Friday, November 26, 2010

Apple, Cranberry and Oatmeal Cookies (Soft)


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup oats (I used Quaker oats)
1 cup diced apple without peel
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup dried cranberries
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farhenhite
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs until well blended. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and stir into the sugar mixture until well blended. Then add the pecans, cranberries, oats and apples. Drop dough by spoonfuls about 2 inches onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Let it cool on wire racks.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fruit Chaat

My mom makes this often and we loved it the last time she made it for us. It can be made with any fruit combinations. What I have listed is what I used when this picture was taken and these fruits make a nice chaat.


1 medium apple
1 pear
2 bananas
2 peaches
2 plums
1/2 cup pineapple pieces
1 mango
1 cup black grapes
1 sweet potato or normal potato - boiled (optional)
2 tablespoons chaat masala
1/4 cup date and tamarind chutney
salt to taste


Cut all the fruits in bite size pieces. Mix them all together. Then add the chaat masala and the date and tamarind chutney. Mix well till all the pieces of fruit are covered in the sauce. Add salt if required.
Serve chilled.

Rava/Semolina Ladoos

4 cups rava/semolina
1 1/2 cups ghee
3 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 cup coconut (I used the dried coconut powder)
elaichi/cardamom powder

MethodRoast rava in ghee till you get a nice aroma. To this add the coconut and mix well on low flame for about 5 more minutes. Make sugar syrup - till its a consistency of 1 string. Add elaichi powder to this syrup. Once the rava mixture is cooled add it to the syrup and mix well. Keep mixing it at every 1/2 hour intervals. In 3 hours ladoos are ready to be rolled. When rolling ladoos, if the batter gets too dry - add 1 teaspoon of warm milk - and try again. if still dry add another 1 teaspoon.
When rolling ladoos add a raisin to it for a surprise in the mouth while eating JThis mixture yields around 36 to 40 ladoos.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Chicken Mince (Keema) Paratha


For Keema

2 pounds minced chicken
2 tablespoons yogurt
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 big onion - finely chopped
1 big tomato - finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
9 cloves garlic - finely minced
1/2 inch ginger - finely minced
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 cup oil

For Paratha

2 cups wheat flour
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
water to knead dough


Add yogurt and 1/2 teaspoon salt and curry powder and mix well with the chicken mince - let it marinate in this for atleast an hour.
Add salt and oil to the dough and just enough water to knead and make a pliable dough. Keep it covered for an hour. Divide the dough into golf ball-sized portions and roll between your hands till they are smooth and without cracks.
In a karahi add oil. When it gets hot add the chopped onions and fry well till it turns a nice golden brown. Then add the tomatoes, cilantro, garlic and ginger and fry till the tamotes are soft and oil starts leaving the mixture on the side of the karahi. Add the chilli powder, turmeric powder and garam masala powder along with 1/2 teaspoon salt and mix well. To this mixture add the marinated chicken mince and keep stirring for 10 minutes. Cover and let the chicken cook for 10 minutes or untill its done. Check for seasoning and add salt or spices as per taste. Remove the cover and let any water thats formed get evaporated. Let the keema cool.
Take a small dough ball and roll it into a puri. Take a tablespoon of the keema and place it in between the rolled dough. Pull together the ends and seal on top like a bag. Then roll this together into a paratha/chappati to around 1/8" thickness.
Roast the paratha on a hot griddle with ghee/oil. Parathas are done when they are nice and golden on both sides.
Serve it with kheema/curds/raita.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Malabar Spinach Curry - Valichi Bhaji / Mayalu Bhaji

My parents are here and its fun when they visit us especially during the summer months. Well, when Mom is here, then its always authentic Konkai or Maharashtrian food that we ask her to cook for us.
The other day we went to the local Asian market and found some nice Malabar Spinach - its call Mayalu in Marathi and Valichi Bhaji in Konkani. We immediately remembered the nice tasting curry and decided to buy it and have it for dinner. Ofcorse, we added shrimps to the curry. it was yumm.
This is the recipe - as told by Mom.


