Jeera Rice

11/26/2011 Raksha Kamat 15 Comments

 Jeera Rice is a rice with the wonderful flavour of Jeera/ Cumin. This rice is very simple to cook and tastes great. The combination of spices makes this dish more tasty. It is optional to add the other spices. Addition of raisins gives it yet another sweet taste.

This was a hit in my house on a Sunday. The house was filed with the aroma of Basmati Rice. This rice is great for small house parties where it can be accompanied with some side dish like some type of fry.


2 cups Basmati rice
2 tsp Jeera/Cumin seeds
1 bayleaf
1 finely sliced Onion
2 tbsp Ghee (Clarified butter)
small stick Cinnamon
½ tsp Cumin seeds
2 Cardamom
2 Clove
10 Cashew nuts
1 inch piece Ginger
2 flakes Garlic
10-15 raisins/dry grapes
Salt – to taste


Make a paste with ginger, garlic and keep aside.

In a pressure cooker heat ghee and add cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and cashew nuts and fry for few seconds. Add the raisins and let them pop up.
Add onions and saute till they turn pinkish.
Now add the ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw smell disappears.
Add rice and fry for about 2 to 3 Min's.
Then add 4 cups of water and salt.
Mix properly and close the pressure cooker.
Pressure cook for 2 whistles and switch off the gas

Serve hot with raita or any side dish of your liking.


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Guest Post: From a Healthy Grocery List Down to Actual Food Preparation – A Guide to a Perfect Home-Cooked Meal

11/23/2011 Raksha Kamat 7 Comments

Thanks to the contributing Blogger Carolyn Knight for this wonderful article. She is a writer from Austin, TX and wanted to do a guest post on this blog.

From a Healthy Grocery List Down to Actual Food Preparation – A Guide to a Perfect Home-Cooked Meal

It is always a pleasure to have guests around the house.  When you need to entertain people or simply have a little get together with the family, it always gives you the opportunity to show off your kitchen prowess. Nothing beats enjoying a sumptuous feast among friends and family. And, don’t worry, a home-cooked meal doesn’t have to be ornate to be delicious. There are tons of easy meals that you can prepare that will both satisfy and delight your guests.

So, how should you structure your meal? Here, we lay down the guidelines for any great meal, ensuring that your dinner runs smoothly from start to finish.

Traditionally, an aperitif marks the start of the meal.  An aperitif is an alcoholic drink strategically served to guests in order to stimulate their appetite. Dinner hosts usually shoot for wines that are crisp, fresh and young to kick off the meal. Try to stay away from serving full-bodied red wines.

Appetizers or Hors d' Oeuvres
Starters, snacks, or finger foods are usually served before the main course of the meal. These appetizers will give your guests something to munch on, while you finish things up in the kitchen. Prepare something that is simple and doesn’t take too much time to put together. A simple cheese plate and some nice cold cuts with a baguette could do the trick or maybe even some deviled eggs.

Deviled Eggs

Main Course
This part of the meal is usually very challenging, especially when it comes to selecting a great dish that all of your guests will enjoy. There are several factors you have to consider. 

First, how many guests will you be entertaining?  If there are quite a lot of people coming over, you will need to prepare something that you are capable of cooking while being responsible and sociable host. When you are serving food for 1 or 2 people, then the sky is the limit!  You can prepare a more intricate dish while still entertaining your guests.

The second thing to consider is the time of the year.  The secret to a successful dish is to acquire the freshest ingredients you can get your hands on.  You can check to see what foods are in season in your region on this seasonal ingredient map.  The Food Network offers lots of seasonal recipes that could help give you some inspiration.

Not everyone has a sweet tooth, but what’s a meal without dessert?  This course is way more convenient for the busy host/hostess, since he/she can prepare most desserts ahead of time.  Try a classic chocolate cake, chocolate tart, carrot cakes, and much more.

Carrot Cake

Digestif or Coffee
This closes the meal. A digestif usually contains bitter herbs that are believed to be helpful for proper digestion.  Some examples include coffee, whisky, tequila, etc. After all is said and done, you can give yourself a pat on the back and send your guests off happy and fulfilled. 


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Easy Chicken Dry

11/21/2011 Raksha Kamat 18 Comments

I was very tired and exhausted after coming home from office. Just wanted to take some rest. There were some marinated chicken pieces in the fridge. Ok, thought of trying something quick and easy. Just checked my fridge and found some capsicum and tomatoes. Came up with an idea of a quick and easy chicken recipe.

