Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tips on How to Cook Perfect Rice

Perfectly cooked rice is tasty, light, and fluffy. The grains are distinct and tender but not mushy. Different rice cooks at different parameters; brown rice cooks longer than white, old rice can lose some of its moisture, requiring more water and a longer cooking time. However getting consistently good results is not impossible. Rice can be cooked in one of several ways: boiled and steamed. There is a great variation in personal preference as to the hardness or softness of rice desired. In any event , properly cooked rice should be dry and uniform in texture. Even the softest rice should have all moisture completely absorbed into each grain and not left between the grains. (This does not, of course, apply to congee). The absorption method of cooking long-grain rice described below is the most commonly used.

Basmati Rice Rinse the rice several times until water comes out clear and drain off water. Excess water can make your rice mushy. For fluffier, faster cooking rice, soak it in cold water for about half an hour prior to cooking. You can skip this step and still get good results. If you do soak your rice, be sure to drain it thoroughly.

Add 1 1/2 to 2 cup of clear water (depending on softness desired, soaked rice requires less water) for every cup of rice and boil over big fire while stirring occasionally to prevent sticking that will lead to burning. Stir gently or it could break the rice. Use a pot with a tight-fitting lid that is big enough to provide plenty of room above the rice for steam. A tight lid keeps the steam in. Some cooks add a bit of butter or olive oil at this point to help keep the grains from sticking together. A few drops of lemon juice is used not only to prevent sticky rice, but to retain the "whiteness" of white rice. For some, this is not a good practice because it masks the natural flavor of the rice.

Lower the heat to a simmer when the water has been evaporated and small craters form on the surface. Cover and cook for 12~15 minutes. Note that soaked rice requires shorter cooking time. Also, t he greater the quantity of rice, the longer the heat is retained, and the shorter the cooking time. Avoid lifting the lid when the rice is cooking. For some reasons if you need to, do it very quickly. To test if the rice is cooked, squeezed a grain between the thumb and index finger. If it's cooked it will be soft, if uncooked, there will be a hard particle of starch in the centre of the grain.

At this stage, the top layer of the rice is drier than the bottom, which can be very moist. Gently f luff the rice with a fork or chopstick to avoid breaking the fragile rice below. Then let it stand, covered, for five to 30 minutes. This results in a uniform texture, with the bottom layers as fluffy as the top.

If there is a little liquid remaining once the rice is cooked, remove the cover and raise the heat to evaporate the liquid quickly (make sure that the rice does not stick to the pan) OR dry the rice in the oven at 300ºF for 7 to 15 minutes.

If there is a lot of cooking liquid remaining, drain the rice (the leftover cooking liquid can be used to make soups, sauces, or stews). Place the drained rice in the oven or on the stove briefly to dry it.

If the rice is not fully cooked, add just enough water to create a little steam. Put the lid on and cook the rice on very low heat for another 5 minutes.

If the bottom layer of rice has burned, run cold water over the outside of the pot's bottom to cool it down and retard the burnt flavor from spreading to the rest of the rice. Unload as much rice as you can salvage.

While cooking rice add a few drops of lemon juice. The color of the grains become bright white.

Mix Veg Curry

Making time: 20 minutes
Serves 2
Ingredients for Mix Veg Curry:

* 1 cup mixed vegetables sliced, boiled
(use carrot, cauliflower, beans, peas, potato, etc.)
* 1 tomato sliced
* 1/2 coconut grated
* 1/2 tsp. ginger grated
* 1/2 tsp. garlic crushed
* 3 green chillies
* 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
* 1/2 tsp. each cumin, mustard seeds
* 1/2 tsp. red chilli powder
* salt to taste
* 1 tsp.lemon juice
* 2 cloves
* 1" piece cinnamon
* 2 tbsp. butter

Directions for making Mix Veg Curry:

1. Drain the boiled vegetables, keep stock aside.
2. Blend together, coconut, chillies, sesame seeds, cinnamon, cloves in mixie.
3. Heat butter, add seeds, allow to splutter.
4. Add ginger, garlic and paste.
5. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes.
6. Add vegetables except tomatoes.
7. Add 1/2 cup stock. Cover, simmer for 5 minutes.
8. Add salt, chilli powder,tomatoes and cook till gravy is thick.
9. Serve hot with parathas or chappatis.
10. Enjoy your Mix Veg Curry. Hope you love this Indian recipe.

