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Hyderabad is famous all over the world for it’s delicious Biryani. But the fact is that most of the Biryani sold in the famous cafes and hotels have become a commercial variant of the original. We have Nawab Mehboob Ali Khan,a connoisseur of Hyderabadi cuisine take us through a step-by-step recipe of the original Kacchi Gosht ki Biryani.

Ingredients :

For Marination :

  1. Lamb Meat – Only Male Lamb aged between 6-8 months.
    Note : The meat should be washed only once and not left in water. For the experts who carve their meat, in fact it should be dressed in such a way that it doesn’t require washing at all and or cleaned with dry cloth.
  2. Basmati Rice (Proportion is 1 Kg of rice for 1.5 Kgs of Meat)
  3. Lime Juice
  4. Fresh Ginger and Garlic Paste
  5. Green Chili Paste
  6. Red Chili Powder
  7. Turmeric Powder
  8. Herbs (Coriander and Mint)
  9. Elaichi Powder (Cardamom)
  10. Shahi Jeera Powder (Cumin)
  11. Curd
  12. One small portion of potli masala
  13. Oil  – Cooking Oil has to be used in which onions have been fried earlier. Never use raw cooking oil

The meat has to be continuously mixed as each ingredient is being added.

Cooking Process:

The Rice has to be semi-cooked in hot water with some oil and Potli Masala. The first layer of rice for the Biryani which is layered in the handi is about 50% cooked. Next comes the marinated meat. It’s ideal to let the marinated meat for rest before using so that it can soak in all the flavors.

Another layer of rice is then put on top of the meat which is about 75% cooked. Hyderabadi Biryani is always cooked on firewood and only in copper vessels. In case of absence of a copper lid, aluminum foil can be used too.

The handi is then tightly sealed so as to let the Biryani cook on dum. Good meat is always the first to cook than the rice for the Biryani. It takes about 45mins-1hour for the entire cooking.

Note: Limit the usage of Papaya paste in the marination because it gives the meat a very powdery taste.

Below is the recipe video to take you through the process.

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It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon. A little box containing fine red shiny strands of Saffron by SaffroInd lay beside us. And of course the weather so beautiful needed an addition of spice to make it all better.

SaffroInd

Saffron has long been used in food, medical and cosmetics for centuries. The beauty of a few strands of Saffron can elevate an entire dish to a whole another level of gourmet cooking. From seasoning to spicing up a dish, whipping up a delicious Biryani, a simple saffron milk or a complex kheer. There is no dearth in explaining the beauty of this wonderful spice. No wonder it’s been labelled the ‘king of spices

So what did we create to make Sundays feel all better? An exquisite Saffron Halwa using the saffron sent over by SaffroInd. You can use the recipe below to create one of your own.

Saffron Halwa

Ingredients:

2 tbsp – Suji/Semolina
½ cup – Khoya
4 tbsp – Ghee
1 tsp – Cardamom Powder
1 cup – Water
½ cup – Milk
1/2 cup – Sugar
½ tsp – Kewra Essence/Nutmeg Powder for flavor ( Optional)
1 pinch – Saffron Soaked in Milk
1 tbsp – Dry Fruits for serving

Recipe:

Heat a pan and add 4 tbsp Ghee. Add Suji and roast till it turns light brown. Add sugar, Milk and keep stirring till it starts to thicken. Add the khoya and continue to cook. Cover Pan and cook for 8-10 mins till Sujo is cooked. Add water, cardamom powder, Saffron Soaked in Milk, (Nutmeg or Kewra Essence as per your wish) and continue to stir. Cover and cook for additional 2-3 minutes till it’s done. Serve topped with dry fruits. Your Saffron Halwa is ready.

Saffron Halwa

The kesar that we used from SaffroInd was of top-notch quality and one of the better ones we’ve used in our recipes. It gave off a heavenly fragrance soon as we popped open the mouth of the bottle.

You can purchase the saffron directly from their website here.

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A good refreshing drink after a tiring day can solve a whole lot of world problems. If only life was easier that way. To come back home after a long day and be greeted by a refreshing cooler which takes away the entire tiredness out the body.

