May 31, 2012

Varutharacha Chicken Curry



Varutharacha Chicken Curry

Kerala style chicken curry, made of dry roasted spicy coconut paste.

Serves: 3 – 4

Ingredients

For the chicken:

600 g chicken pieces, cut into medium size

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

½ teaspoon salt

Wash and clean chicken pieces. Drain out water thoroughly. In a bowl, marinate chicken pieces evenly with turmeric powder and salt. Cover and keep aside for half an hour.

For the coconut paste:

5 tablespoon grated coconut (75 g)

10 shallots (chuvannulli / sambar onion / saanu piyyavu)

1 spring curry leaves (6 – 8 nos)

In an iron kadai / frying pan, dry roast grated coconut first. Stir continuously / fry for 8 – 10 minutes until light golden color and fragrant. Then add shallots and curry leaves. Fry until golden color and crisp. It may take another 10 – 12 minutes. Switch off the heat and keep aside to cool for half an hour. Transfer all the dry roasted ingredients into a small mixer bowl and make a smooth paste. Sprinkle 1 – 2 tablespoon water when making the paste.

Other ingredients

1 tablespoon oil

1 onion

2 tablespoon thick ginger = garlic paste

1 teaspoon red chilli powder

½ teaspoon pepper powder

2 teaspoon coriander powder

¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

2 tomatoes, chopped

6 curry leaves

Marinated chicken pieces

½ cup water (75 ml – 100 ml)

½ - ¾ teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Coconut paste

Shallow fried curry leaves (optional)

Method

Dilute red chilli powder, pepper powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder in 2 tablespoon water (spice mix).

Heat oil in a frying pan / kadai. Add sliced onions and fry until golden color.

Add ginger – garlic paste and fry for 2 – 3 minutes until the raw smell goes.

Add spice mix and stir well for 2 – 3 minutes until the water dries up and well combined with onion and ginger – garlic paste.

Add chopped tomatoes and mix well.

Add curry leaves and sauté for 2 Р3 minutes.

Add marinated chicken pieces, salt to taste and add 75 ml - 100 ml water - 1/2 cup (water level should be ¾ th from the base of the pan / kadai . It won't be tasty if the gravy is too thin. So no need to add 1 cup (200 ml water)). Mix all the ingredients well. Cover with a tight lid and cook on a medium to low heat for 20 – 30 minutes or until ¾ th done.

Now add dry roasted grated coconut paste. Cover again and cook on a low heat for another 10 minutes until done / fragrant / golden color. Decorate with shallow fried curry leaves (Optional). Serve with pulao / plain rice / rotis / Kerala Parotta / appam


May 30, 2012

Masala Dosa



Masala Dosa (with mixed vegetable filling)

Ingredients

For Dosa Batter:

1 cup urad dal (standard measuring cup of 200 ml / 8 oz capacity)

2 1/2 cups raw rice ( pachari )

1 tablespoon cooked rice

Salt to taste ( approximately 1 teaspoon )

Water for grinding

Ghee / oil for frying

Or

1 ½ cups boiled rice or idli rice (puzhukkalari) or ponni rice

1 cup pachari (raw rice)

1 cup urad dal

1 tablespoon cooked rice (leftover cooked rice)

Water for grinding

Ghee or oil for frying

For Dosa Batter:

Method

Wash and soak urad dal ( 2 1/2 cups water for urad dal) and rice (4 cups water for rice) separately for 6 - 7 hours. Drain out water.

Grind the urad dal and cooked rice to a very fine paste in a grinder or in a mixer (grind in batches in a mixer / blender) . Add ¼ cup water while grinding. Remove and keep aside in a big vessel.

Then grind rice with little water. Remove and mix with dal paste (stir continuously for 2 - 3 minutes) and add salt to taste. Batter should be of dropping consistency. Cover and keep aside for 6 – 8 hours or overnight until ferment (quantity will be double in volume).

