Jal Jeera

Cumin is a flowering plant that has been grown as a spice, it has digestive properties and a very distinctive aroma. Its a spice used very commonly in Indian cuisines. Its can be store in airtight containers for upto 6 months.

This post is my contribution to Sunita’s monthly event on Spices – Think Spice.. , and she has selected Cumin for this month.Thanks for hosting the event on such a wonderful spice Sunita. Here’s my entry:

Recipe Source: India’s Vegetarian Cooking, by Monisha Bharadwaj

Serves : 4


  • Cumin Seeds – 2 tsp
  • Tamarind Concentrate – 1 tbsp
  • Hot water – 600 ml
  • Brown Sugar – 6 tbsp
  • Red Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Black Salt/Kala Namak – 1 tsp
  • Cilantro – few, finely chopped
  • Mint Leaves – few, finely chopped


  • Dry roast the cumin seeds in a small pan. When they turn dark, grind them into a fine powder and reserve.
  • Dilute the tamarind concentrate in water and add to it the rock/sea salt, sugar, chilli powder and reserved cumin powder and mix it well.
  • Let it cool and stir in the coriander leaves.
  • Pour this mixture into a small jug and let it chill in a refrigerato
  • Luv,

    Instant Light Chicken Biryani

    My earlier version of Chicken Biryani was the traditional kind, but I learnt this version from my Mother in law and is very light and has lesser calories and gets prepared quite quickly when compared to any other type of Chicken Biryani’s. As this Express Cooking Event calls for a meal to get ready in less than 30 minutes, I have used left over cooked plain rice, you guys can always make it fresh if you do not have left over rice. Its a complete meal with Biryani, a dessert, and a juice, and is filling but light on stomach.

    My Version of ‘Instant Light Chicken Biryani
    Serves – 2


    Canola Oil – 1 tbsp
    Chicken Breast – 200 gms, washed, and cut into 2 cms cubes
    Salt – to taste
    Red Chilli powder – 1 tsp
    Yogurt – 1 tbsp
    Tomato paste – 2 tsp (optional)
    Ginger Garlic paste – 1 tsp
    Garam Masala – 1 1/2 tsp
    Dry roasted Cumin seed/Zeera powder – 1 tsp
    Dry Roasted Coriander/Dhaniya seed powder – 1 tsp
    Water – 1/2 cup
    Lemon Juice – 2 or 3 tbsp ( as you like)
    Saffron threads – a pinch, soaked in 1/4 cup warm milk
    Cooked Plain White Rice – 3 cups
    Crispy Fried Onions – 2 tbsp

    Method: ( Target time to prepare the whole meal – 30 minutes )

    1. Put a heavy bottom pan on medium heat, and pour oil into it.
    2. Add the chicken pieces, salt and red chilli powder, and fry till golden brown on all sides. This takes probably 7 minutes. When the chicken cubes has been browned properly, adjust the heat to medium high add the yogurt, tomato paste (optional) and ginger-garlic paste and the three dry masalas and stir well. This will take about 5 minutes. Now add half cup water and lemon juice. Cover the lid of the pan for 2 minutes until the water dries up.
    3. Now arrange the half of the rice in a microwave safe bowl in a layer, add the cooked chicken breast from the pan on top of the rice in a layer, again arrange the remaining rice layer on top. Sprinkle the fried onions on top and pour the milk with saffron threads evenly on top of rice. All this takes about 5 more minutes
    5. Cover and microwave for 3 minutes. The Biryani is ready.
    6. Serve the Biryani along with and a Juice and Ice Cream for a heartful meal for two ready in about in less than 30 minutes.

    Tip: Adding salt to the water in which you cook rice is essential, or else the whole taste of Biryani turns upside down. One tip if you have forgotten to add salt to the water while boiling rice is – stir the required amount of salt in a little quantity of hot water, about half cup or a few tablespoons, and pour this on the biryani evenly. Warm the biryani in microwave and serve immediately.


    Summer Cooler

    One of my addictions, this refreshing drink has and irresistible flavor, and works well as both a drink or a pudding.

    Makes : 1 glass


    • Cappuccino/Coffee powder, which you like – 2 tsp
    • Milk – 1/2 cup
    • Granulated sugar – 2 tsp
    • Chocolate Ice Cream – 2 scoops
    • Vanilla Ice Cream – 2 scoops
    • Broken Ice Cubes – 2 tbsp


    • Add milk, cappuccino and sugar powder to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir it to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and let it cool down. Once cool, chill in the refrigerator for an hour.
    • Pour the chilled milk coffee into a blender container, add the chocolate and vanilla ice cream and blend it until smooth and frothy.  Add broken ice-cubes and serve it chilled.

    Enjoy this lovely cold refreshing drink.