Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Chicken Biryaani & Perugu Chatni (Hyderabadi Special)

Hi Friends! Today Iam back with my native place special dish "Chicken Biryaani". This is very special to me, because my mom is expert in cooking this dish and enjoyed by all of our family members on some special occasions. As the dish is almost cooked, every body comes to know about that. How? "The Aroma by which whole house is filled". And now, as a saying in hindi "Petme choohe doudrahe hey!!" every body goes directly to the dinning table and eagerly awaits for my mom, that when she will be back from the kitchen with a dish full of biryaani:-) I learned this dish from my mother. Till now I cooked several times for my family members and friends. Once I mentioned in food meme, this is one of my favourite food among those five. Generally, this is served with perugu chutney (yogurt spicy dip) or with any chicken gravy or masala gravy wich is given with the parcel of biryaani at any restaurant in India or Hyderabad. So today I go with the step by step traditional preparation of Chicken Biryaani .

Ingredients For Marinating Chicken:
Whole chicken 1 (skinned)
Pudina (Mint Leaves) bunch 1
Cilanto or Coriander bunch 1
Yogurt 1 cup (prefferabley 1 or 2 days set before yogurt) (can use low fat yogurt too)
Ginger-Garlic paste 2tbsp
Green chilli paste 2 to 3 0z (or make paste of 100gms of green chillies)
Elaichi or Cardamoms 20 no's (remove skin and make powder in a motar of 20 elaichi's)
Sajeera or Ajwain 1/2 tsp (they looks like cumin seeds but are little tiny and in double color which are not fennel seeds)
Lavanga or cloves(dried) 2
Bay leaf 2 (if small) or 1 (if big)
Cinnamon Sticks or Dalchini Patta 2 to 3
Salt a/c to taste (See the content and mix the salt. Just check with your finger tip dipped in marination and taste. Generally based on chicken and rice content)

Method For Marination:
  1. Wash the chicken well several times, drain water competely.
  2. Taken the chicken in a wide and deep pan (same pan in which you are planning to cook biryaani).
  3. Cut cilantro and mint bunches into small pieces.
  4. Mix with chicken. Also mix all above mentioned ingredients along with salt.
  5. Mix well every thing with chicken and keep aside. Marinate for minimum 1/2 hr (if you have plenty of time and plan this dish in advance, then better to marinate for 45 minutes)
Ingredients For Rice preparation:
Basmati or long grain rice 5 or 6 cups (above chicken consistency is sufficient for 5 cups and 6 cups rice also)
Saffron strands(or kunkum puvvu or kesari) a pinch of
Big onions 2
A cup of whole milk (also can take reduced fat milk)
Oil for deep frying
2 tbsp of Ghee or clarified butter (optional)
2 small lemons
Water as required

Method For Rice Preparation:
Cook rice in 1: 1 1/2 ratio (i.e., for 1 cup of raw rice take one and half cup of water). Drain rice on a paper or in any mesh container. Soak saffron strands in cup of milk and keep it aside. Cut onions into very very thin and long pieces. Deep fry them in the oil batch by batch. (Becareful here, as you deep fry onions , oil suddenly raises up, then decrease the heat. That is why it suggested to deep fry them in smal batches , till they turn into golden brown in color. drain them on a paper towel and finally remove them in a plate. Take juice out of lemon's and keep it aside.

It is suggested to prepare rice and deep fry onions in advance or prepare them while chicken marinates. Because, rice should be dried completely before proceeding to the main dish preparation. But also remember, first prepare chicken marination and allow it to marinate while you prepare other things. So plan accordingly in advance. Pour very little amount of oil(same oil used to deep fry the onions) in the chicken marination to avoid it from burning. Now, after the rice is dried completely, place a layer of rice on the chicken(which is kept for marination). pour some saffron milk on the first layer rice. Spread some deep fried onions on it. Again, place a layer of rice followed by saffron milk and deep fried onions. Repeat this till all the rice is placed in layers. Here divide the oinions and saffron milk equally for all the layers of rice. Once all the layers are over, on the top layer make some small wholes with your two fingers (say about 5 to 6). In that wholes, pour some oil in which onions were deep fried. (Here you can also add ghee along with oil for more taste). Pour the lemon juice all over the rice from the top.

