Veggies and Me!

I had always disliked vegetable biryani. My Ammi had to run behind me to make me finish my plate. The other day while I was browsing through this cookbook, I came across this recipe and I am so glad I tried it. This recipe is a keeper and I will definitely be trying it again and again in my kitchen.

Vegetable Dum Biryani –  Rice Cooked With Vegetables and Spices
Source: India’s Vegetarian Cooking
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • Spices for the Rice water:
  1. Bay Leaves – 2
  2. Fennel Seeds/Saunf – 1 tsp
  3. Nutmeg Powder – 1 tsp
  4. Cinnamon – 1 small stick
  5. Cloves – 5
  6. Black peppercorns – 8
  7. Green cardamom – 3
  • Milk – 4 tbsp
  • Saffron strands – 1/2 tsp
  • Rose Water – 4 tbsp (optional)
  • Green cardamoms – 2
  • Butter/Canola Oil – 6 tbsp
  • Yellow Onion – 3, medium, thinly sliced
  • Ginger Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
  • Tomato paste – 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Garam Masala powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – 1 1/4 tsp
  • Frozen Mixed Vegetables (Corn, Carrots, Potatoes, French Beans, Lima beans) – 270 gms
  • Red capsicum – 1, chopped
  • Basmati Rice – 300 gms
  • Mint leaves – 1 tbsp
  • Cilantro – 1 tbsp
  • Slivered Almonds – 3 tbsp

Vegetable Dum Biryani / Tarkari Ka Chawal

Method:

  • Preheat Oven to 425 °F /220 °C/Gas Mark 6
  • Put the spices meant for the rice water in 600 ml of water. Bring to a boil and turn off heat. Cover the pan and allow the flavours to infuse. This will be our liq. 1.
  • Meanwhile crush the two green cardamoms with milk and saffron and rose water and keep aside in a small bowl. This will be our liq. 2.
  • In a pan on medium heat, pour 3 tbsp of butter/oil and stir fry the chopped red capsicum. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.
  • In the same pan and butter/oil fry the onions until brown. Remove half of them and reserve for garnish. Add Ginger garlic paste to the pan and stir fry it along with the remaining onions. Remove from heat and let it cool. Grind the fried Ginger-Garlic and Onion.
  • Heat 1 1/2 tbsp butter/oil in a pan and pour the above grinded mixture along with turmeric powder, Garam masala and tomato puree. Season with salt and let it cook for 5-10 minutes.
  • Add the frozen mixed vegetables to the tomato and onion mixture in the pan. Also add the stir fried red capsicum. Mix Well and simmer. Let it cook for 10 more minutes. Remove from heat and reserve.
  • Strain the liq. 1 and keep aside. Throw away the spices.
  • In a pan add 1 1/2 tbsp of butter/oil and fry the rice over high heat. (Note: Do not wash the rice before hand. Rinsing will wash away the significant amount of surface starch that contributes to the dish.)
  • When the rice has become shiny, add half of the liq. 1 and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cover for about 6-8 minutes or until the water has evaporated.
  • Take an oven proof dish and start the layering process of the Biryani. The top and bottom layers are always the rice in a Biryani. Start by a layer of rice in the bottom of the dish, then add a layer of Vegetable mixture, then a layer of rice, and layer of vegetable mixture, and then the final rice layer. Pour evently the remaining liq.1 and the liq. 2 and the reserved fried onions on the rice layer. Also sprinkle the chopped coriander and mint leaves, and the slivered almonds on it. Seal the dish with tinfoil.
  • Cook the biryani for 40 minutes in the oven reducing the heat to 375 °F/190 °C/Gas Mark 5 after 20 minutes. Open the dish/Remove the tinfoil from the dish, just before serving.

Suggested Accompaniments: Tamatar ki Chutney

This goes as my contribution to Sharmi for the event she is holding Jihva for Ingredients JFI and its Rice this month at her place.

