Tomato Pickle

Super Yummy Tomato Pickle!!!

Rava Kesari

Easy Sweet Recipe to impress your guests !!.

Channa Sundal

Healthy Sundal For Navarathiri !!

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu

Authentic Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu !!

Hot Cocoa

Perfect Hot Drink to Pamper Yourself !!

April 25, 2013

How to cook rice for Briyani | Pulao | Fried Rice | Variety Rice

This week has been a quite one. Nothing big and interesting happened. We are planning a lot of things for the coming weekends. Hope it turns out be as exciting as planned. I have been planning for a long time to write a consolidated post on how to cook rice for Biryani, Fried Rice, Variety Rice and Pulao. Many friends of mine ask me about how I get the grains separate even when I cook for 20 - 25 people. It took a lot of trial and error methods to get it right. I normally use the Conventional Oven when I cook for large group. I comes out perfect.

I use the pressure cooker/rice cooker when I cook only for my family. You have really do some trial and error to understand your cooker. If you have an electric stove top then remove the pressure cooker from the oven once you turn off the flame, as it takes time to get cooled down. I have tried to consolidate all the tips if you have further questions please let me know.

How to cook rice for Biryani

Pressure Cooker Method

  • Wash and soak the Basmati Rice for about 15 - 20 minutes until it turns white. You can soak when the masala is getting cooked. 
  • Once the masala is well cooked and the Vegetables/Chicken/Mutton is 1/2 cooked. Add water, for 1 cup rice add 1 1/2 cups of water and allow it to boil. When it is boiling carefully add the rice. If you are using coconut milk count that too.
  • Slightly mix the rice make sure the rice grains do not break.
  •  Add 1 tsp of lemon juice, check for salt and close the pressure cooker lid. Cook for 7 - 10 minutes in medium high. 
  • My cooker takes only 7 minutes. Do some trial and to understand your cooker. 
  • Once the whistle releases, use a large fork and fluff the rice carefully. Serve Hot.

Conventional Oven Method

  • Wash and soak the Basmati Rice for about 15 - 20 minutes until it turns white. You can soak when the masala is getting cooked. 
  • Once the masala is well cooked add the Vegetables/Chicken/Mutton.
  • Preheat the oven in 450 degrees in bake mode. 
  • For 1 cup rice take 1 1/4 cup of water.
  • Place all the contents rice, masala, and water in a cooking tray, mix well; and cover it with aluminum foil tightly.
  • Place the pan in the oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes remove the foil , mix the contents well. If required sprinkle some water and cook for 20 - 25 minutes in closed state checking every 10 minutes.

Biryani Recipes

Mutton BiryaniChicken Biryani, Vegetable Biryani, Mushroom Biryani

How to cook rice for Variety Rice

Pressure Cooker / Rice Cooker Method

  • Cook the 1 cup rice with 1 1/2 cup of water when using pressure cooker and 1 3/4 cup water when using     rice cooker.
  • When you cook the rice using pressure cooker or rice cooker, add 2 - 3 drops of cooking oil so that the       rice does not become sticky.
  • Cool down the rice, fluff with a fork.
  • Prepare the seasoning for each type of variety rice and carefully add rice and mix.

  • Variety Rice Recipes

    Coconut Rice

    How to cook rice for Fried Rice

    Pressure Cooker / Rice Cooker Method

  • Cook the basmati rice with 1 tsp of cooking oil so that the grains are separate.
  • If using rice cooker or pressure cooker use 1:1 1/2 cup ratio.Cool the rice.
  • Saute the onions, vegetables according to the recipe , add the rice and carefully mix without breaking the       rice.
  • Cook in high flame to get that restaurant style fried rice.

  • Fried Rice Recipes

    Vegetable Rice, Egg Fried Rice

    How to cook rice for Pulao

    Pressure Cooker / Rice Cooker Method

  • Soak basmati rice for 10 minutes.
  • If using rice cooker or pressure cooker for 1 cup rice use 1 3/4 cup water. Sometimes I also use 2 cups      water for 1 cup rice when I cook for my kids lunch box.
  • Saute the onions, vegetables according to the recipe , add the rice and cook for 2 whistles in medium high    when using a pressure cooker.
  • For Rice Cooker cook the vegetables according to the recipe. Transfer the vegetable mix, add rice, water     and cook according to your rice cooker instructions.
  • Once the pressure is released fluff the rice with a fork and serve hot.

