Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Thalaserry Mutton biriyani

This biriyani is  bit time consuming but if you plan early and do some preps beforehand it can be done in no time..for example you can fry the onions a day before, marinate the mutton etc to make your job easier next day.

What makes this biriyani different is that, it doesn't use red chilli powder, coriander powder etc.The heat comes from green chillies and flavours comes from the green paste, freshly ground biriyani masala and bista/ fried onions.

Usually we make this with Jeerakashala /Kaima rice which I bring from home every year but I have ran out of it and had to use basmathi rice instead.

I have only used very little ghee in this but use as per your taste, also I didn't use saffron water to flavour the rice because none of us in our house like saffron taste in biriyani. Go ahead and use it if you want.

 For Mutton masala
Mutton /lamb– 500 gm ( I used lamb shoulder )
Onion – 4 ( sliced lengthwise)
Tomato – 1

For  Marinade 
Green paste
Green chillies – 10 ( or as per your spice level)
Ginger – Thumb size piece
Garlic – 4-5 cloves 
Coriander leaves (handful)
Mint leaves (handful)

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Yogurt – 5 tbs
Lime juice – 1 tbs

For biriyani  masala powder ( to roast and powder)
Cinnamon stick – 1 inch thick stick
Cloves – 3
Cardamom pods – 3
Bay leaf – 1
Star anise – 1
Peppercorns- 1 tsp
Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
shahi jeera - 1/4 tsp

For Bista and garnish 
Onions - 2-3 medium thinly sliced and fried (reserve a handful for garnishing the rice)

For rice
Biriyani rice/ Jeerakasala rice/ Basmathi rice – 2 cups ( I usually use Jeerakasala rice for all my biriyani's which I bring from Kerala )
Onion – 1 ( thinly sliced)
Water drained from cooked mutton – 2 1/2 cups
Boling water – 1 1/4 cup
Lime juice – 1 tbs
Cinnamon stick – 1
Cardamom – 4 pods
Cloves – 4
Ghee – 1 tbs
Oil – 1 tbs

For garnishing
Fried onions- Handful ( from the reserve)
Cashewnut halves – 2 tbs
Golden raisins – 2 tbs
Ghee – 1 tbs
Coriander leaves


Make a paste of green chillies, ginger , garlic , coriander and mint in a mixie and keep it aside.
Marinate the mutton with above paste along with  turmeric powder, salt, yogurt  and keep it as long as you can(preferably overnight ) or at least for ½ an hour.
Fry the onions for Bista and garnish until golden brown , drain and keep it aside. Reserve a handful aside for garnishing the rice.
In a thick bottomed pressure cooker/ saucepan/ wok add ghee + oil( use the same oil used for frying onions) and sauté the sliced onions until it’s nicely browned.
Add in chopped tomatoes and cook until it’s mushy.
Add the marinated mutton, biriyani masala and fried onions/bista and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup of water and transfer it into a pressure cooker(If u used a different vessel ) and cook  for 4 whistles.
Once the pressure is released drain the 2 1/2 cups of water from mutton and keep it aside.
If there is excess water in the masala, heat it again for 2-3 of minutes to thicken the masala.

Cooking Rice
Soak the rice for ½ an hour, drain completely  and keep it aside to dry.
In a big pan add oil+ ghee and add the whole garam masala and sauté for a minute.
Add in the sliced onions and sauté until soft.
Add the dried rice, salt, lime juice and fry the rice for a minute or so.
Add the mutton stock, remaining water and bring it boil.
Cover and cook the rice until done. Takes about 5-7 minutes.
Leave it undisturbed for sometime and then gently fluff up the rice with a fork.

In a small pan add ghee and fry the cashewnuts until brown and fry sultanas until they plump .

In an oven proof dish spread mutton masala  on the bottom, spread rice on top, sprinkle some roasted cashewnuts, raisins, fried onions and some chopped coriander leaves ; continue layering the same way until all the rice and masala is used up.
Cover the dish tightly with a lid or seal it with maida and dum cook it in a preheated oven of 180 degree C for 15 minutes.
Open the dum and enjoy !

Friday, May 29, 2020

Chocolate chip cookies

Recipe halved from -  Humming bird bakery book.

Ingredients( makes large 12 cookies )
Flour - 200 gm/ roughly 1  and another  2/3 cup flour
Butter -115 gm( softened) roughly 1/2 cup
Soft brown sugar -175 gm( roughly 3/4 cup )
Egg -1
Vanilla essence -1/2 tsp
Baking soda - 11/ 4 tsp
Salt - pinch
Chocolate chips - 100 gm ( dark or milk )

Beat butter and sugar until creamy
Add egg and beat until mixed.
Add flour, baking soda , salt and mix .Add half of the chocolate chips and  make a smooth dough .
Divide the dough into 12 equal balls and press rest of  chocolate chips on top of each balls. 
Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degree C for 10-11 minutes

Monday, May 25, 2020

Shahi Paneer

Paneer -250 gm
Onions -2 (chopped)
Tomatoes -3 large or 4 medium
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp

Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tbs
Garam masala – 1 tsp

Whole garam masala ( cinnamon stick 1 inch, cardamom 3, cloves 2 )
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Bayleaf - 1

