Mar 28, 2009

Egg Biryani and Plagiarism!!

I am a big fan of biryani-egg combo! I prepared this a while ago and was hooked by its taste. It is made with basmati rice along with aromatic spices.. It is a one-pot meal and is quite fancy and can be prepared for week-end dinners!  


Basmati Rice - 2 cups
Eggs - 5
Onions - 1 lare
Ginger - 1 inch
Garlic - 4 cloves
Green Chillies - 6 to 8 
Red Chilli Powder - 1 teaspoon
Garam Masala Powder - 1 teaspoon
Fresh Coriander/Cilantro Leaves - 1/4 cup
Bay Leaves - 2
Cardamom Pods - 5 
Plain Yogurt - 3 tablespoons
Salt to taste
Oil - 5 teaspoons


Soak the basmati rice in water for atleast half an hour. 

Hard boil the eggs and peel them. Slice the eggs and set them aside.

In a mixie, blend the ginger, green chillies, onions and coriander/cilantro leaves into a smooth paste.

 In a kadai, add the oil and fry the onions until they turn translucent. Add the blended paste and fry till the raw smell disappears. Add red chilli powder, salt and eggs and fry until the eggs get coated with the spices. Remove only the eggs and set aside.

In the same kadai, to the spices, add the bay leaves, cardamom, garam masala, chilli powder and yoghurt and cook for about a minute. Add the soaked rice and mix until the rice gets coated with all the spices.Add sufficient water (Rice:Water::1:1.5) and bring it to a boil. Close the kadai with a lid and cook until all the water is absorbed. A pressure cooker can also be used instead of the kadai.

Finally add the eggs and simmer for a few more minutes.

Garnish with fried onions.

Serve hot with raita!

Sending this to Colors of Taste - Flavored rice hosted at Kadumanga.

To add to a sad note:

I am also a victim of the plagiarism found everywhere in the blogging community! I thank EC for letting me know about this. I found my Aval Payasam picture in THIS site.  I sent the site's admin an e-mail and then the picture was removed. Browsing through the site I also found that most of its pictures were copied!!

People do not realise how much time and effort is spent by bloggers to cook, click and blog about their experiments. While googling, I also found my picture in a FAMOUS NEWS WEBSITE without my permission. Hopefully people should acknowledge and remove the photos.

Check out this site for more info about how to deal with plagiarism!

Mar 25, 2009

Savoury cookies

I was hooked on these savoury cookies when I saw them in Anu's blog. They were of cute shapes which appealed me more. I had bookmarked the recipe and I tried these the same week with a few changes. They can be made in a matter of minutes and they serve as a very good accompaniment to hot tea. They are a great variation to the normal sweet and chocolatey cookies. They are filled with cheesy goodness and freshly ground pepper. This recipe is definitely a keeper.


Cold Butter - 1 cup
All-Purpose Flour - 1 1/2 cups
Cheese - 1/2 cup I used a mixture of mozzarella and cheddar
Baking Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Freshly ground pepper - about 2 teaspoons
Mixed dried Herbs - 1 teaspoon
Cold Water few tablespoons


Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Take the flour in a mixing bowl and add the butter. Mix in with your fingers until it forms small crumbs. Add the cheese, baking powder, pepper and mixed dried herbs and mix. Add few spoons of cold water and knead to form a dough. Do not overknead.

Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick and cut into the required shapes.

Bake for about 20 minutes until they turn golden brown.

Cool on a wire rack.

Store in an airtight container.

Sending these delicious cookies to Ashwini's MBP:Snacks and Savouries started by The Spice Cafe

Bread baking Day#18-Quick Breads hosted by Mansi

EFM - Cookies hosted by SriLekha

And also to Think Spice.. Think Pepper event being hosted in my blog. It was started by Sunita.

Mar 23, 2009

Oatmeal Wheat Bread

This is a homemade healthy everyday bread. It is a basic recipe I found after researching and making changes to suit my own. It came out very well, soft and airy. I wanted to bake a bread as it was long since I baked one at home. I wanted to try something which I had never baked earlier. This recipe is a keeper. No doubt, it is healthy with the wheat flour and oatmeal.

