Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fish Biriyani

I've never made fish Biriyani before and this is my first attempt. I found this much easier than other biriyanis since fish cooks really fast and takes little time. Here's how I made it.

Fish Marinade:
Tilapia – 3 lbs
Yogurt –1/2 cup
Fish Biriyani Masala – 4 Tbsp
Chilli powder – 3 tsp
Lemon Juice – 2tsp
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Curry powder – 3 tsp
Coriander Powder – 3 tsp
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Ginger garlic Paste – 1 Tbsp

For Biriyani:
Mint Leaves – ½ bunch
Cilantro, chopped - handful
Basmati Rice – 3 cups
Water – 4 ½ cups
Cloves - 4
Cinnamon – 4
Cardamon – 2
Star Anise – 2
Bay Leaves – 2
Onions – 2 large
Tomatoes – 1
Ginger garlic Paste – 1 Tbsp
  1. Marinate fish with all the ingredients from the marinade above for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Cook rice in the rice cooker with little oil, salt and half of all the spices above: 2 cloves, 2 cinnamons, 1 cardamom, 1 Anise, 1 Bayleaf
  3. In a large skillet, add oil and once it heats up, add all the remaining spices.
  4. Add the onions and fry until brown, add 1 tbsp of ginger garlic paste and sauté until the smell goes.
  5. Add tomatoes, mint leaves, cilantro and the marinated fish mixture and add heat it medium flame until the gravy thickens up and the fish is all cooked.
  6. Adjust salt and other spices to taste.
  7. Once rice is cooked, spread it in a large vessel and let it cool.
  8. Remove fish curry from flame and mix with rice without breaking the fish.
Serve with raitha.

Dal Makhani

Dal Makhani is one of my favorite and easy recipes that I make very often.


Onion, diced – 1 medium
Masoor Dal – 2 cups
Tomato, diced – 1 medium
Garlic, minced – 4 cloves
Ginger Garlic paste – ½ Tbsp
Cilantro, chopped – 2 tsp
Green chillies – 2 nos
Water – 6 cups
Butter – 1 Tbsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch

For Masala:
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Chilli powder – 3 tsp
Curry powder – 3 tsp
Turmeric – 1 tsp
Dal Makhani Masala – 3 tsp (optional)
Salt, to taste

For Tadka:
Jeera – 1 tsp
Curry Leaves – 6 nos
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Urad dal – 2 tsp

  1. Take a pressure cooker and add dal, onions, green chillies, garlic, ginger garlic paste, tomato, asafoetida and all the masalas. Add water and cook for 3-4 whistles until well cooked.
  2. Once the pressure goes off, take the lid, add butter and adjust salt and masalas according to taste and cook in medium heat until desired consistency.
  3. In a small pan, add oil and heat. Add mustard seeds and when it pops, add jeera, urad dal and curry leaves.
  4. Add the tadka and cilantro to dal and remove from heat.

Garlic Butter Pasta

I always experiment with different varieties of pasta..and here is my recent favorite..


For Chicken:
Bread crumbs - 3/4 cup
Egg, beaten - 1
Boneless Chicken Breast/thighs - 3 nos
Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 3-4 Tbsp
For Pasta:
Garlic cloves, minced - 3 nos
Pappardelle pasta - 1/2 pack
Parsley, chopped - handful
Parmesan cheese - 1/4 cup
Salt and Pepper - for taste
Butter - 4 Tbsp
Veggies, optional

 Cooking Chicken:
  1. Take 2 bowls, one with breadcrumbs and one with beaten egg.
  2. In a freezer bag, put the chicken piece and bash it with rolling pin until flattened out. Put some flour into the bag and shake to coat chicken.
  3. Take the chicken and dip in the egg, and then in the bread crumbs and keep aside.
  4. In a Skillet, add olive oil and heat over medium heat and add the chicken in a single layer and cook until browned on both sides for 2-3 minutes each side.
Cooking Pasta:
  1. Take a large saucepan and bring to boil 3-4 cups of water. Add salt, little olive oil and pasta and let it cook for 15-20 mins until cooked. This pasta takes more time than others in general
  2. Meanwhile, in a skillet, add butter, and when melted, add garlic and parsley and cook over medium heat until garlic is lightly browned.
  3. Add salt and pepper and add the chicken cut into thin strips.
  4. Drain pasta and reserve 1 cup of water.
  5. Add pasta to the skillet, top with parmesan and mix.
 This is a yummy pasta for children and adults that can be customized with meat or veggies and any kind of pasta based on your taste. I added some peas and carrots for my daughter. You can even add leftover chicken, fish or shrimp.