Sunday, June 6, 2010



Serves 6
Ingredients for Biryani:

* 2 lbs Spring Lamb (cleaned and cut into medium size pieces)
* 4 ozs Yougurt
* 4 ozs Ghee
* 1 lb Rice (washed)
* 4 ozs Onions (sliced finely)
* 1 oz Ginger & Garlic (equal amounts crushed)
* 1 Lemon
* 1 oz Armonds (ground)
* 2 Cinamon sticks
* 4-6 Cardimons
* 1 oz Milk
* 1/4 tsp Safron
* 2-3 Green Chilies
* 1/2 tsp Black Zeera
* 2-3 Cloves
* 1/2 tsp Garam Masala (equal amounts of Black Zeera, Cardamons & Cinamon sticks, with half amount of cloves)
* Salt to taste
* Coriander and Fried Onions to Garnish

Directions for making Biryani:

1. In a large bowl mix the meat, yoghurt, almonds, chopped green chillies, ginger and garlic, salt, and ground garam masala.
2. To the mixture add half a teaspoon each of chilli powder and turmeric. Marinate for at least 4-6 hours in the fridge.
3. Fry the onions in ghee until golden brown and crisp. Drain away any excess ghee and then remove the onions and spread over a large plate. This should keep the onions crispy.
4. Once they have cooled crush the onions with your fingers and add this to the marinated meat mixture.
5. In a large pan half fill with water and add salt, whole garam masala and one green chilli.
6. Bring this to the boil and add the washed rice and cook until the water boils.
7. Once the water has boiled drain the rice in a colander and rinse with a little cold water.
8. Grease the saucepan generously with ghee and transfer the meat mixture.
9. Level the surface and now spread the rice evenly over the meat.
10. Squeeze the lemon and pour the juice over the rice.
11. Warm the milk and crush the safron into it.
12. Pour the milk/safron mixture over the rice. Dot generously with ghee.
13. To garnish spread the fried onions and corriander over the rice.
14. Cover the saucepan tightly. Allow to steam on high heat for about 10 minutes and then lower the heat and cook for another 1 and a half to 2 hours.
15. Before removing the pan from the cookeer ensure that there is no moisture left in the meat. This can be checked by simply listening for a sizling sound. If there is no sizzling then the Biryani is ready.
16. Biryani is traditonally served with Mirch Salan and Yoghurt Chutney.
17. Enjoy your Biryani. Hope you love this Indian recipe.


Broccoli and Carrot Pulau, Green Prawn Pulao recipe , Lemon Rice, Saffron Rice recipe , Vegetable Pulao, Puliyogare, Exotic Chicken Biryani recipe

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Banana Bread


Ready in: 30-60 minutes


1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup egg substitute
2 cups mashed bananas
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Methods :

With mixer, beat together sugar, eggs, and bananas. Add dry ingredients; mix well. Pour into load pan sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Calories.....356.....Fat.....1 g.....Fiber.....4 g.

This recipe for Banana Bread serves/makes 1 loaf.

Amazing Mashed Patoto

Amazing Mashed potatoes

Ready in: < 30 minutes Ingredients * 8 medium yellow or white potatoes, peeled and quartered * 1 1/2 teaspoon salt * 1 cup half-and-half or milk * 2 tablespoons butter, or more to taste * 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Methods : Put the potatoes in a large heavy pan and add cold water to cover (don't ever put hot water on your raw potatoes; it makes them gluey). Add 1 tsp. of the salt and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes can be pierced easily with a knife. Drain and mash them with a hand masher or ricer. Put a lid on the pot to keep them warm. In a small saucepan, bring the half-and-half to a boil over medium-high heat, stir in the 2 Tbs. butter, and turn off the heat. Add the hot half-and-half to the potatoes, a little at a time, whipping vigorously with a fork until the potatoes are fluffy. Season with the remaining 1/2 tsp. of salt and the pepper. If desired, plop another few tablespoons of butter on top of the potatoes, either in the pan or the serving bowl, to melt down the sides. This recipe for Amazing Mashed Potatoes serves/makes 6.

All Chocolate Cheesecake

Ready in: 2-5 hrs


1 1/2 cup chocolate wafer crumbs
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
4 packages (8-ounce size) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
5 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Mix chocolate crumbs, cinnamon, and butter together and press into a 9-inch springform pan. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes. Remove and cool.

Mix together cream cheese and sugar until well blended. Beat in flour. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat in sour cream. Blend in the melted chocolate and vanilla. Pour over prepared crust. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes that then lower oven to 300F. Bake for an additional 45 minutes and then turn oven off and allow the cake to cool down with the oven for an hour. Remove from oven and cool completely. Refrigerate.

This recipe for All Chocolate Cheesecake serves/makes 12

Indian Spice Mix

Garam masala is a blend of ground aromatic spices common in the Indian cuisine often added to curry near the end of cooking to add great flavour and aroma. Garam masala is often added to indian food like pakoras and somasas.
Ingredients for Garam Masala Powder:

* 4 cloves
* 4-5 cinnamon sticks
* 1 tsp cumin seeds
* 1 tsp coriander seeds
* 7 peppercorns
* 1 bayleaf
* Ghee(clarified butter)

Tandoori masala is a mixture of spices ground to fine powder in a grinder or with a pestle and mortar specifically for use with a tandoor, or clay oven, in traditional North Indian cooking for dishes like tandoori chicken, tikka, tandoori fish, butter chicken etc. Tandoori masala can be stored in airtight jars for up to 2 months.
Ingredients for Tandoori Masala Powder:

* 4 tsp ground coriander
* 3 tsp ground cummin
* 4 tsp garlic powder
* 4 tsp paprika
* 3 tsp ground ginger
* 2 tsp mango powder
* 1 tsp dried mint
* 3 tsp deep red coloring
* 1 tsp chilli powder
* 1 tsp yellow colouring)