Yogurt – 3 tbs
Cashewnut – fistful
Milk/cream – Few tablespoons or as per your taste
Kasoori methi leaves – 1 ½ tspp ( toasted)
Coriander leaves
In a pan add oil and when it’s warm add in  cumin seeds and when it sputters add the whole garam masala and bayleaf. Fry for a minute or so.
Add chopped onions and saute until it’s light brown.
Add ginger garlic paste and saute until raw smell goes.
Add red chilli powder, turmeric and coriander powder  and saute for few seconds making sure not to burn the  masala.
Add chopped tomatoes,salt  and cook covered until tomatoes are mushy
Add in  cashewnuts and saute for few seconds and then remove from fire.
Once it’s cold grind this to a smooth paste. Your gravy  sauce is ready.
In another pan add some oil and pour the gravy. Add in yogurt and  milk / cream.
Add paneer cubes  and  kasoori methi leaves  to the gravy. Add boiling water to adjust the consistency of the  gravy and cook for few minutes  for the  paneer  to suck up  the flavour.
Add garam masala and   finely chopped coriander leaves and remove from fire.
Finally add butter and a dollop of cream on top of the gravy if desired.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Chicken chukka

Chicken – 750 gm ( cut into small pieces)
Onions- 3 ( chopped)
Tomato – 1 large ( chopped)
Ginger garlic pate – 2 tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Coconut oil
Curry leaves
Bayleaf - 2
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
To roast and powder
Coriander seeds – 1 ½ tbs
Cinnamom stick – 1 inch stick
Cloves – 3
Cardamom – 3
Whole red chilli – 4
Peppercorns – 1 tsp
Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
Marinate the chicken with salt and turmeric powder and keep it aside for 30 minutes.
Roast the ingredients under “To roast” and grind it into a fine powder.
In a pan/wok add coconut oil add cumin seeds and bay leaves and roast for a minute or so until a nice smell comes.
Add in chopped onions and saute on a medium high heat for few minutes until it’s light brown.
Add  curry leaves and ginger garlic paste and fry until raw smell goes.
Add chicken and fry on medium high heat for 2-3 minutes to seal the juices inside.
Add chopped tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes.
Finally  add the roast powder and coat the chicken well in the masala.
Cover and cook the chicken for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and cook the chicken for another 5-10 minutes until the chicken coats well in the masala.
Garnish with some curry leaves or chopped coriander leaves.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Chocolate brownie

Recipe  adapted from a cook book (1000 baking recipes)
Plain chocolate/milk chocolate ( 30% cocoa) – 55 gm
Unsweetened cocoa powder – 45 gm ( roughly ½ cup)
Butter – 110 gm ( ½ cup)
Light brown sugar – 225 gm
Eggs – 2 large
Self raising flour  - 55 gm
Melt  chocolate, butter  and cocoa in a bowl kept on top of a simmering pan of boiling water.
Whisk sugar and eggs with a beater for few  minutes until light and creamy.
Pour in the chocolate mixture and sieve  over the flour and fold until mixed.
Pour the mixture into a greased 8 inch square pan and bake for about 30 -35 minutes or until outside is set centre is soft.
Let the brownie  cool completely before you cut. 

Sunday, April 26, 2020


 Recipe source  - My friend Lakshmi who tried it from Cooking classy

Flour –  1 cup /130 gm
Butter – ¼ cup/ 55 gm
Sugar – 1 tablespoon
Water – 250 ml
Egg – 1 large
Salt – pinch
Vanilla extract – ½ tsp
For coating
Caster sugar – 75 gm
Cinnamon powder  – 1 tsp

Oil for frying

Make the coating by mixing sugar and cinnamom powder in a plate. Leave it aside.
In a pan add water, sugar, salt, butter and bring to boil.

Add flour to it and cook on a medium low heat until it all comes together to a smooth , lump free  dough.
Allow it to cool down for 5 minutes.
Break the egg and add vanilla extract to it and beat with a hand mixer until well mixed and forms a smooth dough.

Meanwhile  heat oil in pan.
Fill the dough into a piping bag with rosette tip. 

When the oil is medium hot, you can either directly pipe the dough straight into hot oil and snip the end with a scissor or pipe it into a plate and gently slide it into hot oil. Do not over crowd the pan.

Fry the churros for 2-3 minutes by flipping sides in between until it’sslightly golden.
Drain it into a kitchen tissue to absorb any excess oil and then then transfer into cinnamon sugar plate. Coat the churros well with sugar.
Enjoy hot just as it is or with some chocolate sauce !

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Pazham Nirachathu/ Stuffed plantain

Plaintain/ nenthra pazham ( ripe) – 2
Grated coconut – 1/2  cup
Cashewnuts -1 ½ tbs
Sultanas/raisins – 2 tbs
Sugar – 1 -2 tbs
Cardamom seeds  -from 4 pods
Ghee – 1 tbs
Flour/maida – ¼ cup
Water ( as required)
Salt ( a pinch )


  • Peel the plantain and run a knife through to make a slit keeping the end intact.
  • In a pan add some ghee and fry cashewnuts and sultanas until cashewnuts have browned and sultanas have plumped. Remove and keep aside.
  • Powder cardamom seeds with sugar in a mixie (skip this step if you have cardamom powder  )
  • In the same pan add some more ghee and add grated coconut and cardamom sugar. Cook for a minute or so until sugar has melted and coated the coconut well. Mix this well with roasted cashewnuts and sultanas.
  • Stuff the plantain with the filling.
  • Meanwhile make a  batter with flour, salt and water.
  • Seal the gap with the batter.( make sure your batter is thick enough to coat, my batter was little thin so it didn’t coat the plantain well)
  • Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the plantains for few minutes flipping the sides until it become golden brown.