Malabar Spinach - 1 bunch
1 onion - roughly chopped
1 tomato - roughly chopped
1 cup fresh desiccated coconut
7 to 8 dried red chillies
2 tablespoons coriander seeds (akkha dhnaia)
9 flakes of garlic
pinch of turmeric
salt as per taste
1 teaspoon oil
8 to 9 big shrimps - cut into bite size pieces (optional)


clean the malabar spinach very well and separate the leaves from the long stem. The stem is also used for the curry. Roughly shop the spinach leaves and cut the stems in 1/2 inch pieces - keep the leaves and the stems separate.
The stems have to be cooked in a pressure cooker by adding some water and a pinch of turmeric. Once cooked, keep it aside.
In a blender/mixer - add the coconut, the coriander seeds, the red chillis and the garlic and grind to a fine paste by adding just enough water to get a thick consistency. Keep this mixture aside.
In a karahi add the oil and when it gets hot add the onions and fry till they get transparent. Now add the chopped tomatoes and the spinach leaves and mix well. Add 1/4 cup of water and let the spinach leaves cook through. If you want to add shrimps, you can add it now and let it cook for another 5 minutes.
Once the spinach leaves are cooked through, add the stems and mix well. Then add the coconut masala mixture and add salt to taste and bring this curry to a boil. Add some salt as per taste.
Malabar spinach curry is ready to be served with boiled rice.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Chicken Roulades & oven baked potato chips


For the Roulades

4 chicken thighs - skinless and boneless
4 cups spinach - chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion - finely chopped
4 flakes of garlic - finely chopped
4 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
4 strips of bacon (you can use turkey bacon - thats what I used)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup chicken stock OR white wine
2 teaspoons corn starch
2 tablespoons light cream OR half'n'half
1 teaspoon chopped chives
salt to taste
crushed pepper

For oven fried chips

4 potatoes - sliced thin
paprika powder
olive oil


Chicken Roulades

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the chicken thighs in between plastic wrap and flatten it with a rolling pin or with a meat tenderizer. Season one side with cajun seasoning. Be careful, as cajun seasoning is spicy - so add according to taste.
In a karahi, add the butter, when it melts, to it add the garlic and then the onions. fry till they become transparent. Then add the chopped spinach and cook till all the moisture has been cooked off. Add salt to taste and pepper.
Divide the spinach filling between the 4 chicken pieces and roll up neatly. Wrap a strip of bacon neatly and tie it securely with a fine string.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and brown the rolls all over. Take these browned rolls and place them neatly in a baking dish. Pour in the wine OR the chicken stock and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, till they get tender. Transfer the chicken to a serving plate and remove all the string.
Strain the wine OR chicken stock liquid in a saucepan. Blend the corn starch in some water and add it to the juices in the saucepan and stir to avoid any lumps. Add the cream and stir well till the whole mixture is well incorporated. Bring to a boil. Add alt and pepper if needed. Now add the chopped chives. Pour the sauce around the chicken in the serving dish.

For oven chips

Place the slicked potatoes on a cookie sheet. Drizzle some olive oil on top of it and then add salt, pepper and paprika powder. Let it bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 to 15 minutes. Chips are ready

The roulades and the chips are ready to be served with some nice green salad.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Chicken Tikka Skewers


6to 7 Boneless/skinless thigh or breast pieces of chicken (as per choice) - cut into 1 inch pieces
2 large vidalia /red onions - cut into 1 inch pieces
2 large bell peppers (green, re, orange, yellow - any color of choice) - cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tablepoons tandoori masala
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon methi powder
1 teaspoon salt
a pinch of red coloring
4 tablespoons oil
4 tablespoons melted butter (for basting) - if using unsalted butter, then increase the salt to be added to the marinade


In a ziploc bag - add the oil, tandoori masala, garlic powder, methi powder, salt and red coloring and mix well. To this mixture add the chicken pieces and coat each piece with the marinade. Let this mixture sit in the fridge for atleast 2 hours - overnight is better.
When the grill is all set and fired up - take skewers (if using wooden skewers - let them be soaked in water overnight to avoid getting burnt) and add a chicken piece, followed by an onion piece and then a bell pepper piece (as shown in the picture). Once all the skewers are done - place it on the hot grill - baste it with melted butter and cover and let it cook. Chicken cook s fast, so it should be done in 10 minutes on one side. Now turn the skewers and baste the other side with butter and let it cook for another 10 minutes.
Chicken tikka BBQ is ready to be served with mint yogurt dip and tossed salad.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Chole Bhature

My husband loves Chole Bhature in veg food. He is a hard core non-veg eater (I am sure you have guessed it from the entries on the blog - most of it is non-veg). The other day he was returning from a trip and it being a Thursday, I was not going to cook any non-veg food - so he asked me to make Chole Bhature.


