Cook Royally: Subz Dum Biryani

Halogen OvenFestivals in India are a time for meeting and greeting, which invariably means a lot of guests. That in turn translates into ‘lunches’ and ‘dinners’. And there is nothing like sharing a meal of home-cooked exotic Subz Dum Biryani.

Brimming with flavours, spices and assorted vegetables the Subz Dum Biryani makes for a delicious full-filling meal. Its unique flavor, aroma and taste are derived from its namesake cooking technique – ‘Dum’ meaning ‘slow cooking’. But count not the seconds, minutes and hours of toil for the technologically advanced Usha Halogen Oven will help you cook this prized recipe in a blink without compromising on its uniqueness.

The right way to cook this dish is to place the ingredients inside a earthen pot and seal it tight with dough to prevent the steam from escaping, which allows the spices to give the rice an enchanting mouthwatering aroma and flavor, reminiscent of royal Mughal Kitchens.  But in absence of time and in lieu of an entourage of chefs from the royal kitchen, the Usha Halogen Oven is the perfect kitchen appliance to cook it easily at home. Its unique enclosed shape ensures that steam is trapped inside it, infusing the various flavours into your Briyani. While the aforementioned technological innovation doesn’t only do this fast, but does it with a simple touch of button retaining not just the aroma and falvour but also the nutrients present in the vegetables – making it the perfect Subz Dum Biryani.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

Rice

  • 1½ cups basmati rice
  • 4-5 chhoti illaichi (green cardamom),
  • 2 tej patta (bay leaves), 5-6 laung (cloves)
  • 4 tsp salt, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 10 cups water

 Vegetables

  • 2 thin carrots – cut into cubes, 20 french beans – cut into 1″ pieces
  • ½ of a small cauliflower – cut into very small florets (1 cup)
  • 2 onions – chopped
  • 3 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp salt

 Mix together nicely

  • 1 cup curd
  • 1 tbsp mint – chopped finely, 1 tbsp coriander – chopped finely
  • 1-2 drops kewra essence, ¾ tsp salt
  • Crushed spices together
  • ½ tsp shah jeera (black cumin), seeds of 2 moti illaichi, 1 dalchini, 2-3 blades javetri (mace)
  • Other ingredients
  • 2 tbsp melted ghee and 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 onions – sliced and deep fried, a few mint leaves
  • A few strands kesar – soaked in 1 tsp hot water
  • 2 tbsp melted ghee
  • To seal
  • Aluminium foil and dough

Method:

  1. Wash rice several times. Strain. Let it be in the strainer for 30 minutes. (do not soak).
  2. Boil rice in 10 cups water with all ingredients till rice is a little chewy and not fully soft. Strain. Now spread rice in a big tray on a cloth. Remove whole spices from the cooked rice and discard them. Mix 1 cup cooked rice with kesar to colour the grains. Now mix this coloured rice with the white rice.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp ghee and 2 tbsp oil. Add chopped onions to the pan, stir till golden.
  4. Add half of the crushed spices. Stir for 30 seconds on low heat. Add 3 tsp ginger-garlic paste. Mix. Add red chilli powder. Add salt. Add vegetables and bhuno for 2 minutes. Cook covered on low heat till vegetables turn crisp tender. Do not overcook.
  5. Remove from fire. Let it cool down. Add the curd, stirring continuously. Mix well.
  6. To assemble the biryani, take a handi. Grease it. Spread ½ of the rice in the dish. Spread vegetables along with curd over the rice. Spread remaining rice. Sprinkle remaining crushed spices and 2 tbsp of melted ghee over the rice. Sprinkle some mint and crispy fried onions. Cover with foil.
  7.  Seal foil with atta dough. Put the dish/handi on low rack in the halogen oven. Press speed up mode and set at 120°C for 20 minutes. Press start and give dum to biryani. Serve hot.

Garam Masala – The Bhadralok Way

Ever wondered why your ethnic dishes do not quite taste and smell ethnic though you followed the ethnic recipe (handed down by your grandmother or extensively researched over the internet) to the letter? The answer comes from an unexpected source – from Einstein’s very own mouth: “God lies in the Details.” And when it comes to Indian cuisine the detail would very much read as ‘Masala’

Just like Dal, different parts of India follow different methods while preparing Garam Masala. With Durga Puja just around the corner, we thought it would be apt to begin with the recipe for Bengali Garam Masala. The flavored and aromatic Bengali version can be used for marinating fish, chicken and mutton. It can also be used in vegetables and curries in the end for that extra punch and aroma.