Onion Bhajji

Onions - 2 large
Besan/Gram flour - 1/2 cup
Rice flour - 6 Tbsp
All purpose flour - 4 Tbsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder - 2 tsp
Asafoetida - 2 Pinch
Salt to taste
Orange food color, Optional
Cornmeal, Optional

  1. Cut onions into thin round slices..The thinner the crispier!
  2. Mix all the above ingredients with water to make a thick batter like consistency.
  3. Heat oil in a wok/kadai and when oil is hot enough to fry slowly drop the bhajjis and deep fry.
These bajjis came out very crispy. To experiment, I added cornmeal to a little bit of the batter at the end with left over onions and it turned out good. It was crispy with a grainy texture. You can make single thick onion rings with it!!
I used to call this last set of bajjis that my mom used to make with left over onions, KachaMucha bajji (Haphazard bajji) :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Strawberry Cake

Fruit cake recipe

This is  an interesting cake recipe I learnt from a friend’s mother my freshman year in college. It uses no oil or shortening of any kind and it still turn out moist.

Things Needed:

6 eggs
1 and a quarter cups flour or a coffee cup of flour
1 and a quarter cups sugar or coffee cup of sugar
Two tables spoons confectioner's sugar
1.5 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 box strawberries
2 teaspoons vinegar
2 teaspoons baking powder

Mix the eggs, sugar and flour and vanilla extract into a batter. It helps to add the egg, flour and sugar little by little into a bowl instead of mixing all of it at once. In a small cup, mix the vinegar and baking powder .. it will fizz. Then add it to the cake batter and mix it in. Immediately pour the batter into a 9 inch cake pan or two round cake pans ( I used two round pans). Wait for about 5 minutes. The vinegar baking powder mixture will make the batter bubble. Bake for 45 mins at 325 F or till a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean.

Frosting and Layering
Cool the cake and remove from pan. To decorate slice each cake into two layers. Take the whipping cream and add the confectioner’s sugar to it. Then whip using an electric blender till the heavy cream has a spreadable consistency ~ AKA  till stiff peaks form.

Slice strawberries lengthwise and keep aside.

Pick a tray to serve the cake in and place one of the four layers of cake it with the crumby side down. Spead a quarter of the whipping cream on the layer and add bits of strawberry to the layer. Save the bigger pieces for the uppermost layer. Repeat this two more times with two more layers. For the uppermost layer, spread the whipped cream and arrange the bigger strawberry slices in circles or any way you fancy. If any cream is left over, the sides of the cake can also be frosted. Other fruits like banana and orange can also be used. Chill overnight and serve.  

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Grilled vegetable burrito -Desi Style

Hi my first contribution to  the Happiest Kitchen!!

Encouraged by the previous exciting recipes posted here I am planning on posting tonight's dinner.

My attempt was to experiment with vegetables that are too little for elaborate dish and too young to go to crapper. I mean who throws away tomatoes if you don't see white stuff on it really ?;)

So I have green pepper, tomatoes, onions and jalapenos in my burrito tonight.

I marinated them an hour prior with yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, crushed mint, barely two drops of lemon concentrate and Spicy tandoori masala powder (usually used for meats ).

I grilled the above after spraying some oil for 30 mins at 350 Degrees.

Wheat rotis from indian store forms the base. I have sprinkled some mozarella (made from 2% milk)on top of this mix of vegetables quick spray of oil and grill it for 15 mins for hot desi style grilled vegetable burrito/wrap!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fish Tikka Masala

I've heard so much about Vahrewah chef recipes and videos..Somehow never tried any of it..I am a little lazy at watching videos..
But while looking for fish tikka masala, I found this recipe for chicken tikka masala from Vahrewah chef.

My substitutes:
Chicken - Fish, any meat (I didn't have chicken)
Methi powder: Kasthuri methi leaves
Cream - 2% Milk

I also added curry powder and a little bit of chicken masala worrying if it would not turn out to be tasty..You can add a little bit of tikka masala if you have too..I dint have any.
Even though he says cream is optional I think it would add a lot of consistency to the gravy. But I used a cup of 2% milk to make more gravy and it worked pretty well. If you want to make it look like restaurant style, I would suggest adding cream.

My husband loved this curry and made me promise to make it another time.. :)

Roasted Vegetable Pesto Sandwich

Generally I love paninis. I do have a panini maker at home..but you can simply make paninis even without will only miss grill marks..not a big deal. This is the recipe I followed pretty much..As usual I did add a few things of my own.

I did not have all the ingredients. So here are my substitutes:
Eggplant, Zuccini - Squash, any vegetable
Baguette - Ciabatta or any bread. (I love ciabatta)
Fresh Mozzarella - shredded mozzarella
Roasted red peppers - I grilled bell peppers along with other veggies.