A box containing 4 Club Mix Syrups by Pure Berry’s had arrived at my doorstep, neatly packed. Product Reviews are always fun because it brings out the creative side in us. The box of Pure Berry’s Club Mixes touched a sweet nerve, quite literally because of my penchant for a good refreshing drink and also that they were perfectly in time for the summer.

Mocktails 1

An indigenous brand manufactured by the Mala Family who have been into the industry for decades, they also make jams, honey, crushes, etc. The box of Club Mixes contained 4 bottles each of White Rose, Strawbella, Blue Passion and Lime Mock. I quickly tried a little of each with soda and they had quite a freshening effect on my body and then, we decided to get creative. These could be perfect for recreating some really good mocktails and cocktails.

The White Rose Mix was especially the best of them while the Lime Mock had a nice zing to it. And then started the experiments with the main intention being , to able to combine Indian flavors with a touch of fusion.

Curry Leaves Mocktail

30 ml of Lime Mock Syrup
1 tbsp. Roasted Curry Leaves
1 can of Ginger Ale/Soda
1 tbsp. of Fresh Grated Ginger

Curry Leaves (Kadi Patta) can be roasted in a Pan or Baked in the oven for 10 mins before it can be powdered. I decided to just roast it in the pan and to get a milder taste of the curry leaves.

Curry Leaves Mocktail

Pour the  Lime Mock Syrup in the glass. Add the 1 tbsp. of Curry Leaves Powder. Add the  Grated Ginger and you can mix them all. Now all the Ginger Ale or the Soda and your drink is ready to serve.

Curry Leaves Mocktail 1The Curry Leaf Mocktail is extremely refreshing when had on a hot summer day. Topping it with some crushed ice brings out the flavors entirely.

Spicy Rose Mocktail

30 ml – White Rose Mix
1 can of Ginger Ale
1 tbsp. of Indian Spice Mix (Mix of Red Chilli Powder, Roasted Cumin Powder, Chaat Masala)

Pour the White Rose Mix in the glass.Top up with the Ginger Ale. Add The Masala Mix and Stir Once. The spicy concoction is ready to be served. Top it with some ice and its perfect combination accompanying any Kebabs.

Indian Spices White Rose Mocktail

The best part about the Spicy Rose Mocktail is all the spices hit your nostrils soon as you get it close to the mouth. If you are a lover of all things spicy then this is a absolute must. I especially loved the smell of cumin while having my occasional sips.

* You can add 30 ml Vodka to each of these to turn them into enticing cocktail as well.

The Club Mixes by Pure Berry’s make for a great base when whipping up your version or classic mocktails and cocktails. Priced at Rs 225/- for a bottle of 4 different variants of the Club Mix Syrups, they are extremely budget friendly. Do let us know in the comments of any intriguing recipes of mocktails/cocktails.

Website: http://www.pureberrys.in/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pureberrys

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A neatly packed gift had arrived, delivered by the mailman. Now being quite an online shopper, we sometimes tend to forget which package is what unless it’s all opened. So you can imagine the elation on seeing the package from Mother’s Recipe. As a part of the package of their ready-to-eat mixes, we were in for a surprise to see newly launched products.

Mother's Recipe Box (1)

There were the masalas like the Chicken Curry, Butter Chicken, Vegetable Biryani and Paneer Butter Masala. The spices mix were all instant. The only things to be added were Chicken or Rice or Paneer respectively. Easy Peasy and we have a meal ready in minutes.

Mother's Recipe Masala

The other instant mixes were to be just added hot water and ready within minutes were the Upma, Semiya Kheer and Poha Mix. We did get an extra Tomato Pickle to top off the good stuff. A little bit on the side of the plate once everything ready. Now these are all ready to eat recipes, but we at FoodDrifter wanted to do something different. An innovation with the instant mixes and we narrowed down to the Poha to create a unique version using the instant Poha mix provided by Mother’s Recipe.

Poha Mix

So what was cooking in the Kitchen this time? It was the Poha Ke Kebab.

