Sunday, September 29, 2013

Simple Biriyani

For me planning a menu is more difficult than executing it. I’m sure this is true for many. Initially, when I was new to this “inviting guests over for dinner” thing, I would try to make everything special, right from appetizers, chapathis, curries to rice baths, sweets, and then rasam rice and what not. I would make so much and so many of them(fearing that it might not be enough) that hubby and I always ended up eating leftovers for days on end!
Now I’m experienced :) I tend to make just enough dishes in just enough quantities. Also, I try to keep it simple so that the guests are not overwhelmed and then eat only little bit of every dish in an attempt to taste everything. Nowadays, if I have an appetizer, I keep a simple main course. If I have an elaborate menu, I skip appetizer. I’ve also noticed over the years that, whenever I prepare two main courses(rice bath and chapathi), only one tends to get over, and again we get stuck with the left overs!.. So, in the process of cutting down on the leftovers and trying to keep the menu simple, I started making chapathi, two curies and then a simple rice bath which would go with the already prepared curry. This ‘Simple Biriyani’ fits perfectly in this scheme. 

Every time I prepare it, I marvel at its simplicity, and am amazed by its divine taste. I think I’ve fed it to almost every other guest who has come to our house!

This bath tastes exotic. Aromatic basmathi rice, cooked with Indian spices fills the air in the kitchen with a nice fragrance... and did I already mention that it's super duper easy to make! and it can hardly go wrong, even in my hands :) 
win-win-win-win situation :) 
Oh! I almost forgot, it doesn’t use any garlic or onion btw. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Kadlekayi Unde - a failed attempt/ Godambi Unde - a success! (Peanut and Cashew Laddoos for Ganesha Chaturthi)

Whenever I’ve tried any new dish, it has failed.... almost every time! simplest of simplest dish has failed in my hands.. somehow I thought this time would be different. Also since I was making this for Ganesha habba, I thought God will shower his grace upon me and miraculously make it a success. Actually this is not the first time I’m trying a new dish for Ganesha habba. In the past, I have had tried couple of other sweets for Ganesha habba for the first time and they’d come out pretty well. I was optimistic... but alas! God had other plans!! 
I do wonder sometimes if God is doing this on purpose? To think about it, the general trend in my dishes is ‘success after failures’. So generally, before I get anything right, I’ve tried it so many times that I know what not to do, what I need to be careful about, etc...  And surprisingly, my failures are bringing traffic to my blog!! Like if someone is googling for ‘why such and such dish failed?’, they land directly in my blog!  :) May be I’m here to give solace to those, who are as troubled as me in this area! 
So Lord Ganesha, I will not question your infinite wisdom... I had planned to put up this recipe for Ganesha habba, so I will still do it! 

Ganesha habba season also marks the anniversary of my blog!!! yay!! 1 year of blogging this time :) !!

Coming to the part why it might’ve failed - I think I overdid the 'bellada paaka'(jaggery caramelization) part,  put too much peanuts to jaggery ratio, and also didn't crush the peanuts enough. 

My second attempt to make bellada paaka for goadambi unde(cashew laddoos) was successful. But I’m not sure why it came out right. So, hopefully I’ll put a detailed post on that sometime soon with all the warnings and tips (when I discover it) :)

The procedure for making peanut and cashew unde is exactly the same. Just replace peanuts with cashews, that’s all.

Successful cashew undes
Here is the recipe -