Coconut milk biryani with baby potato curry

A long time ago I read through an eye-opening piece of information published in almost all the newspapers & magazines about the special menu meticulously planned by the top chefs to ease the tension during the talks between Indian premier & Pakistan president at Agra summit in 2001. It made me to realize for the…

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Saffron Rice

Sweet saffron rice (zarda pulao) is a Persian rice dish, and it was the most sought-after pulao among the royals during the Mughal era dated back to 16th century. Noor Jahan, the multi-talented Mughal empress, devised new techniques to stain rice grains with edible dyes. Zarda pulao was made using such rice grains of various…

Faux Mutton Biryani

Born into a family of vegetarians I am totally clueless about the flavors of meat of any kind and hence I used to wonder what makes people to have cravings for meat. So I have been looking for vegetable substitutes for meat, and then started trying out the most popular meat-based recipes like biryani, kebab,…

Paneer Dum Biryani

Biryani is a medley of rice, vegetables (or meat) & spices and it is a popular rice dish in India, Srilanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and other countries in south Asia & central Asia. Traditionally biryani is cooked over hot coal in a sealed cooking pot allowing the aroma of spices permeated into the vegetables & rice…

Peas Pulao

Peas pulao is a delicious and aromatic rice dish and can be prepared in a jiffy. Peas pulao can be served with any spicy vegetable gravy or dal and also be packed for children’s lunch. Time taken : 15 min Serves : 2 Ingredients: Basmati rice – ½ cup Water – 1 cup Fresh peas – ¼…

Aadi Perukku

Aadi Perukku is a festival of fertility & prosperity celebrated in south India for over 500 years. It was mentioned in Sangam Tamil literature, Paripadal, written in the 14th century about the celebration of this festival. I like to quote a few lines from Paripadal so that we could comprehend how aadiperukku was celebrated in…

Tamarind Rice

Puliyodarai, a traditional rice dish, stays good & tastes divine even if it is kept without being refrigerated for 3 or 4 days.  My mother used to say that her grandfather always preferred to carry puliyodharai while traveling in bullock cart for all their family trips. Puliyodharai served to devotees in temples is one of…

Sweet Pongal

Preparing Sweet Pongal used to be a difficult task for me when I started cooking, it took really a long time for me to meet my expectation of making sakkarai pongal similar to the one served in temples. So here is my recipe that I learnt after several futile attempts: Time Taken: 40 min Serves:…

Chitrannam

Chitrannam is a platter of different rice varieties usually prepared on the Aadiperukku day, ie. the 18th day of Aadi month in the Tamil calendar. It is believed that whatever we do on that day would grow manifold, so farmers used to sow their seeds expecting a good yield. It is also believed to be…

Blackgram Rice with Sesame Chutney

Ulundham Paruppu Sadham (Black gram rice) is a unique rice prepared by people in Tirunelveli, a southern town of Tamilnadu. Sesame chutney is similar to Mediterranean Tahini sauce and is an essential side served with black gram rice. We usually serve this nutritious meal to young girls during their cycle every month. Although we prepare this meal specially…

Seeraga Samba Biryani with Brinjal Thokku

Interestingly Indian Biryani & Italian Risotto share some similarities: Seeraga samba rice & arborio rice are of same texture and they are cooked al dente in both the recipes. Seeraga samba rice is a quintessential ingredient of biryani in south India for its wonderful flavor, it also absorbs the flavors of all the spices used…

Pigeon Peas and Rice

Thuvaram paruppu sadham (rice with split pigeon peas) is a traditional flavorful one-pot meal popular in Tirunelveli. I usually prepare our favorite thuvaram paruppu sadam for lunch on a lazy weekend as it does not require much of a planning. Besides I can serve this rice simply as a meal along with appalam or papadam (sun-dried…

Citrus Rice

Citrus boosts immunity, energy & mood and aids in detoxification & digestion. This was one of the reasons that lemon rice was traditionally prepared & packed for short travels. Citrus Rice is a healthy non-sticky easy-to-prepare rice dish and hence can be used for packing children’s lunch box also. Recently I bought unripe citrons (naarthai)…

Soy Biryani

Generally vegetable biryani served in restaurants are greasy, overly spiced, and made of semi-cooked rice tossed with few vegetables. Hence I prefer to make simple flavorful delicious vegetable biryani at home, and I like to add textured soya for making protein-rich delicious biryani. Soy biryani is a wholesome meal and is usually served with refreshing…

Grandma’s One-pot Meal

Kootanchoru is a traditional one-pot meal prepared for lunch by my maternal grandmother at our family gatherings especially in the summer vacation every year. She used to prepare this flavorful rice dish with locally grown vegetables like drumsticks, drumstick leaves, raw banana, raw mango, jackfruit seeds, etc. and she served us kootan-choru with home-made fried…