For the masala (filling):

2 tablespoon oil

2 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon urad dal

2 teaspoon channa dal (Bengal gram dal)

1 spring curry leaves (6 – 8 nos)

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

5 green chillies, slit lengthwise

1 - inch ginger, finely chopped

3 onions, sliced

500 g potatoes ( boiled with a little turmeric powder )

2 medium size carrot, grated

¼ cup cabbage, finely shredded (remove thick nerve)

2 tablespoon boiled green peas (optional) or 2 tablespoon paneer cubes

Salt to taste

Method

Heat oil in a kadai ( deep pan ). Add mustard seeds. When they start splutter, add urad dal, channa dal, green chillies, curry leaves and chopped ginger. Saute for 2 - 3 minutes ( till dals are light brown ).

Add sliced onions. Fry until light brown in color and then add turmeric powder and fry well.

Add boiled and mashed potatoes, grated carrot, finely shredded cabbage and boiled green peas. Add salt to taste and mix well. Cover with a lid and cook on a low heat for 5 - 8 minutes until water dries up. Do not add water when cooking.

Note: Remove green chillies while making masala dosa.

Final preparation of masala dosa:

Heat a heavy - bottomed wrought iron griddle or non stick dosa pan on a medium heat.

Grease with little oil / ghee.

Make the dosa by placing a ladleful ( approximately 120 ml ) of batter on the centre. Spread evenly by circular rotations using the base of the ladle, starting from the centre and progressing outwards. Sprinkle little oil or ghee and cook for 1 minute.

Place the masala ( filling ) in the centre of the dosa. Fold the dosa and cook till crisp (until golden color).

When ready, carefully remove with the help of a thin spatula. Serve hot with coconut chutney & sambar. Other accompaniments - Medu vada and Filter coffee.

Coconut chutney

Serves: 4

Ingredients

1 cup coconut grated (100 g - 6 – 7 tablespoon)

1 green chilli

1 red chilli

1 teaspoon tamarind paste ( optional )

Salt to taste (or 1/2 teaspoon)

Ginger - 1/2- inch piece

For seasoning:

1 teaspoon oil

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

1/4 teaspoon urad dal

1 red chilli

1 spring curry leaves

Method

Grind all the ingredients to a smooth paste with a little water in a a small mixer bowl. Adjust the thickness of the chutney with extra ¼ cup (50 ml) water if required.

For seasoning:

In a pan, heat 1 teaspoon oil. Add mustard seeds. When they splutter , add remaining ingredients. Saute well. Pour this over to coconut chutney.


Dates Cake




Dates Cake

Basic recipe from Femina 2000 – 2002 cookery pages

Makes: 16 – 18 slices

Please use same measuring cup to measure flour, milk, sugar and oil.

Ingredients

For the flour:

1 cup (200 ml / 8 oz – standard measuring cup available in India) all purpose flour (maida)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon shajeera (cake jeerakaam– available @ Santosh super store, Chennai)

½ teaspoon clove powder

½ teaspoon cinnamon powder

½ teaspoon nutmeg powder

1/4 teaspoon dried ginger powder (chukka podi)

1 tablespoon chopped cashew nuts

Sieve thrice all the ingredients with maida (except chopped cashew nuts). Keep aside in a separate container. Finally, gently mix with chopped cashew nuts.

For Dates:

3/4 cup good quality seed less dates, soft in texture - then it'll be easy to make a fine paste (20 nos, 89 g, ¾ th level in a standard measuring cup of 200 ml / 8 oz capacity), chopped

Wipe each date with a soft kitchen towel. Make a fine paste of dates in a small mixer bowl.

Other ingredients

¾ cup sugar (3/4 th level of a standard measuring cup (200 ml / 8 oz capacity)

¾ cup milk

½ cup oil sunflower oil – 100 ml / 4 oz (do not use coconut oil and ghee)

Method

In a wide deep bowl, gently dissolve sugar with milk and sunflower oil and make a smooth solution. Add dates paste and stir well until dates paste well combined with sugar – milk – oil.

