Thursday, March 8, 2018

Easy Vegetable Pulao in Instant Pot / Rice Cooker / Pressure cooker - Recipe for all three ways

With the whole world going crazy about Instapot (IP),I wanted to know what the fuss was all
About. So I went ahead and bought Instapot Lux during the black friday sale for  $49 . Let me tell you that this was one of the best kitchen gadgets I have bought so far. Its worth the hype and I am so glad. It had made my cooking so much easier and it never burns at the bottom . Its super quick and makes indian cooking a lot less intimidating.Its basically an electric pressure cooker which combines the funtionality of a cooker,slow cooker,yogurt maker,steamer and lots more...

Pulao or Biryani in Instapot gives a very traditional unique taste.It is similar to the dum style which I have never been able to achieve.I make a lot of gravies so quickly which used to take so much time in a stovetop. I have to keep checking constantly to avoid burning of food at the bottom. But Instapot is a savior. I can sauté and pressure cook in the same pot. The warm mode is amazing. It doesn’t dry out the rice even if I keep it warm mode for 4-5 hrs.Rice cooker usually dries out the rice and burns the bottom layer.The pot is stainless steel which I feel is the healthiest option for cooking.

This pulao recipe doesn't have a lot of masala in it.It is simple and elegant with min ingredients but the flavor is full and delicious.

  • Basmati rice  - 2 cups
  • Water - 2 1/2 cups depending on the rice
  • Onion - 2 ,very thinly sliced
  • Ginger garlic paste - 1 tblsp
  • Mint leaves - 1/2 cup
  • Mixed veggies (Carrot,Beans) -1/2 cup chopped
  • Green peas - 1/4 cup fresh or frozen
  • Sweet corn - 1/4 cup fresh or frozen
  • Garam masala - 1 tsp
  • Green chillies - 3 to 4 slit in half
To temper
  • Oil/Ghee - 4 tblsp
  • Oil - 2 tsp
  • Bay leaves -3
  • cinnamon stick -1
  • Star anise-1
  • Cardamom-3
  • Cloves-4
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Cashew nuts - 1/4 cup


  • Wash and rinse the rice until starch goes off.Drain and soak it in water for atleast 30 min. 
  • Heat oil/Ghee in a pan.Add all the spices under tempering.Let them roast for 2 min.Next add the thinly sliced onions and fry them until they turn slightly brown.Add the green chillies.
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for 2 min until the raw smell is gone.
  • Then add the mixed veggies and frozen veggies and saute until its well cooked half way through and they still have a crunch.Add salt to taste.Saute until they are almost done around 2 mins.
  • Add the garam masala,. Adjust seasonings as per taste.Next add the mint leaves and fry them for a min.
  • Add the drained rice to the pan.Gently stir until combined.Add the ghee and mix again.Switch off the flame.
  • Transfer the contents of the pan to Instapot/ Rice Cooker/Pressure Cooker.
  • Instapot Method : Make sure the valve is in the sealing mode . Click Manual and set the timer to 4 mins. After the instapot beeps it goes to warm mode automatically. Let the pressure release on its own or you can adjust the valve to venting position if you are in a hurry to eat it.
  • Rice Cooker Method : Let it cook completely and the rice cooker goes on warm mode.check if the water has been absorbed into the rice .Fluff the rice with a fork after it reaches warm.
  • Pressure cooker method: Cook the rice for a one whistle and simmer in low for 5 mins.Switch off the flame.
  • Serve hot with cucumber or onion raita.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Chapathi Noodles

Chapathi Noodles - Thinly sliced roti pieces are cooked in Chinese style and smeared in lip smacking sauces.This recipe is unique and extremely addictive that u will make it more than once for sure. This is something I make when I have leftover roti in the  refrigerator but feel like having a Chow mein and can't go out. This is healthy, low fat tangy and spicy and so its a perfect kid friendly lunch box recipe.It remains crispy and it goes very well with a side of peanut sauce,ketchup or Mayonnaise.

Ingredients :
  • Chapathi - 5 to 6 
  • Onion - 1 
  • Green Capsicum - 1
  • Red Capsicum- 1
  • Cabbage - 1 cup
  • Ginger - a small piece 
  • Garlic - 3 to 4
  • Green chilly - 2
  • Soya sauce - 1 tblsp
  • Red chilli sauce (optional) - 1/2 tsp
  • Chilli Vinegar or Rice Vinegar - 2 tblsp
  • Tomato ketchup - 2 tblsp
  • Sugar - 1/2 tsp
  • Chinese Sesame oil or Cannola oil - 3 tsp
  • Scallion or green onion - few sprigs 

Method :

Roll each chapathi and cut them into thin slices.

