Thursday, March 5, 2015

Thandai - A Spiced Milk

First of all Aps Kitchen Wishes all the readers A Happy Holi.
There is no such memories about holi for us as in mangalore especially  we konkani’s do not celebrate it like the way others do. Just on the holika dahan the boys take a big palm tree and burn it and a few boys colour each other. That is it what I know about Holi in mangalore, We do have a holi or as we call it Okkul function in Mangalore which comes during the Car Festive/Teru/Rath time and even there the ladies do not play Holi, but after marriage when we stayed in Mumbai I came to know how holi is celebrated with pomp and fun(till then I had seen how it is celebrated only in TV or Movies). I so very missed the fun so many years.
Now coming to todays recipe Thandai, it is a rich spiced milk which is made especially during Holi. I never made this drink before. But thought of making it while I watched a viedo in youtube Ruchkar Mejwani. There she has explained it very well and even has told how we can make a thandai syrup.
I have made it just like that except for adding Khus Khus as it is banned here in UAE  and have skipped cucumber seeds that she has mentioned. I have added cashew nuts to it instead.
Ingredients:
2 tbsp Fennel Seeds (Badishep)
1 tsp Black Pepper
20 Cashewnuts
20 Almonds
20 Pistachios
Saffron a few strands
250 gms Sugar(approx 1 cup)
Water( ½ cup)
Milk
   
 Method:
Soak Almonds, Pistachios in a bowl for atleast 1-2 hours in warm water. Similarly in another small bowl soak the cashewnuts .**
Now throw the water and peel the skin from almonds and pistachios.
 In a pan fennel seeds, black pepper roast  them ingredients well without oil.
Grind these ingredients along with saffron strands in a mixer grinder to make fine powder and keep aside.
In the same jar add soaked cashew badam and pistachios and make it into a fine paste
Now lets  make the sugar syrup, in a pan add water & sugar. Once the sugar melts and water comes to a boil, add the spice powder, cashew almonds pistachios paste.
Mix all the ingredients very well and once the concentrate gets a good boil switch off the gas/flame. The concentrate for thandai is ready. Let the concentrate cool completely,

































In a serving glass, add 2-3 tbsp of the concentrate. Then add chilled milk.
 Thandai is ready to be served.


Notes:
I have skipped  cucumber seeds and khus khus here so I have added cashew nuts.
I have soaked cashew nuts seperately because we can utilize the water which we have soaked to grind the paste.
Saffron is optional I have added it you can omit it.
You can add white pepper instead of black pepper.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Varai Pulav/Pulao-Vrat Pulao


Fastings can be feasting too if you make yummy dishes. We Konkanis have little restrictions compared to the North Indian fasting.
Our rule is simple do not eat resturant food, no onion garlic, no rice that’s it.
Varai is a Konkani  and Marathi name for Barnyard Millet.Sama ke chawal, or samvat rice or Mordhna are the hindi names for Barnyard millet. So I have used this millet and made a Pulav/Pulao which both the South Indians and North Indians can make.
Here is what we Need/ for the dish



INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup Varai or sama or vrat ke chawal or barnyard millet
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • ½ cup carrots peled and cubed
  • ½ cup beans cut into 1” pcs**
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 3-4 whole black pepper
  • ½ inch ginger + 1 green chili (crushed in a mortar-pestle)
  • 8-10 whole cashews
  • 8-10 almonds
  • 2 tbsp oil or ghee
  • 2.5 to 3 cups water
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander for garnish
  • rock salt/sendha namak as required
  • lemon juice and lemon wedges ifr equired
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Rinse the Varai/ barnyard millet a couple of times in water like the way we rinse rice.
  2. Soak it in enough water for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Heat oil or ghee.
  4. Roast  the cashews and almonds and keep aside.
  5. Now In the same pan with ghee add all the whole spices - cumin, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and black pepper.
  6. Saute till the oil become fragrant and the cumin crackles.
  7. Add the crushed ginger-green chili and saute for half a minute on a low flame.
  8. Ad the cubed carrots, beans and saute for 3-4 minutes on a low flame.
  9. Drain the sama rice and add it to the mixture and stir well.
  10. Add water & salt and cook till the water is absorbed and the millet grains are cooked.
  11. When serving the Varai pulav, garnish with the dry fruits and coriander leaves.
  12. When serving you can also sprinkle some lemon juice in the pulao. 
  13. Serve it with Cucumber and tomato raitha or plain yogurt.