Old-Fashioned oats - 1 cup
Whole Wheat flour - 2 cups
Bread flour/unbleached all-purpose flour - 1 cup
Buttermilk - 3/4 cup
Water - 1/4 cup
Butter - 3 tablespoons
Sugar - 3 tablespoons
Active Dry Yeast - 3 teaspoons
Oats - 2 teaspoons for topping

Take about 1/4 cup of lukewarm water and add the sugar and yeast and stir till they dissolve. The water should be lukewarm for the yeast to work best. It should not be too hot as it might kill the yeast! Set it aside until it gets frothy.
Cook the oats with water until creamy. It should be in a thick consistency and not soupy. Cool the mixture. To the oats mixture, add the buttermilk, butter, bread flour and whole wheat flour. Finally add the frothy yeast-sugar mixture.
Knead well to get an elastic dough. The dough should be smooth. Grease the surface with oil and place in a bowl covered with a towel. Allow the dough to rise for about one hour till doubled.
Punch down the dough and knead it slightly. Take care not to knead too much as it releases all the air in the pockets. Shape the dough into a loaf and transfer it to a greased loaf pan.
Make two or three slits on the top of the loaf for the air to escape. Brush with a little milk and sprinkle the oats on top.
Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degree F for about 40 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Allow it to cool a bit and remove carefully from the loaf pan and cool in a wire rack.
Serve with warm butter!

This is my entry to JFI:Wheat
What's Cooking:Homemade Bread
Whole Grain (Eggless) Baking Event - Oats
Bread Mania
and EFM:Oats

Mar 20, 2009

Mochai kuzhambu

This is the first time I tried my hand in using mochai payiru in my cooking. I happened to have this in India and liked it very much. So I carried back a small pouch of these dried beans back. I followed my mom's method to make the kuzhambu. It is delicious with all the spices and the creamy beans. The beans can be soaked overnight or they can be dry roasted before cooking. I roasted the beans and I feel it gives more flavor to the beans. It is simple to make and a variation from the normal curries we make.


Dry mochai - 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Tamarind extract - 1/ teaspoon
Coconut paste - 3 tablespoons
Garlic cloves - 2
Onion - 1/2 
Tomato - 1
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Mustard seeds -1 teaspoon
Urad dhall -1 teaspoon
Salt to taste


Dry roast the mochai for about two minutes until it gives out a nice aroma. Instead of the roasting process you can also soak the beans overnight.

Pressure cook the mochai for about 3 whistles until they turn tender. Chop the onions, garlic and tomatoes.

Meanwhile in a kadai, do the tempering with oil, mustard seeds, urad dhall and curry leaves. Add the garlic and onions and saute until they turn translucent. At this point you can add drumsticks if needed. this is optional. I did not use them since I did not have them at hand.

Add the tamarind extract, chilli powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder and salt. Add one cup of water and bring it to a boil.

Add the pressure cooked mochai along with the coconut paste. Cover the vessel with a lid and allow it to simmer for about ten minutes until the mochai absorbs all the flavor.

Serve hot with rice!

Sending this to My Legume love Affair:Nineth helping hosted by Laurie of Meditteranean cooking in Alaska and brainchild of Susan

Here are a few snaps of the Grand Canyon we visited last week!



Mar 16, 2009

Apple - Almond Salad

We visited the Grand Canyon last weekend.. It was an amazing experience to visit one of the natural wonders of the world. We had a memorable smooth water float trip over the river Colorado running through the canyon. It was great to see the layers of rocks forming the canyon. Overall, it was a memorable trip which will remain in our memories forever.
After the amazing weekend, I felt too lazy to cook an elaborate meal. Also, after eating out a lot, I felt I needed a something very simple. I had not done the week's shopping, so had no vegetables in hand. i just whipped up this simple salad which was filling and light. The salad has a sweet and sour taste. it is filled with the goodness of apples and almonds. The ingredients can be varied according to ones taste.
Apple - 1
Slivered almonds/Sliced almonds - 2 tablespoons
Vinegar - 1 teaspoon
Olive oil - 1 teaspoon
Salt and pepper
Chop the apples into small cubes. Shredd the lettuce and cabbage.
Combine together the apples, cabbage, lettuce, almonds. Cover and refridgerate until chilled.
Prepare the simple yet delicious dressing with the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
Toss the dressing along with the chilled salad.

Sending this to Think Spice..Think pepper event being hosted in my blog and brainchild of Sunita.

And also to Go Nuts-Almonds hosted at Tasty Treats

Mar 11, 2009

Idly podi

This is a very different version of idly podi which my grandmother prepares. A nice aroma wafts the house when she prepares this. It has a different taste due to the addition of curry leaves in it. It goes well with idlies and dosas. 