  • Pulao Recipes

    Peas Pulao, Beetroot Pulao

    April 21, 2013

    Strawberry Lemonade | Summer Cooler

    This week was filled with birthday parties. I simply love to attend birthday parties with Shweets. I love to see the kids who are so full of energy and just run around for the entire party time. Shweets with utmost care selects the gifts for her friends. You should see the expression on shweet's face when the birthday kid is super excited when the gift she gave is opened. Sometimes she even asks what they want for their birthday and I end up hunting for it. With almost one month left for her birthday she has already started to plan for her party. Actually I'm equally thrilled to host the parties for the kids. When you think of parties the most important thing are the refreshing drinks. Some refreshing pink and yum lemonade will give a true lift to a girl's party !!

    Lemonades are simple, easy to make, and ofcourse refreshing. I like to make basic lemonade and once in a while give it a magic touch with fruit blends to make it even more refreshing. When I see tubs of strawberries sitting in the refrigerator then it is time to make some Strawberry Lemonade. You can check out my recipe for the Basic Lemonade here and a restaurant style Strawberry Mango Limonata here. You can also use sparkling water instead of water and give that extra pep. When you are feeling tired and need something to refresh yourself,do try this refreshing drink to beat the summer heat !!

    Preparation Time - 5 minutes

    Cooking Time - 5 minutes

    Serves - 2


    Lemons - 2 no
    Sugar - 1/4 cup
    Water for syrup - enough to immerse the sugar
    Strawberry - 5 - 6 no
    Cold water - as needed
    Ice Cubes - as needed

    • Roll the lemons on a hard surface with your palm so that it will yield more juice.
    • Squeeze the lemons and collect juice, strain it through a strainer and keep aside.
    • Wash, pat dry and hull the strawberries.
    • Add sugar to a saucepan, add water just enough to immerse the sugar and heat the saucepan until the sugar completely dissolves and starts to boil.
    • Allow the sugar syrup to cool down completely.
    • Add lemon juice to the sugar syrup and mix well.
    • Puree the Strawberries using a blender.
    • To a shaker or air tight bottle, add the strawberry puree, add 1/4 cup of the lemon syrup and then shake well.
    • Pour the mixture equally between 2 tall glasses.
    • Add cold water until 3/4 of the glass.
    • Add ice cubes and enjoy the refreshing, flavorful summer cooler.
    • If you want your lemonade to be more sweeter increase the sugar syrup.
    • You can prepare the lemon syrup and refrigerate it in a clean bottle.
    • You can also use sugar substitutes instead of the sugar.
    • Instead of cold water you can also use sparkling water.

    April 13, 2013

    Paruppu Payasam | Festival Recipes

    Happy Tamil New Year to all my readers and friends. Tamil New Year is one festival everybody could relate to a childhood memory. My Mom used to decorate the pooja room and place a mirror and decorate it with lots of jewels. We are supposed to look into the mirror when we get up in the morning. She will also place bowls of turmeric, water, salt, flowers etc., It means on the first day of the year if we will get all the happiness then we will get it throughout the year. We would also have a wonderful, yummy vegetarian lunch in the afternoon which will be served with vadai and payasam. As I do not love sugar based desserts I would always request Mom to make Paruppu Payasam. Though I do not get to do all that we surely celebrate Tamil New Year in ways we could.

    Paruppu Payasam is an easy payasam recipe that is made with Moong Dal or Channa Dal. We make it with both the dals. As I love jaggery based sweets I love this one any day. Cooking the dals is the most important of the sweet. It has to be mushy but not overcooked. Getting the consistency is the difficult part. You can also add little milk to the payasam or go with just the jaggery. It tastes great both ways. This is a must dish for our Tamil New Year lunch. Do try and let me know how it turned out !!

    Preparation Time - 5 minutes

    Cooking Time - 15 - 20 minutes

    Serves : 4 people


    Moong Dal/Pasi Paruppu - 3/4 cup
    Channa Dal/Kadala Paruppu - 1/4 cup
    Grated Jaggery - 1 cup
    Milk - 1/2 cup
    Ghee - 1 tsp
    Cashews - 5 - 8 no
    Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp

    • Thoroughly wash the dals until the water runs clear.
    • Chop the Cashews into halves.
    • To a heavy bottomed vessel add the moong dal, channa dal and 2 cups water and cook until the dals become mushy.
    • Meanwhile add the 1 tsp ghee to a small kadai. Add the Cashews and saute until they golden brown. Transfer to a dry plate.
    • When the dals are cooking, add the jaggery to a vessel and add 1/2 cup water and slightly warm it so that the jaggery gets dissolved.
    • When the dals are cooked use a ladle and slightly mush them.
    • Pour the jaggery into the dals through a filter to remove impurities.
    • Next add the milk, mix everything together and cook for 3 - 5 minutes in low flame.
    • Add the cardamom powder and fried cashews.
    • Mix everything together and serve warm or chilled as you prefer.
    • Whole Milk or 2% milk can be used.
    • You can also cook the dals in a pressure cooker. But make sure you do not overcook the dals.
    • Make sure you do not burn the dals. Mix at regular intervals and cook in medium low flame.
    • This payasam tastes good when served hot or cold.
    • You can also omit the milk and just use the jaggery water to get the consistency.

