Sunday, July 27, 2014

Fish Biryani

My Mother's special recipe


Sharing my mother's masterpiece recipe.. A really delicious Fish Biryani. I am not a big fan of fish, nor do I like biryani, but, still I love this particular fish biryani a lot.. While in college, we were a gang of seven really close friends - Jaleesa, Gayathri, Divya, Jisha, Devi, Rinu and me.. Whenever our mothers made anything special, they'd pack it up for all seven of us. We were a bunch of foodies, and would sit together and one among us would feed the rest. Though today we are all married and settled in different parts of the world, that bond is still intact. :) Well, this Fish biryani was an all time favourite of my friends.. On weekends, a big gang of my relatives would come home and this was their favourite lunch too.. When I got married, my husband, turned out to be a brand ambassador of this biryani :) Well, you must give this recipe a try!!

My mother is very health conscious and therefore she makes sure that she minimizes the use of fats and very hot spices in all her recipes and that's what makes this biryani unique. Less fat, less spice, no artificial colour, no artificial flavouring, no rich ingredients and yet, no compromise on taste.. Come, follow me to her kitchen for a change, today :)

Ingredients :







King Fish
-

1/2 kg
Oil
-

4-5 tablespoons




Marinade for frying Fish :



Kashmiri Chilli powder
-

1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder
-

1/2 teaspoon
Salt
-

To taste




For the Masala :



Onion (thinly sliced)
-

5 medium
Ginger/Garlic (coarsely ground)
-

2 tablespoons each
Green chilli (coarsely ground)
-

8-10 numbers
Tomatoes (diced)
-

3 medium
Salt
-

To taste
Coriander leaves (chopped)
-

1/2 cup
Mint leaves (chopped)
-

2 tablespoons (Optional)




For final Garnish :



Pure ghee
-

2 tablespoon
Oil
-

3 tablespoons
Onion
-

1 large




For Rice :



Basmati rice
-

3 cups
Boiling water
-

6 cups
Onion, finely sliced
-

1 small
Cardamom pods
-

6 nos.
Cloves
-

8 nos.
Cinnamon sticks, 1 inch pieces
-

3-4 pieces
Salt
-

To taste
For Dum :



Garam masala
-

1 teaspoon




Note : The masala is prepared in the same oil in which the fish is fried and the rice is prepared in the same ghee and oil in which the onion for the garnish is fried.

Preparation Method :

Wash the fish pieces and marinate with the chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
Then fry the fish pieces and drain onto a kitchen towel.
Oops! by the time I reached my mother's kitchen with my camera, she had finished frying the fish. So no images..
Into the same oil, throw in the sliced onions, add some salt and sauté.



Then, add the ground garlic, ginger and green chillies and sauté.



Continue to sauté onion until it begins to slightly brown and all the ingredients looses its raw smell. Then, add the diced tomatoes and sauté until tomatoes softens and blends well into the onion masala.




Then add the fried fish pieces and gently without breaking, cover the fish with the masala. Bring down the flame to low and cover with a lid. Allow to cook on low for 5 minutes.

Then add the coriander leaves and mint leaves and gently combine. Be careful not to break the fish pieces. Then turn off the flame and allow the fish to sit in the masala for another 5 minutes.

Next, in a heavy bottom shallow pot, heat the ghee and coconut oil. Into it add half the sliced onion until it begins to brown. Remove it from the ghee and drain them onto a kitchen paper towel and keep aside for the final garnish. Go through the Malabar Ghee Rice recipe for better understanding. Therefore cutting short pictures of the whole rice preparation process.
Into the same ghee, throw in the whole spices. Throw in the sliced onions and sauté until onion begins to brown slightly. Add the drained rice, add salt and fry for a minute or two on medium-high. Pour in the boiling water and gently mix the rice in the water.

Note : Never make the mistake of adding cold or just warm water. It will ruin the rice. Use boiling water straight from the kettle. Soon as you add the water the rice should bubble in the pot of hot water. Allow to boil on medium-high heat. Once the rice starts absorbing water and the rice plumps up and water level drops down, reduce the heat and cover the pot with a lid and allow the rice to simmer and cook slowly in the rest of the water. 

But, for the biryani, we only require 80% cooked rice. So as soon as the rice is 80% cooked turn off the heat and fluff up the rice to avoid it from sticking together.


Finally for the Dum 

In a heavy bottom shallow pot gently cover the bottom with half of the fish masala. Then add half of the rice. Then sprinkle on some garam masala. Then layer the rest of the fish masala on top of the rice and sprinkle some more garam masala


Then layer the rest of the rice on top of the fish masala and garnish with the fried onion.


Cover with a tight lid and allow to gradually cook on very low heat for 10 minutes. If you do not have a heavy bottom shallow pot, then place a frying pan below the pot.


While serving the biryani, make sure not to break the fish pieces. Make sure every serving has enough rice, fish and masala in it. Serve with raita, some pickle and paapad (pappadam).


Serves 6 people or more.

