Birhai -The keema stuffed paratha.

A picture guide for making the traditional keema stuffed paratha.

Marinate mutton keema with lime juice, garam masala, chopped green chillies and chopped coriander for 1 hour. Make dough balls (the dough should have a bit of oil and salt)
Roll the dough and spoon in keema mixture in center.
Fold in carefully so that keema stays in center.
Roll the dough/keema ball carefully into a round paratha
Pat the paratha by hand so that it thins out and some keema peeks out of the paratha (this makes the keema to get a bit fried/burnt on the ladle enhancing the flavour)
Put over a hot iron girdle and let it cook
Apply oil and cook over medium heat for about a minute and half
Turn and cook the other side. By now the keema would be cooked and parathas will be crisp


Serve hot with dahi-mint-coriander raita and onion-lime kachumbar.

Traditional Mutton Dum Biryani

I inherited this recipe from my Mother-In-Law who had fine tuned the art of making Biryani in a pressure cooker. It took me some time but now I am getting good at making this traditional mutton dum biryani.

A perfect biryani would have the right amount of moisture and yet the rice grains are separate.  There are spices, a whole variety of them, used in moderation. Fresh green chillies should be just enough to make you salivate a bit, bringing out all the flavours, textures and fragrances.


Ingredients required:

Marinade ingradients

1.25 Kg Mutton
1 Kg Basmati Rice
1/4 kg very sour (khatta) curd
Onion 2 large
Ginger 1.5″
Garlic cloves 10-12
(make a paste of onion, ginger and garlic)
Mint leaves -1/2 bunch
Coriander leaves – 1 bunch
Green chillies – this is the only thing that will make the biryani hot – but it use in moderation. Just enough to enhance flavours.
(make a paste of mint leaves, coriander and green chillies)
Khada masala (whole spices):
Cumin 2 tsp
Green cardamom 5-7
Cloves -10-12
Black Pepper 20-22
Cinnamon stick – 2 1 inch sticks
Caraway seeds (Shah zeera) 1 tsp
Mace 1 tsp
Milk +salt+water
Ghee 250 gms (vansapati)
Nutmeg 1/2 nutmeg cut into two pieces
Saffron – a few strands


Fried onion rings
Kewra essence (extract of Pandanus flowers) – 3-4 drops

  1. Mix curd, onion, garlic, ginger paste, half of whole spices, salt, some slit green chillies, 2 tsp paste of coriander, mint and green chillies. Marinate the mutton in this mix overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Remover the marinade from the fridge 4 hours before cooking so that it comes to room temperature.
  3. Cut one onion in rings and deep fry the onion rings in ghee- keep aside. This melted ghee would be used for cooking biryani. Keep the fried onions separately -they will be used as garnish.
  4. Boil 3-4 liters of water, add salt, remaining whole spices and washed rice to the water. Let it boil for a minute or so. Discard water, Keep the mixture of rice and whole spices
  5. In a pressure cooker put some ghee (about 2 tbsp) and layer the mutton marinade and insert 3-4 slit green chillies
  6. Add more ghee and layer the semi cooked rice over it and insert 3-4 fresh (slit) green chillies
  7. Take 1/2 cup milk, add 1/2 cup water, and add salt (this mixture should be fairly salty). This water-Milk mixture should be at room temperature.
  8. After layering the rice, pour the water+milk mixture. Just enough – the water mixture should not come above rice level -infact it should be 1/2 finger below rice level -part the rice with finger and if you feel the moisture, it’s enough -remember the marinade has water and rice is half-cooked.
  9. Insert 2 pieces of nutmeg in the middle, add saffron strands (soaked in 2 tsp of warm milk)
  10. Pressure cook the biryani till the cooker blows 1 whistle on high, then put the heat on simmer and keep the cooker on for 15 more minutes,
  11. Remove the cooker from gas, and let it cool.
  12. Open the cooker lid, add fried onions and sprinkle the kewra essence (3 drops) -close the lid again for 5-7 mins
  13. Serve this mouth-watering, melt in mouth biryani with Curd+mint+coriander raita (the mint+coriander paste you had made earlier can be put into curd to make thin raita) and Khatti Dal
Mutton Biryani
(Click for larger image)

Khatti Dal

100 gms chana dal

250 gms Khatte chugge ki bhaji** (also called as Ambat chuka or  ) 2 raw tomatoes (should be sour)

2-3 Green chillies

1/4 tsp ground Ginger and Garlic paste


Little oil

Dried red Chillies

Cumin seeds

Boil chana dal with Khatti bhaji,  raw tomatoes green chillies, ginger garlic paste. Mash Dal after it is cooked and add water (the consistency should be thin). Give a boil to the dal with salt added to it.

Heat oil, put cumin seeds and dried red chillies and temper the dal with it

Serve with steaming dum biryani

** Substitute  raw mango powder and a lot of sour tomatoes if you can not find this vegetable

Turri : A Milk and dry fruit drink.

After I got married, during the month of Ramadan, we made this extremely delicious milk dish to be had at Sehri (before beginning the fast), made from milk and dry fruits. Here’s how it is made. I do not know if this drink is known by any other name in other parts of world, it is called “Turri” in India.