 IngredientsBengali Garam Masala

  • 4 dried whole red chilly
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds (til)
  • 2 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp white peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp cloves (laung)
  • 2 cinnamon stick (dalchini)
  • 10 small green cardamom (elaichi)
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds (dhaniya)
  • 3 bay leaves (tej pata)
  • 1 tbsp ginger

Method

  1. Roast all ingredients in a dry pan (except ginger) over a low heat.
  2. When the spices give out their aroma, allow it to cool.
  3. Using your Usha Grinder, grind the ingredients finely, while adding ginger. (Mustard oil can be added to make a paste. This paste can be used as a marinade.)
  4. Store it in air tight container in a cool dark place.

To get that perfect taste and aroma remember the portion used is as important as the ingredient itself. For the former closely follow the recipe at hand and as for the latter using the Usha Mixer Grinder will make your work a lot easier. The new Usha Mixer Grinder (MG 3473) adds a revolutionary new dimension to the art of food preparation with its Vortex Pulsar Technology (VPT). VPT disperses high energy with super turbo rotations to help achieve the perfect texture, colour and aroma for your Masalas and Chutneys. While, the Mixer Grinder’s 2 Fin Coconut Blade has been specially designed with sharp and robust blades to help you achieve the desired outcome smoothly.

USHA Mixer Grinder with Vortex Pulsar Technology

USHA Mixer Grinder with Vortex Pulsar Technology

Garlic Bread For All Seasons

The beauty of Garlic Bread is that it can be eaten with just about anything. It can be a part of a very outlandish gourmet four course meal, munched simply with a Coke and pizza or just on its own. Originating in the South of France it has not only invaded our meals and Dates but also our vocabulary – the British Comedian Peter Kay’s line, “Garlic Bread, it’s the future, I’ve tasted it” was voted the greatest one-liner in TV comedy history in 2007.

The great thing about Garlic Bread is that everybody loves it from kids and adults to bums and gourmet connoisseurs. Better still you can serve it anytime, anywhere – after-school meal for kids, Evening Snacks, Supper, High Tea, Picnic and so on and so forth. Here is a simple way to make them using the Usha Halogen Oven.

Ingredients Garlic bread Halogen oven usha

  1. 1 garlic bread loaf
  2. 50 gm butter
  3. 100 gm mozzarella cheese – grated
  4. 50 gm cheddar cheese – grated
  5. 2 tbsp olive oil
  6. 1 tbsp garlic paste
  7. 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  8. ½ tsp oregano
  9. ½ tsp black pepper
  10. 2 pinches of salt

Method:

  • Cut loaf into ½’ thick slices.
  • Put butter and all other ingredients in a bowl. Beat with an electric mixer till smooth.
  • Place bread slices on the high rack in the oven. Press the pizza button and set time to 3 minutes. Let temp be 210°C.
  • Press start and bake for 3 minutes.
  • Take out the baked bread from the oven and spread cheese mixture on the untoasted side of the bread.
  • Put bread back in the oven and again bake on pizza mode (210°C) for 3 minutes or till golden.

A quick snack or a Gourmet side dish, the choice is yours.

French Fries: Taste with Health

Usha Int FreisThere is nothing French about French Fries! To begin with they originate in Belgium and are simply called French Fries because they happen to be deeply fried. During the good old days everything deep fried was supposedly French fried! And therein lies the rub: the word ‘fried’ has a billion unhealthy connotations tied to it. Did you know that the name KFC, was officially adopted in 1991 from Kentucky Fried Chicken, as people got more health conscious? And no company wanted the word ‘fried’ anywhere near their finger licking dishes.

Digressions aside, let’s get back to our yummy French Fries. Let us admit it that no matter how many labels we put on French Fries, kids, you and me will continue to relish them, be it at home or at a fast food joint. The least you can do is, make these fries healthier without compromising on taste. But how do you cook French Fries without the unhealthy frying bit? Well, you do it with very little oil instead of the gazillion liters generally used to fry them. And that’s child’s play if you are using a Usha Halogen Oven, just follow these simple steps:

IngredientsImage

  1. 15-200 gms of Frozen French Fries
  2. Just 1 teaspoon of Oil!!

Equipment:

  • High Rack
  • Steaming Tray

Method:

  1.  In a mixing bowl add frozen French fries, and just a single teaspoon of oil and mix well.
  2. Next place the French fries on an oiled steaming tray
  3. Now place the steaming tray on the high rack
  4. Select speed up on Halogen Oven panel for 4 minutes at 230 degree C. You could add an extra minute to brown them further.

Wait with mouthwatering anticipation! Eat healthy without an ounce of guilt.

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