Kuska/Plain Biriyani

Ive posted Tomato rice recipe long back. This is almost like it, but ofcourse this is Biriyani, so addition of mint, yoghurt makes it more Biriyani like- how we get in Chennai restaurants when we order Kuska.

Basmati Rice: 2 cups
Oil; as needed (I use 3 tbsp)
Cinnamon: 1
Cloves: 5
Onion: 2 medium sliced
Tomato: 1 large chopped
Green Chillies: 3 slit lengthwise
Ginger Garlic Paste: 1 heaped tbsp
Yoghurt: 2 tbsp
Mint leaves: a handful
Coriander leaves: a handful
Turmeric Powder: 1/4 tsp
Chilly Powder: 1/2 tsp
Salt: as required
Water; 3 cups

Soak the Basmati rice in water for 20 minutes
Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add cinnamon, cardamom and cloves and saute for a minute on low flame
Add the onion sliced and green chillies and saute till onions are light brown.
Now add the ginger garlic paste and saute till raw smell is gone and the onions are properly browned.
Add the tomatoes and saute till limp
Add the mint leaves, coriander leaves and curd, mix everything and immediately add the turmeric powder, chilly powder, required salt and saute for a minute on low flame.
Now add the 3 cups of water, the drained basmati rice and keep the lid.
When the steam starts coming out steadily, place the weight.
Wait for 20 seconds and turn off the stove and forget about it for another 20 to 30 minutes
Come back and open the lid and you will have perfectly cooked Kuska/Plain Biriyani.
Serve with raita, pickles and any non veg/veg dish of your choice.


Squid Curry Leaf Fry

This is absolutely delicious!!!!

Squid: 200 gm
Kashmiri Chilly Powder: 2 tsp 
Turmeric: 1/4 tsp
Coriander Powder; 1/2 tsp
Salt: as needed
Curry Leaves: 10 sprigs
Lime Juice: of 1 lime
Oil: 2 tbsp
Oil: for roasting

Mix all the ingredients together except the last ingredient-Oil for roasting
Keep this aside for 15-20 minutes.
Cook this on medium flame first for 3 minutes and the simmer it till it gets almost done.
Then add the oil (for roasting) and saute till it gets done.
Serve warm.

Recipe Courtesy: GrahaLakshmi Oct 2012


Fish Pie

King Fish/Seer Fish - 500 gms (I used 6 medium slices)
Green Chillies: 4 slit
Ginger: 1 tbsp Juliennes
Pepper Corns: 1 tbsp
Milk: 500 ml
Potatoes: 750 gm (I used 6 medium sized potatoes)
Salt: as needed
Water: to boil/steam
Butter: 3 tbsp (for mixing with mashed potato)
Green Peas frozen: a handful
Eggs; 3
Maida/All purpose flour: 2 tbsp
Butter: 2 tbsp (for the white sauce)
Pepper and Salt: as needed (for the white sauce)
Grated Cheese: as needed

First, take the 500 milk in a wide pan, add the green chillies, pepper corns and ginger to it.
Place the fish pieces and once the milk starts boiling, simmer it until the fish is just cooked through.
Remove the fish, strain the milk to remove the ginger, green chilly and pepper corn and keep aside the milk.
Now, remove the skin from the fish, flake the fish and keep aside.

Boil the 3 eggs.
Peel and quarter the potatoes and boil it in salt water.
I usually steam the potatoes, so that the eggs will get boiled in the water below while the potatoes, without losing its nutrients gets steamed in the steamer plate.
Once done, open the lid and keep, so that all the water from the potatoes are evaporated.

While the water is getting evaporated, we will make the white sauce.
In a sauce pan, melt 2 tbsp butter, add the maida to it.
Mix it properly on low heat and when the raw smell is gone (pls do not brown it) add 3/4 th of the fishy milk (the one weve kept aside after cooking the fish) to it and whisk properly till you get a thick sauce. Add pepper and salt to this after you add the milk Keep this safe in the pan itself after taking off fire.

Now the water would have evaporated. Add the rest of the fish milk to the potatoes, add the 3 tbsp butter and mix it properly making it really creamy (add more milk if needed, but usually wouldnt have to) But use all your hand muscles and make the potatoes real creamy. (dont forget to do a taste test and add more salt if necessary.  Now add the green peas to it and properly mix everything.

Preheat your oven 170C
Grease your pie dish with butter/Olive Oil
Layer the flaked fish evenly.
Pour the white sauce over it , use a spatula to distribute it evenly
Slice each egg in to 4-5 (vertically) pieces and place it on the white sauce with yellow side up.
Now add the potato mash on top of it and smooth it with a spatula.
Sprinkle grated cheese on top (generously!!!! for better taste)
Bake for 1 hour (more or less) depending on the oven, the potatoes have to brown a bit (that is the idea)
Slice and enjoy it warm with Bread or dinner rolls.