Note:
Many do not use Beans during fasting. Where as we do not have such restrictions.
You can also pressure cook the pulav for 3 whistles and it will be done.
Happy Cooking,



Sunday, February 15, 2015

Oats Undi with Green Chilli Pickle

I have already posted traditional Undi recipe Here. This is a version which does not need coconut.
I learnt it from a food group in FB, it was posted by dear Archana Shenoy a wonderful blogger too.
Here is the recipe for Oats Undi:

Oats – ¼ th cup
Rice Rawa – ½ cup
Water – 1 ¼ th cup approx
Salt to taste
For Tempering:
Coconut Oil or any cooking oil
½ tsp jeera
½ mustard seeds
¼ th methi seeds
½ tsp urad dal
1 red chilli broken ito tiny pcs
1 spring curry leaves torn into pcs 

 Method:
Wash rice rawa and keep aside.
Heat oil in a Kadai add the ingredients mentioned under tempering one by one last being curry leaves.
Now add in the water and salt.
When water boils add oats and stir well.
 Now rice rawa and stir it well and make sure it forms no lumps.
Keep stirring until it combines and gets semi thick, switch off the flame and allow it to cool down a little.
When the mix is being able to handle grease your hands with water and make small balls of these and just make a small impression with your index finger in the middle of the undi.
Place it in the Steamer and steam for 10-12 minutes.
Serve these Undis with Pickle or Chutney of your Choice.
I have Served it with Green Chilli Pickle


 

Recipe for the Green Chilli Pickle is:
Ingredients
  1. Big Green Chillies – 250 Gms
  2. Lemon Juice – 1 Cup
  3. Mustard Powder – ¼ Cup
  4. Oil – 3 tbsp
  5. Turmeric – 1 Tsp
  6. Salt – ¼ Cup
Method
  1. Chop the green chillies into a inch size.
  2. Heat the oil to smoking point and let it cool completely.
  3. Mix the green chillies, mustard powder, salt, and turmeric powder together.
  4. Add lemon juice to the green chilli and mix well.
  5. Add the oil and mix well.
  6. Store in a clean, dry, air-tight glass bottle.
  7. Wait for a week before the pickle is Served.
  8. Enjoy your Pickle with accompaniment of your choice.
Tips
  • Select your chillies with care they must be fresh, firm, and raw.



Till Later Then,
Happy Cooking,




Unicorn - Food Art


As you all know i have started a section of Food Art where i am laying my hands on presenting my food on plate a little artistically. 
Today I have made a Unicorn... Yes you heard it right a Unicorn
What I used here:
Green Pear
Shredded Carrots
Black Olive Slices
Sweet Corn

What I Did:
I cut the pear into half placed it on a plate.
Placed the shredded Carrots as hair.
Sliced olives and used for eyes and nose.
And corn for the horn.
Tada Edile Unicorn is ready.

Happy Cooking,


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Spicy Strawberry Cups for Valentines Day

 For  both of us every day is one where we can express our love and that day is Valentines day for us.
Valentines day is a Special Day to Express Love to your loved ones.

I wanted to make something sweet but somehow could not make any today. So i decided to post something that has red in it.
I tried these after Padma Aunty had posted it in her blog.
Lets See what we need to make these 


We  Need:

6 big Strawberries

For Filling:

2 tbsp Labaneh/ Greek yogurt
1/4th tbsp crushed black pepper
1 tsp crushed red chilli flakes
Few mint leaves to garnish

Method:
Wash the strawberries and slice their touop gently scoop out the berries.
Take a bowl and mix all the ingredients mentioned under For filling. Give it a nice mix and keep for later use.
Now cut the bottoms of the strawberries slightlyto make the berry stay intact on the plate and place it on the serving plate.
Now fill each berry with the labneh filling and serve them chilled.
























