Mexican Fried Rice with Egg

Many of the occasions, we are left with some extra rice, post lunch or dinner. One of the best ways to utilise this left-over rice is to prepare some fried rice with added vegetables, eggs, chicken etc., whatever you like. This also serves the purpose of a perfect tiffin menu. Mexican fried rice, as described here, is almost similar to our very know Chinese fried rice, we usually prepare and are pretty fond of. Only the difference is that, it is spicier and much flavourful due to the ample use of tomato & chilli sauces and dried herbs. Also the presentation of egg, atop the rice gives it a unique look  compared to common fried rice dishes. Obviously one can use a freshly prepared rice, which I did, for this recipe and omitting egg will make the dish completely vegetarian.

Mexican Fried Rice with Egg

Mexican Fried Rice with Egg

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Vegetable Dam Biryani

Long back I have shared with you Chicken biryani recipes (Kolkata Style Chicken Biryani, Chicken Kachchi Biryani) which was much liked and adored. However, biryani should not necessarily be made with the meat per se. Vegetables cooked in dum with basmati rice can culminate into a great vegetable biryani as well, the recipe of which is shared below. Various vegetables, from carrot to cauliflower to beans alongwith the blocks of paneer make it a healthy and amazing colourful preparation which is rich in floavour of traditional Indian spices. Just for the reminder, this preparation avoids any short cut and takes the route of typical mughlai biryani to make, which certainly is reflected in its aroma and taste.

Vegetable Dam Biryani

Vegetable Dam Biryani

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Soya Nugget Pulao

These days I just love experimenting with Pulao, whether veg or non-veg, specially because it serves the purpose of a one dish meal. 😉 Today’s recipe is all about one such vegetarian Pulao, with soya nuggets added in, and can be called as Soya Nugget Pulao. Soya Nuggets are very good for health mainly because of their high protein content. If cooked rich in spices, soya nuggets taste great and can give the non-vegeterain dishes run for their money. I also made this dish a bit on the spicier side  which gave it the extra kick.

Soya nuggets pulao

Soya nuggets pulao

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Kolkata style Chicken Biryani

Biryani ranks at the top of my favourite food list. Whenever there is a special occasion in my house, the very first dish comes to my mind is Biryani. It is a very well known Mughlai dish, cooked with meat and rice in dum, adored all over the sub-continent. However, Vegetable biryani is also well accepted among vegetarians.

Biryani should ideally be prepared in dum, where the meat and rice are cooked together in an air tight container over low flame. I already posted the recipe of dum biryani which is cooked with raw meat and known as Chicken Kachchi Biryani. However, one who is giving it a first try can have a doubt if the meat is properly cooked or not. So this time I am sharing with you an easier version of dum biryani which is followed in most of the biryani houses in Kolkata. The difference with the earlier version is that here, the meat is already cooked before putting over dum with rice. The result is by no way inferior to the Kacchi typed biryani.

Kolkata style Chicken Biryani

Kolkata style Chicken Biryani

Ingredients to serve 4 :

  1. Chicken thigh – approx. 700-800 gm.
  2. Basmati rice – 400 gm.
  3. Potato (large) – 2
  4. Hard boiled egg – 4
  5. Beresta (out of 3 medium-sized onion)
  6. Plain yogurt (beaten) – 3-4 tbspoon
  7. Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tbspoon (heaped)
  8. Lime juice – 1 tbspoon
  9. Red chilli powder – 1 teaspoon
  10. White pepper powder (samorich) – ½ teaspoon
  11. Biryani Masala – 1½ tbspoon
  12. Cloves – 5-6
  13. Green cardamom – 5-6 pods
  14. Alubukhara/dried plum – 2-3 (I didn’t have that, so I skipped)
  15. Milk powder or Khoya/Mawa – 2 tbspoon (heaped) (I used milk powder)
  16. Rose water – ½ tbspoon
  17. Kewra water – 1 tbspoon
  18. Few strands of  saffron (soaked in 2 tbspoon warm milk)
  19. Milk – 1 cup of a large coffee cup
  20. Salt to taste
  21. Ghee/Clarified butter (melted) – 3 tbspoon
  22. Cooking oil – 3-4 tbspoon
  23. Wheat flour – 1 cup

Procedure :

Cooking Chicken and Rice :

Marinate the chicken with salt, ginger-garlic paste, yogurt, chilli powder, white pepper powder, 1 tbspoon of biryani masala, ½ tbspoon kewra water and 1 tbspoon of cooking oil for minimum 2 hours. (For best result marinate the chicken overnight).