Now, the final step is very very important in the birayaani preparation. We need to cover the pan with a plate which is equal size of the pan with some heavy weight on it so that no air can go inside. In olden days, they used to cover the pan with a plate and used to cover the complete edge with the dough by twisting itall around with the help of little water. And finally used to put some heavy weight on it. Another method is, take a clean, washed long cloth. Wet the cloth, twist it completely and tie around the edge of the pan. But, I followed simple method here. I covered with a flat plate which is little bigger than the pan in reverse direction and kept a heavy weight (used a heavy weight stone). I made sure that no air goes into it. But always if possible follow the ancient method, if not follow my easy method:-) Am I Confusing u??? Anyways...cook this on medium heat about 20 minutes. never increase the heat or decrease. Finally you will start getting the aroma, once the dish comes to end of the preparation. Reduce the heat to low for 5 minutes and remove from the heat. Just before serving, mix whole thing well. To avoid any problems in mixing whole thing always preffer large, wide and deep container to cook. It should have enough space to mix the whole thing properly. Chicken Biryaani is ready:-)

Perugu Chutney Preparation:
Take 2 cups of fresh yogurt. Add 1/4th cup of mint leaves diced very finely. Add 2 ro 3 green chillies cut into very very smal pieces. Finally add required salt and water according to your desired consistency of chutney or pachadi. (you can also add cucumber pieces (skinned) and onion cut into very very small pieces just before serving). Prepare this in advance before biryaani preparation starts. Serve chill perugu chutney with hot biryaani rice.

Biryaani can also be cooked with not only chicken but also with mutton and for vegetarians with different vegetables know as vegetable biryaani or some name it as vegetable pulav. Ofcourse pulav has it own preparation method again. Biryaani also taste best with any chicken gravy or if you want have simple then go with perugu chutney. So friends, go a head and plan this for your next party or for your dear family on weekend or any day. Make sure you have enough time for this. I enjoy this preparation too. And ofcourse the final step where I get my favourite aroma which pulls me, where ever Iam in the house towards the kitchen. So here I present a plate of chicken biryaani with perugu pachadi for you and only 'YOU' !!

Click on the images to see a better picture and idea. To make this dish more rich, add boiled eggs cut into half from top of biryaani and cover the pan.To enjoy this more keep some cut lime pieces to squeeze in the rice and some roughly cut onion rings to chew them in between:-)

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Monday, January 29, 2007

Recently Tried Fellow Bloggers Recipes

Recently I have tried few recipes of my fellow bloggers. As usual I did'nt take any photographs of those to show you all, how great was the outcome. I know, Iam Lazy...I agree a bit;-) But more than that, when ever I think of trying any new recipe..I will be very busy in collecting all the ingredients. And once I prepare the dish..Iam more busy than before to eat that and also to know the opinion of my family members and how much they are happy with the dish. Since this time too, I failed to take any photographs, I thought, I will not post any thing related to this. But sooner or later I realized that, even mentioning of recipe names which I tried and saying my opinion about them, really matters to all those who missed out to cook them, and hopefully they will give a try atleast once. So, following are the recipes which I thoroughly enjoyed (cooking as well as eating:-))
  1. The Arisiupma : When I was looking out for some different breakfast, which I have never tried and also should be easy one too cook, I got this recipe from Mahanadi. This recipe is a traditional one, which actually belongs to Janani Srinivasan from Toronto and Posted By Our Dear fellow blogger Indira. Friends this is a must try recipe. I prepared this with par boiled rice. First I made the basic ingredients, grinding parboiled rice to coarse with dry red chillies, urad dal , toor dal, peppercons and cumin seeds. You know what, I prepared this base and stored it in closed box and cooked after one week of time. It was so fresh, when I cooked the upma the taste was too good. As Indira said in her post, this can be taken as it is with out any chutneys or any other dip. Yes! It si 100% true. It was great as it is. Thank you Janani for such a nice traditional recipe and Indira for posting and making all of us known about this dish.
  2. Peas Stir Fry: This was really quick to make and enjoy any time side dish. This one I made for our evening snack with tea. This was really good. Usually, I just fry cooked peas in little oil with desired pepper and salt. It is my favourite. My mother used to give this when I come back from college. It is really a comfort food, after a long tired day. Ashwini's Peas stir Fry was more tastier than mine. So friends, just go with this when ever you really want to have some thing tasty and left with little time. Thank you Ashwini for such a nice real quick fix:-)
  3. Nutty Green Beans: This is the latest one which I have tried. When ever I prepare with beans I generally go for my recipe Beans fry for easy and healthy one. But adding some masala and groundnut powder to it really gave a zing to the taste. Thank you Manisha for such a wonderful recipe. I tried with out the Kanda Lassun masala, but added all those ingredients which are in masala powder mentioned by her. It was very good and we enjoyed with hot chapathis and rice too:-)
  4. Crisp & Brown Paper Dosa: This was another real good breakfast. We enjoyed thease dosa's for dinner. Friends with little variations I cooked them. Like I did not add besan and did not go for fermentation of dosa batter. Though it was a typo mistake by Seema, it really served as a quick dinner. Thank you Seema for clearing my doubts about fermentation. The picture of this dosa, taken by seema really makes any one to try this soon:-) More than that, to eat soon;-)
Thank You Friends for all those nice dishes. I don'nt promise this time, as I already did and did not post this recipes with picks:-( But will try to post next time, with some other intresting, new and delicious recipes of fellow bloggers with pics of course:-) Enjoy! and will be back soon with a hyderabadi traditional recipe.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Kajjikaayalu (Stuffed Halfmoon Dumplings)