Note:
The Original recipe has hung curd in it I have replaced it with labneh.
I have replaced Cayenne pepper with crushed red chilly flakes as I did not have them.
The taste differs but no doubt it tastes YUM.

Wish All your Loved ones A Happy Valentines Day.
Happy Cooking,



Monday, February 9, 2015

5 minute Oreo Cup Cake


Its already been a month and 9 days of 2015 and I have not even penned a single post here. Many reasons, first one is I started spending a little more time with my kids than browsing, second is we had been to Mangalore for vacation and some more reasons,but I don’t want to bore you with my rants.
We enjoyed a lot in mangalore with Family and Friends. Functions back t back it was total fun! How we miss it here L. But we got to be happy with what we have .
Let me start todays post with a sweet recipe, I had made5 minute biscuit cake long back and many have tried it from here. A few days later I saw people trying oreo cake the same way it was nothing but replacing glucose biscuits with oreo’s. I have tried this n number of times and whenever I wish to bake a chocolate cake I make this. But this time I baked them in silicone cupcake moulds .
Here is what we need for 5 minute Oreo cupcakes :

 Ingredients :
20 pairs of oreo biscuits (40 biscuits in total including the cream)
1 cup milk (240 ml)
3/4 tsp baking powder OR 3/4 tsp eno
2 tbsp sugar
Powdered Sugar for dusting – optional

Method:
Crush the biscuits roughly. Transfer to a blender. Add the other ingredients and blend into a smooth paste.
Grease a microwave safe cup cake moulds liberally with butter, oil. I did not do this as I used silicon moulds.
Transfer the cake batter into the dish. Microwave for 5 minutes [in regular microwave mode]
Do not touch the cake for atleast another 20 minutes because while inverting it can break.
Once cooked down invert  the cake and dust it with powdered sugar.
I served the cake with Vanilla Ice Cream.

Note: The microwave timings may differ mine took only 5 minutes where as for one of my friend it took 6-7 min.
I have even sprinkled some icing sugar on it... but its completely optional.

 On A Sweet note Wishing all a Happy and Prosperous New Year. May all your good dreams come true.


Happy Cooking,

Monday, December 22, 2014

Hurigadale Dosa/ Hurigadale mini Dosa's

A breakfast here is most of the time dosa or idli or any south Indian Breakfast, may be poha or anything that will fill our stomach. I feel good that I don’t get muesli or cornflakes on my breakfast table always, may be that is healthier option but our south Indian breakfasts are no less to these.
Whenever I ask ‘M’ what does she want for tiffin box most of the time her answers will be Dosa, Idli or chapathi or Paratha, tikki, she never voluntarily asks for sandwiches but I do 2 varieties of them one is with mushrooms and cheese, the other is corn and cheese. She eats these happily. Recently I have tried giving her some food that she could eat with spoon at school like Usli, poha (but not regularly).
This is one such Dosa recipe which I made just to empty the fried chana/Hurigadale in kannada/hurkadlo in konkani/putani in kannada which hubby had got and was just lying in the shelf from a long time.

Here is what we need for Hurigadale Dosa:
½ cup Urad Dal
¼ th cup Putani/Hurigadale/hurkadlo
1 cup Dosa rice
2 tbsp poha
Salt to taste
Oil for brushing on the dosa
Method:
Wash the Dal’s and rice very well and soak it all together in water for 4 hours.
After 4 hours grind it in mixie/Mixer grinder or blender into a very smooth paste to a normal dosa consistency.
Add salt and allow it to ferment overnight or for 8-10 hours.
Next day morning or just before making the dosa heat a griddle or dosa pan and pour small dosa’s and brush some oil or drop a little oil on the sides and flip it over another side and remove the dosa from the tawa.
Serve it with your Favorite Chutney or Pickle.
Note:
If you are using a Grinder then you can increase the rice quantity to 1 ¾ th cup
If you live in a cold place then make sure you keep your batter in a hot place so that it gets fermented well or else the dosa batter wont ferment and dosa will not come good.