Chop all veggies into very thin slices.Finely grate ginger and garlic.Slit the green chilies lengthwise.Chop green onions into small pieces.

For Chinese cooking keeping the flame high is really the key. So the pan has to be hot and cooking is done mostly in high flame to get the perfect crunchy noodles. If kept in medium or low flame the result is soggy noodles.

Take a deep bottomed pan or a wok ,add 2 tsp oil. Add garlic,ginger,green chilies,onion and saute until they are cooked but still crispy about 2 min.Add very rhinly sliced cabbage and give a stir.Add both the capsicum and and saute for just a min. 

When the veggies are half done ,add soya sauce,red chili sauce,tomato ketchup and mix well.Toss the veggies gently.

Now add thinly sliced chapathi and toss gently until it is well coated. Now keenthe flame high and add one more tsp of oil and chili vinegar. Toss them again. Don't keep stirring continuously as this might make it mushy.

Garnish with a general dose of chopped green onions. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Veg Hakka Noodles / Chow mein Noodles with Peanut sauce

Veg Hakka noodles - Sweet and tangy noodles

Hakka noodles is a part of the Hakka cuisine which is the cooking style of Hakka people of China and Taiwan.They have a special way of cooking meats with carbohydrates.This is a simple vegetarian dish made with boiling noodles in hot water and then sautéing it with freshly stir fried veggies and sauces.

It is now a famous street food in India and part of the Indo- Chinese cuisine. Its spicy,tangy and sweet all at the same time.You can serve it with ketchup too.I love peanuts and i found that a simple peanut sauce with a cup of hot noodles are a perfect match.

Ingredients :

  • Hakka noodles - 1 pack
  • Onion - 1 
  • Bell pepper/ Capsicum - 1
  • Cabbage - 1/4
  • Carrot - 1
  • Green chillies - 3
  • Ginger - small piece
  • Garlic - 5-6 pods
  • Scallion / Green onions - few strands finely chopped
  • Salt 
  • Oil - 3 tsp

Sweet and spicy sauce for noodles - Ingredients:
  • Soy sauce - 1 tsp
  • Hot sesame oil - 2 tsp
  • Tomato ketchup - 1/2 tsp
  • Red chili sauce - 2 tsp
  • Sugar - 2 tsp
  • White vinegar - 1 tsp

Peanut Sauce for dipping - Ingredients :
  • Peanut butter - 4 tsp
  • Soya sauce - 1/2 tsp
  • Red chili sauce - 1 tsp
  • Sugar - 1 tsp
  • Hot Sesame oil - 1 tsp
  • Water - 3 to 4 tsp

Mix all the ingredients and put them in a blender.Pulse them until smooth.Keep it aside in a small bowl.This is the peanut dipping sauce for the noodles.

Method : 

  • In a large pan bring water to boil and cook the noodles according to package instructions. Drain and wash with cold water. Add 1/2 tsp oil and gently toss them.Keep the boiled noodles aside.
  • Slice onion,carrot,capsicum,cabbage into thin slices.Finely mince ginger and garlic.
  • Heat 3 tsp oil in a large open pan or wok.Add ginger and garlic and saute for a min.
  • Add remaining vegetables and keep sauteeing until they are half done.They should be cooked but also crunchy at the same time.Add salt and mix well.
  • Add the boiled noodles to the pan and mix the veggies and noodles.
  • In a separate bowl mix all the ingredients under " Sweet and spicy sauce for noodles ". Mix them well until combined.Add this to the pan.Gently toss the noodles in this sauce.
  • After 2 mins switch off the flame.
  • Top these noodles with chopped scallions and coarsely chopped peanuts on top.
  • The chow mein is ready to serve and enjoy.Add chopsticks for an additional touch.
  • Serve with creamy peanut sauce.

A big bowl of yummy goodness

Smooth and creamy Peanut Sauce

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Blueberry Yogurt Parfait

Parfait  is a frozen dessert that dates back to 1800 s .

In France, parfait refers to a frozen dessert made from a base of sugar syrup, egg, and cream.

In the United States, parfait refers to either the traditional French-style dessert or to a popular variant, the American parfait, made by layering parfait cream, ice cream, and/or flavored gelatins in a tall, clear glass, and topping the creation with whipped cream, fresh or canned fruit, and/or liqueurs.

