Sunday, April 25, 2010

Spicy Chicken Biryani

Pin It Now! Homemade Indian Food is the thing I miss the most when away from home. So after our LA trip we were craving for a nice homecooked meal. To satiate this craving I made some chicken biryani that went very well with all of us.
 There are umpteen versions of chicken biryani. This is the way I and am my husband like it. And now my sister likes it too.So this recipe goes out to you my dear Sis.

1. Chop 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts into small pieces.Marinate with 3-4tbsp yogurt, 1-2 tblsp chilli powder,salt,2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste,pinch of turmeric. I usually marinate it the night before.

2. Soak 2C of basmati rice in water for about an hour or so.

3. Thinly slice 2 medium sized onions. Finely chop 2 medium tomatoes.Keep aside.

4. Heat 7-8 tblsp oil. To this add foll. whole garam masala :
4 bay leaves
3 cloves
3 cardomom
2 star anise

5. Once the oil is fragrant add the onions and saute till translucent. Then add 1 tsp turmeric powder, 3-4 tsp chilli powder and fry for around 3-4 mins.

7.  Add the marinated chicken pieces and fry on high heat  for 7 to 8 min till mixture is dry. Then add 1/2 C water and the tomatoes.Cover and cook with lid.

8.Meanwhile, add rice and 5-6 cups of water in rice cooker or a pan and get the rice to a boil.The rice should be 50% cooked. Strain and keep warm once done.

9. Once the chicken is cooked add foll:
        2 tblsp coriander powder
        salt to taste
        2 tblsp garam masala
        handful of chopped cilantro
        handful of chopped mint
Saute till the mixture does not have a lot of running gravy.

11. To layer the biryani ,take heavy botton pot (I usde a rice cooker) add a layer of rice at the bottom and then add the chicken.Alternate as required. Inbetween add a layer of chopped mint and cilantro for extra flavor. Cover and keep on cook setting. If the chicken has some running gravy no more water is required. Else add 5-6 tblsp water.

I served mine with lemon wedge. Nothing else was required. It was a great meal on its own.
And what's more we had 3 very satisfied souls at the end.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Back from Laah Laah Land

Pin It Now! I know I kind of disappeared abruptly from this space for sometime especially after having started it with much gusto. Though there are several reasons for my absence, that will be revealed in future posts, one of them was our visit to Los Angeles,CA. Having heard about it from friends (all good things that is..) we thought it would be a great idea to take our Indian visitor to show her the real America or now as I call it the dreamland America.
Disneyland was our unanimous choice of the very first attraction to visit and it did not disappoint us at all.
After having parked our car in an enormous parking lot we boarded a cute little 'toy' train to enter the world of Disney.

As kids ,we were very fond of many of the disney characters Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck (remember Uncle Scrudge, 9am Sunday mornings ). This was our chance to be kids all over again.

Since it was almost weekend there were long lines for most of the rides. So we ended up enjoying only  a few them.

The celebrate street party was also fun for the kids. The catchy music, the dancing characters and girls in bright colored outfits sets you up in quite a party mood.
There was also a designated area for "Stroller Parking". How thoughtful is that..?

The visit was thoroughly enjoyable. However if any of you planning to be out there I would like to make some suggestions:
  • A day is simply not enough to tour the entire world of disney.In fact we stretched ourselves by staying back late to see the fireworks. So if possible then you should  spend 2-3 days at the least.
  • There are sturdy strollers available for rent. However if you are having babies then you would want to get a nice comfy stroller, the bigger one with cushions and all rather than a lightweight one.I know they are kind of heavy but your baby will thank you for it. 
  • California winters and early summers are rather crisp and cool. So you would want to take a sweater or two.
Do you have any more suggestions ? Do add them in the comment field. I will be back in a few with the final part of our visit to LA.
Ciao !

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Methi Matar Malai

Pin It Now! Yes, she's finally here. My sister I mean. Its been 2 days and am really having a good time with her. Chatting ,remembering old times , shopping and........ cooking ofcourse!
This weekend we went for a picnic at a nearby park with some other friends of mine. It was a gorgeous day. Not very hot or cold just perfect. A sizzling barbecue, a few friends and a cool drink. What more does one want on a weekend !
On the kitchen front too I had a good time making some Methi Matar Malai. A dish I wanted to try for sometime now. It was one my favorites at the restaurants in Pune including the famous paratha place Chaitanyas. I tried out this recipe from the blog - Cook in a blog world.

 I followed the recipe closely making some substtitutions with the ingredients on hand. Here is my version of the recipe :-

1. Thaw 1C of frozen peas. I did this in the microwave. Wash and chup around 1-1.5C of fresh methi leaves.

2. Roast and grind the foll. for the dry masala :-
     1/2'' cinnamon stick
     2 cloves
     2 small bayleave
     3 tbsp cashews
     1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
     1/2 serrano pepper ( or you can use any other green chillies of your choice )

3. Heat 2 tbsp of oil and add 1 heaped tbsp of ginger-garlic taste. Fry for 2-3 min.

4. Add 1 medium chopped onion and fry till it gets a light brown color. To this add 1/2 tsp chilli powder.

5. Add the methi and cover and cook for a minute till methi is cooked.

6. Then add the peas and mix on high till the oil separates and mixture is well roasted.Add salt to taste.

7. Add around 1C of whole milk or 1/2C cream.Add water or more milk to get desired consistency. Heat for 2 mins.

8. Serve hot with some rotis or rice.

The curry had me thrilled to bits.Believe me if you have methi at home then you have to make this dish. Its the perfect combination of spices. Its not too spicy rather creamy and sweet perfect for kids. We simply loved it and am sure it will be regular on our weeknight menu henceforth.

A generous helping of this curry goes to the event Blog Bytes - The Copy Cat edition by Nupur of One Hot Stove.
Enjoy your weekend or rather what's left of it.