Archive for the ‘Rice’ Category

Saag Pulao

Saag Pulao

We went to blueberry picking, something I have been looking forward to do this summer.This way we are getting the freshest fruits at its peak, and nothing beats the flavor of a juicy, sun-ripened berries right off the plant, right?

We picked a pound of blueberries and 2 pints of blackberries. We probably should have gotten more, which I always think after buying the stuff and riding back home.We already ate half a pint of blueberries riding back home, and the rest, I think my going to make muffins and will also use in making smoothies. We loved the farm, it was so beautiful and scenic – covered in various fruits and vegetable gardens. Now I know from where to pick apples this fall..The best part was for my little one, who was happy to see little and big chickens out there. He didn’t want to pick any berries, just wanted to sit and talk to the chickens..:)

In the evening, I did not have the mood to cook something elaborate and made this quick and easy saag pulao for dinner.

Remember my Makke De Roti/Sarsoon da Saag post, I had some cooked saag left to use, so made this pulao with that. Alternatively you can use spinach leaves,blanch the spinach leaves in a boiling water for 4-5 minutes and drain immediately and immerse in a bowl of ice water.Squeeze out the excess water, and puree it in blender until smooth. And then use. Use about 1 1/2 cups of spinach leaves.

We had this pulao with yogurt, papads and onion salad on the side – one good comforting meal. So, here’s what I did to make this easy, delicious one pot meal.

Saag Pulao

Saag Pulao


  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice
  • 3/4  cup cooked greens/saag
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 no’s black cardamom
  • 3 no’s cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies, devined and chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 10-12 whole cashew nuts. lightly roasted in oil
  • 2 tbsp light olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • water to cook the rice
  • Wash rice in several changes of tap water, drain and keep it aside for 20-30 minutes.
  • Heat oil on medium heat in cooker. When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds, bay leaves, caradmom, cloves, cinnamon and star anise. Saute them first until lightly golden brown.
  •  Then add chopped onions, followed by green chillies, ginger-garlic paste and sauté until onions start to brown.
  •  Now add the saag, turmeric powder, gram masala powder, salt to taste and cook for 4-5 minutes on medium heat.
  •  To this sautéed masala, add the drained basmati rice and water. Season the rice with salt and stir the whole thing well. Cover the lid and cook for 1 whistle. Wait till the pressure releases, open the lid and gently mix the rice using a fork and add the roasted cashews.
  •  Serve with yogurt, papad and pickle on side. Enjoy!
Saag Pulao

Saag Pulao

Shrimp Biryani

Posted: June 10, 2011 by incidentalcooksuman in Indian Food, Rice
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Biryani is a rice based dish made usually with basmati rice, vegetable or meat and aromatic spices.This is again a dish brought in India by Mughal emperors. Over period of time the dish was assimilated into regional cuisines and there are various variants of Biryani such as Hyderabadi Biryani, Kerala Biryani etc. – each one adapted to region and taste.

Making biryani is an elaborate process but the end result is always worth it. Vegetable biryani is common in my mom’s house. So, whenever she plans to make this dish she would have a long list of ingredients to get from market. Since I eat chicken, I have tried Chicken Biryani in the same way mom does for vegetable biryani. So, I was familiar with this two types of biryani.

Recently, I had Shrimp Biryani at friend’s house and it was super-duper delicious. When she started cooking this for sunday lunch the whole house was filled with delicious aroma and I couldn’t wait for her to finish the dish. It was so delicious and aromatic. So, thought of making this dish at home.


For Biryani:

  • 15-16 shrimps, deveined and cleaned, tail on
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced and fried

For marinating shrimp:

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • salt to taste

For Shrimp Masala:

  • 1 large onion, chopped(Blend onion, garlic, ginger and poppy seeds to a fine paste)
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 inch ginger, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped( Make a paste of mint leaves and green chillies)
  • 4 green chillies
  •  1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 tablespoon Biryani masala powder(I have used sanjeev kapoor’s)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 4 whole pepper corns
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 black cardamom
  • salt to taste

For Rice:

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 whole pepper corns
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1 star anise
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoon warm milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron strands


  • Wash the rice in running water until the water turns clear about two to three times. Drain the water and keep it aside.
  • Marinate the shrimp with turmeric powder, lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste and salt for about 30-40 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, fry the sliced onions in 1/2 cup of oil until crispy and golden brown. Once down, keep this aside.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet and fry the shrimps for about 5 minutes on low flame. Once done, keep it aside.
  • In the same pan, add the whole spices and when it changes the color, add onions-ginger -garlic -poppy seeds paste and cook until the onions turns brown.
  • Now add crushed tomatoes, salt to taste, turmeric powder, coriander powder, biryani masala and garam masala and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
  • Once the masala is cooked throughly add yogurt and mint leaves-green chillies paste to the masala and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the shrimps and salt to taste. Mix well so that all the shrimps are coated with the cooked masala and cook on a low flame for 4-5 minutes.Remove from heat and keep it aside.
  • In a separate pan heat 2 tablespoons of butter and fry the bay leaves, whole black pepper corns, cloves and add rest of the whole spices.
  • Add the rice and stir fry for about 2-3 minutes. Add 2 cups of water and mix well. Put the lid on the pan and let it cook for 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the rice is almost done on a low flame. Once the rice is done, pour saffron mixture on top and gently fluff the rice with a fork.
  • Add the cooked rice on top of the shrimp masala and mix everything together. Also, add the fried onions to the biryani.
  • Cover the dish and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
  • Once done garnish the biryani with coriander leaves to serve.
  • Serve with cucumber raita and salad.
  • And enjoy!