Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hyderabadi Mutton Biryani

I am not a true hyderabadi as in I was not born in Hyderabad, India. I was actually born in the US. However this recipe

True hyderabadi biryani involves a lengthy process where meat is tenderized or marinated in spices and ginger and garlic and then layered with uncooked. White rice and cooked in a pot over the stove
Sometimes it is baked in the oven.

This is my version which is much easier where e meat is already cooked. Beforehand This ensures that you don't have to worry about you meat being uncooked
Where you have to check it and recheck

I prefer this version.
So although I don't prefer this type of biryani I do like to make it sometimes as it holds true to my culture
 the taste of cumin and coriander is predominant in hyderabadi biryani a and is. To very spicy as well. Hyderabadi biryani is not very spicy also.
 Most of the times a spicy chutney or salaan is accompanied with it which like bhaghara Bhaigan or tomatoe chutney.

It was indeed a robust meal. Served along with appetizers - potatoe stuffed spring rolls, lentil pakodis, raita and tomatoe chutney, and tandoori chicken.

For great biryanis it is imperative that your rice comes out perfectly. Therefore choosing the the best kind of long grain rice is in order. I prefer Tilda brand rice.

Hyderabadi Biryani Ingredients:

Serves 8-10 people
2 pounds mutton (with bone preferrably) cut into medium sized pieces
3 large onions chopped lenthwise very finely
1/2 cup chopped cilantro and mint
3 tablespoons ginger and garlic paste
3 medium serrano green chilis chopped in halves
3 tsp red chili powder
2 tsps tumeric
1.5 tablespoon garam masala
1.5 cup yoghurt
salt to taste
For rice:
5 cups long grain rice
3 tsps shah zeera (black cumin)
1/2 tablespoon salt

For garnish:

Saffron threads dissolved in milk
1/2 cup chopped cilantro and mint
Few drops of ghee or clarified butter
Food coloring (optional)

In a large pressure cooker add onion in two tablespoons oil. Let it become golden brown. After reserve aside half for garnish later. Add ginger and garlic paste, cilantro and mint, tumeric, red chili powder, and garam masala powder. Cook the spice a little, then add meat. Fry on high heat for 5 minutes. Add yoghurt, mix and add green chilis. Add enough water to cover meat. Pressure cook until meat is almost tender. Make sure there is not too much water. There should be a thick gravy.

Soak rice for 30 minutes. After, cook rice in abundant water along with shah zeera and salt. After rice comes to a boil (rice must be 'dancing') drain water and set aside.

Preheat oven to 360 degrees Fareinheit.

In a large metal non stick pan layer rice at bottom, layer with meat and gravy, then rice again. Garnish with mint, cilantro, milk, and drops of ghee. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Serve hot with yoghurt accompaniment or tomatoe chutney.

Stuffed Dates for your next iftar party

Ramadan Mubarak! Here is a great way to fancy up your dates, these are delicious and simple appetizers.


For approximately 22 dates

medjool dates

1 cup whipping cream (heavy or light, your preference)


Slit each date in half and remove pits. Whip cream and put in a piping bag or a ziplock bag; pipe a spoonfull of cream into each date. Top with a pistachio. Delicious!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dahi Vada

Dahi Vadas are a tasty snack, they are fried lentil patties dipped in cool creamy yoghurt, garnished with paprika and a tempering of mustards seeds. These are great appetizers for a dinner party. I had to make a huge batch of these for a potluck. They turned out great.

2 cups mash ki dal
3 green chilis
2 cups yoghurt
2 tsps sugar
1 tsp cumin powder
For tempering:
Rye seeds
dried red chilis
Soak mash dal in water for a couple of hours. After remove excess water and grind to a smooth texture along with green chilis. Batter must be thick. Prepare oil in fryer. Oil must be medium to high heat. While it is heating get a container and add water. Fry lentil balls until golden brown. Once Vadas are cooked soak in water. Remove each and squeeze out excess water. This process helps the vadas to be softened. Prepare yoghurt- add sugar, and salt, and cumin. Drop each vada in yoghurt. Mix around until yoghurt saturates vadas.
In a seperate pan heat 2 tsps oil. Add rye and red chilis. After rye crackles- turns grayish pour over vadas. Dahi vada is ready. Tastes best when chilled.