The recipe is mentioned below. Never imagined that the dish would turn out yummy. Yes, it was very very yummy and delicious. It did not take much effort too.

1/2 kg marinated chicken pieces
2 big onions
2 tomatoes
1 capsicum
1 tablespoon pepper powder
1 tsp soya sauce
1 tablespoon chili sauce
1/2 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
Salt to taste

For Marination:
Apply 1 tablespoon turmeric, paste made out of 1 bunch coriander leaves + 1/2 inch ginger + 10 garlic pods, 1/2 cup curds and salt.

In a kadia/wok, fry the cumin seeds for 1/2 Min. Then add onion and when they turn pinkish, add garlic and tomato. When tomatoes turn mushy add the capsicum which has been cut into cubes.
Once the capsicum gets cooked, add pepper powder and mix well. Add the sauces and mix well.
Add the chicken pieces, keep then covered and cook till the chicken pieces are well cooked.
This can be found out by checking if the piece gets easily cut.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot either with chapatis or rice.


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Gobi Paratha - Step By Step

11/13/2011 Raksha Kamat 26 Comments

Parathas stuffed with vegetables are a healthy option in every house-hold. If you child does not eat veges, then the best is to stuff them and serve it to the kids.
Different types of veges can be stuffed to make a paratha. E.g., potatoes, methi, palak, coriander, cauliflower, green peas, spring onion, carrot, beetroot, onion and a various combination of these. The stuffing can be prepared in anyway you prefer. But it should be a bit dry. Then the procedure of making a paratha remains the same.
I learnt to make paratha just be observing a road side vendor doing it from my office bus which was stuck in a traffic jam :)
Another method of doing a paratha is by mixing the veges while moulding the dough and then rolling them into chapatis. But I prefer this method for leafy veges like palak.


For Filling:
1 cup Grated Cauliflower
1 tbsp Coriander leaves (finely chopped)
1 tsp Ginger garlic paste
a pinch Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Garam masala powder
3/4 tsp Red chili powder
1 tsp Cumin seeds
2 tsp Oil / Ghee
Salt to taste

For Dough:
2 cups Wheat flour
Salt - as needed
2 tsp Oil
Water - as required

Recipe Source: Sharmis Passions

Keep all the ingredients ready.

In a food processor mould the dough, cover and keep aside for 20 Min's.

In a kadia/ Wok, add little oil. When it heats add cumin seeds and let it crackle. Add ginger-garlic paste and fry for few seconds.

Now add the other ingredients, except coriander leaves and saute till the raw smell of cauliflower goes away.
Sprinkle little water to cook it faster. Fry for another 5 Min's.
Switch off the gas and add the coriander leaves.

Make small equal sized balls of the dough. Roll the dough into small round shape and add 1 tablespoon of the filling.
Gather the dough from all sides and close it.
Now slightly flatten the dough with filling with your palm.
Then use the rolling pin and roll it gently. Try to avoid the filling from oozing out.

If required dust the rolling table with little flour to avoid the dough from sticking.
Now heat the non-stick tawa/frying pan. Add little ghee and fry the parathas on both sides.
Serve with pickle/raita or any type of gravy.


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Homemade Remedies For Throat Infection and common colds

11/11/2011 Raksha Kamat 31 Comments

Acccchu...Yes the winter has just set in. People around are complaining of cold,coughs,throat infection, etc etc.
Always taking antibiotics and allopathic medication is not a good idea. Also sometimes taking antibiotics and  other allopathic medicine does not help.

Since the last few days I am suffering from throat infection. This is the first time that my throat infection has turned very very bad. I keep getting terrible ear aches. To add to this, I also got high fever of 102 C. Took an antibiotic course of 7 days, but still I feel no relief. I called my mom and she has shared all these remedies with me. The best is "Kasai/Kada".

Whenever I got cold and throat infection, my mom used to give me this "kada".
This time I called my mom and asked her the recipe. Gave this to my hubby too as he too was affected by throat infection. Thankfully, he got recovered but not me.

I thought of sharing some homemade remedies for this winter. The best is "Kasai" or "Kada". Try it out. This does not taste bitter :)

Remedy 1
Ingredients for Kasai/Kada:
1 tsp Fennel Seeds / Badishep
1 tsp Black peppercorns
1 tsp Coriander seeds
1 tsp Cumin Seeds / Jeera
1 tsp dry ginger / Soonth

Mix all the ingredients and grind to form a powder.
Add this to 2 cups of boiling water. Let it get boiled for sometime say 5-10 Min's.
Strain and sip this hot Kada.

