Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Hyderabadi Zafrani Pulao

Believe it or not, this recipe is taken from a Hindi movie. Really!! When watching the movie "Cheeni Kum", the other day, Amitabh Bachchan (who acts as Chef in this movie) mentions this recipe in one of his dialogues. Every time Amitabh Bachchan said “Hyderabadi Zafrani Pulao” my stomach drooled and wanted to have it. I was very keen to try out this recipe. So today, at last I tried it; And to my delight it came out good. Zafrani is commonly known as Saffron. Usually Zafrani pulao is sweet, but this "Hyderabadi Zafrani Pulao" is the savory dish. I researched about this dish on the Internet and found that this very dish was considered to be a delicacy of the Nawabs (the Royals of the South) in India. This recipe has a very rich ingredients and with a rich aroma. Enjoy it!!

I re-posting this recipe for the JFI for Rice hosted by Sharmi of Neivedyam. Thanks for organizing such a wonderful event on Rice. This is my entry for rice.

Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
450 gm (2 cups) basmati rice
1 medium onion, sliced
2 tablespoons ghee
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
1 inch stick cinnamon
1-2 cardamoms (elaichi)
2-3 cloves
1 bay leaf
1"(25mm) ginger
2 cloves of garlic (optional)
pinch of saffron strands
10 tsp milk
2 tsp chilli powder
2 tbsp sour curd
50 gm (1/2 cup) slivered almonds
25 gm green raisins or sultanas
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt

1. Soak saffron in 2 tablespoon of warm milk for few minutes.
2. Meanwhile rinse rice and soak in fresh water for 30 minutes in a pan.
3. Heat ghee in a heavy saucepan. Add cumin seeds when they crackle, add onion and all the spices(cloves, bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon), ginger and garlic except saffron to the hot ghee. Stir-fry until the onion turns golden brown.

4. Add almonds, raisins and well-drained rice, chilli powder, milk and sour curd, stir-fry for a further 5 minutes.

5. Pour water into the rice, It should be just the right quantity - one inch above the rice level.

6. Add the salt and saffron, stir well and bring to the boil.
7. Reduce heat, cover the pan tightly and cook on slow fire for about 20 minutes until the rice is tender and fluffy and the water is absorbed.
8. Fluff up the rice with a fork and serve immediately.

Note: Rice and water ratio is 1:2 so use accordingly.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mirchi Ka Kutta (aka Hot Chilli Pickle)

This recipe of Mirchi ka Kutta is a very traditional dish made at our house. I learnt this from my mother-in-law, its one of her speciality. 'Kutta' means crushed/mixed in rajasthani. This dish is a mix of spicy/hot ingredients with the tanginess of curd and lemon. This is very easy to make; also it's not that spicy. The secret ingredients - curd and lemon, actually reduce the heat of the chillies. Here it is - the quick, almost instant, mirchi ka kutta for you chilli lovers. I don’t know my chillies too well and rely on the thumb rule that the smaller a chilli, the hotter it is. I used the regular Thai chilli (as marked in the grocery stores in U.S.). You can also use our Indian chillies or the medium hot or milder chillies.

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 25 mins

200 gm Green chillies, chopped

1 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
1 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi)
2- 3 tbsp of mustard, fennel and fenugreek seeds powder
3/4 cup curd
1/2 tsp tumeric powder
salt to taste
1 tbsp sugar
juice of 1/2 lime

1. Roast about equal amounts of mustard seeds, fennel seeds and fenugreek seeds together till they are light brown in color. Cool them and grind it into fine powder.

2. Heat the oil in the pan. Add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds. When they start to crackle. 3. Add green chillies and let it cook.

4. Then add the tumeric powder, mustard, fennel, and fenugreek seeds powder, salt to taste, sugar and curd. Mix well and let it cook till the liquid evaporates completely.

5. When done turn off the gas and let it cool completely.
6. Then add lime juice to it and store it in a container in the refrigerator and use it when needed.
7. Ready to serve as a side dish.