Luv,
Mona

Binees ki Phalli Gosht

The combination of Binees ki phalli and Seene ka Gosht is most ambrosial. Lamb ribs are the most tender meat and have a very good flavour. They make any vegetable to which you add very delicious imparting their own flavours to the veggies and making the dish all the more delicious and flavorful.

Binees Ki Phalli/Green Beans and Pyaz/Yellow Onions

You can also add boneless lamb meat instead of lamb ribs. I enjoy this curry along with Khushka and Khatti dal for a delicious meal.

Binees ki Phalli Gosht – Lamb Ribs with French beans Curry

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

Green beans/Binees Ki Phalli – 1 kg, washed, chopped (you can even use boneless Veal/Lamb meat)
Canola Oil – 2 tbsp
Lamb ribs – 500 gms, washed, chopped up into small pieces
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Yellow Onion – 2, medium sized, sliced
Salt – 2 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Tomato – 2, chopped

Phalli Gosht – Lamb Ribs with French beans Curry

Method:

  • Take a pressure cooker and put it on meduim high heat. Add oil to it and put the lamb ribs and sliced onions. Stir for 5 mins till the meat is no longer pink and the onions have become translucent. Add turmeric and one fourth teaspoon of salt to it and mix well. Add a glass of water to it and pressure cook it till the meat is tender.
  • Later, add the washed and chopped french beans to it. Also add salt, red chilli powder, chopped tomato and stir well to mix. Cover the lid and pressure cook it again for a few minutes till the french beans have become soft.
  • Later open the lid, stir well and le it cook it on meduim high heat for 5-8 more minutes. Serve it hot and enjoy.

Suggested Accompaniments: With Khushka and Khatti dal, or, Baghara Khana and Dalcha for a delicious meal, or along with Parathas.

Luv,
Mona

Colourful Pasta

There’s one thing about pasta that I like a lot. It can be made in a thousand different ways changing the flavours with every ingredient you wish to add to it. While preparing pasta you can experiment a lot, with whatever you like, and it gets ready instantly for a delicious heartful meal.

This recipe which I make is loved by everyone in my home. You can substitute meat in this recipe with the same amount of chicken breast pieces, or omit both and make it a vegetarian pasta dish.

Serves : 4

Colourful Pasta

Ingredients:

Lamb/Veal meat – 110 gms, cubed into bite size pieces
Fusilli Pasta – 400 gms
Ripe Tomatoes – 2, large, chopped finely
Canned Tomato paste – 1 cup
Carrots – 2, washed peeled and sliced
Red capsicum – 1, large
Green beans/Binees – 1 cup, washed and chopped
Canned Black beans – 1 cup, drained and gently washed
Salt – to taste
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Garam masala – 2 tsp
Yellow Onion – 1, small, sliced
Canola Oil – 4 1/2 tbsp
Parmesan Cheese – 1 cup, Grated (optional)
Black Olives – 1 cup, sliced and deseeded (optional)

Method:

  • Put a pressure cooker on heat and add half a tablespoon of oil to it. Add the washed and cubed lean meat pieces and stir until no longer red. Pour a little water and pressure cook till it becomes soft. You can even use some left over meat. Just shred it into bite size pieces. Remove the meat with all its juices to a bowl once done.
  • Take a pan and add two teaspoon oil to it. Fry the cut carrots, capsicum, french beans individually for 3-4 minutes each and remove in an another bowl.
  • In a sauce pan, add the remaining oil and put it on heat. Add the sliced onions to it and let them turn translucent. Add the finely chopped tomatoes and cover the lid for a few minutes till the tomatoes have become soft. Add the tomato paste and stir to mix. Add salt, chilli powder, garam masala and turmeric and stir again. Now add the meat pieces with all its juices to the tomato mixture and let it cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Meanwhile cook Fusilli according to instructions and reserve half cup of the water in which the Fusilli was cooked. Drain and keep aside.
  • Add the drained pasta with its reserved water, the drained black bean and the sautéed vegetables to the tomato mixture. Reduce the heat to medium low and let it cook uncovered for 5 more minutes.
  • Serve immediately into individual plates sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese and sliced olives on top.

Luv,
Mona