Hyderbadi biryani

Hyderabadi Biryani

Yesterday I took the lift in my office. I thought “I’ve exercised today, I deserve a reward”. Today I took the lift. I thought “I didn’t exercise today. A break day has to be a total break.” I am not sure if secretly, deep inside I want to be fat. On the surface I don’t want to be. I also know that I should not say no to Biryani and Lasagna and molaga bajji. Saying no to biryani because I want to fit into an old pair of jeans seems quite shallow. After about two weeks of sincere exercise and painful diet control, I see that I weigh the same. Instead of breaking the weighing scale, I rebel. I don’t exercise for 3 days after that. I add a heaped spoon of sugar to my coffee instead of sugar-free. I make deep fried sweet corn cutlets. I make a rich, decadent, ghee laden Hyderabad biryani. I eat it for lunch and dinner. There, take that. I usually shy away from making the Hyderabadi style biryani because it is too much work. It involves lots of different components and takes the whole morning. But this time, I compressed and downsized the process to my lazy comfort level. There are just 3 components to my version – Marinated & cooked chicken, partially cooked rice with whole spices and fried onions. Just layer these three components and you’re done. Critical to a good hyderabadi biryani is the point to which you cook the rice initially. I would recommend not cooking the rice for more than 4-5 minutes. The partially cooked rice should be firm, not soft. Also important is the amount of liquid in the chicken masala before you do the layering. The chicken masala should be thickish, not runny. If your masala is runny, cook down the masala till it is nice and thick. This Hyderabadi biryani pairs beautifully with a simple raita and boiled eggs. Make a salan if you wish. But this Hyderabadi biryani is magnificent on its own. Rice in lovely ombre shades of yellow and orange dotted with succulent flavour packed chicken make this biryani a great dish to make for parties. This is the kind of biryani that stays in the mind long after you’ve scraped the last ladle from the handi. You can adapt this recipe to make a vegetable hyderabadi biryani or mutton hyderabadi biryani...

Thalapakatti style biryani

You know you’ve reached the steady state when you make an online money transfer to your husband for his birthday present and he in turn checks out your Amazon cart for your birthday present. Win-win. No more guessing if the shirt will fit, no more aspirational “for your good, for us” gifts he never unwraps, no surprise awkward spa experience that makes him blush. Who would think of getting a Quad copter drone for a 33 year old’s birthday present? I wouldn’t. He wanted just that. We are now seasoned enough to appreciate that we don’t know each other’s areas of interest, that it is not necessary or easy to know and it is best to ask. I was the surprise junkie, going for the surprise factor, for difference, extrapolating from my head to his. Not anymore. Now, we discuss, I put forth my ideas, he rejects them all, I agree to buy what he decides, find that it doesn’t fit in my mental make-up (flying toy for $50!) and agree to transfer money instead to avoid the hassle. Cool! I still bake his birthday cake and I decide what to make. I cannot be making a sponge cake or chocolate cake. I have a blog to write for. I cannot be making reruns. I have my bucket list of cakes I want to make in life. Sorry! But there is one thing that we both agree on, one thing we both love, that we’re both passionate about – biryani. I had to make one of his favourite biryanis for his birthday. After all it is his birthday. So Thalapakatti style biryani it was. It tastes much like Thalapakatti’s signature biryani – spicy, heady, aromatic, ghee laden seeraga samba rice biryani. No tomatoes in this biryani. The magic is in the ground spice paste. I went with 12 green chillies. It is hot but we like it that way. Feel free to reduce it to your taste. I marinated the chicken the previous night and ground up the masala too the previous night. I was making it on a weekday morning before school. I needed to pre-make as much as I could. That is all there is to it actually. This Thalapakatti style biryani is among the easiest I have made in recent times and I am going to be making it many more times. One more biryani crossed out...