Peel the potatoes and cut them into two halves, coat with salt and turmeric powder and boil them till half-cooked. (I cooked them in microwave and it takes around 8 minutes. You can also fry them in oil till half-cooked.)

Also smear the boiled eggs with salt and turmeric powder and shallow fry in 1-2 tbspoon of oil.

Heat 1 tbspoon of oil in a frying pan or kadai over medium flame. Add the marinated chicken and half of the beresta into it. Cook till oil separates from the mixture, then add approx. 1½ cup of hot water into it. Cover the pan with a lid and let the chicken get cooked. As chickens become tender, remove them from the pan and keep aside, reduce the gravy to ¾ of a cup.

Wash and soak the rice in cold water for at least 10 minutes. Then bring to boil sufficient amount of water in a pan. Add drained rice, salt (approx. 2½ teaspoon), green cardamom and cloves. Cook the rice till it is 50% done. Drain the water and discard whole spices from cooked rice, keep it aside.

Make a soft dough by wheat flour and water.

Assembling Chicken & Rice for Dum :

Now grease a heavy bottomed pan or preferably a “Handi” (a deep, narrow-mouthed cooking vessel) with ½ tbspoon of ghee. Pour the chicken gravy/broth into it. Add lime juice, alubukhara, remaining biryani masala, 1 tbspoon of ghee, ½ cup of milk and the chicken pieces, mix them well.

Place the potatoes over the chicken and sprinkle over remaining beresta.

Now spread half of the rice over it. Spread saffron milk, rose-water, kewra water, milk powder and remaining ghee over the rice.

Then spread the remaining rice and milk at the top and place the eggs over it.

Cover the pan with a lid and seal with the dough to make it air tight. Now put a “tawa” on medium-high flame and place the sealed pot containing the meat & rice over it, cook for 6-8 minutes and then put the flame on low. Cook for another 30-35 minutes till rice get properly cooked. Check for the liquid at the bottom, whether it is completely dried out.

Cooking meat & rice in dum

Cooking meat & rice in dum

Serve hot with salads and raita.

Chicken Biryani is ready to be served

Chicken Biryani is ready to be served

Note :

  1. Try to use less weight chicken thighs. It is better if the total weight of 4 chicken thighs is to 700-800 weight.
  2. You can also use food colour for colouring the rice. Even ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder mixed with 2 tbspoon of milk can also serve the purpose well. Sprinkle it over the first layer of rice.

Prawn Pulao

Pulao can be made in different ways. I have already posted the recipes of Mishti Pulao, Vegetable Pulao and Morog/Chicken Pulao.

Today’s recipe is of Prawn Pulao. My mother used to make prawn pulao in pressure cooker with Gobindobhog rice. The aroma of this rice along with ghee and prawns is simply brilliant. But unfortunately I do not find that particular rice in my current place, so use basmati rice instead. In fact here I also deviate from my mother’s recipe and try a bit different, the idea of  which is found in a news paper when I was in Kolkata. It is quite satisfactory too and these days I often prepare whenever wish to go for a one dish meal.

Prawn Pulao

Prawn Pulao

Ingredients to serve 4 :

  1. Prawn – 250 gm.
  2. Basmati rice – 2 cups
  3. Ghee – 4 tbspoon
  4. Whole garam masala (Green cardadom – 3, Clove – 3, Cinnamon stick – 1½”)
  5. Bay leaf – 1
  6. Javitri or mace – ¼ teaspoon
  7. Nutmeg – 1
  8. Caraway seed or sajeera – 1 teaspoon
  9. White pepper powder – ½ teaspoon
  10. Chopped onion – 1
  11. Salt & sugar to taste
  12. Cooking oil – 2 tbspoon
  13. Hot water – 4 cups

Procedure :

Rinse the rice for 2-3 times and then soak for half an hour in water. Then drain out the water and spread the rice on a plate and let it dry.

