Double beans biryani

Double beans biryani

Here’s a rambling update of things here in Chennai. It’s the season when the morning is hot and usual but a sudden burst of afternoon rain springs a cheery surprise on us. The dusty leaves on the trees get a nice washing and look greener. The tar roads look glossy. Kids return from school, their shoes wet and muddy. Suddenly autos go into hiding. Ola rides get pricier. There’s no time for tea and bajji. Mid-terms are around the corner. Dosai it is. Yuvan’s been missing his tamil text book for more than 2 months now. We didn’t miss it. I calculate to the end of the school year. I wonder if I can continue without it for the remaining time. I decide to decide later. People assembled before the TV last Friday awaiting big news, live TV drama and maybe a holiday or two. Nothing happened. They continued to check over the weekend hoping to ride over the Monday with that single piece of news. It wasn’t to be. They got back to work and looked up the next public holiday. That was Aug 15th, Wednesday two weeks away. Dejected, people strayed to facebook and whatsapp and wasted more time. The Neelam mangoes have arrived on store shelves ushering in the last of the mango season. I hoard like a mad woman and my kattai pai (dowel bag) breaks at the checkout counter and my mangoes tumble out. I take it as a sign that I’ve crossed my limit. I continue to come up with shortcut recipes out of sheer laziness and waking up late. One such recipe is this double beans biryani recipe. This is a no-chop biryani. You won’t be doing any chopping whatsoever. Raita doesn’t count of course. The onions, garlic and ginger are being ground into a punchy fragrant masala. There are no veggies or meat either to chop since this is a double beans biryani. This is truly a lazy person’s biryani. My style. But hey, this biryani can give any veggie biryani a run for its money. This biryani is deliciously fragrant and unbelievably yummy. The double beans are a great substitute for meat or potatoes. I am really happy to share with you one more Somberi recipe. I hope it helps you maintain your somber lifestyle. Serve with raita and chips for a complete meal. Enjoy! Print Recipe Double beans biryani This...

Lemon Rice

Lemon rice is the warhorse of packed lunches, our family’s (every south-indian family’s) saviour during morning rush-hour cooking and a regular in the weekly menu. Simply because, lemon rice is super quick to make, keeps well and tastes great at room temperature. I remember when I was young, Lemon rice was the number one item to take during travelling. We’d just buy a huge packet of potato chips to eat it along with and what a lovely combination it was. Fresh, zesty lemon rice and crunchy potato chips – simple yet delicious! However diverse our joint familyis, if there’s one thing everybody agrees on, it is lemon rice. Everybody enjoys lemon rice including the kids. So if you’re travelling, are rushed for time or just feeling lazy (check out my somberi series,specially for somberis) – make lemon rice and serve with potato chips and a hot varuval (yam/karunai kizhangu fry or Arbi/seppankezhangu fry). Perfect! Coriander leaves not pictured here. Cannot believe I photographed without them. But trust me, they’re crucial. Prep time: 5 minsCooking time: 5 minsServes: 5 Ingredients Lemon juice – from 2 large lemonsCooked Rice – 4 cupsTurmeric powder – ½ tspMinced ginger – 1 tbspCurry leaves – 2 stemsGreen chillies – 3 slit lengthwisePeanuts – a handfulMustard seeds – ½ tspJeera/Seeragam/Cumin seeds – 1 tspSunflower Oil – 3 tbspSalt to tasteCoriander leaves – a handful chopped for garnishing Method 1.      Cook rice and let cool completely. 2.      In a small pan, add oil and when hot, add the mustard seeds. Let them splutter. Then add the cumin and fry for half a minute. Add the minced ginger, curry leaves and slit green chillies and peanuts and fry for 2 minutes. Add turmeric powder and salt and mix well. Switch off after a minute. Pour in the freshly squeezed lemon juice and mix well. 3.      Pour this lemon mixture over the rice and gently mix it up till all the rice is evenly coated and you see no white grains of rice. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve with a hot curry and potato chips or appalam. Notes 1.      Make sure rice is totally cool before mixing in the lemon mixture or the rice will break. 2.      Always switch off before pouring in the lemon juice or it can taste bitter. 3.      You can substitute cashew nuts for the peanuts. 4.      The fresh coriander adds wonderful crunch...