This is also my first entry to the Hyderabadi Ramadan Food Festival 2010 hosted on

Friday, August 13, 2010

FANTASTIC Tandoori Chicken

According to wikipedia the history of Tandoori chicken lies with a man named Kundan Lal Gujral, who ran a restaurant called Moti Mahal in Peshawar before the partition of British India. Trying out new recipes to keep his patrons interested, Gujral tried cooking chicken in tandoors (clay ovens) used by locals until then to cook naan bread. The tandoors are bell-shaped ovens, set into the earth and fired with wood or charcoal reaching temperatures of about 480 degrees. Gujral was able to cook the tender chickens in these ovens making them succulent inside and crispy outside.

After the partition he moved his restaurant to Delhi in a place called Daryaganj.

The Tandoori chicken at Moti Mahal so impressed the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaral Nehru, that he made it a regular at official banquets. Visiting dignitaries that enjoyed Tandoori Chicken included, US presidents John F. Kennedy, and Richard Nixon, Soviet leaders Nikolai Bulganin, Nikita Kruchev, the King of Nepal and the Shah of Iran.

Ok history aside, there are soo many tandoori chicken recipes out there, I've tried them all but none comes close to this one. And all thanks goes to vah chef, Mr Sanjay Thumma for this awesome deeeelicious tandoori chicken recipe. In this recipe you dont have even use a charcoal grill, simply a conventional oven will the last minutes of cooking the chicken I put the oven on broil so the outside crisps up beautifully.....
You will need:

3 chicken legs and thighs (not separated)
3 tablespoons thick yogurt- greek yoghurt is great for this
1 tsp coriander seeds, dry roasted and ground
1 tsp cumin seeds, dry roasted and ground
1/2 tsp finely grounded black pepper
1 tsp methi powder (dried fenugreek leaves finely ground)
1 tsp garam masala powder
freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 tablespoons
11/2 tablespoon red chili powder
1 1/2 tsps ginger/garlic paste
red food coloring (optional)

There are two marinades for this chicken. In the first one youll need to combine 1/2 tablespoon chili powder, one tablespoon lemon juice and salt.

Wash chicken and pat dry. Cut gashes along the meatiest parts of chicken. Marinate chicken where the cuts are made with first marinade and set aside for 30 minutes.

Combine yoghurt, garam masala, pepper powder, cumin, coriander, red chili powder, kasuri methi, salt, ginger and garlic paste. Add food coloring if using and oil at the very end. Combine well. Marinate chicken in this for up to 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 420 F.

Cut a large onion into thinly slices rings. Place each ring in roasting chicken pan. Place chicken ontop of onion rings. Bake for 25 minutes.

Now put your oven on broil. Bake chicken for 10-15 more minutes. Turn off oven and let chicken rest for few minutes. Take out and put on serving plate.

Garnish with freshly cut lemon wedges and onions rings. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mullangi Curry (Radish Curry) w/ Mutton

Radishes contain a lot of water. They are a good source of

This is a unique dish which I concocted for my husband because he used to eat this when he lived in India. Normally white radish is used, but red radishes can be used as well.

for this curry I used--

6-8 medium sized red radishes washed and trimmed
cut into small discs (or whatever way you prefer)
1/2 lb mutton (goat or lamb meat)
1/2 medium onion chopped
1/2 tsp tumeric
1 tsp red chili
2 tsps coriander
2 tablepsoons plain yoghurt
2 tsps ginger and garlic paste
1 tsp mustard seeds
salt to taste

Cook mutton in pressure cooker until soft. Reserve aside. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a small pressure cooker. Add mustard seeds and let it crackle. Throw in onions and saute until onions are golden brown. Add ginger and garlic paste and tumeric. Add red chili powder and coriander. Add radish and fry on high heat for five minutes. Add cooked mutton. Add in yoghurt. Add some water. Let it cook on simmer for 15 minutes or until radish is soft yet still crunchy. Serve with plain rice or bread.