Remove the shell, head and tail of the prawns, devein them and wash thoroughly. Smear salt and turmeric powder on prawns and keep it aside.

Crush whole garam masala, mace and nutmeg together and keep aside. Do not need to make fine powder out of them.

Heat oil in a frying pan and fry chopped onion until it turns golden brown in colour. Keep the fried onion aside.

Now melt ghee in a large pan over medium heat and fry the prawns till they start changing colour. Take out them from the pan and keep aside.

Now add caraway seed, bay leaf, garam masala-nutmage-mace mixture and white pepper powder in the remaining ghee, saute for a while till nice aroma of the spices comes out.

Then add washed and dried rice into it and fry for 2-3 minutes.

Now add hot water and let it boil. As water starts boiling add salt and sugar.

As 70% of water dries out add fried prawns and give it a good stir. Cover the pan with a lid and cook further 10 minutes on low heat.

Then sprinkle over the fried onion and serve hot.

Bhoger Khichuri o Begun bhaja/ Khichdi with Aubergine fry

Khicuri (In Bengali) or Khichdi which means a “unruly mixture” is a very nutritious and comfort food known all over India. It is a one pot dish comprising of rice and lentils, with vegetables are often added to bring variety. Although it is a completely non-glamorous food, and often find people giving it a dismissive look, the combination of khichuri with any of the following – hilsa fish fry, omelet, labra (a mixed veg curry), aubergine fry, papad, pickle or tomato chatni on a rainy day is simply out of the world. In fact for us Bengalis, Khichuri has a religious significance as well.

Generally we make two types of Khichuri, one is mushy as well as little watery, which I prefer more than the other one that is bit dry. This dry khichuri is offered to god in many pujas and known as “Bhoger Khichuri”. For exmple, during Durga Puja, we prepare this khichuri and offer to goddess Durga on the 8th day i.e. ‘Ashtomi’,. Then this ‘Khuchuri Bhog’ is distributed among the devotees as ‘prasad’. This special khichuri  is prepared without any onion or garlic since it is meant for the Puja.

Today, I am sharing with you the recipe of the special “Bhoger khichuri”, which is a bit late as the Durga Puja is already over. Nonetheless, you can prepare it anytime without the calling of pujas, just for the sake of it. I bet, you will like it.

Bhoger Khichuri with Begun bhaja

Bhoger Khichuri with Begun bhaja

Ingredients to serve 2 :

For Khichuri

  1. Basmati rice – ½ cup
  2. Mung dal – ½ cup
  3. Potato (medium size, cut into halves) – 2
  4. Cauliflower – 4 – 5 big florets
  5. Slit green chilli -2
  6. Chopped tomato (medium size) – ½ (optional)
  7. Ginger mince – 1 tbspoon
  8. Whole garam masala (Cinnamon – 1″ stick, Cloves – 3, Green cardamom – 3)
  9. Bay leaf – 1 or 2
  10. Cumin seed – 1 teaspoon
  11. Dry red chilli – 2
  12. Cumin powder – ½ tbspoon
  13. Red chilli powder – ½ teaspoon
  14. Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
  15. Salt & sugar to taste
  16. Ghee/Clarified butter – 2 tbspoon
  17. Cooking oil (preferably mustard oil) – 1 thspoon
  18. Hot water – 2½ cup

    Ingredients for Khichuri

    Ingredients for Khichuri

For Begun Bhaja/Aubergine fry

  1. Aubergine slices (circular, not too thin) – 6
  2. Salt & sugar to taste
  3. Cooking oil – 3 tbspoon

Procedure

For Khichuri

Heat a frying pan over medium flame and dry roast mung dal till it turns golden brown and a nice aroma comes out of it.

Roasted Mung dal

Roasted Mung dal

Now rinse rice and roasted mung dal together for 2-3 times.

Heat 1 tbspoon of ghee and oil in a large non-stick/aluminum pan. Add whole garam masala, bay leaf, cumin seeds and dry red chilli, saute for a while.

Now add potato and cauliflower pieces, fry for 2-3 minutes followed by a little salt and turmeric powder.