Maayandi Kudumbathinar Menu | South-Indian Non-vegetarian dishes

I’ve compiled our family favourite non-vegetarian dishes under this Maayandi Kudumbathinar Menu. This menu could be called “En Rasavin Manasile Menu” too. You get the idea right. This menu is not just for Maayaandi’s kudumbam or Raj Kiran. It is for anybody who loves traditional south-Indian non-veg fare – think Thalapakatti, Anjappar, Velu Military. This is home cooked non-veg food at its best and this is nowhere a comprehensive list but it is a great starting point for those who’d like to cook traditional non-veg dishes at home. This is just a very small list of our oft-repeated Sunday dishes. I hope to add much more to this list. So keep watching this space. Chettinad Chicken Biryani This Chettinad Chicken biryani on my blog is the most popular post on my blog. Very close to the restaurant style biryani, this is a real keeper.  Plus it is easy, quick and always turns out well. Chettinad Pepper Chicken Masala The Chettinad pepper chickenmasala is a blockbuster hit at home – spicy, succulent and lip-smacking. It is so popular, I make this very often at home – as often as they telecast Mummy returns/Prince of Persia/Karate Kid on Star Movies.  Meen Kuzhambu This is a bona-fide Tamizh style Meen Kuzhambu in a Mann Chatti – a delectable mix of spicy and tangy with lovely soft flaky fish fillets. Not a 5-star hotel type westernized, stylized, watered down stew. Sura Varuval These pan-fried shark fillets / Varutha Sura are not so common but are even tastier the popular Sura Puttu. You can also read all about Chennai’s fish markets. Varutha Muttai No non-veg meal is complete without the egg. These super-quick fried hard boiled eggs/Varutha Muttai are a tasty addition to any meal. Mutton Kola Urundai Reminiscent of the Velu military hotel urundais, these crisp, fried mutton balls / Mutton Kola urundais are flavour packed and absolutely delicious. Would make great party snacks too. Chicken Curry An extremely versatile chicken curry that can be served along with rice, poori or roti, this is a smooth, spicy onion-tomato based chicken curry. Chicken soup This one is for the little Maayandis at home. Mild and delicately flavoured this south-Indian style chicken soup is great for kids and toddlers and an excellent way to introduce chicken to your kids. Mutton Thengai Araitha Kuzhambu A thick, full bodied muttonkuzhambu that makes a great pair with Kal Dosai,...

Chicken Biryani cooked in Coconut milk

This is yet another biryani variant. Here we cook the rice and marinated chicken in coconut milk and whole spices which yields a delightfully mellow, aromatic biryani and perfectly seasoned, succulent chicken that has soaked up all the wonderful masala. This biryani tastes great with raita, boiled eggs and a hot spicy gravy. I used only half the chilli powder that I’ve specified in the recipe so that my kids don’t find it too hot. But feel free to adjust it as per your taste. Biryani is the firm favourite of the entire family and we make it at-least once in 2 weeks. My kids are so fond of biryani and they’re so familiar with the usual party menus that embarrassingly enough every time we go to a party, my kids loudly demand biryani and that even before the buffet is open. Vegetable biryani or pulav is also biryani to them. Every home has its own biryani recipe and biryani is always made in that way and in no other way. I’d strongly recommend that you try a new biryani recipe every time you make biryani. Really, there are so many ways to make biryani, that you may find a recipe that’s even better than your standard recipe. I can safely say that this won’t be the last variant that I am posting. Preparation time: 20 minsCooking time: 15 minsServes: 5-6 Ingredients Chicken – 1/2 kiloBasmati Rice – 3 cupsCoconut milk – extracted from 1 medium coconut – roughly 2 cupsOnions – 2 large sliced thinlyTomatoes – 2 large choppedCloves – 3Cinnamon – 2 inch pieceStar anise – 1Marathi Moggu – 1 inch pieceGreen Cardamom – 2Fennel seeds – 1 tspKalpaasi/Sea weed – a big pinch, roughly 1/2 tspRed chilli powder – 1 tbspTurmeric – 1/2 tspGaram Masala powder – ½ tsp (optional)Oil – 4 tbspGhee – 4 tbsp + 1 tbspCoriander leaves – a handful chopped for garnishSalt to taste Marinade Ginger – 2 inch pieceGarlic – 6-8 clovesGreen chillies – 3 choppedFennel seeds/Sombu – 1 tspRed chilli powder – 1 tbspTurmeric – 1/2 tspSalt to taste Method 1.      Rinse basmati rice in 2-3 changes of water till the water runs clear. Soak the rinsed rice in water. Set aside. 2.      Wash and clean chicken, cut into big pieces and set aside. 3.      Grind together the ingredients called for under marinade except the spice powders to a smooth paste. Dump...

