Chicken biryani

November 16, 2009

This recipe is for a very gharelu (homely) chicken biryani – meant only for the family or friends who are family 🙂 !

Ingredients: (for 2 adults)

  1. Chicken              – 1/2 kg (boneless or otherwise)
  2. Basmati Rice         – 1 cup
  3. Curd            – 1 or 1.5 cup
  4. Tej patta (bay leaves)    – 2 or 3 nos.
  5. Badi Ilaichi (cardamom)    – 2 nos.
  6. Dalchini (Cinnamon)     – 2 or 3 sticks
  7. Kali mirch (Pepper)           – 4 – 5
  8. Biryani Shahi Garam Masala    – 1 tea spoon
  9. Dried red chilli (saboot) or green chillies   – 2 no.
  10. Ginger             – 1/2 inch ginger
  11. Garlic             – 2 or 3 nos.
  12. Onions            – 1 or 2 medium size
  13. Potatoes            – 1 medium size
  14. Ghee/Butter            – 1 tea spoon
  15. Sugar            – 1 or 2 tea spoon
  16. Salt            – 2 tea spoon (or according to taste)
  17. Turmeric            – 1/2 tea spoon
  18. Cooking oil         – 2 or 3 table spoon (whichever cooking oil you use at home – groundnut/soya bean/sunflower oil)


1) Marinate the chicken for 20min.  Basically mix chicken, dahi, salt and pinch of turmeric and keep it aside for 20min.
2) Cook the rice just so much that it does not stick and stays firm.  It should not be completely cooked as otherwise it will start sticking to the pan when it is mixed with chicken and cooked further.  Drain all the water and cool down the rice.
3) Crush or grind the ginger, garlic, onion and keep the mixture or paste aside
4) Peel the potato and cut it into two pieces

Cooking procedure:

  1. Heat 2-3 table spoon cooking oil in a pan
  2. When the oil is heated, add the crushed ginger, garlic, onion to the oil and turn it till it turns red/brown.
  3. Add tej patta, slightly crushed badi ilaichi, dal chini, kali mirch and green/red chilli and turn them in the oil.
  4. Add chicken and turn it and mix it properly and keep turning for a while on slow flame.
  5. Add water and bring it to a boil.
  6. When the water evaporates add salt, sugar, a pinch or quarter tea spoon turmeric and biryani shahi garam masala and make the chicken completely dry.  The chicken should be completely cooked by now.
  7. Add rice and mix well.
  8. Add a tea spoon of ghee or butter, lower the flame, cover the pot and let the rice cook in steam – this cooking takes only 2-3 minutes.  If the rice starts sticking before you are done just switch off the gas and keep the lid closed.  The rice will cook in the steam.
  9. Your Biryani is ready!  You can garnish it with chopped coriander leaves and/or fried onions.


September 27, 2007

Kaka worked at Aru’s day care.  He suffered a heart-attack yesterday afternoon, on the day-care premises, which he could not survive. 

Officially, I think, Kaka was the gate-keeper at the day-care.  But, he played innumerable roles, all at once.  For the day-care management, he was the quintessential helper they could turn to if they needed anything done.  For the kids – he was their ‘Kaka’.  Their companion who put on the swings, slides and doll-house for them, who was the first one to greet them with a ‘Good Morning’ when they entered their school, who made it a point to say ‘Good Bye’ to every single kid, who kept track of their school buses and informed the Aunties if the bus did not arrive on time.  If Aru did not see Kaka in his seat in the morning or while leaving, her eyes would invariably search for him.  They did yesterday and today morning.  I told her he was probably busy with some work.  Not knowing that we were not going to say  ‘Good Morning’ or ‘Good Bye’ to him, ever.

Kaka was one of those people who touch your lives subtly.  They just become part of your life, even without your realising, as if they’ve always been around.  Standing quietly, without even making their presence felt.  And you realise they were around all this while, only after they leave.  And they leave behind them, this void. 

How do I explain this to the little one.  How do I answer her – “Mamma, Kaka kahaan gaye?”

Kaka, may your soul rest in peace.

I think I’m multi-tasking a bit too much these days or maybe there is too much on my mind.  But, I don’t seem to accomplish much!!  I must be getting old.  Or maybe these are all plain excuses and I’m just being careless 😦

Last week was terrible. I can’t help getting irritated with myself when I think about it even now.