Then add ginger mince, chopped tomato, cumin powder and red chilli powder, fry till tomato get softened.

Now add washed rice & lentil mix and green chillies. Again fry for 2-3 minutes.

Add hot water, salt and sugar.

As the water comes to boil cover the pan with a lid and put the heat on low. Let it cook for 20 – 25 minutes, stir occasionally.

As the rice and lentils get cooked and water dries out, put the gas off.

Sprinkle remaining 1 tbspoon of ghee and mix well.

For Begun Bhaja/Aubergine fry

Coat the aubergine slices with salt & sugar and keep aside for 15-20 minutes.

Heat oil in a non-stick pan and fry both sides of the slices till light brown. Aubergine usually requires a lot of oil to fry. In order to fry it in lesser oil, cover the pan with a lid while frying and let it cook over low – medium flame.

Serve hot Khichuri with Begun bhaja or fried aubergine.

Khichuri & Begun bhaja is ready to be served

Khichuri & Begun bhaja is ready to be served

Note :

  1. If possible use Gobindobhog rice for best result. Otherwise any short grain rice is preferable.
  2. Adding cauliflower and tomato is optional.
  3. You can add turmeric powder in aubergine fry. I do not prefer that, so I skipped.
  4. You can skip ghee due to health reasons.

Egg Fried Rice

I already expressed my soft corner for Chinese food, which is incomplete without mentioning fried rice. Perhaps it is not justified to tout fried rice as Chinese, since it can be found in abundance in Thai, Indonesian and other Asian cuisines. In fact, they taste drastically different depending on where you get it. I do not run into any complexity here, rather will describe how to make a simple fried rice with egg and vegetables. However, egg is not obligatory and the same recipe can be followed to make vegetable fried rice as well. In fact there you can apply your innovative skills while using different vegetables. Although somewhere before, I mentioned it as complimentary to Chilli Chicken, fired rice can serve as a tempting one dish meal too.

Egg Fried Rice

Egg Fried Rice

Ingredients to serve 4 :

  1. Rice – 1½ cup
  2. Finely chopped carrot – 1/3 cup
  3. Finely chopped green bin – 1/3 cup
  4. Finely chopped onion – 1½ (large)
  5. Chopped garlic – 2-3 cloves
  6. Chopped green chilli – 2 (optional)
  7. Finely chopped spring onion –  3-4 sticks
  8. Egg (beaten with salt) – 3
  9. Black pepper powder – 2 teaspoon
  10. Soya sauce – 1 tbspoon
  11. Salt & sugar to taste
  12. Sunflower oil – 7-8 tbspoon

Procedure :

Rinse the rice well with water a few times. Cook it with sufficient amount of water. After draining the water from cooked rice spread it over a large plate and let it dry.

Mean while heat 3 tbspoon of oil in a large wok over medium-high flame.

Add chopped carrot and beans to hot oil and fry till they get cooked half.

Then add chopped onion and salt, fry till onion gets translucent.

Now shift this vegetable mixture to the edge of your wok and make space to fry the egg.

Add another 2 tbspoon of oil in your wok and let it become hot.

Then add beaten eggs and fry. Make small fragments of egg with spatula while frying.

Now mix together the fried eggs and vegetables, add soya sauce and again fry for 1-2 minutes more.

Now keep this vegetable mixture aside.

Heat remaining oil in the wok and add chopped garlic, fry till it starts changing colour.

Now add cooked rice into the wok and fry for 2 minutes followed by adding salt and sugar.

Then add egg & vegetable mixture and fry till the raw flavour of rice goes away.

Now add chopped spring onion and pepper powder. Mix them very well and then put the gas off

Serve with Chilli Chicken.

Note :

  1. We need well-neat rice to make a good fried rice dish. So, keep an watchful eye while cooking the rice. Try to cook it in a large vessel, use generous amount of water and drain the water before the rice get soften.
  2. Drying out the cooked rice is an important step.
  3. Fry the rice very well till its raw flavour disappear otherwise the dish will not taste desirable.
  4. Don’t overcrowd your wok if you have large quantity of rice and vegetables. Then fry the vegetables and rice together in batches.