For Chole

1 cup kabuli chana - dry garbanzo beans
1 cup water
2 teaspoons tea powder OR 2 tea bags
2 medium onions - finely chopped
6 to 7 cloves garlic - finely chopped
1 medium tomato - finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 inch ginger - finely grated
1 teaspoon cumin
4 tablesoons oil
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons chole masala (I used everest masala)
salt as per taste

For Bhature

2 cups all purpose flour (Maida)
4 tablespoons of semolina (Rawa)
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 teaspoon yeast OR 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup warm water (if using yeast)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
oil for frying


For Chole

Heat the 1 cup of water and when it comes to a boil, add the tea/teabags - let it boil for about 2 minutes. Strain this water and add it to the kabuli chana/garbanzo beans. Add more water till the water covers all the beans. Let it soak for 5 to 6 hours. Tea is added to the chana to get the dark color - it does not change the taste.

In a pressure cooker - add the chana with the tea water. Add another cup of water, turmeric powder, a pinch of salt and let it cook under pressure until 3 whistles. Once the pressure is released, check the chana for doneness. Take a ladelful of chana in a bowl and crush it into a fine paste and then add it back to the boiled chana - this is done to give the chole curry some thickness.
In a karahi - add 4 tablespoons of oil. When it gets hot - add the cumin seeds and the chopped garlic. Be careful not to burnt he garlic. Immediately add the chopped onions and fry till they turn golden brown. Now add the tomatoes, ginger and the chopped corinader. Mix well till the mixture leaves the sides of the karahi. Now add the chilli powder and the chana masala and salt as per taste. Mix this well till everything is incorporated. Now add the boiled chana and mix well. Add water only if needed - or as per your desire of curry consistency. Cover and let it simmer on medium low flame for about 15 minutes.
Chole is ready to be served with bhature, raita and chopped onions.

For Bhature

If using yeast - then in 1/4 cup of warm water, add the yeast and let it sit for about 1/2 hour.
In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients (do not use baking powder if you are using yeast). Add the yogurt and the yeast mixture and mix well. Add water only if required to get a soft pliable dough. Cover it with a damp muslin cloth/kitchen tissue and let this mixture sit for about 2 hours in a warm and dark place.
Heat oil in a karahi. Make small balls of the dough and roll them into round or tear shaped flats and fry in the hot oil till golden brown.
Serve hot with chole.
We even like bhature with tandoori chicken - makes a yummy and sinful combination.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Chicken Tikka Pita Sandwiches

Well, the murg malai tikka was not enough for dinner. So, we decided to have some pita bread sandwiches with the murg tikka as the highlight :)


Whole wheat pocket pita
shredded lettuce
roughly chopped cucumber
roughly chopped onions (optional)
tzatziki sauce
Murg Malai Kebab - shredded


Cut the poket pita into half. Open the pocket and on one side spread hummus and on the other side spread the tzatziki sauce. Then add the lettuce and cucumber and onions and top it with the shredded chicken kebabs.
Serve with hummus and tzatziki sauce.

We got the hummus and the tzatziki from a grocery store. It can be easily made at home too.

Murg Malai Tikka

The other day we were bored of the routine dal, chawal, roti and sabzi routine. We both wanted to cook something together and something that we had never cooked before. Too much of brainstorming and finally we decided on Murg Malai Tikka.
We went to the grocery store to get the supplies for the meal - and saw some nice mint. Immediately thought of making Murg Malai Tikka in 2 different ways - one in red color with traditional spices and one in green color with mint and coriander.


8 skinless and boneless chicken thighs - cut into 1 inch pieces

For the green tikka

1/2 cup mint leaves
1/2 cup cilantro
9 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup heavy cream

For traditional spices

9 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon ginger paste
2 teaspoon kashmiri chili powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon dhania jeera powder
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup heavy cream


Blend together all the ingredients for the green masala tikka, except the heavy cream - in a blender to a fine paste. Add it to the heavy cream and then in a ziploc bag, mix half the chicken pieces with this mixture and let it mariante for atleast 2 hours - overnight will be good.

For the traditional spices mix - add all the ingredients in a ziploc bag. Mix well and then add the other half of the chicken pieces and mix well. Let it marinate for atleast 2 hours - overnight will be good.