    April 8, 2013

    Ellu Urundai | Sesame Ladoo

    The kids are back to school/daycare after Easter break! Am I excited? Oh definitely yes. The main reason being Jake my 20 month old son has become extremely naughty and I become easily exhausted managing hinm. We were three girls in my place and we used to play calm and quite atleast my mom would not complain that much. My daughter used to play to herself and never disturbed any items. With the son around we are always on the move trying to safeguard the things. I can make him sit in one place with the help of Mickey Mouse, he loves the shows and enjoys it to the core. He also loves snacking and I try to give him healthy snacks as much as possible. Ellu/Sesame seeds are rich in protein.

    Ell Urundai is a sweet that is mainly prepared for Ganesh Chathurti. It is has a wonderful combination of the nutty flavor from the sesame seeds and sweetness from the jaggery. It is one of the most quickest sweet that can be prepared in no time. It hardly takes 10 minutes to prepare the sweet. It can be stored at room temperature for about 2 weeks and even more than that. There is also another method to make this sweet which I will be posting soon, You can make this sweet with both the white and black sesame seeds. I love these kind of jaggery based sweets and it is worth trying.


    Ellu/Sesame Seeds - 1 cup
    Jaggery - 1/2 cup
    Powdered Cardamom - 1 pinch

    • Wash and dry the mixer jar and keep it ready.
    • Grate the jaggery and keep aside.
    • In a heavy bottomed kadai dry roast the sesame seeds in medium flame until it turns slightly brown. It will take about 4 -5 minutes.
    • Allow it to cool down. 
    • Add the roasted sesame seeds, grated jaggery, cardamom powder and grind the contents they become slightly sticky. It will take 2 - 3 minutes.
    • Lightly grease your hands with ghee (optional) and start to make small balls out the ground mixture. 
    • Store in a airtight container.
    • I have used white sesame seeds. You also use black sesame seeds.
    • If you prefer sweeter laddus you can increase the jaggery to 3/4 cup.
    • There is no need to add any liquid. The oil the sesame seeds release will be sufficient to bind them into balls.
    • I kept the ellu urundai's in airtight containers for about 2 weeks at room temperature.

    April 3, 2013

    Mango Lassi | Summer Mango Drink

    Though spring has officially started still the weather keeps fluctuating here. But we are totally happy to see the sun staying out for long hours. Another important thing we start to get during this season are the mangoes. When you enter the wholesale stores you could see big trays of mangoes welcoming you on the door way. We have been picking one during our every visit and consuming it by all means. As I had mentioned in my earlier posts I simply love mangoes. As a kid I used to just live on mangoes the whole summer. I would just nibble on my food and and convince my Mom somehow I'm full at the dinner table. Once the table is cleared and they settle down in front of the TV I would slowly ask permission to have one mango. They would just yes because they know how much I love it.

    Coming to recipe Mango Lassi is a popular summer drink in India. Yogurt or the thick curd is used to make creamy drink. Mangoes are available in plenty during the summer and people would love to have something ice cold during their shopping time. So we would have lot of juice shops around the street corners of popular shopping streets. Though I simply love Mangoes as is at times I would love to have this creamy drink. Enjoy this Creamy and Yummy drink and you will totally love it!!!

    Preparation Time - 5 minutes

    Serves - 2 person


    Ripe Mango (medium size) - 2 no
    Yogurt - 1/2 cup
    Milk - 1/4 cup
    Sugar - 2 tsp
    Ice cubes - 2 - 3 no(optional)

    • Wash the Mango, Peel the skin and chop them into bite size pieces.
    • Wash the blender jar and wipe clean.
    • Add the mango pieces, yogurt, milk, sugar and ice cubes and blend well until smooth and creamy.
    • Reserve few mango pieces and slice them into thin slices and use as garnish.
    • Serve chilled.
    • Use milk from the refrigerator and skip adding ice cubes if you are giving it to kids.
    • You can also use flavored yogurts.

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