Vegetable Pulao

Whenever I have lot of different vegetables in stock, I think of preparing vegetable pulao.  It is well content to be served as one-dish meal. Again one can serve it with any other side dish. What attracts me most about this pulao is its colourful appearance due to presence of different vegetables in one platter.

Bengali’s biggest festival “Dura puja” is at our door step. During puja, we usually have vegetarian dishes on Sashthi and Ashtami. This vegetable pulao with dam aloo, either Bengali or Kashmiri style, can be a great combination for Puja lunch menu. 🙂

Vegetable Pulao with Kashmiri Dam Aloo

Vegetable Pulao with Kashmiri Dam Aloo

Ingredients to serve 5 :

  1. Basmati rice – 2 cups
  2. Thinly sliced carrot – 2/3 cup
  3. Finely chopped green bean – ½ cup
  4. Small pieces of cauliflower – 1 cup
  5. Green peas – ½ cup
  6. Ginger (finely chopped) – 1 tbspoon
  7. Cashew nut – 1/3 cup
  8. Raisin – ½ cup
  9. Green cardamom – 6 pods (opened)
  10. Clove – 6
  11. Cinnamon stick – 2” (broken into small pieces)
  12. Bay leaf – 2
  13. Black pepper corn – 8-10 (optional)
  14. Ghee (clarified butter) – 4 tbspoon (recipe link)
  15. Hot water – just more than 4 cups
  16. Salt & Sugar to taste

Procedure :

Rinse the rice 2-3 times with water and then let it soak in water for minimum 10 minutes. Drain the water and spread it over a plate to become dry.

Take a large vessel/frying pan and melt ghee in it over medium flame. Add cinnamon, cardamom, clove, bay leaf, pepper corn and chopped ginger, saute for a while.

Then add all the vegetables except green peas, sprinkle over some salt and fry till they get cooked half.

Then add green peas, cashew nut and raisins and again fry till the cashew nuts turn light brown.

Now add the rice and fry till the rice pops out from the pan.

Now add hot water. As the water stats boiling add salt & sugar, give the mixture a good stir. Let it boil for 4-5 minutes and then cover the pan with a lid and put the gas on low.

Put the gas off as the rice get cooked.

Spread the pulao in a large serving bowl or on a plate if you are not serving immediately. Otherwise within few minutes the rice makes lump and lose its neatness.

I served it with Kashimiri Dam Aloo. You can serve it with any side dish of your choice.

Vegetable pulao is ready to be served

Vegetable pulao is ready to be served

Note :

  1. If you don’t like to use ghee, then you can use cooking oil instead of that.

Jeera Rice

Jeera rice or rice with cumin seeds is a very simple preparation. It differs slightly from plain rice as the nice aroma of cumin seed blends very well with the rice. It goes very well with any kind of side dish, either veg or non-veg. For example, the last time I had it with Shahi Chicken Korma and liked the combination a lot. Whenever I wish to have a rice other than plain one, I go for it.

Jeera rice

Jeera rice

Ingredients to serve 2 :

  1. Basmati rice : 1 cup
  2. Cumin seeds : 1½ tbspoon
  3. Cinnamon – 1 inch stick
  4. Green cardamom – 5 pods
  5. Cloves – 5
  6. Bay leaf – 2
  7. Ghee – 2 tbspoon
  8. Salt & sugar to taste

Procedure :

Rinse the rice 2 – 3 times with water, keep it in water for 10 minutes and then strain the water from it and spread it over a plate to become dry.

Take 2½ cup of water in a pan and put ½ tbspoon cumin seeds, bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves into it. Boil the water till it reduces to 2 cups and then strain the extract.

In a large pan melt the ghee over medium flame. Add the remaining cumin seeds, saute till you get a nice aroma from it and then add the dried rice to it. Fry the rice very well until it pops out from the pan. Add the warm extract (made previously), salt and sugar into it. Let it boil for few minutes on high flame, then cover the pan and put the gas on low. Cook until the rice get cooked and all the water dries out.

Now spread the hot rice over a plate so that it doesn’t become sticky.

Serve hot with any veg or non-veg side dish.

