Thyme flavoured Salt Crackers

>>  Tuesday, July 31, 2012

After all the sweet flavoured cookies that I ended up baking yesterday, I had to make some salted ones as well right. So I was wondering what to make when I remembered those herbs that I have been stocking. So glancing through them, I thought I might use the thyme that I had.

I used curds and butter along with thyme. The dough was so pliable to handle and had a wonderful texture. After baking the crackers were really very crispy. Only this morning they kind of lost their crispy cracking texture. Nevertheless these were addictive to munch on. So I thought I might as well share and improvise on this recipe soon. The shape and taste were just awesome, that is if you consume right away..:)

Off these go for my Cookie Mela

Thyme Salt Crackers

Ingredients Needed

All purpose Flour  / Maida - 1 and  1/2 cups
Butter - 1/2 cup
Curds - 1/2 cup
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Thyme - 1/2 tsp
Baking Powder - 1/2 tsp

How to make:

In a bowl, blend the curds along with butter. Then shift the flours wit baking powder, salt. Add the flour to the butter mix and blend well. The dough will get stiff, at this stage add the thyme and mix well.

On a rolling board, flatten using a rolling pin and cut out shapes.

Pre heat the oven at 185 deg C and bake for 16 - 18 mins. Allow to cool before munching on.


These crackers were very crispy but after overnight being stored they turned little soft. So will be working on getting these stay crispy for a longer duration.


Chocolate Piped Cookie | Crunchy Piped Chocolate Cookie

>>  Monday, July 30, 2012

For all the artist I am, there are certain things that surely doesn't interest me. Some of those have always been Rangoli, Embroidery, and come to think about it, those pretty decorations that one might have to do on the cupcakes or cakes etc. I seriously can't understand the efforts some of them take to decorate a cake. For all the efforts that go in, the end user hardly ever spends a moment to even look at the decoration properly.

That said I am not saying it's not worth it. But think about it. I attempt to make all such elaborate things and my kids hardly take a moment to wait before everything disappearing in thin air. So when I decided that I was going to bake, I knew I had to do some chocolate cookies for sure. So I had this recipe in mind. After making the Coconut cookies, I had these ready. I had the flower nozzle out and couldn't find the cloth bag to put in the mix. So had to have a plastic cover for making the shapes. Konda was so impressed, so were the boys. Infact there was a serious case of these piped chocolate cookies disappearing. So I requested them to keep some for the pictures. 

Looking at the design you might think it was something else right. Well there are supposed to be something else alright. Except they turned out like this. I was aiming at those flower design but it never struck me and I was struck with these. Of course the shape does not have anything to do with the taste. As I said most of them have disappeared, which should say for the addiction that my boys had towards this. 

Off these go for my Cookie Mela

Step by Step picture Recipe

Chocolate piped cookies

All purpose flour / Maida - 1 cup
Butter - 150 gms, room temp
Cocoa powder, heaped - 2 tsps
Salt a pinch
Icing sugar - 1 cup
Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
Milk - 2 tbsp

How to make the Chocolate Piped Cookies

In a bowl, cream the butter and icing sugar well. Shift the flour along with baking powder, cocoa, salt. Slowly add to creamed butter and continue creaming.

When all the flour is done, add milk and get the dough to a soft and little dropping consistency. For making the flowers, you can use either star or flower nozzle fitted to a bag. transfer the dough into the bag and pipe them on a greased baking tray.

Pre heat the oven at 185 degC.

Once done, bake the cookies for 15 mins at 185 degC

Allow to cool before storing the cookies


Tomato Biryani | Easy One Pot Tomato Biryani for Kids

>>  Saturday, July 28, 2012

Nothing like a relaxing weekend with two days off. It almost feels alien with working every other Saturday. So the time it's two days off, it feels like a long vacation. I know the feeling I will have when I get back to work on Monday. But that's for that day to feel right. Anyway with the kids at home, we decided we should go for a tour. It was a long drive, covering over 160 kilometres almost over 3 plus hours of travelling. All of us had fun. Nothing like having all of them under one roof and spending fun time.

Coming to the recipe, this was a quick Tomato Biryani I made for Konda using the Biryani Masala Powder. It came out so delicious and very quick to make. The rice had all the spice, masala to be consumed just as such. I was glad finding another quick one pot meal for Konda. 
Tomato Biryani
Tomato Biryani

Ingredients Needed:

Cooked Rice - 1 cup
Onions - 1 medium
Tomatoes - 2 medium
Ginger Garlic paste - 1/4 tsp
Biryani Masala Powder - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Oil + Ghee - 1 tsp

Coriander leaves for garnish

How to make the Tomato Biryani

Wash and cook rice as you normally do. Preferably you need to have rice not sticking together.

For making the biryani, heat a non stick pan, heat oil and ghee, add onion juliennes, sauté well till it turns colour.

Add ginger garlic paste, saute till the raw smells leaves. Then add finely chopped tomatoes, salt, biryani masala powder. Simmer with lid covered so that the tomatoes get soft.

Stir well so that the tomato turns to a sauce, cook on high flame so that all moisture gets evaporated.

Now add the cooked rice and mix well.  Adjust spice if required. Sprinkle coriander leaves.
Tomato Biriyani ~ Quick Onepot Meal for Kids
These make a quick and easy rice to be pack for Kid's lunch box.


Rajma Biryani | How to make Rajma Biryani ~ Step by Step

>>  Thursday, July 26, 2012

For the last day under Biryani and Pulaos, I wanted to try a biryani with Rajma. I have had this recipe for many years and every time I check my file, I think of making it and then again postpone. Last month when I got the darker variety of Rajma just for making this biryani, but days passed by and the Rajma had to be used up without being made as a Biryani. So I got another packet this month just for this biryani and unfortunately the darker variety was not available.

