EMBROIDERY DESIGNS USING PURNI

Embroidery is done using a number of embellishments. Purni is one such embellishment which is used with chamkis, motis and ladi to increase the appeal of the dress. Purnis are actually made of ladi (strong golden colored thread) which are coiled together in the shape of a small pipe. They provide a 3D effect. Given below are some pics of embroidery designs using purnis.

This is a neck design using purnis as an outline as well as incorpating it with moti (small bead) to form floral patterns. 


This embroidery is done at the lower part of the dress. Here chamkis and silver coloured moti are used along with purni.



This is a work done with ladi and purni.


This work is done using ladi and purni at the edge of a dupatta.


This is yet another neck design using all the three embellishments.



A floral pattern


Other designs








TOOR DAL CUTLETS




Cereals like Toor dal, Chana dal, and Masoor dal are rich in proteins and are used widely in India for preparing different types of curries like sambar, rasam, dal makhani, etc. Given below is an innovative recipe using Toor dal to prepare healthy and delicious cutlets.

Ingredients

1 cup Toor dal

1 onion finely chopped

1 tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp garam masala powder

Salt to taste

Coriander and mint leaves chopped

Oil for frying

Method

Take a pressure cooker; add the dal along with 2 cups of water and salt. Close the lid and cook for 10 minutes. Open the lid and allow it to cool. Then grind it to a fine paste and remove in a bowl. Add red chilli powder, cumin powder, garam masala powder, salt, chopped coriander and mint leaves and onions. Mix well and set aside. Then heat oil in a pan, make small discs of the Toor dal mixture and deep fry in oil till it gets golden brown in colour. Remove on tissue paper. Serve hot with tomato sauce.

HYDERABADI BIRYANI

Biryani is one of the most popular rice delicacies in India and abroad. No other dish has such an aura and demand throughout India. The rich texture and aroma of Biryani is enough to activate hunger pangs in the stomach. There are several varieties of Biryani which differ in the method of cooking, the spices and rice used, and the preparation method.

Hyderabadi Biryani is by far the most popular variety of Biryani. Even this Biryani tastes slightly different in different places due to its preparation method and the secret ingredient used, but there is no denying the fact that its taste is simply wonderful. I have given the recipe of the dish below. It is adapted from Sanjeev Kapoor's Hyderabadi biryani recipe. It requires a lot of work, patience, precision and most importantly time to make this mouth watering delicacy at home. But it is worth the effort.

If you are in a hurry then you can also try my mother’s Biryani recipe which is simply delicious and gets cooked in less than an hour.

Hyderabadi Biryani recipe





Serves: 4
Ingredients

3 tbsp ghee
1 cinnamon
2 cardamoms
2 onions sliced
Coriander and mint leaves
A few strands of saffron in 1/3 cup of milk

For cooking the rice

2 cups Basmati rice
6 cups of water
1 cinnamon stick
2 Bay leaves
4 green cardamoms
6 black peppercorns
Salt to taste

For the Masala powder (Grind the following to a powder)

1 cinnamon stick
6 green cardamoms
8 cloves
12 black peppercorns
½ tsp caraway seeds

For the mutton marinade

500gms mutton cut into medium sized pieces and washed well
1 tbsp garlic paste
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 cup yoghurt
1 tbsp red chilli powder
3 sliced onions (fried in oil)
Coriander and mint leaves
1 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
Masala powder

Method

Since the mutton has to be marinated for about 3 hours start preparation well in advance. First grind the ingredients of the masala powder and set aside. Then fry the sliced onions in oil, drain on tissue paper and when it cools down add it along with the other ingredients of the mutton marinade to a bowl. Mix all the ingredients well and place it in the refrigerator for about 3 hours. After about 2 hours, wash and soak the rice for about 15 minutes. Then heat water in a pan and add rice along with cardamoms, bay leaves, cinnamon, black peppercorns, and salt. Cook till the rice is ¾th done. Drain the excess water and set aside. Then heat ghee in a pressure cooker, add onions, cardamoms and cinnamon. Sauté for some time, then add the mutton along with the marinade and mix well. Add 1 cup of water and close the lid. Cook for about 10 minutes. Then heat a heavy bottomed pan, add half the mutton gravy, then layer it with half the rice. Sprinkle coriander and mint leaves on top. Then add another half of the gravy and again cover it with the other half of rice. Sprinkle saffron mixed with milk on top, and cover the lid. Cook for about 5 minutes. Once done, mix the rice well with the masalas. Take care such that the rice does not break. Serve hot with onion raita and boiled eggs.