 

Simple Egg Rice

I often prepare egg rice when I am not exactly in mood of serious cooking. 🙂 This is an easy way out for me if I just have to cook for myself. The best part of this simplest ever egg rice recipe is that it can be made in no time and is quite self-sufficient. You do not need any supplementary dish with it. If you are in a hurry and want to wrap up cooking in few minutes without any hassles, go for it.

Egg rice

Egg rice

Ingredients to serve 2 :

  1. Rice – 1 cup
  2. Egg – 2 or 3 (I used 3)
  3. Onion powder – 2 teaspoon
  4. Ginger powder – 1 teaspoon
  5. Chicken masala powder – 1 teaspoon
  6. Chopped green chilli – 2
  7. Chopped spring onion – 3 tbspoon heaped
  8. Salt to taste
  9. Cooking oil

Procedure :

Rinse the rice well with water a few times. Cook it with sufficient amount of water. After draining the water from cooked rice spread it over a plate and let it dry.

In the meanwhile heat 3 tbspoon of oil in a wok over medium flame. Beat the eggs with salt and add to the hot oil. Make small fragments of it with a spatula while frying.

Now add the rice, salt, green chillies, onion and garlic powder and fry very well till the raw flavour of rice goes away. You can also add little oil if the rice starts sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Now add the chicken masala powder and spring onions and again fry for another couple of minutes.

You are done with a very simple yet tasty egg rice 🙂

Note :

  1. To make any kind of fried rice you should keep in mind that your rice should not be either sticky or very soft. Keep an watchful eye while cooking the rice. Try to cook it in a large vessel and use generous amount of water.
  2. Fry the rice very well till its raw flavour disappear otherwise the dish will not taste good.
  3. You can even use left over rice from previous day to prepare egg rice.

Morog Pulao or Chicken Pulao

“Morog Pulao” can be regarded as a close alternative to Chicken Biryani as the key elements are almost similar. However, if Biryani requires a lenghty and complex process, Morog Polao is easier to prepare but is not compromising in taste by any means. One may wonder what does morog aka Chicken (Cock) to do with Pulao, since the latter carry a vegetarian brand, believe me the falvour of chicken adds a new dimension to it. I have heard that this dish is quite popular in Bangladesh where it has reportedly originated as well. I hope by time, it will cross the boundary of that tiny nation to flow far down.

Morog Pulao

Morog Pulao

Ingredients to serve 4 :

  1. Chicken – 500 gm.
  2. Basmati rice – 2 cups
  3. Onion (medium) – 2
  4. Ginger – 1 inch piece
  5. Garlic – 2 – 3 cloves
  6. Poppy seed paste – 1½ tbspoon
  7. Yogurt – 3 tbspoon
  8. Milk powder – 1 tbspoon
  9. Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
  10. Red chilli powder – ½ teaspoon
  11. Garam masala powder – ½ teaspoon
  12. Nutmeg (Jayfal) powder – ½ teaspoon
  13. Mace /Javitri(powdered or crushed) – ¼ teaspoon
  14. Salt & sugar to taste
  15. Ghee
  16. Cooking oil
Ingredients

Ingredients

Procedure :

Make a paste with one onion, ginger & garlic in a mixer/blender.

Chop the other onion finely.

Marinate the chicken with chopped onion, onion-ginger-garlic paste, poppy seed paste, yogurt, milk powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, nutmeg powder, mace, salt and 1 tbspoon of oil for minimum 2 hours.

Wash the rice and let it soak for half an hour in water. Then drain out the water and spread the rice on a plate and let it dry.

Marinated Chicken & Soaked Basmati rice

Marinated Chicken & Soaked Basmati rice

Now heat 2 tbspoon oil in a large frying pan over medium flame. Add the marinated chicken and cook until it gets mostly cooked (till the liquid is absorbed and oil comes out from it). Don’t add water, cook the chicken over low-medium flame.

In another frying pan melt 2 tbspoon of ghee and fry the dried rice very well till it starts spluttering.

Now mix well this fried rice with the chicken and add nearly 4 cups of hot water to it. Add salt and sugar according to your taste. As the water starts boiling turn the flame on low and cover with the lid. Cook until rice is done. Now you are ready to serve the delicious “Morog Pulao” or Chicken Pulao. 🙂

Note :

  1. If you don’t have ghee, then you can use cooking oil instead of that.
  2. Add hot water just less than twice as much as rice.
  3. Cook the rice on low flame otherwise it get burnt from the bottom.