Monday, August 27, 2007

Zucchini Ka Bharta

I love to make new dishes, using different recipes and different ingredients. I've tried making things that I've never made before and thankfully, most of them have turned out great, leaving my hubby dear asking for more! On my last trip to the Indian grocery store, I saw a vegetable that I had no idea about the vegetable. It looked similar to cucumber. Its called the Zucchini. Usually I see this vegetable is been used in the Chinese and Thai restaurants in the stir-fry recipes. But I didn't like either and would always try to scurry for something else to eat. But I wanted to try this vegetable now, not as the way I knew it, but as I would like to. So I bought about two of these zucchini. Today, while I was cleaning up the fridge, making space for next week's groceries, I saw them lying in a corner of my fridge, almost forgotten. I accepted the challenge and got to work. I stared at it for a while and then it struck me - a great new way to eat it! Growing up, I always enjoyed the Baigan ka bharta. So thought of using this recipe. Instead of Baigan to add zucchini. I liked the ingredients and nutritional aspects of this curry.I followed the Baigan ka bharta's recipe mostly and it came out very good. It was so easy to cook and so tasty, I for one could eat it all by itself. You of course, can choose to combine it with hot Chapatis or rice and your favorite achaar! Can't wait for my hubby to get home and try it, I know he will love it, and I'm guessing it'll put a smile on his face as well for trying it and not giving up.

Preparation time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 25 mins

1 large zucchini, chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1/2 cup onions, chopped
1 1/2 tsp ginger, grated
1 tsp garlic, grated
1 tsp green chillies, finely chopped
1/2 cup tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 tsp tumeric powder (haldi)
1 tbsp corainder powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp amchur powder
2 tbsp oil
salt to taste
1/4 cup water

For the garnish:
2 tbsp chopped corainder leaves

1. Heat the pan add 1 tbsp of oil and saute the chopped zucchini till they are half cooked. Remove the cooked zucchinis in a bowl.

2. Heat the 1 tbsp of oil in the same pan, add cumin seeds. When they crackle add the onions and saute for few minutes.
3. Add the ginger, garlic and green chillies and fry again for a few seconds.

4. Add the tomato, tumeric powder, corainder powder, amchur powder, garam masala and cook till the oil is separates from the masala.
5. Add the sauted zucchini, salt to taste and water and mix well.
6. Garnish with corainder leaves. Serve hot with Roti.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


A dessert which transforms ordinary curds into a delicacy. Shrikhand is an Indian dessert made of strained yogurt. It is one of the main desserts in Maharashtrian cuisine. The yogurt is tied and hung until all the water has drained off, the result being a thick and creamy yogurt. Dried and fresh fruit such as mango may also added to make it special. Other ingredients include sugar, cardamom powder, and saffron. This is especially made for Gudi Padwa.

The following recipe is incredibly easy and you can adapt the amount of sugar and cardamom to your own personal taste. I was also able to make it without a trip to the store. I already had everything I needed, you might be able to do the same thing. In U.S the curd is very thick and creamy when you buy, so you dont have to hung the curd till the water has drained of. It is that quick and easy to make just by mixing all the ingredients and the dessert is ready to eat. This is one of my well tried out recipes. My whole family loves it. I even make it sugar-free (replace sugar with splenda and it still tastes fantastic) and fat- free by using low fat yogurt. It taste the same. Hope you enjoy this wonderful dessert.

Preparation time: 5 mins
Cooking time: No cooking time

2 cups plain full fat yogurt

3/4 cup granulated sugar or more
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
Few threads of saffron
1 tbsp of warm milk
4 teaspoons finely chopped green pistachios or almonds

1. Beat the curd well.

2. In a small bowl soak saffron in 1 tbsp of warm milk, until the color spreads and dissolved

3. Mix all ingredients except pistachios.
4. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

5. Sprinkle shrikhand with pistachios and almond.

Note: I have found this recipe to be a quick and easy alternative to the traditional shrikhand preparation and guests love it. Increase or decrease the sugar as per your taste.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Rocking Girl Award

Rocking Girl Award

WARM THANKS to Padma and Roopa for giving me this Award. I'm HONOURED!!!