Gently add sieved flour mix. Stir well until well combined with all the ingredients.

Grease baking dish with 1 teaspoon butter and dust with 1 tablespoon flour ( sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of flour inside a cake pan and shake to coat all greased surface. Turn pan upside down to tap out the excess flour ).

Preheat oven (OTG) at 180 *C or 350*C (very moderate).

Final procedure:

Transfer this cake mixture into a greased baking pan - ring, square or round (or paper lined ). Spread evenly with a spatula, and bake at 180 * C or 350 * F for 35 - 40 minutes or till a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean / leaves from the sides of the pan. Keep aside to cool for half an hour.

Run a knife round inside of the pan to loosen the cake, and then invert the pan. Cut into desired shape and size.

May 29, 2012

Kottayam style Fish Curry



Kottayam style Fish Curry

(Kudampuliyittu vacha naadan meen curry. Recipe from Vanitha Paachakam June2001)

A very delicious and spicy fish curry. Best with rice / kappa / appam

Serves: 3 – 4

Ingredients

For the paste:

2 teaspoon red chilli powder

¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

½ teaspoon coriander powder

1/4 teaspoon uluva podi (methi powder / fenugreek powder)

6 garlic cloves, chopped

6 shallots (small onion / chuvannulli), chopped

In an iron kadai / pan, lightly dry roast red chilli powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder (except methi powder) on a low heat for 2 – 3 minutes. Transfer dry roasted ingredients, methi powder, chopped garlic and shallots into a small mixer bowl and make a smooth paste.

Other ingredients

4 – 5 kudampuli (soak kudampuli in ¼ cup (50 ml) warm water for one hour).

12 curry leaves

500 g fish pieces

1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger

¾ teaspoon salt (or to taste)

75 ml water (less than ½ cup)

30 ml coconut oil (2 tablespoon or 1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoon)

Method

In a meen chutty or earthen pot, arrange 6 curry leaves and 2 soaked kudampuli. Gently arrange fish pieces, salt to taste, chopped ginger and spice paste over it. Add 75 ml water - less than 1/2 cup (3/4 th level of the fish pieces and other ingredients) remaining curry leaves and kudampuli. Gently stir all the ingredients. Cover with a tight lid and cook on a medium to low heat for 8 - 10 minutes until fish pieces cooked / gravy thickens. Finally, sprinkle coconut oil (pacha velichenna) and serve with rice / appam / kappa … Consume this curry after 2 - 3 hours. Then it will absorb all the flavours.


Carrot curd Rice



Carrot Curd Rice / Thayir saadam / Yogurt Rice

( A speciality from Tamil Nadu )

Serves: 2

Ingredients

1 cup (100 g) silky raw rice , washed or leftover 2 cups cooked and cooled rice

2 medium size carrots, grated

2 green chillies , chopped fine

1 cm ginger , julienned

1 teaspoon (5 g) salt

3 cups (600 ml) fresh, thick curd (standard measuring cup of 200 ml / 8 oz capacity)

For seasoning:

2 teaspoon (10 g) ghee

1/2 teaspoon (2 g) mustard seeds

1 teaspoon ( 5 g ) urad dal

1 teaspoon ( 5g ) chana dal

1 spring curry leaves

Method

Cook rice and set aside for cooling.

To the fresh curd add grated carrot, chopped green chillies, ginger and salt. Mix cooked and cooled rice with fresh thick curd and turn over gently.

Heat ghee in a ladle and season with mustard seeds. When they splutter add urad dal, chana dal and curry leaves. Fry on a low heat for 2 minutes and pour over the curd rice.

Stir till well mixed and serve with mango / lime pickle and pappadam / appalam / Potato chips.


May 28, 2012

Chukku Kaapi or Dry Ginger Coffee



Chukku Kaapi or Dry Ginger Coffee

Best coffee / kaapi for winter and rainy season !!!

