September 26, 2011

Aloo Paratha

Home made aloo parathas are all time favorite for both me and krishna. We both literally missed them for past few months. And finally yesterday we relished our delicious aloo stuffed parathas after a long long time, along with our friends family. The kids also liked them.

Whole wheat flour - 4 cups
Potatoes - 6
Onions - 2
Red chili powder - 2 tsp
coriander powder - 1 tsp
garam masala - 1 tsp
fresh coriander leaves - a handful bunch
oil - 2 tbsp
ghee - 1 tbsp (optional)

1. Add little (1tsp) salt to the flour and knead it into soft dough. Make the dough at least an hour before rolling the parathas.
2. Pressure cook potatoes for 3 whistles. Do not over cook potatoes, they might get mushy.
3. Finely chop onions and coriander leaves.
4. Peel off cooked potatos, mash them without leaving any big lumps. Add chopped onion, coriander, red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala and salt according to taste. Mix well.
5. Make medium-big size balls of this filling. (I usually make orange-sized balls)
6. Make same number of balls from the dough. The size of dough ball should not be bigger than that of filling.

7. Roll the dough ball into flat circle, a little thick not as thin as rotis. Place the potato stuff ball at the center and close the corners of circle to cover the filling.
8. Gently flatten the paratha. Do not try to make it very thin, the filling might come out.

9. Apply few drops of oil on a pan and roast this paratha on medium flame. After a minute turn to the other side and put a little more oil. Press gently on the fried surface with the spatula. Each paratha takes around 4 minutes to get completely done.
10. Smear a dash of ghee or butter on the hot paratha for extra yumm. This is purely optional, so we can diligently skip that part. :D

Enjoy the hot parathas with pickle or curd. :-)

Handy Tips:
 - Do not make the dough too soft like we make for rotis, rolling gets difficult. Add little water at a time and knead.
 - Finely chopped green chilies can be added while making the stuffing to make the parathas more spicy.

September 10, 2011

Prawns Biryani

Saturday we invited a family friends couple for lunch. They are visiting us for the first time. In fact we have not met each other before. So I was not very sure what to prepare for lunch. I know I cannot make an elaborate lunch with a baby and a boy to be taken care of. But at the same time, I could not settle for a single curry with rice. Then the Biryani came to my rescue. I prepared prawns biryani, mutton curry, rasam and rice. It was a hit. With these items we also had another friends' family for lunch which is totally unplanned. Hence, I love the Biryani :-)

I never thought I would learn to prepare biryani with an ease like I did today. It felt quite good as the end product came out tasty and is liked by everyone :-)
There are many versions of prawns biryani available, but the below recipe is what works for me. It's quick and convenient and there is almost zero chance of something going wrong.

Prawns - 250g
Basmati Rice - 3 cups
Onions - 3 medium sized
Tomato - 2 medium sized
Green chillies - 5
Ginger-Garlic paste - 2 tsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Red Chilly powder - 2 tsp

Ghee - 1 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Fresh mint leaves - a handful
Cashew nuts - a handful (soak them in water)
Curd - 1/4 cup

Bay leaves - 3
Start anise - 2
Cardamom - 3
Cinnamon - 2 inch
Clove - 4
Shajeera - 1/4 tsp
Mace - 1/4 tsp

1. Wash and soak rice in warm water for a couple of hours.
2. Chop 1/2 onion length-wise, green chilies and fry in 1/2 tbsp oil and keep aside.
3. In the same pan, add the ghee and fry all the biryani spices and keep aside.
4. Take a thick bottomed pan (I use pressure pan). Add remaining 1 1/2 tbsp oil.
5. Chop the 1 1/2 onion and add to the oil.
6. When onions are caramalized, add ginger-garlic paste and fry for a couple of minutes.
7. Add turmeric powder, salt (just enough for the prawns gravy), red chilly powder, coriander powder and fry for a minute.
8. Add the cleaned prawns, and stir on a medium flame.
9. After a couple of minutes add the finely chopped tomatoes. When the gravy gets thick and starts leaving oil, add the smoothly beaten curd.
10. Add 5 1/2 cups of hot water to the gravy and bring it to boil.
11. Add the fried onions, fried spices, soaked cashews, enough salt for rice.
12. To the boiling water add the soaked basmati rice and close the pan with the lid.
13. Keep high flame for 5 minutes and then medium-low flame for 10 minutes and turn it off.
14. Let it stand for 15 minutes and the yummy biryani is ready to be served.