Hubby dear was busy with myriad things at work and hence I had to drop the little one to the day care throughout the week. Now, the little one is used to me picking her up and as a result was a little unhappy with the whole arrangement, which obviously made things that much more difficult. But, I had no clue that the whole week will turn into this big adventure.

The first day I managed to bribe her with her current favourite mint- Vicks. I know, I know, thats wrong and I was taking the easy way out. Call me a bad mother, go ahead. The young lady was thrilled to have blue, green and orange Vicks as we drove off. As we reached the day care, she turned grumpy and refused to talk to me. She even refused to say bye-bye and I had to just walk away as she cuddled up in her aunty’s lap. I felt terrible inside and her sad face just refused to leave me the whole day. The next day wasn’t any different and I kept worrying about her. On Wednesday, the princess refused to wear her sandals as we were getting ready to leave. I didn’t want to bother her, so I just picked her, her bag, my handbag, her shoes (yes all of it!) locked the house and started getting the car out. Aru was obviously not in a good mood, I tried to cheer her as I arranged her snacks, her pillow, her toys in the rear seat and put on her favourite music. In all this, I kept her shoes on the top of the car and just drove off. I realized what had happened when I reached the day care. And these were those expensive “Kittens” sandals, which we bought over the weekend! Next morning, same story. As I drove her to the day care, I kept trying to engage her into a conversation. No luck. I decided to stop over at a departmental store and buy her a lollypop. As I got down and picked her up, I accidentally locked the car with the keys inside. I kicked myself, but there was nothing I could do. The only thing I could feel good about was that Aru wasn’t locked inside. I had to take a auto and drop her to her day care, then go to office and get the spare key, get back to the place where I had parked the car, drive to the day care to drop her bag and then drive to office. Boy, was I exhausted!! And if you thought this ends my adventure, no, it doesn’t. Next day, I drove some eight kilometers with my hand brakes on. And I kept wondering all the time why the car wasn’t running smoothly after the recent servicing!

And thus ended my week.

On 19th March Aru turned two!! 

She had been enjoying birthday celebrations at her day care- loved to sing the birthday song, loved the non-creamy cakes and wafers that are part of the celebration at the day care.  Everytime there was a birthday she kept talking about it for weeks. 

Aru: Mamma, aaj Mehul ka birthday thaa.  Aru ne cake khaaya.  Aru ko cake pasand hai.
      (Mamma, today was Mehul’s birthday.  Aru ate cake.  Aru likes cake. (Yes, she refers to herself in third person))

Mamma: Wow!! Aur aapne Mehul ke liye birthday song gaaya?  Kaise gaaya?
              (Wow!!  And did you sing the birthday song for Mehul?  How did you sing?)

Aru: Haapy Birthday to you!  Haapy Birthday to you!  Haapy birthday to dear Mehul!  (starts clapping vigorously)

(She can sing only two lines.  And no, I didn’t forget to spellcheck.  “Haapy” is how Aru pronounces it!)

Naturally she had been waiting for hers and once in a while she would enquire “Mamma, Aru ka birthday kab hai?” (Mamma, when is Aru’s birthday?)  So, after a lot of deliberations, we decided to have a small kids-n-moms snack party at home.  It took me close to a week to list all the kids in our society whom we meet in the park.  We ended up inviting close to 26 kids (and 19 moms!) for our small snacks party.  Aru is surely not going to lack company when she grows up!  Suddenly our plan of in-house party seemed overly ambitious.

We had been terribly busy at work and with our recent shifting, so we decided to outsource all the arrangements.  Here are some snaps of the D-day.

The front door and the living room.

Baloons all over!

Aru inspecting and appreciating the decorations.

Aru cutting her birthday cake.

Time to open the gifts!!!

Time to relax after the games.

After the party was over, I was left feeling as if a tornado had visited our place.  Being a mother of a a teeny weeny dainty girl, I had no clue of what the little boys are capable of!!!  I’m sure any more birthday celebrations will have to wait till Aru grows up and really starts understanding…

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Me, Spiderman

January 4, 2007

What fun!!!!  I took this superhero personality test and here are the findings… 🙂
Your results:
You are Spider-Man

Green Lantern
Wonder Woman
Iron Man
The Flash
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test