You will need


  1. Cashewnuts 4-5
  2. Almonds 4
  3. Walnut -1 broken into small peices
  4. Dry dates (छुहारा) – 6-7
  5. Poppy seeds (खसखस) 1/2 tsp
  6. Pistachios 4-5
  7. Dried figs (अंजीर) 2-3
  8. Musk melon seeds -1/2 tsp

Milk 1/2 liter
Ghee 2tbsp
Sugar -to taste
Cardmom 2
Cinnamon 1/2 inch stick

Soak all the dryfruits in water for 5-6 hours.

Remove dryfruits from water and make a fine paste by adding some milk. (the paste has to be extremely fine).

Heat ghee in a pan, add whole cardamoms and cinnamon stick, and fry it for a few seconds.

Add the dry fruit paste to the pan, followed by milk and let it boil and simmer for 10 mins or till the dryfruits paste cooks.

Add sugar, some cardamom powder and consume hot.


You can add/remove dry fruits as per your liking, but remember not to use Rasins (किशमिश) in this preperation

This extremely nutritious drink can be stored in refrigerator for 2 days. Heat in microwave before serving it though.


Pepper chicken

I made this pepper chicken today. It’s an easy recipe and goes very well with hot phulkas or parathas

To make this yummy pepper chicken for 2 people, you will need

Pepper Chicken
Pepper Chicken

250gms Boneless chicken
5-6 Pepper corns
1 tsp finely crushed pepper corns
1/2 tsp Garlic crushed
1/2 tsp ginger peeled and grated
1 large Onion grated (separate the water)
2 green chillies chopped
Garam masala 1 tsp
1/2 Green capsicum de-seeded and cut lengthwise
1 tsp chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt to taste
Oil Continue reading Pepper chicken

Chinese menu – Stir fried chicken with baby corn and mushrooms & Egg Fried Rice

It was getting late and I had not decided on the dinner menu, so I peeped in the fridge and realized I have stuff to dish out a quick stir fry and fried rice. So here they are -fast to make, good to eat recipes.

Stir fried chicken with baby corn and mushrooms

You will need

Stir Fried Chicken with baby corns and Mushrooms
Stir Fried Chicken with baby corns and Mushrooms

150 gms button mushrooms cut into quarters
150 gms boneless chicken
2 Carrots cut lengthwise
1 Green pepper cut in square shape
2/3 garlic cloves – crushed
50 gms baby corn cut lengthwise
Fish sauce
Cornflour -1 tbsp
Water or chicken stock Continue reading Chinese menu – Stir fried chicken with baby corn and mushrooms & Egg Fried Rice

Chicken – swatistyle

I had no recipe today, so I made up this one, and it came out pretty ok and this is going to be our dinner tonight.

Chicken – 750gms
Cream – 150gms
Yogurt – 100 gms
Saffron – a little
Kewra essense – 1/4 tsp.
Ginger -Garlic paste
Garam masala
Whole Red chillies

Marinate chicken in yogurt, cream, gingergarlic paste, garammasala and saffron – keep it for 5 hours.

Heat oil, remove chicken pieces and fry them to seal the juices inside. Add chillies, add the rest of marinade and salt. Cook till tender

Switch off the gas, add kewra essence and a little cream as dressing.

Serve with hot phulkas.

Thai Basil fried rice

Another lovely recipe from Madhu of Shiok.

I never knew Basil adds such heavenly flavor to the dish. , if you are reading this head over to and you will make your son very happy 🙂

Certain things that I added to the basic recipe carrots, french beans and peas (yes fresh green peas 🙂 I also added thinly cut crisp fried salami along with tiny prawns (could not get fresh so used frozen again – fried them in butter for 10 seconds and dabbed on tissue to drain excess water before adding them to the wok just before adding rice)

Earlier my fried rice was never made without dark soy sauce and MSG – no wonder it tasted the same no matter how different the ingredients were -this time i neither used MSG nor dark soy sauce and the results were pleasing to say the least.

Fried rice is another quick one that really sets the Sunday mood rolling at Sani household

Another 10 minute wonder

Yesterday night was one of those days!!!

The cook did not turn up so I asked the boys at home as to what they wanted for dinner.

In unison I get a reply “anything will do” with “something nice” added as an afterthought.

Over the years I have learnt -when such a reply is heard, something non-veg will be eaten well, any veg dish on the table will be left untouched and two hours post dinner time I will hear whimpers of “I am hungry”!

Usually when I go to the kitchen I have absolutely no idea what will reach the dining table – I searched the fridge and found Mafco frozen chicken loafs. Went to the net, searched for quick chicken recipe and found Spicy Chicken Sauté on NDTV cooks site.

This recipe tastes good with Roti or Parathas.

I did make some modifications to the recipe – most important one being adding of freshly crushed pepper after the dish was cooked.

Yum Pepper Prawns

Finally on Sunday I managed to make the deceptively simple and lip smacking yummy Hot Pepper Prawn recipe which Madhuhad posted here

The biggest problem for me was to get a bottle of Oyster Sauce. A few things I did which I will not do next time are

1) Not to use de-veined frozen prawns (already mentioned by Madhu, but I did not because fresh prawns are not always available in Nagpur if something like this has to be made in a hurry)

2) Make it a wee bit more hot

3) Make proper Veg fried rice as accompaniment – we had it with plain rice which was not bad except that we ended up eating just the peppery prawns.

The recipe does not mention putting a pinch of salt (or salt to taste) I realised while making and had put it but it wont strike those who do not cook on a regular basis (or are not women 😉