Pineapple Upside Down Cake

For the Topping:
Granulated Sugar; 1 1/2 cups
Water: 1/4 cup
Butter: 3 tbsp

For the Cake:
Pineapple Rings: 8
All Purpose Flour: 2 1/2 cups
Slat; 1/4 tsp
Baking Powder; 2 tsp
Butter: 1/2 cup or 1 stick
Sugar: 1 cup
Vanilla Essence; 1 tsp
Eggs: 3
Milk: 1/2 cup

Preheat Oven to 180 C
Grease and Flour a medium and a small baking tray (pls do not use spring foam)

Heat the sugar and water on medium high.
Boil till you get a golden yellow colour.
You can swirl the pan but DO NOT stir with a spoon.
When the desired colour is reached, add the 3 tbsp butter and swirl the pan.
Take off fire.

Pour this on the baking tray.
Arrange Pineapple slices on this and keep aside while we make the batter

The Batter:
Separate the egg whites and yolk.
Whisk the egg whites stiff.
Beat the butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
Add egg yolks and vanilla essence and beat well.
Now add the flour and milk alternately.
Fold in the egg whites and combine till no white streaks are found
Pour this batter over the arranged pineapple sllices.
Bake till done ( a toothpick inserted should come out clean)
Let it cool and then invert it over a platter.
Slice and serve


Marble Cake

All Purpose Flour: 3 cups
Baking Powder: 2 1/4 tsp
Salt: 1/4 tsp
Butter: 1 1/2 cups
Sugar: 1 3/4 cups + 1/4 cup
Vanilla Essence: 1 1/2 tsp
Eggs; 5
Milk: 3/4 cup + 1/4 cup
Cocoa Powder: 1 tbsp
Cinnamon Powder: 1/2 tsp

Preheat oven to 180C
Grease and flour your baking tins. (one large or two small)
Sift flour, baking powder and salt thrice and keep aside.
Separate the egg whites and yolk.
Whisk the egg whites stiff. Add quarter cup sugar and beat again. Keep aside
Cream butter and the rest of the sugar (1 3/4 cups).
Add the egg yolks one by one and beat till well combined.
Add the vanilla essence to it and beat properly.
Now keep the electric mixer aside.
Fold in flour and milk (3/4 cup) alternately.
Lastly fold in the egg whites with it..make sure no white streaks are there.
Divide the batter into two.
Dissolve the cocoa powder and cinnamon powder in 1/4 cup milk.
To one portion of the batter, add the cocoa milk and fold in gently.
Put a spoon each of the batter alternately to the greased tin.
Tap the tin on your counter.
Bake at 180 C till done.

This is a Modified version of Mrs B.F Varghese's Marble Nut Cake


Apple Pie

This is for my Hubby. This is his absolute favourite dessert.

For the Crust:
Maida/All Purpose Flour: 2 1/2 cups
Cooking Butter: 1 cup ( straight from the fridge)
Sugar: 2 tbsp
Salt: 1/2 tsp
Cold Water; 1/4 cup

For the Filling:
Apple: 6
Sugar: 1/2 cup
Cinnamon Powder: 1 tsp
Lime Juice: of 1 lime
Salt: 1/2 tsp
Cooking Butter: 2 tbsp
Corn Flour: 1 1/2 tbsp

 Step 1:
Get the Apples ready. (peel first, slice them like in the picture. Throw away the core)
Mix the apples with the sugar, cinnamon powder, salt and lime juice.
Keep it at room temperature for about an hour or more.
In a large bowl, place a strainer and dump the apples into the strainer and leave it like that for 25 minutes.
Mix the 2 tbsp butter with the juice you got and on medium heat let it boil and reduce to a thick consistency.

Step 2

Mix all the pie crust ingredients and make a dough.
Divide the dough into two, cover with a plastic cling wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.
Take one portion after an hour and roll it out like you do for chapatis. (but thicker ofcourse)
Keep dusting flour so that it doesnt stick.
Gently transfer it into a pie pan.
Cover with plastic wrap and it goes into the fridge again.

Take the 2nd portion of the dough and roll it out and place it on a parchment paper.
Cover it with plastic wrap and place this also in the fridge.

Step 3
Now transfer the drained apples into a large bowl and mix the corn flour into it.
Now pour the reduced syrup over it and mix everything properly.