Urad dhall - 1 cup

Chickpeas/ kadalai paruppu - 1/2 cup

Curry leaves - 3 sprigs

Red chillies - 4

Dhania seeds - 2 tablespoons

Asafoetida - 1/4 teaspoon



Dry roast all the ingredients listed and powder them in a mixer-grinder.

Store in an airtight container.

Mix with oil or ghee and serve with idlies and dosais.

Sending this to Colors of taste - Podis event hosted at kadumanga.

Mar 7, 2009

Oven-baked Rosti

Rosti is a traditional Swiss potato dish that can be served as a crispy side dish or even as a snack. It was originally a common breakfast eaten by farmers in the canton of Bern, but today is eaten all over Switzerland and also in many restaurants in the Western World. Many Swiss people consider rösti a national dish. Today, rather than considering it a complete breakfast, it is more commonly served to accompany other dishes. (Wikipedia)

I made a healthier version of this Rosti. They are normally pan-fried after mixing the potatoes with oil. I adopted the recipe from Dhivya's blog after making a few changes. Instead of using the muffin pan the rostis can also be baked using a normal baking sheet. The rosti tasted good by itself and can also be had with ketchup.


Potatoes - 4 to 5 large ones

Onion - 1 small sized

Butter - 3 tablespoons

Cheese (optional) - 3 spoon shredded

Salt to taste

Freshly ground pepper


Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Boil the potatoes along with the skin for about 8 to 10 minutes. Allow the potatoes to cool.

Peel the skin and grate the potatoes along with the onions. Mix in the butter, cheese, salt and freshly ground pepper. The pepper enhances the taste of the rosti. At this  point other ingredients like cheese, olive oil, chilli powder etc. can be added to suit your taste buds.

Take a greased muffin pan. Spoon in the potato mixture evenly.

Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes until they turn golden brown.

Serve warm! It is that simple!

These Oven-baked rosti's make their way to the following events.

Think Spice.. Think Pepper being hosted in my blog Dil Se.. and initially started by Sunita.

CFK - Potato hosted by Deepa and started by Sharmi

MBP:Snacks and Savouries hosted by Ashwini and started by The Spice Cafe.

MBP:Kids Food hosted by Trupti and started by the Spice Cafe.

Recipes for the rest of Us:Picnic Eats hosted by Trupti and started by Ramki.



Mar 4, 2009

Mixed Vegetable Kurma

I am occupied with my college work and I find hardly anytime to blog. I do not want to give up and will try to update my blog once in a while. This is a simple recipe for a mixed vegetable kurma flavored with exotic spices. It is versatile and tastes great with any side, be it flavored rice, chapathis, pooris and even idlies and dosas. I served this with green peas pulao. The recipe can be tweaked using any vegetable in hand.  Amma makes this curry for sure during weekends with either pooris or chapathis.

French Beans - about 10
Peas- ½ cup
Onions -1 medium sized
Tomato-1 medium sized
Ginger garlic paste - 1tablespoon
Cinnamon - 1stick
Cloves - 4
Star anise -2
Garam masala powder - ½ teaspoon
Turmeric powder - ¼ tsp
Salt to taste
To grind into paste

Green chillies - 5 (or more if you need it to be spicier)
Coriander/dhania seeds - 1 teaspoon
Jeera/cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Saunf or Aniseed - 1 teaspoon
Cashews - 6 (or 2 teaspoons of poppy seeds soaked in 1 tablespoon of water)
Coconut - 3 tablespoons
Coriander leaves - 1 tablespoon

Chop the vegetables, onions and tomatoes. Heat some oil in a pressure cooker. Add all the spices, the cinnamon, cloves and star anise. Grind all the ingredients listed in a mixer-grinder to get a coarse paste. Add the chopped onions, saute for some time and then add the ginger garlic paste. After a minute, add the tomatoes. Saute till the tomatoes get soft and add all the chopped vegetables. Add salt, garam masala and turmeric powder. Then add the ground masala and saute for some time . Add a glass of water. Close the pressure cooker and cook until one whistle. Then simmer for about 5 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with a dish of your choice.

Sending this to WYF:Cuisine hosted by EC, since this is an authenitic South Indian dish and it brings back sweet memories!
Also, do check out the Think Spice.. Think Pepper event being hosted in my blog!
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