Try it, and let me know how it worked for you! :)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Angel's Baked Eggs

Savoury, healthy and classic baked eggs
My recipe


The blissful part of a weekend is waking up late, ;) past the breakfast hour, too starving to wait for lunch and so brunch it usually is.. :) Free of all week's hurries; chit chatting and laughing away with family and slurping delicious food together!! :)

This dish is something that's often on the menu for a lazy weekend brunch at my place. But, you could also serve this savoury, baked egg dish packed with a healthy amount of veggies for breakfast, lunch or dinner.. An any time meal! :)


No! this is not Shakshouka nor Mexican eggs. Neither is this dish inspired from them.. It's The Angel's baked eggs.. :) The name has a surreptitious tale of a little girl who bravely fought and surpassed a nightmare solitary! ;) 

Ingredients :









Bell peppers (yellow, orange, green and red)
-

1/2 of each

Button Mushrooms  
-

1 cup chopped

White or brown onion
-

1/2 or whole

Tomato
-

1 large

Cilantro / Coriander leaves
-

A handful (coarsely chopped)

Sesame seeds
-

1 teaspoon

Salt
-

To taste

Black pepper (freshly ground)
-

As required

Dried Oregano
-

1/2 teaspoon

Black olives
-

1/2 cup

Fresh eggs
-

5 or 6 nos.

Oil or butter
-

As required


Preparation Method :

Wash and chop all the Veggies. You could either bake the eggs in the oven or slow cook them on the stove itself. If you prefer baking it in the oven, set to preheat at 180 degrees now. Make sure you use an oven-proof skillet in that case.


 I simply loveeee colours in my food! Natural, healthy colours I mean! :)



Roughly crush the sesame seeds to release the flavour and oils. In a hot skillet, pour in some olive oil or melt some butter and add the sesame seeds.


When it begins to sputter, add the onions and sauté on high for half a minute. Then add the Mushrooms and sauté until all the water evaporates and the onion and mushroom being to brown.


Then add the chopped peppers. Season with salt and pepper. If you like the dish a bit spicy, add more pepper.


Add the dried oregano and sauté until the bell peppers too are well roasted and the oil begins to clear at the bottom of the skillet.


Move the veggies to a plate. and retain the oil in the skillet and reduce the heat to medium.


Lay the sliced tomatoes on the pan and cook for a minute. Then turn them over.


Sprinkle some cilantro over the tomatoes. Season with a pinch of salt and some pepper.


Top that with the roasted veggies and top with some olives.


Make five or six gentle depressions on the surface of the veggie mix with your spatula and crack open an egg each into them, so that the yolk sits well into the veggies.


Sprinkle on the rest of the chopped cilantro and if baking, bake in the oven for 5-6 minutes if you'd like your yolks half done, or 8-10 minutes, if you like your yolks almost well done. If you prefer cooking on the stove itself, reduce the heat to low and cover with a tight lid and slow cook for 5 minutes.


Then turn off the heat and do not open the lid until another 5 minutes. Allow it to cook in the remaining heat inside.


This is a meal in itself. If you like to have some carbohydrates, you could have it with breads of your choice. 


Enjoy with a refreshing glass of smoothie / fresh fruit juice / coffee or tea. If you'd like to have an elaborate meal, you could serve it with garlic bread! It's awesome! :) 


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Berrynana Smoothie

Raspberry, Banana and Dates smoothie 
My version


Summer's hiking to its peak.. In the middle of summer, who wouldn't crave for a glass of anything chill to quench their thirst and boost their energy.. and what if it is super delish? :) Sounds appetizing, doesn't it?? It definitely is! Don't be puzzled.. there's no word called 'Berrynana'! ;) 

Charge yourself with this power packed, flavorful and healthy smoothie. Just the right thing for this summer.. This is an extremely simple smoothie, made with frozen raspberries, bananas and dates. If raspberries aren't available in your location, you could also use strawberries. Make sure its ripe and sweet though.

Let me borrow some of my mom's health benefits tips she enlightens us with, for this recipe :) Bananas are a great base for any smoothie, giving it a thick and creamy texture. At the same time, they are a good source of fiber, potassium, vitamins B6, C and antioxidants. Raspberries!! Need I say more about it's amazing flavor and tang! In this part of the world I live in, getting fresh yield raspberries is impossible. Imported fresh packs are available, very expensive though. But, for smoothies, I prefer having the frozen pack stocked in my freezer. Have read that raspberries are a good source of antioxidants, fiber, magnesium, vitamin C, folic acid, iron etc. and have anti-inflammatory properties.

I try avoiding sugar.. not 'coz of the health risks though ;) Let me be honest, I live more on ice-creams than I do on regular meals! :D Ice-creams are a weakness for me, especially during summers. Ah! I do that and make up for that by skipping sugar in juices and smoothies. I know there's no point! :D All my smoothies are naturally sweetened. Most often its either dates or honey. Trust me, the combination of Raspberries, bananas and dates is simply mind-blowing! It gives you the punch you need for the summers. Other than sugar, dates are a great source of energy and fiber, essential minerals, iron, calcium, sodium, potassium, zinc etc. It also contains vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin A and vitamin K.

If you don't want milk, you could very well avoid it. Maybe you could substitute that with soy milk or almond milk or just add water. Choice is yours.



To serve two :

Ingredients :









Banana
-

2 nos.

Frozen Raspberries
-

A handful

(If you are using Strawberry)
-

A handful

Dates
-

3-4 nos. Seeded.

Milk
-

As you prefer

Water
-

1 cup







Preparation Method :


Blend everything together well. 


Make sure you add water checking the consistency. Smoothies are thick and creamy. So be sure not to add too much water and ruin the drink. 


You could spoon out a little and taste before you pour out into a glass. Add more dates for extra sweetness.



Hope you enjoy this refreshing smoothie! :)