Makes: 1 cup

Ingredients

1 cup (200 ml) water

1 ½ teaspoon thick melted and sieved jaggery

¼ level teaspoon pepper powder

¼ level teaspoon cardamom powder

½ teaspoon dried ginger powder (chukka podi)

¼ level teaspoon instant coffee powder

Method

In a sauce pan / pot, boil all the ingredients (except coffee powder). Finally, mix with instant coffee powder and drink hot. Chukku kaapi is good for cough and cold.


May 27, 2012

Ambur Biryani



Ambur Biryani

Ambur Biryani is very popular in Tamil Nadu. Recipe from today’s Hindu News paper (27/05/2012).

After strictly following the recipe, I got a suggestion to make. This will enhance the flavour and taste of Biryani.

Before cooking 1 kg mutton pieces, marinate the pieces with 2 tablespoons ginger - garlic paste, 2 tablespoon thick curd, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon red chilli powder at least for an hour.

HOW IT’S MADE

Ingredients

1 kg rice

1 kg mutton

Refined oil 300 ml

Garlic 100 gm – ground

Ginger 100 gm – ground

Chilli powder 30 gm

Clove

Cinnamon

Onion 100 gm

Tomato 100 gm

Curd 100 gm

Mint and coriander leaves

Lime – 2 nos

Salt

Method

Heat oil in a vessel. Sprinkle curd. Add to it clove, cinnamon and elachi. Sauté the garlic paste first and then the ground ginger. Both garlic and ginger are never ground together.

The mutton is now added, along with salt, to the other ingredients in the vessel. Onion goes in next and then the tomato. Everything is stirred together for just about a minute.

Add coriander and mint leaves to the mixture along with the remaining curd. Add a litre and a half of water and keep the vessel closed under low fire.

Meanwhile parboil rice, filter the water and keep the rice aside.

When the mutton is cooked, add the rice to it. Close the vessel tight and put out the fire.

(Recipe given by C. Jamal Basha, the biryani master of Rahamaniya, Ambur)

Homestyle method of final dum

In a heavy - bottomed vessel or biryani pot, spread a layer o f mutton masala (including gravy) and half portion of cooked rice. Make 2 layers with cooked rice and mutton masala.

Gently put a wet towel over it.


Cover with a tight lid. Seal with maida dough on the edges of the lid. Heat a heavy - bottomed iron kadai. Keep biryani pot over it. Cook on a low heat for 35 - 40 minutes. You can find a color change on the maida seal. Open the seal carefully. Decorate with chopped coriander and mint leaves. Serve with hot with Raita and spicy brinjal curry / boiled egg.


May 26, 2012

Unniyappam


Unniyappam

A very popular Kerala snack !!!

Makes: 29

Ingredients

200 g ( 1 cup ) raw rice ( pachari )

80 g grated coconut

130 g well ripe bananas (4 small bananas ), roughly chopped

1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder

1/4 teaspoon dried ginger powder ( chukkupodi )

150 ml to 200 ml melted and sieved jaggery

4 - 5 tablespoon ghee

Tip: Better to use small ‘’ unniyappam kadai / kayli ‘’ as it is easier to manage heating evenly - so that the ‘’ unniyappam / appo ‘’ comes out evenly done.

I tried with bigger unniyappam kadai also, but found managing heat evenly over the pan is difficult and may result in burnt unniyappam / appo.

Method

Wash and clean raw rice and soak in 3 cups water for 5 hours. Drain out water thoroughly and make a smooth paste in mixer (in batches) with grated coconut and chopped bananas. Use only very little water (1 - 2 tablespoon) during grinding.

Finally add melted and sieved jaggery, cardamom powder and dried ginger powder (dried ginger powder will enhance the taste). Batter should not be very thick. It should be of pouring consistency. Keep aside the batter for 2 - 3 hours to allow it to ferment. Unniyappam / appo will be soft and spongy.