 

 

 

Chicken Kachchi Biryani

Biryani is sheer delight to non-vegetarians, known for its brilliant taste and amazing flavour, across the sub-continent. It has its rich tradition, originated somewhere in middle-east, traveled miles, loved by millions and reached far end of the globe. They say that preparing Biryani is a meticulous job, which needs an eye of an expert, precision of a chemist and experience of decades. Without having any of these virtues at their minimal, I give here a simple recipe of Biryani, which can be prepared at your own kitchen, still bearing the good old flavour of traditional dum Biryani.

Chicken Biryani

Chicken Biryani

Ingredients to serve 4 :

  1. Chicken (cut into 5 or 6 large pieces) – 600 gm.
  2. Basmati rice (good quality) –  1½ cups
  3. Potato ( large) – 2
  4. Grated ginger & garlic – 1½ tbspoon
  5. Biryani masala – 1 tbspoon
  6. Chilli powder – 1 teaspoon
  7. White pepper powder (samorich) – ½ teaspoon
  8. Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
  9. Milk powder  – 1 tbspoon
  10. Cinnamon stick – 1½ inch
  11. Green cardamom – 4
  12. Caraway seed (sajeera) – ½ teaspoon
  13. Plain yogurt – ½ cup
  14. Fried brown onion or “beresta” – ½ cup
  15. Ghee – 3 tbspoon (for recipe see under “Useful Supplementary” tab)
  16. Cooking oil – 2 tbspoon
  17. Kewra water – 1 tbspoon
  18. Saffron – 3 to 4 strands
  19. Milk – 1 tbspoon
  20. Yellow food colour (optional)
  21. Salt to taste
  22. Wheat flour – 1 cup

Procedure :

Try to take the meat twice as much as rice.

To prepare “Biryani masala” at home see the ingredients in the page Biryani Masala under the tab “Useful Supplementary”, otherwise you can use those available in the market.

Put the grated ginger and garlic in ¼ cup of water, let them soak for 10 minutes and then extract the juice out of these. Marinate the chicken with salt, “biryani masala”, chilli powder, white pepper powder, yogurt, milk powder, ½ tbspoon “kewra water”, the juice of ginger & garlic and cooking oil for minimum 2 hours. (For best result marinate the chicken overnight).

Put the saffron strands in 1 tbspoon of milk and let it soak for few minutes.

Make a soft dough by wheat flour and water.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into two halves, coat with salt and turmeric powder and boil them till half-cooked. (I cooked them in microwave and it takes around 8 minutes. You can also fry them in oil.)

Now spread the chicken in a heavy bottomed pan or preferably in a “Handi” (a deep, narrow-mouthed cooking vessel) greased with 1 tbspoon of ghee and add ½ cup of hot water, sprinkle half of the fried brown onion or “beresta” (look for the recipe under the tab “Useful Supplementary”, Beresta) on the top.

Soak the rice in cold water for at least 10 minutes. Put the cinnamon stick, green cardamom and caraway seeds together in a clean cloth and tie it up well like a small bag. Boil sufficient amount of water in a large pan, add salt (around 3 teaspoon) to it and immerse the cloth bag containing the spices. Then add the rice to this water.

Cook the rice till 50% (take one grain of rice and press from the middle; if it breaks then it is cooked half) and then put the gas on low (don’t put the gas off).

Using a sifter ladle (chanta) take half of this semi-cooked rice from the pan and spread over the meat to make 1st layer of rice. Sprinkle over the remaining fried brown onion or “beresta” and place the potatoes nicely. Also spread half of the saffron milk, 1 tbspoon of ghee and few drops of kewra water.

Let the remaining rice to cook for few more minutes until it is done up to 70%. Again using the sifter ladle spread it on the top of 1st layer of rice.

Spread the remaining kewra water, ghee, saffron milk, a pinch of food colour over the rice. Put the lid of the pot. Seal the pot with dough to make it air tight. Now put a “tawa” on medium flame and keep the sealed pot containing the meat & rice over it, cook for 10 minutes and then put the flame on low. Cook for approx. another 30 minutes. The rich smell, a perfect blend of meat and rice with spices, coming out of the container will let you know that your Biryani is all cooked and ready to serve.