Preheat the oven on broil @ 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Put the chicken pieces on skewers. With a drip pan under the skewers, spray some non-stick spray and then let it broil in the oven. After 10 minutes -turn the skewers to get the other side done. The tikka are ready in about minutes.

Serve with lemon wedges and sliced onions and cucumber.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Moong Dal Halwa


1 cup yellow moong dal
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup ghee
1/2 cup khoya - I used milk powder instead
a pinch of saffron
1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
slivered almonds for garnish


Soak the moong dal in water for 6 t 7 hours. Once they are soft, coarse grind them - add very little water if required to do so.
In a karahi add the ghee and to this add the ground moong dal. Mix it well on medium heat and stir at all times. When the mixture has no more water and it turns to a nice golden brown, add the suagr and the khoya and mix well. The mixture should be incorporated well. Now add the saffron, cardamom powder and the slivered almonds and mix well.
Serve as a nice and warm dessert after yummy dinner.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Coriander Chicken

A friend of mine makes this dish. I never tasted the dish made by her, but loved the recipe. Cilantro/Coriander is my favourite herb and to make it the focal point of a dish was very exciting.


2 pounds of boneless and skinless chicken breasts - cut into one inch pieces
2 medium onions - pureed
4 cups cilantro/coriander - roughly about 4 bunches
9 to 10 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger piece
4 green chillis - you can use more if you like it spicy
1 teaspoon tamarind paste
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 cup oil
2 tablespoons ghee/clarified butter
4 cloves
4 cardamoms
4 pieces of cinnamom
1 bay leaf
1 star anise
1 black cardamom
salt to taste
pepper powder


Marinate the chicken pieces in some salt and pepper and 1 teaspoon oil. Let it stand for 15 minutes. Make a paste of the corinader/cilantro, garlic, ginger and chillis and keep aside.
In a karahi, add the 2 tablespoons oil and saute the chicken pieces till you get a nice and golden brown crust on the outside. Drain it in a plater over a paper towel. In the same kadhai add the balance oil and fry the pureed onions till they turn golden brown. Add teh tamarind paste and mix well. Then add the corinader mixture and the turmeric powder and fry the mixture well till it leaves the sides of the vessel. To this add the garam masala and the chicken pieces and mix well. Add salt if required. Cover and let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes on medium/low flame.
Just before serving - take a small karahi add the ghee. When it gets hot, take it off the flame and add the cloves, cardamom, star anise, black cardamom, bay leaf and cinnamon. Add this on top of the gravy as shown int eh picture and serve with naan or chappati

Aamshe Teekshe (Mackerel Curry)

Roughly translated Amshe stands for sour and Teekshe stands for spicy. This is a typical Goan/Manglorean fish curry generally made with mackerel. We had prepared this dish when Mom was here. We found some very good mackerel and just could not resist having rice and this curry.


2 medium size mackerels - cut into about 1/2 inch slices - Mackerel is called bangda in India
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
12 byadgi mirchi - a dried chilli found in Karnataka, India - you can get it in an Indian store here
1/2 cup fresh/frozen coconut
2 teaspoons tamarind paste - I used the bottled tamarind paste
1/2 onion - finely chopped
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
5 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons coconut oil - you can use any other oil, but coconut oil gives that coastal taste
salt to taste
2 to 3 kokums - "kokum"


Clean the mackerel and apply the 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon turmeric to all the pieces evenly and let it sit aside.
In a blender grind to a very fine paste the dried chillis, garlic, coriander seeds, coconut and the tamarind paste. Add enough water to get a thick paste. Remember, do not add a lot of water while grinding - you will not get a smooth paste with lots of water.The paste should be very smooth - no granules.
In a karahi add the coconut oil. To this add the chopped onions and fry them till they get transparent. To this add the ground paste and bring it to a boil. Add water to get a nice gravy consistency. When the gravy starts to boil, add the mackerel pieces to it. Cover and let it simmer on medium heat for about 15 minutes. Then check if the fish is cooked. Be very careful with the spoon because the fish is very delicate and we do not want the fish to powder in the gravy. Add salt if required and then add the kokum.
Serve hot with rice.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Gobi Manchurian


1 full cauliflower - broken into florets
2 onions - cut inot big pieces
1 capsicum - cut into big pieces
4 cloves garlic - finely chopped
1/2 cup tomato ketchup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons chilli garlic sauce (Sriracha) - you can add more if you want it spicy
1 egg
1/2 cup all purpose flower
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup oil


Clean the cauliflower and cover the florets in some salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon of sriracha. Let it stand for about 15 minutes. Then add these to the egg and then dust it in all purpose flour and fry them till golden brown. Drain them on a paper towel.
Use a wok and add 2 tablespoons of the oil to it. When it gets hot add the garlic and immediately add the onions. When they get transparent add the capsicum. Add the tomato ketchup and the balance sriracha and the soy sauce. Let it cook covered for about 5 minutes. Add the fried cauliflowers to this mixture and mix well. Add salt only if necessary as the ketchup and the sriracha already have salt in it.
Serve hot with noodles or fried rice. Can be served as an appitizer too.

