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


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