To Serve along with this Dosa I made green tomato chutney from Siri’s blog

Ingredients for the Chutney:

6 medium green tomatoes
3 green chilies
4 tbsp dry roasted white sesame seeds
1 tbsp roasted cumin seed powder
¼  tbsp dry roasted fenugreek /methi powder
Tamarind, peanut sized
¼  tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp oil

For Tadka / Tempering:
1 tsp urad dal
½  tsp mustard seeds
few curry leaves
a pinch of hing
1 tsp oil

Lets Proceed in Making the chutney:
1. Heat a tbsp oil in a kadai/pan,add tomatoes and green chillies. Cover and cook it for few minutes until the tomatoes get mushy. Add tamarind, fenugreek powder, cumin powder, turmeric, salt and sugar.

2. Allow it to cool and then grind this tomato mixture along with sesame seeds to a nice paste.

3. Heat  oil in a small pan or tadka pan and add urad dal, mustard seeds when the mustard seeds splutter add hing and curry leaves. Temper it over the chutney.





Serve with your favourite Idli or Dosa.
Enjoy Cooking,
 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Homemade Mixed Fruit Jam


Homemade food always stands on the top list when compared to store bought one’s. Jam is such a thing that I had never ventured into till quite a long time of marriage. I tried this one when my blogger friend Priti had posted it in her blog Indian Khana. I made it the very next week and have made it many a times from then. It is very easy to make and yummy too.


We need:
Apple - 1
Ripe Banana - 2
Orange - 1
Strawberries -5
Prunes - 10
Seedless Black Grapes - 1 Cups
Sugar - 1 ¼ th Cups Or More if needed
Lemon Juice - ½  tbsp or Citric Acid - ¼  tsp



Method:
1.       Peel, core and chop apple, strawberries, prune, orange and banana.
2.       In a blender or mixer grinder/mixie add all the fruits and blend until smooth. [I got 3 ½ cup Puree]
3.        Heat a deep bottom pan and add the fruit puree to a pan, add sugar, stir and cook on medium flame to bring it to a boil. Simmer the flame and keep stirring in regular intervals it until it thickens.
4.       Once jam starts to thicken, add lemon juice/citric acid and mix well.
5.        Cook until jam becomes thick it takes around one hour or more.
6.       Remove from heat and allow it to cool completely.
7.       Store in a airtight Jar.
Spread it over your favorite bread and Enjoy!






Note:
You can add any fruit of your choice.
Make sure you keep stirring the jam in regular intervals to avoid it from sticking to the pan.
I made it just like the way in recipe so it was a little thick, I loved it this way and it tasted like a halwa too ;).


Enjoy Cooking,

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Saat - A Flaky Mangalorean Sweet


Mom is the best cook in the whole world… isn’t it? I have told about my mom’s food in n number of posts I can keep praising her food every time I speak about our Amchigele cooking. She is a expert to cook any kind of dish from sweets to savories or any kind of side dishes…. Its just Amazing to see her to make things perfect without any stress. There are just a few dishes that she has given up and one among that is jalebi which I want to master by the time my kids grow ;).
Saat is one such sweet that amma makes perfect. Making saat is not east as the deep frying, the flaky texture,the sugar consistency and the bottom everything must be perfect. And amma does is just perfect.
Saat is a  cousin of badusha I can say, the difference is there is a sugary chip below the sweet which is very much liked among the kids, This is actually a sugary sweet in Mangalore made of Maida flour & rolled in sugar syrup with a hint of cardamom. I am not a big fan of this blandish sweet though its one of my Anu’s(dad’s) favorite.
This particular picture was taken long back  and made by my amma and was lying in my drafts from a long time. The thought of posting it today is First of all it is my Mom and Dad’s wedding Anniversary and even My Birthday, Doesn’t this call for a Double treat?? Happy Anniversary Anu Amma and Happy Birthday to Me J.
So enjoy the virtual treat and Make it on your ownJ.