Kajjikaayalu are one among those traditional sweets made during festivals, namely "Sankranthi" which falls in Jan; "Ugadi" in Mar/Apr ; "Deepavali" in Oct/Nov etc. Also made especially for marriages in India. This recipe I adopted from my mother. The speciality for this recipe is, they are made for my marriage with same stuff which is wrapped by the flour and are deep fried.Usualy, the stuff inside the kajjikaayalu varies. Some prepare with simple semolina, coconut and sugar mixture; and some also add peanut powder , chickpea flour etc. You are going to know about this mixture contents today in my recipe, which really makes kajjikaayalu more rich in taste. In Hyderabad we call it "Garijelu". But this sweet is famous with the name "Kajjikaayalu" all over Andhra. So with no delay further, Iam happy to proceed to todays recipe with detail explanation and pics to help you, in understanding and preparing this sweets.

Ingredients: (Makes Upto 20-25 no's Kajjikaayalu)
Maida or All purpose flour 1/2kg
Fresh Coconut 1 (or 1cup grated dry coconut)
Ravva or semolina (generally used for making upma) 1/2 cup
1/4th cup chickpea powder/ putnala podi (can add even 1/2 cup as you desire)
1/2 cup peanuts
10 to 12 Elachi' in No's
kaaju & kishmish (dryfruits) 1/4th to 1/2 cup
Sugar(fine) 1 1/2 cups (or as per taste)
1 tbsp ghee or clarified butter
Oil for deep frying and preparation
Water as required

Method For Preparing Dough:
  1. Take maida in a deep vessel (enough to need freely) . Make a whole in betweet(some space with your fingers upto 3 fingures length). Heat one table spoon of oil and add in this whole, with a help of spoon mix the oil with flour well. (Caution: take care not to burn your hand or fingers here)
  2. Knead the above maida with required water to form a dough. Here this dough should be little harder than puri. Keep this aside.
Left: Dough ready to be filled Right: Filling & Dryfruits are ready to be wrapped

Method For Preparing The Filling:
  1. If you have fresh coconut, then separate the coconut from shell and make small length wise pieces and dry them in sunlight for 2 to 3 days. When they dry completely ,roast them till the raw smell disappear and make powder in a food processor or grinder. (Or else use ready made dry coconut powder available in Indian stores or in any other stores)
  2. Fry semolina or ravva in a 2tsp of ghee till all the raw smell disappears.
  3. Roast chickpeas, powder and keep it aside.
  4. Roast peanuts, remove skin, powder them and keep it aside.
  5. Remove skin of elachi and powder them.
  6. Fry dryfruits in 2 to 3 tsp of ghee or clarified butter.
  7. Mix all above powders togeather and measure the amount. For example, if above powders make 2 cups then add 1 1/2 cups of sugar to it.
  8. Finally add dryfruits to above mixture and mix well. Keep this filling aside.

(In Picture above) Roasted Powders : Left: Peanut powder + Elachi powder Above: Roasted Dry Coconut powder Below: roasted Chickpea powder Right: Fried semolina

Method To prepare Kajjikaayalu:

Make equal rounds out of the dough. (Approx 20 rounds). Take a round, flatten it like puri (little thin) spoon it with mixture, as shown above. Remember the spoon amount should be same for all the fillings. Here you can choose the amount to be filled. I like kajjikaayalu to be filled completely with the mixture, so I used more.


Fold into half and close with the help of little water as shown above. Press the complete one end firmly.


