Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mushroom Briyani/ Pulav

Me: Kavin, did you notice that there is something new today around the trees.
Kavin: Looks carefully around a tree and comes back with a smile saying "Mushrooms". Why there are mushrooms today?
Me: Because it rained yesterday and the land is damp. Mushrooms grow anywhere it is damp.
Kavin: Amma, can I go and touch the mushrooms?
Me: They are wild and poisonous mushrooms and not edible. So you cannot touch them.
Kavin: What do you mean by edible?
Me: You call something edible, if you can eat it.
Kavin: Why is this mushroom wild?
The conversation about mushroom goes on and on and on between me and my 2 1/2 years old on a cloudy day before he sits in the car to go to his daycare. I am completely enjoying this phase of motherhood answering all his why and what questions. Sometimes I also need to do some research before I answer his questions :-) .

So today is a post about "The meat of the vegetable world"  .

This mushroom briyani/pulav has become a frequent visitor to our kitchen nowadays. All of us in our house like this simple dish which has a lot of flavor from the mushrooms. Mushroom briyani paired with cucumber and onion raitha is a heavenly combination.


  1. Mushroom - 1 pound
  2. Basmathi Rice - 1 cup
  3. Onion - 1 thinly sliced
  4. Ginger garlic paste - 1 tablespoon
  5. Tomato - 1 large finely chopped
  6. Chilli powder - 1 teaspoon/ more if desired
  7. Coriander powder - 2 teaspoons
  8. Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
  9. Oil - 2 tablespoons
  10. Whole garam masala - 2 cloves, 2 cardamom, 2 inches of cinnamon
  11. Cilantro leaves - 1/2 cup
  12. Mint leaves - 1/2 cup
  13. Salt - as needed


1. Clean the rice and soak it in 2 cups of water.
2. In a heated pressure cooker, add oil. Once the oil gets hot, add the whole garam masala.
3. Saute till the aroma of the garam masala comes out. Add onions and ginger garlic paste. Saute till the onions become soft and translucent
4. Now add the tomatoes, salt and turmeric. Let the tomatoes get mushy.
5. Add chilli powder and coriander powder. Cut the mushrooms into bite sized chunks and add it to the masala.
6. Saute it till most of the water oozed out of the mushroom is absorbed.
7. Now add the rice and water. Check for salt and adjust if needed.
8. Cook in the pressure cooker for 2 whistles.

Serve it with Cucumber and Onion Raitha.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Peanut Butter Pillows

Couple of weeks back, I prepared these little treats for the little hands. It is fun to prepare and the filling can be anything of your choice. My filling was just peanut butter. But some fruit jelly along with the peanut butter would have been even better. Or, for chocolate lovers, peanut butter with few pieces of chocolate chips will be an excellent treat.


This recipes makes 18 pillows.

1. Puff Pastry - 1 sheet
2. Peanut butter - 1/3 cup - 1/2 cup
3. Fruit Jelly - 1/4 cup


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

1. Thaw the pastry sheet to room temperature. Sprinkle some flour over an even surface and roll out the sheet a little bit.
2. Fold the sheet like a book to form a crease in the middle. Using a pizza cutter, cut along the crease formed.
3. Stack the 2 sheets(Make sure you sprinkle some flour in between the 2 sheets to avoid them from sticking together). Using a pizza cutter, cut it into half lengthwise. Then make 18 even squares. Since you have a stack of two sheets you will get 36 squares. (Huh... I feel like I am in a math class.A picture to explain this would have been much better.)
4. Remove the top squares from the bottom squares and set them aside for later.
5. Using a spoon, place a small amount of peanut butter. If you are using fruit jelly or chocolate chips, spread the peanut butter a little bit and place the fruit jelly or chocolate chips. Repeat this for all the 18 squares.
6. Using a pastry brush or your finger, dampen the edges of each square with water. Top each square with another square that we saved earlier.
7. Use a fork to crimp and seal the edges. Make sure the edges are well sealed, otherwise the filling might ooze out while baking.
8. Place these squares on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush each square with milk and sprinkle sugar generously on top of each square.
9. Bake them for about 8 to 12 minutes or until they are perfectly golden.

Allow them to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. They are super delicious when they are slightly warm.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Easy Breezy Chicken Curry

Busy weekends with summer outings and shopping for our upcoming India trip is making us less frequent visitors to the grocery stores. It was one of those days, where we did not feel like going out for dinner nor prepare any elaborate dinner at home. I looked into the fridge and there was no vegetable left to make any quick subzi for rotis. I saw a pack of chicken and I was all smiles. Starring pointlessly at that pack of chicken, gave birth to this simple recipe which was ready in no time. It was simply delicious.


1. Chicken - 1 1/2 lb
2. Oil - 2 tablespoons
3. Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
4. Curry leaves - few
5. Onion - 1 big finely chopped
6. Tomato - 2 medium - finely chopped
7. Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tablespoon
8. Salt - as needed
9. Turmeric - 1 teaspoon
10. Chilli powder - 1 teaspoon (or more if required)
11. Garam Masala - 1-2 teaspoons
13. Yogurt/ thick curd - 2 tablespoons (optional)


1. Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and clean it thoroughly.
2. In a pressure cooker, heat oil and add mustard seeds. Wait for it to splutter and add onion, ginger garlic paste and curry leaves.
3. Saute till the onions become pink and soft.
4. Add the chopped tomatoes, salt and turmeric. Saute till the tomatoes turn mushy.
5. Now add yogurt,chilli powder and garam masala powder.
6. Add the chicken and give it a quick stir. Sprinkle very little water and pressure cook till one whistle.
7. After the pressure is released, transfer it to a wide pan and let it cook till most of the water evaporates and the oil starts leaving the sides of the pan.
8. If you prefer to have it more on the curry side, remove it from heat a little early.
9. Once it reaches your preferred consistency, remove it from heat and garnish it with cilantro.

Serve it over rice or roti's.