Ingredients needed to make Saat:
 1 cup Maida
½ cup Sugar
Little less than ¼ th cup Ghee (to need the dough)
1 and ½ cup ghee for deep frying and a little for greasing a plate
4 cardamoms, powdered


Method:
Sieve maida/APP add powdered cardamom to this keep aside.
Heat the ghee that is to be used for needing the dough( ¼ th cup) and  mix this ghee to the sieved maida and mix well. Now the mixture will look like a crumble. At this stage add a tbsp of water and mix well. If necessary add a tsp more of water and mix into a dough(the dough must be like the one we make for puri). After 5 minutes knead this dough again and make lime sized balls out of it and flatten tthem in the bottom. Do it for all the dough.
Meanwhile on a medium flame heat ghee(1 and ½ cups)for frying the Saat.
Deep fry the prepared dough balls in the ghee on a slow flame making sure the balls are perfectly golden in colour.

Now lets make the sugar Syrup:
Add Sugar and little water only to immerse the sugar, now heat this and make it into one string consistency. Keep  stirring it while its getting done because it might get crystallized.
When the syrup is hot add the deep fried Saat one by one and place it on a greased plate.
Once cooled down place them in a Airtight Container.

Note:
Do not add too much water at once just add a spoon first then add add more if required, make it a pilable dough just like puri's.

Enjoy Cooking,

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Undi -Tempered Rice Dumpling


Remember the Carrot Chutney I served with Undi’s?? I had promised to post the recipe soon but somehow it got stuck in drafts, not delaying it I am going to post it today.
Undi  is a Amchi /Konkani delicacy which is made for breakfast. It is very healthy and filling.
Here is what  we need for Undi
1 full cup rice (the one we use for idli/dosa).
¼ th cup coconut, freshly scraped/grated(only the white part avoid getting the black portion)
¼ th tsp methi seeds
¼ th tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp oil (we use coconut oil for such delicacies)
Salt to taste.

Method:
Soak rice for 2 hours in water.
Later wash the rice and drain it completely.
In a mixer grinder or grinder add the coconut along with little water and grind finely into a smooth paste.
To this add the soaked and drained rice and grind until the rice turns to rawa consistency (idli rawa consistency) and keep aside.
In a deep pan heat oil, add methi seeds,mustard seeds, when it splutters add the ground rice rawa paste to this along with ¼ th cup of water.
Now mix this very well making sure the mixture does not form lumps and the rawa absorbs all the water and the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.
Turn off the heat and slow the mixture to cool a little.
Meanwhile grease a steel plate or any plate that you are going to steam the undi in.
When the mixture is good enough to handle then make small balls out of it and press a small hole or impression with your index finger in the middle of the dumpling.
Place all the balls in the steaming plate and steam it in the steamer or pressure cooker (without placing weight) for 12-14 minutes.

Serve hot Undis with coconut oil and pickle or any chutney or accompaniment of your choice.

Enjoy Cooking,

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Chakkuli Masala

What do you do when you have chakkuli/murrukku in lot?? I never have them in lot many a times but it was when my hubby had come back from India my mom send a lot of nanchanae tinglodu/ragi murrukku(homemade) and my in-law’s sent some rice chakkuli’s(not homemade), so we were loaded with Chakkuli at home. We enjoyed all the homemade ones as they are irresistible, but I had a pack of other murrkku lying in the shelf (may be we had a overdose of them) so soon I decided on making this Chakkuli Masala.
I started making this after tasting this in Carstreet, Mangalore.