Take the 2nd portion (the top part) of the dough and place it outside for 10 minutes.
After that take out the chilled pie crust that is already in the pie pan.
Pour the Apples and the syrup onto it like in the pic below

Carefully place the top crust on the apples and seal the edges with a fork like in the pic

Make a few slits from the centre of the pie out towards the edge for the steam to escape.

Cover with a plastic wrap and this goes to the fridge again.
or you can make long strips out of the second rolled out dough and weave a lattice top.

Step 4
Preheat your oven to 220C for about 10 minutes
Place the pie dish on the middle rack.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until the juice starts to bubble through the slits.
Remove from oven and let it cool for 3 hours before cutting them
Heat it up before you serve or you can serve it at room temperature. I love it warm. :)

Recipe Courtesy: Joy Of Baking


Homemade Wine with Grapes

This comes a little early. Wanted to post this for Christmas...but then again, you can have this for Christmas only if you start the procedures now. So here it is..... :)

Grapes : 1 kg (purple grapes)
Sugar: 1 kg
Water: 1.5 litres (boiled and cooled)
Yeast: 2 tsp
Wheat: A handful (Kernels, not the powdered one)
Cinnamon, cloves, staranise: 2 each

Wash the grapes well.
Pat dry. Crush the grapes with your hand or pulse it just once in your mixie.
Mix all the ingredients together in a jar.
For the first 15 days, stir this mix twice a day.
Then for a week, stir it once a day.
After that leave it untouched.
After 45 days (from when you first mixed everything) open the jar and strain liquid with the help of a muslin cloth.
Store in clean glass bottles.


Chakka Kuru Mezhukkupuratty

 Chakkakuru/Jackfruit seeds sliced: 1 cup
Chilly powder: 2 tsp
Turmeric Powder: 1/4 tsp
Salt: as required
Oil: 2 tbsp or as needed
Mustard; 1/2 tsp
Shallots: 4 sliced thin

Mix the chilly powder, turmeric powder and salt with the jackfruit seeds and cook with a little water until 3/4th done.
Heat oil in a kadai and splutter mustard and shallots and add this cooked jackfruit seeds to it and stir till it is fried. (optional- you can add curry leaves too)
Serve warm with rice.


Dal Curry (Simple and Tasty)

This is a very easy way to make dal curry. O yes, it tastes awesome too.

Masoor Dal: 1/2 cup
Moong Dal: 1/2 cup
Onion: 1 sliced
Tomato: 1 chopped
Garlic: 2 cloves minced
Green chillies: 2 slit
Turmeric Powder: 1/4 tsp
Chilly Powder; 1/2 tsp
Salt: as required

Wash both the dals and mix in all the other ingredients with 2 cups water and pressure cook on high for 4 whistles.
When the pressure is completely released, check if more water is needed and add if necessarry and boil again.

To temper:
Ghee: 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
Mustard; 1/2 tsp
Shallots: 1 sliced thin
Dried Red chilly: 1
Curry leaf: 1 sprig

Heat ghee and splutter mustard, cumin and throw in the shallot, dried red chilly and curry leaf.
when shallots turn brown, pour over the prepared Dal.
Serve warm with Chapatis.


Aval Payasam

I made this to celebrate a promotion. Ive been promoted as admin in a facebook group (sounds, silly???). Well, not to me!!! thats my favourite group with just my BESTEST buddies and I can be myself with them anytime and we have the best time ever in the virtual world just like how we used to have when we were together a decade ago!!!!

Aval/rice flakes/Poha: 1 cup ( the brown one)
Sugar: 1 cup
Milk: 4 cups
Cardamom: 1 tsp
Ghee: 2 tbsp + 1 tbsp
Cashewnuts: 5 or as required

Fry the Cashew nut in 1 tbsp ghee and keep aside.
Wash the Aval in water and pat dry.
Heat ghee in a vessel and stir in the aval till it is well coated with the ghee.
Add the boiled milk to this and let it come to a boil.
Add sugar and let it simmer for sometime till the aval gets cooked and a thick consistency is reached
Add cardamom powder and stir everything. If it is too thick, add a little more milk.
Take off fire and stir in the fried cashewnuts.