In addition to the recipe I also added grilled chicken to the sandwich. I gotta have some meat :)

For grilled chicken:
Minced garlic - 4 cloves
Italian seasoning - 2tsp
Red pepper flakes - 1tsp
Paprika/Chilli powder - 1tsp
Oil - 2tsp
Salt, to taste

Mix all the ingredients above and rub it on the chicken and grill the chicken, if possible in the griddle or panini maker on 350 deg until chicken browns up.
If you don't have a griddle, simply pan fry or bake the chicken in the oven.
Cool the chicken and cut into strips easy enough to layer in the sandwich.

Fish Manchurian

This recipe again, is a mixture of a few manchurian recipes I liked...
In India, I was never a big fan of fish because of the bones! But, I always liked to order fish at restaurants because they were boneless and yummy..very different from the ones made at home.
So, this is my attempt of a healthy fish manchurian.

Fish Marinade:
Tilapia/catfish - 2 lbs
All purpose flour - 3 Tbsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1 Tbsp
Cornflour - 2 Tbsp
Lemon juice - 2 Tbsp
Chilli powder - 2 tsp
Egg whites - 2
Salt, to taste
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp

For Gravy:
Bell peppers,chopped - 1 no
Onion, diced - 1 no
Green chili, long slices - 3 nos
Spring/green onions, chopped - ¼ cup
Garlic, minced - 2 tsp
Ginger, minced - 2 tsp
Green chili sauce - 1 Tbsp
Soy sauce,dark - 3 Tbsp
Sugar - ¼ tsp
Red chili sauce - 1 tbsp
Oil - 1tbsp
Salt, to taste - ¼ tsp
Water - 2 cups
Corn flour - 2 Tbsp

  1. Marinate the fish with all the contents from the above marinade list and keep aside for 30 mins.
  2. Preheat the oven for 350 degrees and bake the fish for 20 minutes until it browns up a little. You can pan fry or deep fry the fish if you like.
  3. In a skillet or pan, add oil, onions, bell peppers, green chillies, ginger, garlic, salt and sugar and heat in high flame.
  4. Once cooked, add the soy sauce, green and red chilli sauces.
  5. Mix the corn flour with water to make a solution. Pour this over the veggies.
  6. Simmer and let the gravy thicken for a few mins.
  7. Add fish to the gravy and heat up in low flame for 2-3 mins.
This will be great with chapatis, parathas or rice.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Spinach Mixed Veg Rice

My toddler is becoming a very picky eater these days..and making her eat anything is a struggle..One of our good friends makes coriander rice during get togethers and my daughter gulped that without any fight..since then I've been trying different kinds of rice varieties for her and she likes those mixed rice varieties a lot, apparently. So I attempted making Spinach Mixed vegetable rice which was a success!!
I like trying new recipes and I sometimes google before I start cooking, for any ideas..And of course, I did find some recipes with Spinach mixed veg rice..but I like taking bits and pieces of several recipes and trying out my own!


Mixed Vegetables, frozen - 1 lb
Onion - 1
Cumin seeds - 1tsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1tbsp
Chilli powder - 1tsp
Sambar powder - 3tsp
Jeera powder - 1tsp
Garam masala - 1tsp
Curry powder - 2 tsp
Sabji masala - 2tsp (optional)
Salt for taste
Spinach, frozen - 2 cups
Coconut, frozen shredded - 2/3 tbsp
Spices - 1 cardamom, 2 cinnamon sticks, 3 cloves, 1 anise
Basmati Rice - 2 1/2 cups

  1. Cook rice in a rice cooker with a tbsp of oil and all the spices with 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 cups water depending on how well you want the rice to be cooked.
  2. In a large pan, heat very little oil and add frozen spinach and blanch it until thawed and until the raw smell goes away.
  3. Transfer spinach to a mixer or food processor and leave it to cool down. Add thawed frozen coconut to this and keep aside. Once cooled down, make a puree out of this.
  4. In the same pan, heat 2tbsp of oil and add the cumin and onions. As soon as the onions are translucent, add ginger garlic paste and sauté until the raw smell goes away.
  5. Add Mixed vegetables and let it cook with a covered lid for a few minutes in medium flame.
  6. Add all the masalas - sambar powder, jeera powder, chill power, garam masala, curry powder, sabji masala, salt and cook until the vegetables are soft.
  7. Add the spinach-coconut puree to the vegetables and sauté for a few more minutes.
  8. Discard the spices from the rice and add the cooked rice to the vegetables and sauté for a few mins until well mixed.
Serve hot with raita or papad. I found this the best way to get my daughter to eat all the greens and vegetables. Anything processed or pureed, she won't have a choice to separate it out :)