy.

A one pot meal or a pressure cooker hack (as Mr.RK at unitedfoodguide.in named it), this is such an easy recipe that anyone can replicate. Perfect when you have vegetarian guests over; team it up with a raita of choice and some pickles and you have a wonderful meal ready in less than 30 minutes.

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Ingredients:

1. Chickpeas – 1 cup (soak in hot water for at least 1-2 hours)
2. Basmati/long grained rice (you can use regular rice too) – 2 cups
3. Ghee – 2 tbsp
4. Vegetable oil – 2 tbsp
5. Clove – 3
6. Bay leaf – 1
7. Cinnamon – ½ inch bark
8. Cardamom – 4
9. Red onion – 2 medium, finely sliced
10. Green chilli – 2-3 (depends on the heat of the chilli)
11. Ripe red tomato – 2, deseeded, finely sliced
12. Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
13. Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
14. Salt – to season
15. Coriander leaves – ½ cup, finely chopped

Method:

Soak and wash the rice, drain and keep aside. Heat ghee and oil in a pressure cooker and add the whole spices (5-8). Add sliced onions after 30 seconds and sauté till the onions turn light brown. Add the slit green chillies.

Add tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and sauté for 2 minutes on low flame. Also add coriander leaves.

Add rice and fry on low flame for 2-3 minutes.

Add the chickpeas (chana) and mix thoroughly to combine. Add 3 cups water (if using regular rice, ratio of rice to water is 2:4), season with salt and mix well; close the lid and cook for just one whistle.

Cool and open for hot, yummy biriyani. Serve with raita of choice.

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Note – You can cook this dish in any deep-bottomed pan. After adding all the ingredients, close the lid and cook on medium heat till all the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked well.

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Beetroot and Curry Leaf Rice

This has been the decade of reality culinary shows and being the fanatic foodie that I am, spent countless hours watching many of these. But the only show that impressed and inspired me was Masterchef Australia – simply because the show helped me understand and learn several new cooking techniques, ingredients and also a completely new outlook to food. Just like many other countries, India too joined the bandwagon and started Masterchef India 3 years ago. To say that I thoroughly disliked the show would be an understatement – it started off as a Bollywood movie with drama, twists, turns etc. (the show has redeemed its reputation largely this season)

But there were some recipes that did capture my attention especially the beetroot and curry leaf rice, which is super simple to make and a great twist to regular rice preparations. The beautifully rich red colour of the beetroot gives the whole dish a wow appearance!

Ingredients:

1. basmati rice – 2 cups
2. vegetable oil – 2-3 tbsp
3. Butter – 1 tsp
4. mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
5. urad dal – ½ tsp
6. ginger – 1 tsp, chopped
7. green chillies – ½ tsp, chopped
8. curry leaves – 3 sprigs
9. shallots – 3-4, sliced
10. beetroot – 1, finely grated
11. lemon juice – ½ tsp
12. salt – to taste

Method:

• Boil the basmati rice, drain and keep aside.
• Heat oil in a pan, add a little butter and crackle the mustard seeds.
• Add the urad dal, ginger, green chillies, curry leaf and sauté for a few seconds.
• Next, add the sliced shallots and cook till soft.
• Add the cooked rice and mix well.
• Add the grated beetroot, lemon juice and salt and mix well.
• Saute till all the ingredients are mixed well.

beetroot curry leaf rice

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