Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Garlic Tomato Rice Bowl

It is too hot today, it reminds me  of an Indian summer :(

I was away from home for 3-4 days and we had great time with our friends. Whenever we have travel plans, my food choices became limited, but now there are no worries because you can find vegetarian options, vegan meal, and healthy food everywhere. My husband always picks a restaurant where I can get vegetarian food or vegan food easily. We went to Cactus Club Cafe few times and I just loved the food. I was looking at the menu and I found fajitas and I just loved it! Black beans, salsa, grilled vegetables and more and I asked them to eliminate chicken. Also, you can have the jambalaya rice bowl too.

Mostly we all love rice, in different preparations or just by itself. I always try to create rice recipes and this one is our favorite. I used garlic mostly in all curries and in all spicy dishes to get the best aroma and taste and also garlic is healthy too.

Cancer , Interrupted: Garlic & Flavonoids

Garlic Tomato Rice Bowl

 Ingredients (serves 5):

1 1/2 cup long grain basmati rice
1/2 teaspoon shahi jeera
3 pods of black cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 cup tomato puree
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
11/2 tablespoon garlic paste
1/4 cup onion finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon spring onion
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder


  1. Wash rice 2-3 times with water and soak in water for 30 minutes in medium sized pot.
  2. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, shahi jeera and cardamom in soaked rice.
  3. In small pan heat 2 1/2 tablespoon of oil at medium heat .
  4. Add cumin seeds and add chopped onion. Saute onion for 5-6 minutes until onion becomes light brown. Lower the heat.
  5. Add garlic paste and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add tomato puree, 1/2 teaspoon salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder, cilantro and stir well for 6-7 minutes.
  7. Let it cool down and set aside.
  8. Now boil rice at medium high heat and add 1/2 tablespoon oil.
  9. After 15-17 minutes check if rice is almost done but should not be over cooked.
  10. Drain excess water through sieve and let rice cool for 5 minutes.
  11. Mix rice and tomato mixture well and heat for 5 more minutes to incorporate well.
  12. Serve in serving bowl and garnished with spring onion.

This is what I like to order  from Cactus Club Cafe menu:

Jambalaya rice bowl


Friday, July 25, 2014

Chicken Biryani

Lots of spices are used in this dish but it is worth it to take some effort to make it.
The spices and condiments used in biryani may include ghee (clarified butter), nutmeg, mace, pepper, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, coriander, mint leaves, ginger, onions, and garlic nuts, resins but the main ingredient is saffron... my favorite one :)

This dish can be made with vegetables, chicken,meat, shrimp, pork, or even only with nuts. Biryani is served with yogurt, paratha, naan, boiled eggs, raiyta, curry, or korma.

So what are you waiting for? Lets start!!!!

Vegetable Biryani

Ingredient: (serve 7-8)

3 cups Basmati Rice  
1 kg Chicken (chicken thigh or drum stick) 
1/4 Teaspoons Turmeric  
Salt  To Taste
1 Tablespoons Ginger-Garlic Paste 
1/2 Tablespoons Cumin Powder  
1/2 Tablespoons Coriander Powder 
2 Tablespoons Red Chilly Powder 
1/2 cup Fried Onions (I used Exotic brand) 
2-3 pieces Mace  
2 Teaspoons Shahi Jeera  
5-6 Green Cardamom  
4-5 Cloves  
2 pieces 2" long Cinnamon Sticks  
Bay Leaf 
1 Cup Yogurt
1/2 cup Coriander Chopped  
1/2 cup Mint Chopped  
4-5 Green Chilly lengthwise cut  
1/2 Cup Oil  
2 Tablespoons Lime Juice
2 Tablespoons Clarified butter(ghee) 
8-10 strands Saffron 
2 Tablespoon Milk 


If you want to make Vegetable Biryani:

Use Listed Ingredients above with these vegetable or your choice of vegetables.

1/3 cup Carrot cut in small pieces 
1/3 cup Potatoes cut in small pieces 
1/3 cup Coli flower small floaters 
1/4 cup Red Onion julians  
1/3 cup Green Peas 
1/3 cup or less Golden Raisin
1/3 cup Cashew nuts (I used Costco's salted cashews) 


1) First make a powder of all the spices (shahi jeera, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf) by roasting them at low medium heat for 6-7 

2) Take a bowl, add chicken pieces and add ground spices powder , chilly powder, ginger garlic paste, turmeric, salt, coriander powder, curd, chopped mint leaves, coriander leaves, fried onions, green chilly, lime juice, oil, and mix it well, and put it in the refrigerator over night.