Home-style Chicken Biryani in Pressure cooker

Biryani is synonymous with celebration and today happens to be women’s day. I am posting an easy home style chicken biryani that can be cooked entirely in a pressure cooker. I am dedicating this biryani recipe to all women (Can dedicate songs, films, match victories, awards and what not? Why not biryani recipe?). I am specially dedicating this recipe to all those time-pressed moms and wives who are always in a rush, who have a hundred items on their to do list and another hundred on their mind, who are constantly putting things back in their places, who are badly in need of a pedicure and haven’t really read the newspaper in a long time (shocking, but I haven’t really read the newspaper since sometime in 2009 when my daughter was born – a cursory glance of the headlines doesn’t count). I hope this recipe helps ease biryani making for you. This is a home style biryani, fragrant and spicy with strong ginger tones. The rice turns out beautifully long and perfectly cooked and the chicken is juicy. Two things to keep in mind are the amount of water and the time you cook the biryani. Watch the amount of water you add at the end and use the index-finger thumb-rule (Ha.. but pun not at all intended). Switch off the stove after 10-12 minutes whether or not you hear the whistle. Follow these steps and you won’t go wrong. Happy Women’s Day! Preparation time – 20 minsCooking time – 30 minsServes: 4-6 Ingredients Chicken – 1/4 kgBasmati Rice/Long grain rice – 2-1/2 cupsOnions – 2 chopped fineTomatoes – 2 choppedGinger paste – 3 tbspGreen Chillies – 4 slit lengthwiseCurd/Yogurt – 1 cupFennel seeds/Sombu – 2 tspCardamom – 2Cinnamon – 1 inch stickCloves – 3Marathi Moggu – 1Star anise – 1Bay Leaf – 1Turmeric powder – 1 tspRed chilli powder – 2-3 tbspGaram Masala powder – 1/2 tspSalt to tasteGhee – 3 tbsp + 1 tbspOil – 2 tbspWater Method 1.      Wash and clean the chicken and cut into fairly large pieces. 2.      Rinse Basmati rice/long grain rice in 2-3 changes of water till the water runs clear. Soak basmati rice in water for 1 hour. 3.      In a pressure cooker, pour in 3tbsp oil and 2 tbsp oil and when hot, drop the fennel seeds. Let fry till fragrant. Then throw in the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, Marathi moggu, star anise and bay...

Indian style easy Grilled Chicken

Chicken is the family favourite. Chicken in any form is loved at home. We could negotiate for a separate account at KFC, we’re that regular there. My daughter loves KFC’s chicken strips and making an oven baked version of these strips is on my long list of “To try recipes”. Yeah, I know I am not a very good mom by circle of moms standards, I let my kids eat junk food but I think it’s ok if it’s once in a while. Coming back to this recipe, this is by far the easiest, most basic grilled chicken recipe. The marinade is an Indian style tandoori chicken type masala which is simple and tasty. The key to grilling chicken in an OTG is making sure it’s not overcooked. When chicken is overcooked it gets dry, stringy and chewy. So start checking from the halfway point. You could serve these as starters or as a side with biryani. Preparation time: 10 minsCooking time: 40 mins -1 hourServes: 5 Ingredients Chicken – 5 leg piecesGinger – 2 inches peeledGarlic – 7-10 podsGreen chillies – 2-3Red chilli powder – 2 tbspTurmeric powder – 1 tspLemon juice – from half a lemonSalt to taste Method 1.      Clean chicken and make oblong cuts in the chicken so that the masala can sink in. 2.      Grind together ginger, garlic and green chillies to a smooth paste. In a bowl, add the ground ginger-garlic-green chilli paste, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, lemon juice and salt. Add water to make a smooth marinade neither too runny nor too thick. 3.      Throw the chicken pieces into the marinade and mix well making sure to rub the marinade into the slits in the chicken. Cover and let the chicken marinate for a minimum of 2 hours. 4.      Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Cover the crumb tray with aluminium foil to protect the tray from drippings. You can discard the aluminium foil once the chicken is done; saves you from washing the crumb tray. 5.      Transfer the marinated chicken to the oven and grill/broil for 40 minutes to 1 hour. Turn over the chicken halfway through and baste with remaining marinade. Start checking the chicken from 30 minutes onwards to make sure it isn’t overcooked. Serve hot with cut onion rings and lemon wedges. Notes 1.      Once the chicken is cooked, if you’d like the outside to be crispier, cook...

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