Heat unniyappam kadai / appekayli on a medium heat. Sprinkle each mould with 1/2 teaspoon ghee.

Pour batter in each mould. Sprinkle little ghee again over batter. Cover with a lid and cook on a low - medium heat for 8 - 10 minutes till crisp and sides turn golden colour (until the edges separate from the kadai moulds and you start getting a nice aroma). Flip them over (to cook the top side) with the help of stick and cook again for 8- 10 minutes or until golden color.

It’s a delicious after school snack and it’s also a very popular sweet.


Spicy Peanuts



Spicy Peanuts

Shallow fried crispy & spicy peanuts. Delicious with tea / coffee !!

Serves: 2

Ingredients

1 teaspoon oil

½ cup (100 g) peanuts (or a mix of raw cashew nuts, shelled pistachios & blanched almonds)

½ teaspoon garam masala powder

½ teaspoon red chilli powder

4 curry leaves (optional)

½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Method

Heat oil in a pan / kadai, cook the peanuts, stirring, until browned lightly (approximate roasting time 15 – 20 minutes on a medium to low heat). Remove from heat.

Microwave method –Arrange peanuts in a microwave safe flat dish and microwave high (750W) for 2 minute 30 seconds. Keep aside to cool for 20 minutes and gently remove the skin of the peanuts.

Cook spices and curry leaves (optional) in same pan, stirring until fragrant on a low heat for 2 – 3 minutes.

Combine spices with nuts and salt in a bowl; cool. Store in an airtight container.


May 25, 2012

Ash gourd (White pumpkin / Kuvvale / Pusinikkai) Mor Kuzhambu



Ash gourd (White pumpkin /Kuvvale / Pusinikkai) Mor Kuzhambu

A delicious main curry in Tamil cuisine, goes well with rice. Basic recipe from Aharam by Sabitha Radhakrishna.

Serves: 3 – 4

Ingredients

For ash gourd:

200 g ash gourd, peel off the skin and cut into cubes

½ teaspoon thick tamarind paste or 3 tablespoon tamarind juice

1 cup (175 - 200 ml) water

½ teaspoon salt

1 green chilli, slit lengthwise

Method

In a bowl, mix all the ingredients together. Cover with a lid and boil on a medium to low heat for 10 – 12 minutes until done and water almost dries up / pumpkin pieces well cooked.

For curd:

200 ml medium thick curd

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

Beat curd till smooth with the help of a blender or Tupperware quick shaker. Make curd mixture into a smooth consistency.

For coconut paste:

75 g grated coconut (5 – 6 tablespoons)

3 green chillies

½ - inch piece ginger

1 tablespoon fried gram dal (Bengal gram dal)

½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)

2 tablespoon water

Make a smooth paste of above ingredients with 2 tablespoon water. Paste should be thick in consistency.

Method

In a bowl, mix coconut paste and blended curd together (stir continuously).

For seasoning:

1 tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

½ teaspoon urad dal

A pinch asafoetida (hing / kaayam)

6 curry leaves

1 red chilli (broken in two)

Method

Heat oil in a small pan. Add mustard seeds. When they crackle, add urad dal, hing, curry leaves and broken red chilli. Saute for 2 – 4 minutes until fragrant and crisp. Add curd – coconut mixture. When the curry starts foaming, and when the first bubble appear, switch off the heat. Serve with plain rice.


May 24, 2012

Sandesh



Sandesh

A very popular Bengali sweet. Recipe from Nestle.

Preparation Time : 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Makes 10 - 12

Ingredients

MILKMAID sweetened condensed milk : 1 tin

Paneer cottage cheese : ½ kg (500 g)

Full cream milk powder : 2 heaped tablespoon

Powdered sugar : 2 tablespoon

Maida (all purpose flour) : 1 heaped tablespoon

Method

Blend all the ingredients to get a smooth paste. (You could use a mixer).

Heat the mixture in a thick bottomed pan.