In Canada and the United States, parfaits may also be made by using yogurt layered with granola, nuts or fresh fruits, such as peaches, strawberries, or blueberries.
(source wikipedia)

If you cannot find blueberries for the season,you can replace them with strawberries / Mango / Peach / Chikoo / Raspberry / Cherries / Banana or any other fruits which are pitted,peeled and chopped.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Jaipuri Pulao - Spicy Pulao recipe

Tired of cooking the usual pulao/biryani.Try this Jaipuri Pulao for a change and I am sure you are going to make this again and again. This just takes a few mins of prep time and the taste is just amazing.
I came across this recipe in a cooking channel in TV. I tried it and now this is my family's favorite pulao :)

This pulao gets its flavor from one major spice - Cardamom

  • Basmati Rice - 1 cup
  • Water - 1.5 cups
  • Butter / Ghee - 3-4 tblsp
  • Oil - 1/4 cup
  • Bay leaf - 1
  • Cashews - 2 tblsp
  • Coriander leaves - a small bunch - roughly chopped
  • Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Veggies - 1 cup -finely chopped
Vegetables Used :
  • Carrot - 1
  • Capsicum - 1/2
  • Beans - 4-5 
  • Brocolli - a small bunch
  • Green peas - 1/4 cup
  • Sweet corn kernels - 1/4 cup

Fresh Masala Paste - To grind
  • Onion - 1 small - roughly chopped
  • Cardamom - 4
  • Cashews - 1 tblsp
  • Green chilli - 3-5 depending on your spice level
  • Garlic pods - 5
  • Ginger - a small piece
  • Coriander powder - 1 tblsp
  • Cumin powder - 1 tblsp
  • Fresh cream or Milk - 4 tblsp 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Amla / Nellikai / Gooseberry Juice - Refreshing summer drink - Way to beat the heat

Gooseberry is a tangy ,juicy ,sweet - tart fruit .They are a good source of essential nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A, manganese and dietary fiber.They are low in calories, fat- and cholesterol-free.

They are very popular in India and most of the houses have these yummy tangy fruit trees.I remember picking them up from the ground,washing them and eating them raw.Nothing beats the urge to eat them as soon as you pick them up.The best and simple way to eat them is to just marinade them in salt water.Oh the taste would be heavenly.

My Mother-in-law made this for us when we were on vacation.I loved it and was so addicted.
This juice recipe is a bit sweeter which makes it a perfect drink for the summer for you and your kids to enjoy.

This recipe makes the concentrate of the juice.You can store it in an air tight container for a few days.Just before serving dilute it with water.


Pure Organic Honey

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Dindigul Thalappakatti Biriyani - Original Authentic Recipe (Vegetarian Version)

Dindigul Thalappakatti Biriyani  is very famous in Tamil Nadu known for its authentic southern spices and texture.It is fragrant, spicy, a bit tangy and full of strong flavors..This recipe is an original authentic recipe but instead of chicken I have replaced it with Soya chunks aka the Meal maker.Its rich in protein and has a great taste and texture.

My husband loves this biriyani so much that he could eat this every single day .Ha ha. He insisted a lot that I make this recipe and post it in my blog.So here goes :) ....

  • Seeraga Samba rice /KaliJeera rice - 2 cups
  • Water - 4 cups
  • Dried Soya Chunks - 1 cup
  • Curd - 1 cup
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice from - 1 lemon
  • Cilantro/Coriander leaves chopped - 1 cup
  • Mint leaves chopped - 1 cup
  • Salt
  • Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp 
  • Ghee - 1/4 cup
  • Oil - 3/4 cup

Masala - Ingredients to grind:
  • Shallots(small onion) or Large onion - 2 cups
  • Garlic pods (peeled) - 15-20
  • Medium size ginger - 1
  • Green Chilli - 5-7 depends on your spice level.
  • Cloves - 3
  • Cardamom - 3
  • Cinnamon stick broken pieces - 3
  • Nutmeg - 1/2 piece

Monday, March 21, 2016

Crispy Banana Waffles - 4th Anniversary Blog Post

It has been 4 years since I started this blog and this makes me immensely happy.A big thank you to everyone for all the love and support !! Your love keeps me motivated :)

I have been meaning to post a waffle recipe for so long. Traditional waffles are yummy healthy,crispy on the outside and a bit spongy on the inside.But I always like my waffles crispy.This recipe is nice and crunchy both on the inside and outside.

I am a big fan of banana bread and combining the flavor into the waffles made it even more yummy.It is healthy and nutritious.

Golden Organic bananas