Kadalai Adai – Chickpea Pancakes | Somberi series

I am back with another somberi recipe – an easy 10 minute recipe that is as tasty as it is quick. These are like bajjis which are made like omelettes but without the vegetable. And we’re calling them Adais. Ok. However much I try to spin these, these are basically, fundamentally , finally bajji batter adais but with a generous helping of sautéed onions and green chillies mixed in. These are small adais the size of mini oothappams. We make these at my Mom’s place for those in-between times, when we’re feeling hungry but we don’t want to eat a full meal and we also don’t want to spend too much time making something. We sometimes serve these as a side dish with rice just like an omelette and I like it that way too. But if you want to go the conventional way serve it with a simple coconut chutney. But it really doesn’t need any side. You could serve this with tea or coffee in the evening. For hungry kids coming home from school, serve these with ketchup. Whatever you do, serve these hot. I am sending these to Srivalli’s Blogging Marathon for the theme – After school bites. Prep time: 5 minsCooking time: 5 minsMakes: 5  mini adais Ingredients Kadalai Maavu/Chickpea Flour – 1/2 cupOnion – 1 small chopped fineGreen chilly – 1 chopped fineTurmeric powder – ¼ tspSalt to tasteWater as necessaryOil – 2 tbsp + 3 tbsp Method 1.      In a bowl, take kadalai maavu/chickpea flour and add water to make a batter similar in consistency to the bajji batter maybe slightly thicker. 2.      Add salt and turmeric powder and mix well. 3.      In a pan, heat 2 tbsp oil and sauté the chopped onions and green chillies till the onions turn translucent. Dump the sautéed mixture into the batter and mix well. 4.      Heat a tawa and pour a ladle of the batter and spread to make a small adai/pancake the size of an oothappam but about half an oothappam’s thickness. These adais are slightly thicker than the dosa but not too thick. Drizzle a little oil around the edges and cook on low for a minute or till the bottom has brown spots and the edges are a little crisp. Then flip and cook the other side in the same way. Remove on to a plate. Continue making adais with the remaining batter....

Sweet & Crispy Idli Batter Fritters – Quick & Easy snack

I love quick, easy recipes that involve minimal ingredients. It suits me perfectly. You see – I am basically a Somberi. Countless Sunday afternoons I’ve just slept away – all this is (BEMAK) before marriage and kids, of course. Now AMAK (After marriage and kids) I’d be happy to just sleep un-disturbed through the night. You need just 4 ingredients for this dish all of which are common and I am sure available in everybody’s kitchen. The entire dish comes together in under 10 minutes which is as much time as my adamant, tantrum throwing toddlers would give me to whip up a sweet snack. This is my mother-in-law’s idea and I think it is an ingeniously cool idea. It’s not surprising though as this family is known for its “idlisyncracies”. We live on idli-dosai. So coming up with new twists on the basic idli framework is just natural progression. These fritters are crispy on the outside and soft paniyaram-like on the inside. The crunchy, sweet bites are best made with the first or second day’s idli batter as later on the batter may get too sour. My kids enjoyed this snack a lot. So did the adults as well. This recipe may sound too simple to be good but trust me; it makes a really delicious snack which will be gone just as quickly as it’s made. And simple recipes are often the most tasty. I am happy and really excited to be part of Srivalli’s Blogging Marathon, and I am looking forward to knowing/reading all those talented food bloggers. This is my first time at the Blogging marathon. I am sending this for the Kids sweet Treats theme.   Preparation time: 5 minsCooking time: 5 minsMakes: 15 fritters (small gooseberry sized) Ingredients Idli batter – 2 ladlesSemolina/Bombay Rava/Fine Sooji – 4 tbsp (adjust)Sugar – 5 tbspOil – for deep frying Method 1.      In a medium bowl, ladle the idli batter. Add the sugar. Add the rava one tablespoon at a time. Mix well with a spoon. The rava adds texture and thickens the batter at the same time, so add rava in steps to make sure the batter doesn’t get too thick. The consistency of the batter should be that of the Medhu vadai (ulundhu vadai/urad dal vadai) type and it should drop easily from a spoon without too much shaking. 2.      Heat oil in a kadai/skillet and when...