Chicken Pattice

There is this amazing chicken pattice that we get in Mumbai at Venus Cakes. Yum stuff. Last year when my parents had come that had actually bought some of the the pattice for us. We just heated it in the oven and savoured it. Then later my mom made these at my sisters place and we all loved it. Ofcorse it was not like the Venus Cakes pattice - but, it tasted nice. I tried it too and here is the recipe.


2 pounds ground chicken
2 medium onions - finely chopped
1 tomato - finely chopped
1 inch ginger - into paste
9 to 10 cloves garlic - into paste
4 green chillis - into paste
2 tablespoons yogurt
you could grind the the garlic, ginger and chillis together
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon dhania jeera powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
salt to taste
2 tablespoons oil
1 packet puff pastry - I used pepperidge farm and it had 2 sheets in it.


Marinate the ground chicken in yogurt and half of the cilli, garlic and ginger paste. Let it marinate for atleast an hour.
In a karahi add the oil. When it gets hot add the chopped onions and fry till its golden brown. Then add the balance of the ground mixture and the tomatoes and let the mixture fry till it leaves the sides of the pan. Now add the turmeric, dhania jeera powder and the garam masala. Mix well. Now add the marinated chicken and mix the masala well with the chicken. It should be a well incorporated mixture. Cover and let the chicken cook. This should take about 15 to 20 minutes. If there is any water formed int eh mixture, then uncover and cook till all the water evaporates. Let this cool.
Take the puff pastry - it should be at room temperature. 1 sheet can be cut into 8 equal rectangles. Add enough of the chicken mixture on one side of the triangle and fold in the middle. Seal the remaining 3 sides by pressing it down. Do the same with all the triangles. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 to 20 minutes of till the puff pastries become golden in color.
Serve with tomato ketchup.

Moong Dal Kheer


1 cup split moong dal (yellow ones)
1 cup jaggery - shredded
1 tin coconut milk (unsweetened)
10 to 11 stands of saffron
1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
2 teaspoons ghee/clarified butter
some cashews
some raisins
slivered almonds


In a saucepan add the ghee and roast the dal till it turns pink and golden. Then add about 2 cups of water and let it cook. Moong dal cooks fast so this should be done in 20 minutes. mash the cooked dal well. To this add the jaggery and the coconut milk and bring it t a boil. Be careful to keep stirring the mixture to avoid curdling. Once it comes to a boil, get it on medium heat and let it simmer till the jaggery is melted and the mixture is all incorporated well. To this add the saffron and cardamom powder.
Fry the cashews, almonds and raisins in some ghee and add it to the kheer as garnish.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cream of Tomato Soup


4 plump and big tomatoes
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 inch piece of ginger
1 celery stick
1 small carrot
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kashmiri chilli powder 9you can add more if you want it spicy)
salt to taste
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk
croûtons for garnish
heavy cream (optional)


Cube the tomatoes, onions, celery and carrots. Roughly chop the garlic and ginger. Put all these ingredients in a pressure cooker along with 3 cups of water and let it cook for about 2 whistles. When the pressure is released - Using a hand blender blend the mixture well. Strain the mixture and let it stand.
In a saucepan/soup pot add the butter. When the butter melts, add the flour and mix well. Do not let the flour burn - just let it cook for about 5 minutes. Then add milk and keep stirring continuously. When the roux comes to a boil add the strained tomato mixture and stir continuously while doing so - else clumps will form. Bring the soup to a boil. Add salt to taste and sugar and chilli powder. Once it boils - cover the mixture and let it simmer on medium low heat for about 15 minutes. Add some heavy cream if desired. Serve hot in soup bowls and garnish with croûtons.