I was given two Rockin’ Girl Blogger Awards from nice and friendly people. Thanks a lot and I am so grateful to both of you! It really gave me a wide, wide smile! But I dont know that I deserve this award or not. But It helped me to boost my confidence and motiovated me to share my recipe with all my friends. So I dedicate this award to all you , to my fans, to my family and friends, and to my camera of course! hahah…Its my turn to award the Rockin’ Girl Blogger to............

Poonam of Poonamphatak
Shilpa of Aayis Recipe
Mandira of Ahaar
Sia of Spice Corner
Krithika of Manpasand
Tee of Bhaatukli
Saju of Chachi's Kitchen
Coffee of The Spice Cafe
Richa of As Dear As Salt

To my friend over at Padma's Kitchen - Padma and My Chow Chow Bhaat - Roopa, you didn't just hand an award today - you have just honored one of my most precious, one which I hold dear and very close to my heart. You have touched a my heart and soul - in a way that can never be truly expressed with words.
And with utmost sincerity, I thank you for this unexpected surprise.


Khandvi is a traditional Gujrati recipe. Gujarati cusine has special place all over India. Gujarati food is nourishing and balanced. Snacks like dhokla, khandvi, sweets like shrikhand are famous for its taste. This week I decided to make Gujarati Khandvi. But I never tried this dish at home. My mom always says it's a easy dish to make and only takes few minutes to make! Well ...I thought to give it a try anyway and I didn't find it hard at all except when spreading the batter, you should do it quickly before batter gets cold and lumpy. It tasted so good almost like spicy Pasta!! They make a wonderful snack. It's definitely worth the effort I say!

Preparation time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins

1/2 cup gram flour (besan)
1 cup thin buttermilk
salt to taste
2-3 pinches turmeric powder
1 tbsp. oil

For seasoning:
2 tsp. oil
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tbsp. coconut scraped
1 tbsp. coriander finely chopped
2 pinches asafoetida
2 green chillies finely chopped
1 stalk curry leaves

1. Mix Buttermilk, flour, salt and turmeric to form a batter.

2. Stir vigorously and evenly to avoid lump formation.

3. Cook till the mixture does not taste raw, stirring continuously.
4. When done (about 7-8 minutes), pour a ladleful in a large greased plate.
5. Spread as thin as possible with the back of a large flat spoon.
6. Use circular outward movements as for dosas.
7. When cool, cut into 2" wide strips.

8. Carefully roll each strip, repeat for all plates.
9. Place in a serving dish.

For seasoning:
1. Sprinkle coconut and coriander all over khandvi rolls.
2. Heat oil in a small pan.
3. Add cumin, asafoetida, curry leaves and chillies.
4. At last at sesame seeds and immediately pour over rolls.
5. Serve as is or with corainder chutney.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Moong dal ka chilada

We went camping last weekend to Mt.Rainier National Park, Washington as part of our summer activities and it was fun. The thing I like the most about camping is - the experience of making dishes in the woods. It is exhilarating and therapeutic, but requires planning. One dish which is quite easy to make is Moong ka Childa. I prepared the batter before I went to camping and then made pancakes (or dosas) from them in no time. Hope you like this dish, too! By the way, you don't need to go camping to make this dish (grin).

Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins
1 cup green moong dal (whole or split)

3 green chillies

salt to taste

oil to shallow fry

1. Wash and soak the dal for 3 -4 hours.

2. Grind dal fine in a mixie along with green chillies and salt to taste.

3. Keep batter fairly thick, like dosa batter.
4. Heat dosa tawa (griddle), pour a ladleful of batter in centre.
5. Spread batter in circular outer motion to form a thin pancake.
6. Drizzle a little oil, when bottom is golden, flip sides carefully.
7. When done, serve hot with green chutney and sauce.