Once heated, reduce flame and cook on slow heat, stirring continuously for 15 to 20 minutes or till dry enough.

Pour onto a greased plate and cool and cut into desired shape and size.

Variations

For Kesar Sandesh, blend ½ tsp of kesar soaked in ½ tsp water with all the ingredient in first step.

For Mango Sandesh, add ¼ tsp mango flavor and 2 to 3 drops of yellow colour to the mixture after step 3. Mix well and pour onto a greased plate and cool.

Quick Tips

If kesar is not available use orange – red food colour and saffron essence. Mixer may be used to knead paneer and maida into a soft dough.


May 23, 2012

Tomato Fish Curry



Tomato Fish curry

A tasty fish curry. Best with Appam, Idiyappam (string hoppers), Rice …

Serves: 3 – 4

Ingredients

For fish:

500 g good quality fish pieces

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

½ teaspoon salt

Wash and clean fish. Drain out water completely. In a wide bowl, mix fish pieces with salt and turmeric powder. Cover and keep aside for half an hour.

For the curry:

1 tablespoon oil

1 onion or 12 shallots (chuvannulli / small onion / saanu piyyavu), finely sliced

1 tablespoon thick ginger – garlic paste

1 green chilli, slit lengthwise

6 - 10 curry leaves

1 ½ teaspoon red chilli powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

¼ teaspoon methi powder (fenugreek powder / uluvapodi)- optional

2 well ripe tomatoes (3 big size or 3 small size), grate and keep aside in a separate bowl

Extra ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)

½ cup (75 – 100 ml) water

Marinated fish pieces

Method

Dilute red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and methi powder in 2 tablespoon of water. Make a smooth spice mix.

In a meen chatty (earthen pot) or pan, heat oil on a medium heat. Add sliced onion or shallots and fry on a medium to low heat until golden color.

Add thick ginger – garlic paste and fry for 2 – 3 minutes until the raw smell goes.

Add slit green chilli and curry leaves. Fry for 2 – 3 minutes.

Add diluted spice mix and stir well for 2 – 3 minutes until the water dries up.

Add grated tomatoes (along with the juice), salt to taste and extra ½ cup water (75 – 100 ml). Mix all the ingredients well. Cover with a tight lid and cook on a medium to low heat for 10 – 12 minutes until the tomato gravy slightly thickens.

Gently arrange marinated fish pieces, cover again and cook on a medium heat for 5 – 7 minutes until fish pieces well cooked. Serve with appam / idiyappam / rice …


May 22, 2012

Spicy Dal



Spicy Dal

A delicious dal, goes well with rotis / rice …

Serves: 3

Ingredients

For dal:

100 g turdal (or masoor dal or moong dal)

1/2 turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoon oil

1/2 teaspoon milk

250 ml water (2 1/2 cups)

Method

For dal:

Wash and soak dal in 2 1/2 cups of water in a pressure cooker for 1 hour. Add turmeric powder, milk, salt to taste and oil and pressure cook for 20 minutes (Reduce the heat from high to medium after 3 whistles and cook for 15 minutes). Do not open the cooker. Allow the cooker to cool naturally.

Other ingredients:

1 tablespoon oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon thick ginger – garlic paste

¾ teaspoon red chilli powder

2 tablespoon tomato puree

Cooked dal

¾ teaspoon salt (or to taste)

1 teaspoon fresh cream (optional)

2 teaspoon chopped coriander leaves

Method

Heat oil in a pan. Add chopped onion and fry on a medium to low heat until golden color.

Add ginger – garlic paste and stir well for 2 – 3 minutes until the raw smell goes.

Add red chilli powder and stir well for 2 – 3 minutes until well combined with onion and ginger – garlic paste.

Add tomato puree, cooked dal (along with stock – dal water) and salt to taste. Mix all the ingredients well. Cover with a tight lid and cook on a medium to low heat for 10 – 12 minutes or until thickens. Switch off the heat.