Above:Kajjikaayalu First Batch Is Ready For Deep Frying

Twist the complete one side end with your fingers as shown in the above pictures. You need very little practice to do this. Enarge the pictures above by clicking on them to have a clear view. Make batches , each batch should have same number of dumplings. It makes your job easy to divide them and store them. Slowly slide the duplings into oil for deep frying. See that oil is heated well prior to deep frying, so that dumplings does'nt absorb more oil. Fry them both the side on medium heat through out. Remove them once they are well fried into another plate witha paper towel on it, to absorb excess oil. Before you fry another batch and take them out, let the first batch of kajjikaaylu get dried on the paper towel. remove them and now keep in the container to be stored. Now!! Kajjikaayalu are ready to have with mudda pappu (cooked and mashed plain toordal with little salt) and little ghee on top. (this used be our breakfast for some days at my mom's place after they are made. Try this for sure. This combo is great (Kajjikaayalu with mudda pappu) You will just love this and will stick for sure:-))

Note: Store in the air tight container for freshness. You can enjoy eating this sweets for one week long. For more crispyness, make the flat round thin and see the mixture does'nt come out of it.

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Happy Pongal/Sankranti And Healthy Beans Fry

Wish U A Very Happy Pongal / Sankranti to all my readers and my dear blog friends. Tomorrow we are going to celebrate sankranti. And today whatt we call is Bhogi. At my In-law's place we eat non-veg on bhogi and only vegetarian food on Sankranti. Generally, some days before the festival itself, actual preparations starts. Like preparing murukulu, appadalu and many different kinds of sweets and will be stored for the whole month to enjoy the food just like children, elders enjoy flying kites, before and after the festival. At my mom's place we all used to join my brother's as they fly kites we used to shout from back irrespective of who lost the kite:-)) It was great fun and I miss badly now. For bhogi at my Inlwas place, we prepare Dosa with spicy chicken curry. Last year at this time we were at my inlaw's place to celebrate this festival. Friends, dosa with chicken curry is very famous in Gudur and real tasty combo to eat. I shall post this combo some day after I come back from India or some time soon...I hope it to be today. But, unfortunately this is not that day. But today my post is quite opposite to the above I mentioned. Its a simple Beans Fry. This method can be applied to some other vegge's too. Like Goruchikkudu, Chikkudu, Dondakaaya and any kind of beans. I think it is also said to be Poriyal in Kerala. If Iam wrong please forgive me my friends and do correct me:-)

2 cups of Fresh Beans (cut into 1 to 2 inches)
3 to 4 dry red chillies
1/2 tsp channa dal
1/2 tsp urad dal
2 tsp chickpea powder/putnala podi(chick peas are roasted and made into powder)
2 small garlic cloves
1/4th to 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4th to 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 full stem curry leaves
1 to 2 tsp fresh grated coconut
A pinch or two Hing powder (or desired. I recommend not more than that)
1/4th tsp turmeric powder
Salt as per taste
1 tbsp Oil for cooking (or as required)

  1. Cut Beans into above mentioned size and wash them. Now micro wave or pressure cook or boil on stove in the water with some salt (approx 1/2 tsp) until they are almost cooked.(Here If you want them not to be too soft then boil till they are half cooked) Drain any water if left and keep them aside. Here salt is added, so that it does'nt loose its color, which is optional.
  2. Keep ready all the ingredients. Like wash dals in cold water for few minutes and drian water completely and keep aside. By doing this dals will be liitle soft and easy to chew. And cut garlic into tiny pieces.
  3. Heat oil in deep pan, add mustard seeds. Once they start spluttering add cumin seeds and fry till they change color. Now add, dry red chillies (crush them little while adding with your hands) channa dal, urad dal (lentils) and hing. Fry for till dals turn into light golden color.
  4. Now add curry leaves and fry till they are in crispy texture. Add boiled beans to it and mix well with other ingredients and fry for few seconds and cover the pan for couple of minutes, for beans to be settle down a little.
  5. Remove the lid, add turmeric powder and required salt(be careful here, if you have already added some salt while beans are boiled) and fry for few minutes. Add grated coconut and mix well and fry again for few seconds.
  6. Finally add chickpea powder/putnala podi as desired from above mentioned amount in ingredients. Mix well with all the ingredients and allow it to rest for 1 to 2 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and serve with hot chapathis or hot plain rice or as a side dish.
Note: Instead of beans try the same with various beans like Goruchikkudu, chikkudukaaya, dondakaya etc.