We need:
Chakkuli - 5 -6
Onion - 1 medium, finely chopped
Tomato - 1 medium, finely chopped
Few springs of coriander leaves finely chopped
Coconut oil – 1 tsp
Chilli powder – ¼ th tsp
Salt to taste( we require very little as chakkuli’s have salt)
Juice of lemon/lime – 1 tsp




Method:
Break the chakkuli into small pieces and keep aside.
Add all the remaining ingredients one by one into a mixing bowl and mix very well.
To this mixture add broken chakkuli’s and mix well.
Serve immediately.
Note:
If you find raw mangoes you can add finely chopped mangoes to this.
Enjoy Cooking,

 


Friday, December 12, 2014

Salted Cucumber Lassi/ Kheera Lassi


Cucumber Lassi or Kheera Lassi is a cool and refreshing drink to enjoy when you wish to have something cool and healthy.




Ingredients
Cucumber - 10 to 12 (i used baby cucumbers)
Yogurt / Thick Curd - 2 cups
Green Chilli - 1(chopped finely)
Ginger - 1/2 inch
Coriander leaves - few
Salt - as per taste
Roasted Jeera powder -  1 tsp (optional)
Chat masala - for garnishing (optional)



Method:

1. Wash and clean the cucumber. Remove its skin and cut into small pieces.

2. In a blender, add the chopped cucumber, curd / yogurt, ginger, green chillies, coriander leaves and salt. Blend till it is smooth.
3. Garnish with roasted jeera powder and chat masala.
Note:

Garnishing with jeera powder and chat masala is totally optional, adding both enhances the flavor.

Enjoy Cooking,
 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Caterpillar Salad


Last time i had posted this Lemon Mouse which was so cute that my daughter was very happy and told me to create more of things like that.
So i created this little caterpillar with Cucumber slices and cherry tomatoes.For the eyes i kept peppercorns.
My little girl enjoyed watching it and even eating her favorite cucumber by telling Amma it was so cute.

Enjoy Making
Enjoy Cooking,
 


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Phova Chetni/Phova Chutney with Chane Upkari


Phova Chetni/Chutney and Chane Upkari
There are a few amchi breakfasts that are very easy to prepare and the accompaniment with that particular one is absolutely Yummy.
Phova(beaten rice flakes, thin variety) Chutney is one such dish is combined with Chane(black garbanzo beans) Upkari .
As a kid I did not like such breakfasts but as said time changes everything or may be I am getting my No no’s to Yes Yes  because I got to behave like a very good mom in front of my daughters so that they don’t refuse such food. And luckily ‘M’ doesn’t.
This is even called Bajil in tulu.



Here is what we need for Phova Chetni- this is a typical method of making this dish, I have a instant version too which I will share soon.
1 and ½ cup thin variety phovu/ poha(beaten flat rice)
Coconut – ½ cup freshly grated
3 red chillies roasted
2 tsp coriander seeds
 1 tsp Jeera(cumin seeds)
¼ th tsp turmeric powder
A peanut sized tamarind ball
½ lemon sized jaggery
½ tsp mustard sees
Curry leaves few strands
1 tbsp coconut oil
Salt to taste
Method :
In a clean dry mixie jar/ blender add in coconut, roasted red chillies and grind it into a dry masala, now add in jeera,coriander seeds, and jaggery, turmeric powder,tamarind and grind it into fine paste.(add only a few drops of water if required, the masala/chutney must be dry).
In a large vessel add in poha, ground masala, salt and mix well.
In a tadka pan heat coconut oil add mustard seeds, when splutters add curry leaves and temper it over the prepared phova chetni and mix well.
Serve it as it is or like me with Chane upkari.

Note: you can add finely chopped onions to this it tastes great. As it was for morning breakfast we do not like to add raw onions to it, whereas i add onions to the Phova chutney when i make it for evening coffee or tea.


