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.

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

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.

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.

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 :)

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.