Recipe Below that we created –

The below recipe of the Poha Ke Kebab serves 2-3 pax

Ingredients:-

1 Packet of Mother’s Recipe – Ready-to-eat Poha Instant mix
1  bunch of Chopped Palak Leaves
2  boiled Mashed Potatoes
1  cup of Green Peas
25  grams Grated Paneer
3  tbsp. roasted Jeera Powder
1  tbsp. Red Chilli Powder
1  tbsp. of Garam Masala Powder
2  green Chopped Green Chillies
2  tbsp. Ginger Garlic Paste
1  tbsp. Amchur powder
1  tbsp. Chopped Coriander Leaves
1  tbsp. Chaat masala
Salt – As per taste

* To make It spicer, We can also add the Mother’s Recipe Tomato Pickle. It tasted really good and spicy.

Procedure:-

  1. Cook the Poha mix as per the process mentioned on the packet. Separate a small bowl of cooked Poha for coating later.
  2. Take a big bowl. Add chopped palak leaves, add grated paneer and boiled mashed potatoes.
  3. Mix roasted jeera powder, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, green chillies, ginger-garlic paste, chaat masala, Amchur powder and the coriander leaves. Finally add the cooked Poha mix and mix it throughly. Add salt as per taste.
  4. Heat Oil in a frying pan. Wet the palm of hand and shape the kebabs flat on the hand. Coat the kebab with cooked poha and fry on pan till well done to give it a crispy coating.
  5. Sprinkle Amchur powder on top. Served with lemon, Sliced onion and coriander chutney.

And there you have some amazing Poha Ke Kebabs ready to serve using the ready-to-eat Poha Mix by Mother’s Recipe

The Best Part of using Mother’s Recipe packet is its easy to make, authentic taste and you can use your creativity to create your new favorite dish. Hope you enjoy your dish like we did.

Poha Hara Bhara Kebab

Do let us know if you liked our dish. We will create few more in the coming weeks.

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Growing up, Christmas was the most awaited festival. We waited eagerly for school vacations, get to attend parties with Santa Claus handing out gifts and eat the most amazing food. I remember my parents taking me  to see the tallest Christmas tree at Hotel Oberoi, in Mumbai back then. There would be ginger bread houses and most of all, my favorite cake. We get to witness the cake mixing celebrations, the thrill of getting the ingredients for the Christmas cake mixed together in a big bowl when invited to a friend’s home.

Tutti Frutties, Raisins and more...

Times have changed. Weeks before Christmas have always been a family time where everyone met up on the joyous occasion and get to soak all the dry fruits together along with the spirit with us not being allowed swigs though. Now with every hotel/restaurant catching on with the trend, it’s fun to get your hands dirty, with gloves though. To mix a lot of fruits, dry fruits and the likes in a huge vat along with alcohol. Yes it’s the Christmas cake mixing ceremony which commences around this time, approximately six weeks before Christmas.

Raisins, Candied Ginger, Cherries And More

Considered to be fun and also have religious significance, there is a lot of preparation which goes into the process. During the erstwhile times, an era long long ago, the cake mixing ceremony was a family affair. But the ‘inns’ which also did them in their premises considered their guests to be family, so they too were included as part of the ceremony. Fast forwarding to this century, it has now become a modern-day camaraderie as part of ushering in the Christmas spirit.

Alcohol Spirits(Rum, Gin and Wine)

Cashews, almonds, walnuts and other assorted dry fruits along with candied ginger, prunes, raisins, tutti fruttis, glazed cherries and whole lot of other items are all the ingredients which go into the cake mixing. Not to forget are the freshly ground spices and cinnamon sticks. All these in the vat and then comes the ‘spirit of the season’ – the rum, whiskey, wine and brandy to soak the mixture in.

Pouring All The Ingredients into the Vat

To kick off the ceremony all the ingredients are emptied into a vat or a basin. Once all of them are in, next come the alcohol, bottles and bottles emptied one after another. Next is the fun part, where donned with gloves, everyone can soak their hands in and using their muscle power get to work on the mixture.

Pouring Of The Alcohol

The fruit is then placed in casks to soak in all the liquid and mature which can then be used for cakes and puddings. Ideally most of it is used during Christmas, but also some portion of it is left for longer duration, almost up to a year. So with the onset of the Christmas spirit, now to wait patiently for that “gulp” delicious plum cake to be baked.

