Indian cuisine - The Healthy and Tasty way to Life

Indian cuisine has been around for at least 2500-3000 years and it has changed much over the years. The use of many different herbs and spices make each dish quite unique. Each different region in India is known for it's wide selection of different recipes and Indian cooking styles and tastes. Though about one third of the population is strictly vegetarian, there are many different dishes that include chicken, lamb and goat meat. In India though the cow is thought of as a sacred animal therefore you will not find many recipes including beef. Food is such an important part of Indian culture as in most cultures, and plays an important role in the family life and in festival celebrations. There is also usually a dessert served as well.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Peas and Mushroom Biryani

At my home, biryani is always a hit. After all, what's not to love in a dish that combines the richness of a spicy sauce with the pure fragrance of basmati rice and the decadent sweetness of raisins and nuts?But biryanis in restaurants often suffer from fat overload. The rice is usually greasy and so is the sauce. And while all of it tastes pretty good, you get up from the meal feeling like you ate for four instead of one.

1 1/2 cups Basmati rice, washed and drained
4 cloves
4 cardamom pods
1-inch stick of cinnamon
2 bay leaves
3 cups water
1 pound crimini mushrooms, quartered
1 cup green peas (I used frozen)
3 tomatoes1 cup coconut milk
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 1-inch piece ginger, grated finely
6 garlic cloves, crushed into a paste
1/2 cup of cashew pieces and raisins
1 tbsp + 1 tsp canola oil
1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
In a spice grinder, grind to a powder, then toast lightly in a dry skillet:
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
3 cardamom pods
3 cloves
1-inch stick of cinnamon
In a saucepan, heat the water and add the whole spices to it. When the water comes to a boil, add the rice.
When most of the water is absorbed by the rice, turn the heat to low, cover tightly with a lid, and let the rice cook on low heat for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat.
Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in another, larger pot with a tight-fitting lid.
Add the sliced onions and saute over medium heat until the onions turn golden-brown.
Add the ginger and garlic and saute another minute.
Add the mushrooms and tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes have broken down completely.
Add the toasted spices and stir in.
Now add coconut milk and peas and salt. Cook another 5 minutes over low heat.
Now layer the cooked rice on top of the sauce in an even layer. Cover with the lid and cook for about 15 minutes on very low heat.
Heat 1 tsp oil in a saucepan. Add the raisins and nuts and stir until the cashew nuts are lightly browned.
Garnish the biryani with the nuts and raisins and coriander leaves. You can also garnish with crisply fried onions.



Shredded colocassia leaves cooked with chana dal, peanuts and gramflour. Ingredients Colocassia leaves (arbi ke patte) 8 Split Bengal gram (chana dal) 1/4 cup Oil 3 tablespoons Mustard seeds 1/2 teaspoon Asafoetida a pinch Fenugreek seeds (methi dana) 1/4 teaspoon Green chillies, chopped 4-5 Turmeric powder 1/4 teaspoon Curry leaves 5-6 Peanuts, roasted and crushed 1/4 cup Salt to taste Jaggery (gur), grated 3/4 tablespoon Gram flour (besan) 1/4 cup Coconut, scraped 1/2 cup

Preparation Time : 1 hour

Cooking Time : 20 minutes


1. Clean the colocassia leaves well and shred them finely. Soak the chana dal for an hour. Drain.

2. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and let them crackle. Add asafoetida, fenugreek seeds, green chillies, turmeric powder, curry leaves and sauté.

3. Add shredded colocassia leaves and sauté for a minute. Let it cook in its steam for three to four minutes.

4. Add soaked chana dal, crushed peanuts, salt and jaggery. Mix well.

5. Add a little warm water and when ingredients are cooked mash it well.

6. Make a thick batter by adding a little water to the gram flour and add to the mixture. Cook till it thickens a little.

7. Add fresh coconut and mix well. Serve hot.