3) Soak the rice for 30 minutes. Heat water in a vessel and let it come to a boil add oil, salt,    Shahi jeera, bay leaf and add basmati rice 

4) Cook the rice till it is 3/4 cooked. Don't cook them fully.

5) Heat non stick wide pan at medium heat. Add layer of marinated chicken, spread it          evenly in pan.

6) Make layer of 70-75% cooked rice on top of the chicken. Make sure some of the water      should come with rice to cook chicken. Don't drain all of the water from the rice.

7) Sprinkle fried onions.

8) Add dissolved saffron strands in milk , then add ghee (optional) and put the lid on to cover pan tightly.

9) First cook it on high for first 4-5 minutes then reduce the flame to low, And cook it for 25 to 30 min and switch off the flame.

10) Never mix the biryani just check it by removing the top layer of rice and check if chicken is cooked properly.

11) Serve hot with coriander as a garnish.


If you want to make Vegetable biryani:

  1. Follow the same procedure and marinate all vegetables instead of chicken and keep them in refrigerator for 2-3 hrs.
  2. When you heat the pan add 1/2 tablespoon ghee and add rasins and cashews and saute them until raisins get puffed. Then add a marinated vegetables layer then a rice layer.
  3. Sprinkle half fried onions, coriander and chopped mint, 1 tablespoon ghee, then make another layer of vegetables then rice and sprinkle fried onion, coriander and mint.
  4. Add rest of the ghee on rice and cover with lid and cook for 20 mins until vegetables cooked.
  5. Serve hot.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Mango Kulfi

This has been a long awaited post! Mangoes... who says no to mangoes?! No one! My family just loves mangoes and I love to make so many different varieties of food with the use of mangoes. I bought a box of mangoes from Walmart and made mango kulfi for a change. I tried so many times to make kulfi but somehow it was not perfect, but I finally got it right this time. I used mascarpone cheese in my recipe and made another flavor. I will post that soon here. Today I wanted to share this recipe with you all. Hope you will like it and please share your suggestions and tips too!

Ingredients (serves 4):

1 1/2 cup Whipping cream 
1/2 cup Condensed Milk (Eagle Brand)
1/2 cup fresh Mango cut into small pieces
1 slice of whole wheat bread 

  1. On medium heat boil whipping cream and condensed milk for 7-8 minutes.
  2. Let it cool down at room temperature.
  3. Cut the sides of bread and use core of it to make crumbs.
  4. Add bread crumbs into milk mixture and whisk.
  5. In plastic container pour this mixture and freeze it for at least 3 hours.
  6. After 3 hours, take it out and churn it with whisk and add mango pieces.
  7. In four small ramekins pour this kulfi mixture equally.
  8. Cover these ramekins tightly with plastic wrap and then with aluminium foil so it can freeze perfectly without making any ice crystals.
  9. Keep for 8 hours in freezer to chill or over night for best result.
  10. At time of serving take them out of freezer and place in warm water container so you can easily serve.
Wrap up your kulfi ramekins :

We have a farm and in the front yard of our house in India we have mango trees and those mangoes are so sweet and heavenly delicious. I was reading one article and this amazing website dragged me there.

Our farm house and mango trees!!!!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Calamari & Chipotle Dip

Fifa, Wimbledon, and a lovely summer day... perfect way to get back into normal everyday life!
This was my first attempt at making calamari and according to my family I have succeeded at making it!!
It kind of reminds me of when we went to an awesome beach near our house, in India; it was called Khimeshwar. Such a clean beach and definitely a very peaceful place. I had never been there but me and my family loved it.

Chipotle Dip (Make 1/2 cup)

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon minced fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground chipotle chili
Pinch fresh or dried thyme
Pinch ground cumin

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Mix well unto a paste consistency is achieved.
Calamari (serves 4):
250 grams squids
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon black pepper powder
Salt as per taste
1 cup butter milk
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon rice flour
1 teaspoon all purpose flour
Oil to fry


  1. Wash and clean squids properly under water and drain.
  2. To absorb extra water place them on paper towel and cover with paper towel too .
  3. Heat oil in frying pan or fryer at medium high heat.
  4. To prepare batter , add all ingredients in one mixing bowl .
  5. Once oil is properly heated, add squids into batter and fry them as single squid ,so they wont stick with each other.
  6. Fry them until golden brown and place them on paper towel to absorb excess oil.
  7. Serve hot with chipotle sauce and lime. Squeeze lime juice on squid to get extra tangy flavor.