Bhindi/Vendakka/Okra Fry

Okra/vendakka: 500 gms (cut in discs)
Onion: 1 large diced
Green Chillies: 6
Turmeric Powder: a pinch
Chilly Powder: 1/4 tsp
Salt: as needed
Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
Mustard: 1/2 tsp
Oil: as needed

Heat oil and splutter mustard and cumin seeds.
Add the diced onion and saute till translucent.
Add the Okra, green chillies and mix everything and let it get cooked.
Halfway through, add the chilly powder and turmeric powder and give a proper mix.
Add salt and let it get slightly crisp but still green (by this time, the onions would have turned brown)
Serve hot with rice or chapatis


Srilankan Hot Butter Cuttle Fish/Squid/Calamari

I took a long break from the blogging world. Well, there is no reason..just that I was too lazy to click pics!!! Okay over to todays recipe... We went on a Srilankan trip and oooo, the food in Srilanka is to die for. For seafood lovers, it is heaven and beyond!!!! and this is one of the dishes I used to have almost every single day.. tried from all the sea food joints i went to.. and the best was from Beach Wadiya and also from a restaurant in Mount Lavinia.
 So, I had to get the recipe somehow and finally the day before we left, I gathered the courage to ask a chef how to prepare this and he could speak tamil too. He gave me the detailed recipe and here it is. 

Squid - 1 kg
Oil: for deep frying
Milk: 1 cup

To Marinate:
Salt and Pepper: as needed
Egg: 1 beaten
Corn flour: half cup
Semolina: 2 tbsp
Maida: 2 tbsp

Clean the squid properly.
Soak in milk for an hour (so that it doesnt turn rubbery when u cook)
drain the milk completely and pat dry. 
Dip in egg whisked with salt and pepper.
Coat it with the cornflour-maida-semolina mix
Deep fry till golden brown.

To saute:
Butter: 4 tbsp
Garlic: 10 cloves minced
Green Chillies: 10 chopped
Cashewnut fried: 8
Chilli Paste: 3 tbsp (I used readymade Srilankan Chilli paste, but if you dont get it, u can try this recipe )
Sugar: 1 tsp
Salt: if needed

Heat butter in a wok and add the green chillies and minced garlic.
After a few secs, add the sugar, chilli paste, cashewnuts and the fried squid and toss everything.
Take off fire and serve warm.


Ari Payasam

Rice (Basmati or Raw) - 1 cup
Jaggerry: 200 gm (add 100gms more if you like it more sweet and dark)
Coconut Milk: 1 cup (or more for more taste)
Cardamom Powder: 1 tsp
Ghee: 2 tbsp
Cashewnut and Raisins: a tbsp each

After cleaning, soak the rice in water for about 20 minutes. Cook it in 3 cups of water.
Fry the dashew and raisins in the ghee and keep aside.
Melt the jaggerry with water on medium heat.
Cool and strain it.
Pour the melted jaggerry to the cooked rice and heat again.
Mix the cardamom powder.
Add the coconut milk and when it boils along the edges, take off fire.
Serve warm or cold.


Mutter Paneer

Paneer cubes: 200gms
Frozen Peas: 100 gm
Onion: 2 medium diced
Ginger Garlic Paste; 1 tbsp
Cashew Nut: 4
Tomato: 2 chopped
Coriander Powder: 2 tsp
Cumin powder: 3/4 tsp
Chilly Powder; 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder; 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala: 3/4 tsp
Kasaoori Methi: 1 tsp
Butter; 1 tbsp
Oil: 1 tbsp
Coriander Leaves: 2 garnish
Fresh Cream: 1 tbsp 

Heat the butter and oil.
Saute the cashewnut, onion and ginger garlic paste till onions is wilted and slightly changes colour.
Saute the tomato till it is all mashed up.
Add the chilly powder, turmeric, coriander powder, cumin powder and garam masala and saute for a minute on low flame.
Turn off fire. When it cools, blend it to a fine paste by adding 1 cup water.
Again bring this to boil and add the frozen peas and let it get cooked on low flame.
Add the paneer cubes and kasoori methi and let it boil for a few minutes.
Add the fresh cream and turn off the stove after a few seconds.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve warm with rotis.


Beef Pickle

To Pressure Cook:
Beef: 2 kg
Chilly Powder: 2 tbsp
Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tsp
Salt: as required

Pressure cook on high till the first whistle.
 No need to add water, but if you are unsure, just add 1/2 cup of water. I don't add water at all
After the first whistle, lower the heat and let it get cooked for 20 minutes.
Drain well

Heat a cup of gingelly oil in a kadai.
Fry the cooked beef in it

Keep aside

For the Pickle:
Ginger: 2 inch sliced thin
Garlic; a handful juliennes
Curry leaves: a few sprigs

Kashmiri Chilly Powder: 2.5 tbsp or according to your tolerance level
Salt: as required
Turmeric Powder: 1/4 tsp
Vinegar: 1 cup

Heat a tbsp oil and saute the garlic, ginger, curry leaves.
Add the chilly powder and turmeric powder and saute for a few seconds
Now add the fried beef to it and mix everything properly.
You can add the remaining oil from frying the beef.
Add the vinegar too and take off fire.
Do a taste test and adjust the salt.

Once cool, store in airtight containers and keep in fridge.