Variation: Chopped coriander, fresh chopped onions, tomatoes, capsicum or cheese using as topping on the chilada. This will change the flavour of the chilada, considerably.

Note: For 2 or more days you can store the batter in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Corainder Chutney

Coriander is widely used in Indian cooking and almost used in all recipes as part of garnishing since it generates wonderful aroma to the dish. Corainder chutney is favourite of mine, I make very often and store it in the refrigerator. Coriander chutney, is one such classic example of an irresistable chutney that is easy to prepare, nutritious and flavorful. You can serve this with dosa, idly, chilada or even you can make a sandwich. Hope you like the chutney. Enjoy!!!

Preparation time: 5 mins
Cooking time: No cooking time

2 small bunch coriander leaves

4 green chillies
a handful of dalia (roasted split chick peas)

juice of 1 lemon
10 - 12 curry leaves
salt to taste

1. Clean the coriander leaves and chop them and keep it aside.
2. In a blender grind these coriander leaves, chillies, dalia, curry leaves and salt with limited amount of water so that the paste remains in the thick consistency.

3. Check the taste of chutney and add chillies and salt as you want.
4. Sqeeze lemon juice in the chutney and refrigerate it.
5. Serve it with dosa, idly, chilada or even you can make a sandwich.

Variation: Here are some other ingredients that can be added: 3 -4 cloves of garlic (or) 2 tbsp of mint (or) roasted peanut

Note: Lemon juice is added instead of tamarind because the lemon will leave the chutney stay longer time leaving it fresh.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Traditional Rajastani Thali

Rajasthani food is incomplete without the mention of the famous Dal-Baati-Churma. It consists of baatis or flaky round breads baked over firewood or Kandas (i.e cow dung) are done in villages. Baatis can be baked in a gas tandoor or an electric oven as well. But one thing common for baatis, irrespective of their cooking technique is that they are always served dipped in ghee accompanied with dal and churma. The dal is cooked with ghee, the masalas in the dal are fried in ghee and more ghee is mixed into the dal before serving. Often a large batch of baatis is made and part of the dough is left unsalted. This unsalted dough then shaped into rounds and cooked on the tawa on low flame. Later these baatis are crushed and sugar or jaggery is mixed into them along with ghee to make a sweet dessert- churma. The three together, simple though they sound, make a very filling meal. No Rajasthani festive or wedding menu is complete without this popular recipe.

Here are the links for all the dishes on the Thali:

Another way of eating Dal Baati is by crushing the baati add ghee, dal, onions, athana mirchi, lime juice, mango pickle, sabjis - mixed vegetable and gatte ki sabji and mix all together for a tasty and delicious meal.


Dal-baati is incomplete without the quintessential "Churma". Churma is a very basic Rajasthani sweet. Churma is made using wheat flour, ghee and jaggery which are the main ingredients and the only ingredients. It is very easy and simply to make and tasty to eat. Enjoy!!!

Preparation time: 25 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins


2 cups whole wheat flour
4 tbsp ghee
water to make the dough
1 cup jaggery
2 tbsp ghee
2 tsp water

For the garnish:
Chopped Almonds and/or Pistachio


1. Pour hot ghee in the wheat flour and mix until it looks like breadcrumbs.
2. Add little water and prepare hard dough. Leave the dough aside for half an hour.

3. Make thick chapatis and roast them on a tawa on low flame. While roasting them on tawa pinch the chapatis on both the sides, so that it will cook it from inside.

4. Make fine powder from these cooled chapatis with the help of a mixie. Sieve it into fine powder.

5. Transfer this powder in a pan. Fry the powder mixture till it is brown in color.

6. In a separate pan, add ghee, jaggery and water and cook it till the jaggery melt into a consistent paste.

7. Add jaggery paste to the mixture.

8. Mix well till it turns soft and no lumps of jaggery are left.

9. Garnish with chopped almonds.

Note: You can enjoy the taste of churma for 8-10 days if you keep it in an airtight box