Sweet Potato Kheer – Somberi Series

To celebrate my 50th post, I am posting an easy Somberi dessert recipe. This is so easy, so quick and tastes delicious. The khoa is the secret ingredient that elevates this simple fruit kheer to another level. The Khoa makes the kheer velvety, rich and luscious. I love adding un-sweetened khoa to my dishes. It is a wonderfully versatile ingredient. You should try it too. I’ve added it to curries and gravies with great success. I’ll share a khoa based gravy recipe sometime soon. Lately, I’ve been really swamped at work and haven’t had time to tell you too many stories along with the recipes. I know many of you were mighty relieved and I even noticed a slight upswing in my pageviews. But I’ll still tell these stories. The very first time I made Sweet potato Kheer, it was for my husband’s pot-luck at office and it created quite a stir as to what exactly it was. You see the kheer had thickened to a halwa consistency by lunch time and my husband had to spin it as a kheer-cum-halwa. All for good, as the guy responsible for cutlery didn’t bring them and I hadn’t provided spoons either. Halwa is a lot easier to eat by hand than Kheer. Preparation time: 10 minsCooking time: 20 minsServes: 5-6 Ingredients Sweet Potatoes – ½ kiloMilk – ½ litreSugar – 1 cup (adjust)Unsweetened Khoa – 4 tbsp (optional)Slivered Almonds – a handful for garnishing Method 1.      Peel the sweet potatoes and slice them into ½ inch thick rounds. 2.      In a wide pan, bring around half of the milk (1/2 litre) to a boil. Crumble the khoa and add to the pan. Stir well. Drop in the sliced sweet potatoes. The milk should be just enough to immerse the sweet potatoes. Cover and cook on low for around 15 minutes or till the sweet potatoes are cooked through and soft. 3.      Remove from fire. Let cool and run the mixture through a food processor/blender for a smooth consistency. Add a little milk if the mixture is too thick. 4.      Transfer the pureed sweet potato mixture again to the pan and simmer. Add sugar, taste and adjust the quantity. Mix well. Add some milk if it gets too thick. When the sugar has dissolved and it is a nice kheer consistency, remove from fire. Let cool down. Refrigerate till serving time. Serve topped...

Fried Hard-boiled eggs – Somberi Series

As promised, I am posting another Somberi recipe. This recipe is so simple, I can imagine people especially all the veterans, the kitchen killadis, and the mamiyaars (mils) dismissing this as not fit to be called a recipe at all. But hey, I have a duty to my fellow somberis and I don’t mind the flak.  The entire dish takes 15 minutes maximum and it tastes great. It’s a wonderfully simple way to jazz up plain hard boiled eggs and make it count for one more side-dish. These spiced eggs are also a great option for lunch boxes as they’re dry, they keep well and aren’t vegetable (for those fuss-pots). For a little background and cultural aspect, we make these fried eggs by the dozen during the “Aadi month koozh oothare” festival. These spiced fried eggs make a great combo with koozh and are a trademark side-dish during the koozh festival at our home.  You know Koozh? It is Kezhvaragu (Ragi) porridge usually served during the Tamizh month of Aadi at Amman temples and at homes. Typically relatives are invited to share the koozh which is served along with fried eggs, karuvadu kozhambu (dried fish gravy) and muranga keerai poriyal (stir-fried greens). Until I got married, Aadi only meant Aadi thallupadi (discount sales). Only after marriage did I notice the blaring speakers outside temples, the firewalking, the saami aadare folks, the women making pongal atop wood-fired stoves and koozh. Aadi is very important in my husband’s place – Aadi velli, Aadi perukku, Aadi pooram, all aadi prefixed festivals are fastidiously celebrated. You can make these fried eggs any time of the year. They’re quick, simple and super-tasty.    Preparation time: 5 minsCooking time: 15 minsServes: 4 Ingredients Hard boiled eggs – 4Red chilli powder – 2 tspTurmeric – 1/4 tspOil – 1 tbspMustard seeds – 1/2 tspCurry leaves – 1 stemSalt to taste Method 1.      Hard-boil eggs and set aside. 2.      In a small bowl, mix together red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt along with a little water to a not too runny marinade. 3.      Slice each egg length-wise into two. Gently roll one slice at a time in the marinade to coat evenly on all sides and set aside. 4.      In a shallow pan or tawa, heat oil. When hot, add mustard seeds and when they’ve spluttered, add curry leaves. 5.      Gently place the eggs on the tawa...