This has to be had for 3-4 continuous days or till you feel better. This will provide quick relief for sore throats.

Remedy 2
Mix 1 tsp black pepper powder and 1 tsp dry ginger powder in 1 tablespoon honey. This has to be had twice a day.
This is also good to provide quick relief to sore throats and common cold.

Remedy 3
Salt water gargles in Luke warm water - always the best and effective.

Remedy 4
Mix turmeric powder in boiling milk along with 1 tsp sugar. Drink this hot turmeric milk to get relief from common cold.

Remedy 5
If you are a non-vegetarian, do drink hot and sour chicken soup.

Remedy 6
Simply eat honey. Honey has the natural antibiotic and can be had anytime when the throat turns bad.

Remedy 7
Just eat 2-3 raw garlic pods 5 times a day for 3 days.
Note:All these homemade remedies should be had simultaneously with other medications which has been prescribed by a doctor. I am only sharing the homemade remedies. I am not a doctor :) Please consult your doctor in case you are down with throat infection.


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Prawns Biryani

11/06/2011 Raksha Kamat 21 Comments

On a Sunday before Diwali, I prepared this Prawns Biryani. The aroma had spread across my entire house.
Little did my Hubby Dear know what was cooking in the kitchen. But at the back of his mind he knew that something special was on his way.

At the lunch time, I served this Biryani along with "raita". Raita was made up of curds and grated carrot, finely chopped capsicum, 1 green chilly and a little of chopped coriander leaves. The Biryani is always incomplete without raita.

While serving I gave my serving table a little bit of restaurant look. Kept some table mats and used new crockery to serve the dish. My hubby just could not believe that this Biryani was cooked by me. But the smell in my kitchen was a big proof that it was cooked by his Dear wife :) He just loved the taste and he kept on asking me how I got the orange color and blah blah blah...At the end he told me to prepare such a type of Biryani again.

This time I could not give the Biryani to my little one, because it was a bit spicy and also because she was sick. But I will surely prepare this again for both my dearies... my hubby dear and my little baby gal. They are my world and the pillars which keeps me rocking.

20-25 de-shelled and deviened prawns
2 big onions
10 cloves
1/2 inch cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp cumin seeds(Jeera)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 inch ginger
2-3 green chillies
1 1/2 cup Basmati rice
2 tomatoes
7 peppercorns
10 cashew nuts
5 black grapes/kishmish
1 tsp cardamon powder
Pinch of orange food color
2 bay leaves
4 red chillies
10 garlic flakes
1/4 cup finely chopped coriander leaves
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp pepper powder
Salt to taste


Marinate the prawns by applying 1 tsp chilly powder, 1 tsp turmeric powder and 1/2 tsp salt.

Wash the rice and keep aside for at least 30 Min's. After 30 Min's, boil the rice by adding bay leaves and 2 peppercorns. Add 1/2 tsp salt to the rice. Let it be par boiled or semi-boiled. Drain the water and spread the rice on a flat strainer and let it cool and dry under the fan. Add 1 tsp cinnamon powder and 1/2 tsp pepper powder to this.

In a kadai/wok, add 2 tablespoon oil and fry peppercorns, green chillies cut length wise and coriander leaves.
Add onion and fry till onion becomes pinkish. Add the tomatoes and cook till it turns mushy.

Grind ginger,garlic and the other masalas to a fine paste. Add this to the onion/tomato mixture in the kadai and mix properly.
Grind the cashew nuts to a thin paste by adding 2 tablespoon water.
Add this cashew nut paste and the marinated prawns to the kadai and cook for 10 Min's.
Add salt to taste.

To the rice apply little bit of orange food color. Do not apply colour to the whole rice. Just to 1/4 of the par-boiled rice. Mix the orange rice with the white rice.

In a deep bottom pan, apply little oil at the bottom. Now spread one layer of rice. On this spread one layer of the gravy. On this spread another layer of rice, then gravy and continue to do so alternately till the gravy is over. Do not switch on the gas.
In the same kadai, Deep fry half onion cut length wise till it becomes brown and crisp. In the same oil fry some dry black grapes(kishmish) and cashew nuts.
Spread this on top of the rice.

Now make 4 holes in the rice and put in 1 tsp butter in each hole. Cover with a lid.
Switch on the gas and let it be on low flame. Switch it off after 5 Min's.

Serve with vegetable raita.

Note: This blog post has been updated with new pictures on 24-01-2015.


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