For 1 glass of falooda
4 tablespoons Rose syrup
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons basil seeds (tukmariya/subza) - soaked in water
2 tablespoons vermicelli - cooked as per instructions on packet
4 scoops vanilla ice-cream (you could add more or less as per your liking)
2 tablespoons of jelly - tutti fruti flavour (optional)


In a tall glass - first add the rose syrup, to this add the basil seeds then the vermicelli and milk. Top it with ice-cream and if you like some nice tutti fruti jelly.
Give a long spoon while serving.
Just before eating - mix everything well and savor the falooda.

Dum Mutton Biryani

Yesterday was our wedding anniversary. Wow! 4 years of married bliss. Since we had no plans to go out (hubby was working the entire day) - I wanted to make it special. Well, we decided to make this biryani - something that I had cooked for him the very first time ever...... when we were the bestest of friends. We had store bought pastries for dessert.


For Marinade and cooking the meat
2 pounds mutton (goat meat/lamb meat)
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup cilantro chopped
9 flakes garlic
7 to 8 green chilis - you can add more to make it spicy
1 inch ginger piece
1 onion - thinly sliced
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon salt

For Curry
5 medium onions - thinly sliced
2 tomatoes - pureed
2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste
2 tablespoons dhania jeera powder
1 tablespoon garam masala powder
1 teaspoon tandoori masala
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon kashmiri chilli powder
1/2 cup oil
salt to taste

For Rice
2 cups basmati rice
a pinch of saffron strands (roughly around 10 to 11 strands)
2 tablespoons ghee/clarified butter
8 to 9 cloves
6 green cardamoms
2 inch cinnamon stick
2 bay laves
1 star anise
2 black cardamoms (badi elaichi)
salt to taste

For garnish (optional - but, looks good)
thinly sliced onion - fried till brown
mint leaves - fried
cashews - fried
raisins - fried


Cooking the meat
Clean the mutton pieces well. Grind to a paste the cilantro, ginger, garlic and green chillies. Add the ground masala to the yogurt and with salt and mix well. Add the mutton pieces to this mixture and let it sit for about 2 hours. The more you leave to marinate the better. I left it in the refrigerator overnight.
In a pressure cooker add the oil. When it gets hot, add the 1 sliced onion and fry till golden brown. To this add the marinated meat and mix well. Do not add any water. Cook it on pressure till about 4 whistles. Let the meat sit in there.

Cooking the curry
In a Karahi add the half cup oil. Then add the sliced onions and fry till they are golden brown. To this add the pureed tomato and the ginger garlic paste. fry this mixture well, till it leaves the sides of the pan. Add the dhania jeera powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and tandoori masala and mix well. Do not add water - we need this gravy to be thick. To this add the mutton pieces from the cooker. Add all the juices too - you may see some water here as cooked meat oozes some water. Mix everything well, add salt to taste and bring this mixture to a boil. Then cover it and let it simmer on medium low heat for about 15 minutes.

Cooking the rice
Wash the basmati rice well and then soak it in water for about an hour. For 2 cups of rice - add about 5 cups of water. Add salt to taste and let it cook. Keep checking as this should be about 3/4th cooked and not cooked through. When its 3/4th cooked - drain out the extra water. Take about 4 tablesppons of rice in a plate and add the saffron strands to it. Mix the rice around so that it gets the color from the saffron. Be careful to do this gently as we do not want the rice to break. Add this saffron rice back to the entire rice bowl and mix it around gently.
In a small karahi add the ghee. When it gets hot, get it off the heat and add the cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, black cardamom, bay leaf, star anise and let it simmer in the ghee.

Making layers & cooking on dum (in its own steam)
In a flat bottom utensil star making layers. First add some curry and make a think layer on the bottom - then add the rice on top of it - to this add some of the ghee and the whole spice mix - add the curry with some pieces on top- make sure to cover all the rice - then add a layer of rice, followed by the ghee and spice mix and followed by the meat curry. Make about 2 to 3 such layers and remember the last/top layer should be rice. Cover it with a lid and seal the lid with some wheat flour dough - this is done so that no steam escapes and the whole biryani is cooked in its own steam. Keep a tava/flat griddle on the stove and on top of it this utensil with the layers and let it cook on a medium/low flame for about 45 minutes to an hour.

Serving & Garnishing
When you are ready to serve, open the lid and mix the layers very gently. Top it with the fired onions, mint leaves, cashews and raisins and serve with raita. You can make some extra curry and serve it on the side with the biryani too.
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