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  1. You can also add boiled egg to your biryani if you like. Place them with the potatoes between the layer of two rices.
  2. You can also add 1 tbspoon of rose water along with kewra water . I didn’t have that so I skipped it.

Pulao with safed murgh

Sunday lunch is always a luxury to food lovers. Nothing beats the combination of Pulao, the delicate rice dish, with the spicy curried meat for that. In fact, the combination gets really unique when you put a slightly different preparation of meat with Pulao. Today, I am giving the recipe of white chicken which takes a bit long to make, but I hope, you can take your Sunday time out to prepare it. The pulao recipe is completely in Bengali style with is best prepared with “Gobindo bhog” rice. As it is not available outside India I prepared it with basmati rice. Enjoy 🙂

Pulao with Safed Murgh

Pulao with Safed Murgh

Ingredients to serve 4 :

For White Chicken

    1. Chicken – 600 gms.
    2. Plain yogurt – 250 gms.
    3. Ginger paste – 2 teaspoon
    4. Garlic paste – 1 tbspoon
    5. Onion(large) – 2
    6. White pepper powder (Samorich) – 1 tbspoon
    7. Kabab Chini – 3 to 4 seeds
    8. Star Anise – 1 seed
    9. Mace (Javitri) – ¼ teaspoon
    10. Cashew nuts – ¼ cup
    11. poppy seeds – 1 tbspoon
    12. Fresh Cream – ½ cup
    13. sugar – ½ tbspoon
    14. Salt to taste
    15. cooking oil

For Pulao

    1. Basmati rice as required – say 2 cups
    2. warm water – 4 cups
    3. Ghee – 2 tbspoon
    4. Yellow food colour or Turmeric powder
    5. Whole garam masala (Cinnamon stick – 1 inch, Cloves – 5, Green Cardamom – 5)
    6. Bay leaves – 2
    7. Cashew Nuts + Raisins –  ½ cup
    8. Salt & Sugar to taste

Procedure :

White Chicken

Cut the chicken into pieces according to your preference. Marinate the chicken with salt, white pepper powder, ginger & garlic paste and 200 gm. of yogurt for 1 hour.

Roast kabab chini, star anise and mace in a frying pan and then grind the mixture till it gets a half dust texture.

Soak the cashew nuts into warm water and prepare a paste of them. Similarly make a paste of poppy seeds.

Cut the onions into thin slices. In a deep pan, heat sufficient amount of oil until it is almost smoking. Reduce the heat to medium, and wait about 30 seconds. Add the onions a few at a time and deep-fry until they are golden brown and crispy. Transfer the onions onto a paper towel to absorb the extra oil. Continue until all the onions have been fried.

Heat 1 tbspoon of oil in a large pan. Add the dry half dust spice mixture to it and saute for a while. Then add the marinated chicken into the pan and cook until oil comes out of it. Add required salt, sugar and 1½ cup of water. Now cover the pan with a lid and let it cook till the chicken becomes tender. Then add the remaining yogurt, cashew nut & poppy-seed paste, 2/3 of the fried onion or barista and fresh cream. Put the flame on low and let it cook for another 5 – 7 minutes with the lid on. Switch the gas off and garnish with the remaining barista. You can also serve this chicken with Roti/Paratha.

Safed Murgh

Safed Murgh

Pulao

Wash the rice and let it soak for 30 min. in water. Then drain it out and spread over a large plate. Add 1 or 2 drops of yellow food colour or ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder and mix it with the rice very well. Now let it dry.

Heat a heavy bottom pot on medium flame. Add ghee, let it melt, then add the whole garam masala and bey leaves, saute them for a while. After that add the cashew nuts and raisins, fry them lightly and then add the coloured rice. Fry well the rice with dry fruits and add warm water to it (take water twice as much as rice) followed by adding salt and sugar as per your test. Cover the pot and let the rice cook on low flame. Put the gas off when the rice is completely cooked and all of water dries out. Don’t over cook the rice otherwise it may get burnt at the bottom.

Misti Pulao

Misti Pulao