Add 1 teaspoon fresh cream if required.

For seasoning (tadka):

2 teaspoon oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)

Method

Heat oil in a pan. Add jeera and fry for 2 minutes on a low heat until fragrant. Pour this seasoning over dal.

Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves when serving.


May 21, 2012

Kannur Style Chicken Dum Biryani



Kannur style Chicken Dum Biryani

Serves: 4

Ingredients

For chicken:

750 g chicken pieces

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

Wash and clean chicken pieces. Drain out water thoroughly. In a wide bowl, marinate chicken pieces with turmeric powder and salt. Cover and keep aside for half an hour.

For the masala paste:

5 green chillies (7 small size or 5 big size)

1 – inch piece ginger, chopped

10 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves

2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves

1 teaspoon coriander powder

½ teaspoon pepper powder

½ teaspoon fennel powder (sounf powder / perumjeerakapodi)

3 cloves (or ¼ teaspoon clove powder)

1 small piece nut meg (or ¼ teaspoon nut meg powder)

2 cinnamon sticks (or ¼ teaspoon clove powder)

Make a smooth paste of above ingredients in a small mixer bowl. Sprinkle very little water when making the paste. Keep aside.

For rice:

3 tablespoon ghee

1 onion, finely sliced

2 tablespoons cashew nut (splits)

2 tablespoons raisins

3 cloves

1 bay leaf

2 small cinnamon sticks

3 cardamom

2 cups (400 g) jeerakasala rice (1 ½ cup hot water required for 1 cup jeerakasala rice)

3 cups hot water

½ teaspoon salt

Method

Wash and clean rice. Drain out water. Do not soak rice in water.

In a non stick pan, heat ghee on a medium heat. Add finely sliced onions and fry till golden color and crisp on a medium to low heat. Carefully remove from ghee and keep in a separate container.

Add cashew nut splits and fry until golden color on a medium to low heat. Remove and keep aside.

Add raisins and fry until golden color on a medium to low heat. Remove and keep aside.

Add bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom. Fry for 2 – 3 minutes until fragrant.

Add drained rice and fry for 3 – 4 minutes until water dries up.

Add 3 cups of hot water and salt to taste. Cover with a tight lid and cook on a medium heat for 12 – 15 minutes or until done / water dries up / rice cooked well.

For chicken masala:

1 tablespoon ghee

1 onion, finely sliced

2 tomatoes, chopped

Masala paste

Marinated chicken pieces

Extra salt to taste

Method

In a non stick pan, heat ghee on a medium heat. Add sliced onions and fry until golden color.

Add tomato pieces and fry for 3 – 4 minutes.

Add masala paste and stir well for 3 – 4 minutes until the raw smell goes.

Add marinated chicken pieces and adjust salt to taste. Do not add water when cooking. Cover with a tight lid and cook on a medium to low heat for 30 – 35 minutes until done / chicken pieces softened / gravy thickens (you may get ½ cup gravy).

Final dum preparation:

Maida dough for sealing (depends upon the size of the vessel)

1 tablespoon chopped mint and coriander leaves

Shallow fried onions, cashew nut splits and raisins

Extra 1 tablespoon ghee

Wet towel (or clean and wet Kerala thorth)

Method

In a heavy - bottomed vessel or biryani pot, spread a layer of chicken masala (including gravy) and half portion of cooked rice. Make 2 layers with cooked rice and chicken masala. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon ghee, chopped mint and coriander leaves, shallow fried onions,raisins and cashew nuts.

Gently put a wet towel over it.

Cover with a tight lid. Seal with maida dough on the edges of the lid. Heat a heavy - bottomed iron kadai. Keep biryani pot over it. Cook on a low heat for 35 - 40 minutes. You can find a color change on the maida seal. Open the seal carefully. Decorate with chopped coriander and mint leaves. Serve with hot with Raita and pickle / pappadam / boiled egg.