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Tasty Cabbage Curry

Today Iam back with some simple curry yet tasty one, from my MIL. This vegetable is rich source of fiber. Also it is useful for the new mothers to get relief from the pain they get while feeding milk or from engorged breast. Though it has some uses, many of us hate eating this vegetable because we are left with very few methods to cook this. How ever we cook it taste the same..this is what exactly we think. But my view changed when I tasted this curry. I took this recipe from my Mil. The dal or lentil part of this recipe really makes it more tasty. But I like cabbage when it is cooked with just some popu or tadka with chapathi then rice. It serves as best side dish. But today when I went to prepare usual cabbage fry just with tadka for chapathis, I found Iam not left with any chapathi flour. Too late to know haa..;-) Then I rememberd this recipe told long back by my MIL and I cooked it only once. So I cooked this with little variations, suitable to be taken with plain white rice. For thsi all I need is..

1 Medium sized cabbage
1/2 cup or 4oz or 125ml uncooked moong dal or pessarpappu or green gram( washed)
1 Small onion or 1/2 of big onion
4 to 5 Green chillies (as per ur wish)
2 garlic cloves
1/4th or 1/2 tsp mustard seeds(adjust to ur spice)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp flat turmeric powder (or less If u want)
Hing a pich(optional) (Inguva) (obtained easily in Indian Stores)
Salt for taste
1 tbsp Vegetable oil (or as per ur taste & choice)

  1. Cut the cabbage into small pieces, and grate them to fine or in a food processor bit by bit. Wash and keep it aside to drain the water completely.( You can enlarge the picute above a see)
  2. Meanwhile, wash the moong dal in cold water several times and micro wave for 15 minutes with enough water to be cooked. Or can cook on stove directly. When I cooked in micro wave no water was left and it cooked as I desired. I.e., it should not be over cooked nor completely smashed as we cook in pressure cooker. So take care of it.(Can see in above picture) Keep it aside.
  3. Cut onion into thin slices and slits to the green chillies. Crush the garlic cloves or ito tiny pieces.
  4. Take a wide pan, heat oil. Add mustard and cumin seeds respectively. Once they are done spluttering, add green chillies, crushed garlic and hing. And fry for few seconds.
  5. Now add onions and fry till light brown in color and they should be soft. They should not be over cooked.
  6. Now add grated cabbage and turmeric powder , mix with all other ingredients and cover the pan with lid and allow it to settle down and half cooked.
  7. After it is cooked for 3 to 4 minutes, add dal or green gram along with desired salt and mix well.
  8. Cover the pan and cook for another 5 to 8 minutes, so that cabbage is cooked competely.
  9. Serve with hot plain rice, some papadams and spicy yogurt mirchis which are deep fried. Thus completes your any time meal. It was our today's meal:-)
Note: Timings mentioned above or in any recipe of mine is approximate one, not exact timing. So do take care while cooking to avoid any over cooked or under cooked dish.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Happy New Year 2007

My dear readers, blog friends and every body there ,reading this right now..Wish U All A Very Very Happy New Year and Have A Great Time In Your Kitchen, Cooking Wonderful Dishes and Sharing With All Of Us!!

Above: My Son and The White Duck trying to chase each other

I have taken a small break from blogging, as I was little busy in moving to new home. Now we all set, though not every thing organized yet, but the work is progressing slowly. And another news is, Iam going to take a two months long break from feb of 1st week to apr 1st week. Now this is for my India vacation. But before that in thease 3 week period, I will be posting some of my recipes, which are ready to be posted from long long time:-) Thank you friends, for all the wishes, I got from my dear blog friends. Once again I wish all the success, peaceful life, tons of happiness to all my readers and dear friends. From long long time my Atlanta trip and Orlando trip photos are pending to be posted which I said I will do long ago. Enjoy some of them here.

Above :Two Wahles At Orlando Sea World
Below: Luanch PadB At JF Kennedy Space Center, from where recently they launched the space shuttle.(Click on the photo to see more clear picture)
Above: Sample of a space shuttle explaning about its parts seperatley in detail
Below: Two Lovely parrots at Animal Kingdom

Above:Pink Flamingoes standing on one leg (In telugu it said to be Konga Japam--> means Standing On One leg and doing meditation or prayer)
Above: Parade at disney land
Below: Some of photogrpahs taken at Atlanta Aquarium (which is said to be the world's biggest Aquarium which has all types water species, which in deed not yet completed and take 2 new species every month I guess)
Above: Jelly Fish which is said to be dangerous one though looks beautiful but can kill any thing with its tentacles(Unbelievable!!)
Above: My son trying hard to catch the fish with his little hand
Below : Two photos taken from inside the flight returning from Atlanta to Sanjose (one:Beautiful Mountains Second: Spread of clouds and can see one of the wings fo the aeroplane)

Hope you all enjoyed thease some of photographs taken in our trips among many other hundreds of them. Enjoy!!

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Meena and Srinivasulu Kandlakuti
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