Cake Mixing Ceremony

Come December and below is the recipe you can create with the aged produce that you had kept locked off in a corner of your house, patiently waiting on till Christmas to get the perfect little Plum Cake.

Essentials:

1 ½ Cups –  flour (Maida)
1 Cup – Pre-soaked Fruits in Alcohol.
½ Cup – Tutti Frutti, Walnuts, Pecans, Almonds and other assorted dry fruits.
2 Cups – White Sugar
1 Cup – Butter
3 Eggs.
½ Tbsp – Cinnamons, Cardamoms, Cloves, Saunf powder
1 Tbsp – Each of Baking Powder and Vanilla Extract
A pinch of Salt and Nutmeg Powder

The Process:

  • Mix all the soaked fruits and dry fruits with 1/2 cup of flour and keep it aside.
  • Take the flour and sieve through along with salt, baking powder and the spice powders.
  • Mix the butter and 1.5 cups of sugar together. Beat them lightly till they blend completely. Add eggs one by one and keep beating. Add vanilla essence and keep folding in flour mixture. Fold gently all the ingredients and add the mixed fruits. Keep the entire mix aside for few minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
  • Heat pan and add the remaining half cup of sugar. Mix it till dark brown. Let it caramelize to a perfect brown. Add some water to make a perfect caramel syrup. Keep stirring until ready. Cool it.
  • Now after the caramel syrup is cooled, add the mix to the cake mix and gently fold. I have also tried using the maple syrup last time to give it a beautiful taste and it worked.
  • Fold all the ingredients together and pour it into the greased cake pan.
  • Bake for 55-60 minutes at least. I do check if the knife inserted comes clean. Keep checking on it after 35 minutes.
  • You can let the cake cool. Decorate with fresh fruits, cherries, icing sugar, cream or just eat as it is.

So how many of you people are going to be baking a delicious Christmas cake? Do let us know in the comments section. Until then here’s a video of the cake mixing ceremony at Olive Bistro Hyderabad.

 

 

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Handmade Pasta Recipe

by FoodDrifter

Watching alot of Masterchef seasons these days and there was an intention of creating one of those stunning dishes at home. Weekends lately has been a lot of eating out. Hence struck the idea to make to make Pasta on a cold rainy day. Pasta as such has been made numerous times using the ready made supermarket varieties, but this time wanted to make pasta from the scratch.

A step-by-step complete easy process which we hit it right on our first attempt. Who knew making Pasta was so easy?

Ingredients For The Pasta Dough:

i. Flour
ii. Eggs
iii. Olive Oil
iv. Salt

Dough, Eggs & Olive Oil
Starting Off With The Dough:

So perfecto, with the 4 ingredients at hand, which are a part of everyday kitchen necessities, we flagged off the pasta making session.

Firstly taking two cups of flour, we made a well in between the flour to which we added two eggs, a generous amount of Olive Oil and a pinch of salt. The eggs were then beaten light with a spoon so as to enable even kneading. Pushing the flour from the inner rim while making our way to the outer vortex, we knead the flour all along making a super-malleable dough. The trick to a good pasta is that the dough should be elastic and remain so.

Pasta Dough Ready

Now to leave it for a resting period of minimum half hour helps in getting lighter pasta much later once rolled flat to cut. The resting period is an absolutely essential for making better pasta.

Rolling the Pasta:

With many pasta rolling machines readily available in the market, you know you got options to make the job easier. But believing in the art of how the Italians do, the rolling pin is always the best. The easiest way of doing it without the rolling pin is to make a cylinder of the entire dough and cut it into equal pieces and start square.

Pasta Dough Cut To Cylindrical Shapes

The next is the fun part with using your geometry skills. Cutting into elongated strands and voila, your pasta is ready.

Pasta Cut Into Strands

The secret to a good pasta is the sauce (An Italian already exclaiming Mama Mia! when tasting it). Red, White, Pink or any other version you’d like to go forward is just fine and you’ve got your fresh pasta ready for use. Pop open a bottle of wine along and you are ready to impress your loved one with a perfect home made pasta.

Handmade Pasta Nearing Completion

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