When I planned to make this on Saturday something came up and I had to refrigerate the beans even though I had it soaking overnight. I was finally able to make it after 48 hours, though actual soaking might have been for 8 hrs, rest of the time it was refrigerated. When I pressure cooked, I was remembering the dark brown Rajma which never gets cooked properly and kept the same timing for this lighter coloured ones as well. Result was the beans was completely cooked and I couldn't have it cooked again with the rice. So I drained the water, used little bit of beans while cooking the rice. The second half was done by doing a dum process of the beans with the rice. And that ended up being perfect biryani rice for you.

Ingredients Needed:

Raw Rice / Basmati Rice - 2 cups ( I used Sona Masuri)
Rajma - 1 cup
Curds / Yogurt  - 1/2 cup
Tomato, finely chopped - 1 big
Ghee + oil - 3 tbsp

Grind to a paste:

Cinnamon - 1 "
Cardamom and clove - 2 each
Green chilli - 2 medium
Onions - 1 medium
Coriander Seeds / Dhaniya - 1 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds / Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Salt to taste

How to make Rajma Biryani

Wash and soak Rajma overnight or for 8 hrs. Once done, pressure cook with a pinch of salt.  Drain & keep ready. Use the water that's left out for cooking rice.

Wash and soak th rice for 15 mins.

Heat ghee & oil in a non stick pan. Drain the rice and add to the hot pan, roast rice till stiff for couple of mins and remove.

Grind the masalas listed under the paste to a smooth texture and keep it aside.

Then in the remaining oil & ghee mixture, fry the ground masala paste till the raw smell leaves. Add finely chopped tomatoes, salt. Simmer for 5 mins for the tomatoes to soften.

Remove the pan from fire and add curds. Saute well and then add the fried rice, turmeric salt and 4 cups water if you are using regular rice, else 3 cups water if using basmati rice. You can use the water you have saved up from cooking rajma.

When the mixture starts boiling close the pan with a tight lid and cook in simmer.

Once the rice is done, layer with cooked rajma, cover again and dum over tawa for 10 mins.

Once done, sprinkle few drops of ghee and coriander leaves

Serve with side dish.  

How to make Rajma Biryani
Rajma Biryani

This recipe actually called for the beans to be cooked along with the rice. Since my beans were overcooked already, I added the water from the cooked beans for cooking the rice. Optionally you can also add handful of cooked rajma for more bean taste.

Even if the Rajma is overcooked, when you do it finally in the dum process, you will find that the beans gets well mixed with the rice.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 18


Paneer Biryani | How to make Paneer Dum Biryani ~ Step by Step

>>  Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I woke up this morning to have the biggest scare. The blog just disappeared. I wasn't sure what happened but the message said the blog was deleted. I had to verify and restore it again. This constant feeling that you are using a free service and you might at one point face this situation, really makes us want to host our own website. We did that but never could find time to create a template and the million other things you ought to do, discouraged us from doing it. Anyway it was only matter of minutes that this got restored. Still it surely was a scare early in the morning.

I was planning to share this amazing biryani I had tried last week with Paneer. I knew I will end up making something with Paneer when I decided on Biryanis. This recipe sounded so simple and easy, yet never imagined the taste will be so good. I had paired with Malai Kofta which again was a super duper combo for this rice. However you can enjoy the Biryani on it's own.
Paneer Dum Biryani
Paneer Dum Biryani
Though this was something that my kids loved, I made something else for them this morning. While Konda and Peddu wanted Fried Rice, Chinnu very clearly said he does not want it. He wanted only Lemon Rice. He now says Lemon Rice, instead of the Yellow rice he was all along saying. I am simply not sure how to get all of them eat the same dish. When I end up cooking different dishes for them, I am clueless on what to make for the elders! Anyway I am sure someday it will be better. Meanwhile you enjoy this rice.

Step by Step Pictures

Paneer Dum Biryani

For the Rice

Raw Rice - 2 cups (I used Sona masuri)
Paneer, cubes - 1 1/4 cup / 250 gms
Onion, julienne - 1/2 medium
Bay leaf - 2 small
Salt to taste
Butter - 1 tsp
Butter - 1 tsp for frying paneer
Browned Onions - 1/2 medium
Water - 4 cups

To be ground to a paste :

Garlic - 4
Ginger - 2"
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Dry Red chillis - 4
Coriander Seeds - 1 tsp
Cinnamon - 2
Cloves - 2
Cardamon - 2

How to make:

Wash and soak rice for 15 mins.

Grind the ingredients with enough water to form a smooth paste.

Heat a non stick pan with little oil, fry the paneer cubes, remove and fry the onions till golden brown. Keep it aside.

Heat another non stick pan with butter, add bay leaf, then add onion julienne, saute well. When the onions turn colour, add the paste and fry till raw smell goes. Takes about 5 - 7 mins on high flame.

Save some fried paneer, add the rest to the pan. Drain the rice and add to the pan along with salt. Saute for couple of minuts. then add water. Bring to boil. Cover with lid and cook on high. When the water starts rolling, simmer and continue cooking for 10 mins.

When the rice is cooked, place a tawa on the flame, sim and place this pan over it. Let it dum for 10 mins.

When the rice is done, garnish with browned onions, remaining paneer and serve.


This is more like a pulao, which according to my own context is something that's cooked along with the masala. However this rice turned out to be quite spicy and the masalas were distinct.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 18


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