Posts Tagged ‘spices’

Shrimp Biryani

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

Garam Masala which is a hindi word where garam means hot and masala means spices. It is a basic blend of spices very common in india and other South Asian cuisines. The spices in a garam masala differs according to region and personal taste. Basically the common ingredients are black peppercorns, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, whole cloves, green cardamom seeds, black/brown cardamom seeds, dried bay leaves and cinnamon sticks. Garam masala is pungent but not hot as chilli peppers.

This highly aromatic seasoning serves as an all-purpose blend in Indian cooking, seasoning non vegetarian and vegetarian dishes . Often it is sprinkled on the top of dishes towards the end of the cooking process to preserve its special flavor.

You can get garam masala in every grocery store these days but I like to make my own masala at home which allows me to control the ingredients  according to my taste . Garam masala is like any other recipe. It is very easy to put together and once you do it you are not going to get the packed ones from the stores.

Freshly ground garam masala can be stored for up to 3-4 months in an air-tight container in your pantry.

Garam Masala

Garam Masala


  • 4 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 4 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoon black pepper corns
  • 1 tablespoon cloves
  • 6 large black cardamom
  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 2  cinnamon sticks
  • 3-4 dried bay leaves


  • Heat a skillet and carefully dry roast all of the above ingredients on low flame. Stir once in a while.
  • Once the spices are roasted, turn off the flame and let it cool.
  • Once cooled, grind them all together to a fine powder in a clean, dry coffee grinder.
  • Store in an air-tight container in your pantry and use as needed.
Garam Masala

Garam Masala

Recipe Yields: 6-7 servings
Chicken Curry with Fingerling Potatoes
This time I had made this chicken curry with  chicken drumsticks/leg pieces and Fingerling potatoes. Fingerling potatoes are smaller than regular potatoes and they are finger like shaped. I like this cute looking pototes and it also tastes good in any curry. I do not remove the skin of potatoes coz as in the skin is very thin and tender. It really compliments the flavor of chicken when used in this curry. You can use any small potatoes but do not peel the skin, believe me it taste wonderful with the skin, really unique.  So, here goes the recipe for the same.

Chicken Curry with Fingerling Potatoes

Chicken Curry with Fingerling Potatoes


  • 10-12 Chicken drumsticks/ leg pieces, skinless
  • 6-7 fingerling potates, slit vertically, just in two pieces
  • 5 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 small plum tomato, large cubed
  • 3 small dried bay leaves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1  teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1  teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoon oil

For marinating:

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 red chilli powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • Remove the skin of chicken drumsticks/leg pieces. Marinate them with the ingredients mentioned under marination.
  • Heat oil in a large dutch oven, add garlic, ginger, red chilli flakes, onions , cinnamon sticks and bay leaves. Cook until onions are reduced in quantity and slightly golden brown.
  • Add cubed tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, fingerling potatoes, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, salt to taste and cover the lid. Cook until oil seperates from the masala.
  • Add chicken leg pieces and cook uncover for 5-10 minutes on medium high heat. Stir in between so that it do not stick to the bottom.
  • Add water to make some gravy and cover the lid and cook until the chicken is no longer pink near the bone, about 30 minutes.
  • Serve hot with basmati rice and enjoy.

Chicken Curry with Fingerling Potatoes

Chicken Curry with Fingerling Potatoes

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Chicken Biryani

Posted: May 14, 2010 by incidentalcooksuman in Indian Food
Tags: , , , , , ,

Chicken Biryani

Every home in india knows how to make biryani and everyone has different ways to make it by using the same spices. At my home everyone is vegetarian except me, so my mom obviously make vegetable biryani with lots of veggies. She makes vegetables and rice separately; then layer them resulting in a dish of the contrasting flavors of rice and intensely flavored sauce of vegetables in one vessel. Serve with raita and salads.  Biryani making is a long process but the result is worth it and also we make biryani only on some occasions or if some one is visiting so it’s all worth. So i have followed the same recipe instead of vegetables I used chicken.

Chicken biryani

Chicken biryani

Recipe Yields: 5-6 servings
  • 1 medium-sized chicken, cut into pieces.
  • 1 tablespoons chilli Powder
  • 4 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 2 large white onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
  • 1 tablespoons ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander powder
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon chilly flakes
  • 2 green chillies, seeded and minced
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • Salt to taste.

For cooking rice:

  • 3 cups basmati  rice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 strands of saffron
  • 1 teaspoon warm milk
  • 2  tablespoon oil
  • 1 bay dried bay leave, tear into two pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves


  • Marinate the Chicken pieces in salt, turmeric powder and chilli powder for 15-20 minutes.
  • Wash basmati rice, drained and keep it aside for about 20-25 minutes.
  • In one tablespoon of warm milk, soak strands of saffron and wait till it turns yellow and keep it aside.
  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker over medium heat and add cumin seeds and let it get brown, add bay leaves, rice and salt, stir in well to coat all rice grains with oil. Pour in water and pressure cook, once done keep it aside.
  • Pour soaked saffron on the rice and gently mix all together once.
  • In a dutch oven heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the cinnamon sticks and dried bay leaves.
  • Add thinly sliced onions cook and stir until translucent, about 5 minutes or so. Stir in the minced garlic,ginger, green chillies and the crushed chilli flakes. Cook until the onions turns brown in color, about 5-6 minutes.
  • Add crushed tomatoes, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, salt to taste. cook another 5 minutes covering the lid.
  • Add the chicken pieces to the sauce; mix properly to coat all the pieces.
  • On medium heat cook the chicken about 6-7 minutes.
  • Then add water to make some gravy and cover the lid and cook until the chicken is no longer pink near the bone, about 30 minutes.
  • Garnish with cilantro/coriander leaves.

For assembling Biryani:

  • Take a deep pan with a lid on it, heat the pan with 1 tablespoon of butter and spread all under the pan after melting.
  • First spread a layer of rice under the bottom of pan, followed by layer of chicken, sprinkle chopped coriander, cashews and golden raisins on top.
  • Repeat it again with the layer of rice , followed by chicken , coriander leaves, raisins and cashews. The top most layer should be of rice, sprinkle all leftover coriander leaves, raisins and cashews on the top.
  • Cover the lid of the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes. Let it rest for sometime and serve.
  • Serve with raita and salad.


Have a nice weekend everyone…thanks for visiting my blog…Ciao!