For Chane Upkari we need:
 1 cup black garbanzo beans/Chano/Kadale /Chana
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp coconut, freshly scraped/grated
2 green chillies slit
¼ th tsp mustard seeds
Few curry leaves
1 red chilli
Hing water (if using compound hing mix a little in water) – ¼ th tsp or 2 pinches of asafoetida powder
Salt to taste
Method:
Soak the chano/chane overnight or atleast for 5 hours.
Next day morning or before making the upkari pressure cook the chana adding 4 cups of water in the pressure cooker and cooking it until done(I take 6 whistles).
Allow the pressure to release and drain all the chana and keep the water to make rasam(I will post thie recipe soon).
In a deep bottom pan heat oil, add mustard seeds, when they splutter add curry leaves,rbroken red chillies,slit green chillies and coconut and mix well.
Add the hing and give a stir now add the sweet potato and cooked chano/chana and salt.
Add salt and ½ cup of water cover and cook until the sweet potatoes are cooked completely.
Serve as it is or with Phova Chutney.
Note:
If you like a little sweeter version you can add 2 peanut sized jaggery.

Enjoy Cooking,
 



Monday, December 8, 2014

No Onion Garlic Pulav/Pulao with No Onion Garlic Baby Corn Masala

I normally make no onion garlic pulao/pulav as it can be eaten even during such days when we avoid onion and garlic.
To pair with this no onion garlic pulav I made Baby corn masala which is again without onion and garlic.
Ingredients for the Pulao/Pulav:
2 cups basmati rice
2 cups mixed vegetables (Beans, Carrot, Peas)
 4 cups water
1 inch piece of cinnamon
 3-4 cloves
2-3 green cardamom
1 bay leaf
1 star anise
¼ th tsp jeera(cumin seeds)
½  tsp black cumin seeds (shahi jeera)
 2 green chilies, slit
1 tbsp fried/roasted cashew nuts
 Salt to taste
 Oil + Ghee – 2 tbsp
2 tbsp of finely chopped coriander leaves  
Method for making Pulav:
 Wash and soak rice for 30 minutes in 4 cups of water as mentioned above *.
 Drain the water and keep it aside. Heat oil + ghee in a wide pan.
Once ghee is melted, add shahi jeera,jeera and the whole spices one by one.
Sauté it on low flame till you get nice aroma. Add slit green chilies.
Follow it with the chopped vegetables and saute it nicely for 5 minutes on medium flame.
 Now add the drained rice water and allow it to boil.
 Add in the soaked and drained basmati rice.
Add salt as per the taste.
Stir it very gently taking care that the rice does not break, as it gets gentle after soaking.
Cook it on medium flame by covering a pan until the rice absorbs the water.
Cook it till done.
Switch off the flame and allow it to rest for few more minutes.
Once done completely uncover the pan and separate the grains with a fork, and garnish with fried cashews [optional] and finely chopped coriander leaves.
 Serve it hot with accompaniment of your choice.  I served with baby corn masala.
Note:
Keep an eye on the pulav to make sure it does not stick to the bottom.
You have to use a wide pan to cook basmati rice orelse it will not fluff up well.

Ingredients for the Baby corn Masala:
  • 10 baby corn cut into 2 “ pcs
  • 1 cup green capsicum,washed and cubed without seeds
  • 2 tomatoes, blanched and pureed
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into cubes
  • 1 green chilly
  • 2 tablespoons ghee/ butter
  • Pinch of salt, as per taste
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp low fat cream
  • I teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoon kasuri methi
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh coriander leaves, for garnishing


Method for Baby corn masala :
  • To begin making the curry we will start by heating the ghee in a heavy bottomed pan on medium heat. Add in the red bell pepper and  green chilli. Sauté them well until they turn translucent. Once done, allow them to cool down and blend it in a mixer using  little water to form a smooth paste.
  • Next, heat another tablespoon of ghee in the same pan over medium heat; add in the tomato puree and sauté for 2 - 3 minute, mix in the bell pepper paste, sugar, salt, garam masala, green capsicum, baby corn and red chili powder. Cook well till the raw smell disappears.
  • Sauté the contents of the pan for another 5 minutes, finally stirring in the milk and low fat cream along with ¼th cup of water. Boil everything together on high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook on low flame for 5 minutes more.
  • When the dish is cooked completely, sprinkle a little kasuri methi over it and garnish with the coriander leaves.
Note:
You can add full fat cream instead of low fat cream.
Enjoy Cooking,