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Linking this recipe of Hyderabadi biryani with The Hyderabadi Ramadan Food festival 2012 @ Zaiqa.





BASIC TYPES OF SALWARS








Salwar Kameez is a very popular Indian dress. Salwars are worn with a kameez and depending on the cut and design, there are five different types of salwars. The most common and basic type is called a salwar whereas all the other types have different names.

1. Salwar

This is the basic type of salwar that is worn with normal kameez. It usually has frills at the front up to 6” on either side from the centre.



2. Patiala/ Patiyala

Patialas have always remained in fashion. They are usually worn with short and tight kurtis. Patialas with embroidery and patch work on them are very popular. They have frills all over the hip area to create volume and require much more cloth than the normal salwar.



3. Harem pants

Harem pants are similar to the Patialas as they too have frills all over the hip area. The only difference being that they are gathered at the ankle with elastic or pleated and stitched. Full length or Knee length Harem pants having frills only at the sides are also very popular. They are usually worn with t-shirts or short tops.

4. Churidhar

Churidhar is a leg hugging pant with gatherings at the bottom. It is worn with anarkali kurtas and dresses which have more volume on top like princess cut kameez and A-line kameez. Nowadays churidhars with permanent gathering, embroidery are also available. Depending on the cut and method of stitching there are two types of churidhars one with a waist band and one without.





5. Parallel pants

They are usually worn with kameez which have a front opening or with short tops. They look casual and yet trendy.






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EASY EGG HALWA




This is yet another fabulous recipe from my mother. It is very easy to make and tastes awesome. This is a perfect sweet during festivals. It gets cooked fast and tastes delicious.


POTATO WHEAT CUTLETS




This is a slightly different type of cutlet made with potato and wheat semolina. It is very healthy and tasty. This recipe makes about 10 cutlets

Ingredients

3 potatoes steamed and mashed
2 tbsp wheat semolina soaked in ½ cup of water
1 onion finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp chaat masala
Coriander and mint leaves chopped

Method

Soak the wheat semolina in water and set aside for half an hour. Meanwhile peel the potatoes and steam until done. Remove in a bowl and when it is slightly warm, mash the potatoes. Drain the excess water from the semolina and add it along with onions, coriander and mint leaves to the mashed potatoes. Add chaat masala and salt. Mix well. Then heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Shape the cutlets as you like and when oil is ready, deep fry the cutlets till they are golden brown in colour. Remove on a tissue paper. Serve hot with tomato sauce.

CHICKEN MANCHURIAN



Chicken Manchurian is one of the most popular Chinese dishes. It is simply delicious. The recipe I have given below is something I picked from a TV show and made modifications to suit our taste. The gravy came out really well and the chicken was just perfect. You can also replace chicken with cauliflower to make Cauliflower Manchurian.

Ingredients

For the marinade

300 gms Boneless Chicken pieces

1 tsp garlic paste

1 tsp ginger paste

1 tsp corn flour

1 beaten egg

½ tsp pepper powder

¼ tsp salt

A pinch of ajinimoto (optional)

For the gravy

¼ cup oil

1 capsicum sliced lengthwise

1 large onion ground to a paste

2 tbsp chilli garlic sauce

2 tbsp tomato sauce

2 tbsp soya sauce

½ tsp pepper powder

½ tsp salt (or to taste)

1 tbsp corn flour dissolved in 2 tbsp water

Coriander leaves

Oil for frying

Method

Take the cleaned chicken pieces in a bowl and add garlic paste, ginger paste, pepper powder, corn flour, salt, ajinimoto and about 2 to 3 tbsp of egg (for binding). Mix well and leave it for about an hour.

Then heat oil in a frying pan on medium heat and deep fry the chicken pieces till they are golden brown in colour. Once done set aside in a bowl. Then heat ¼ cup oil in a pan and add the sliced capsicums, sauté for some time. Then add the onion paste and sauté for about 5 minutes. Then add chilli garlic sauce, tomato sauce, soya sauce, pepper powder, a pinch of ajinimoto and salt. Mix well and cook till the oil starts leaving the surface. Now add the chicken pieces and mix well. Cook for about a minute. Then add 1 ½ cups of water and bring the gravy to a boil. Finally dissolve corn flour in 2 tbsp of water and add to the gravy. Mix well and cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Switch off the gas and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot.


CAPSICUM CHICKEN CURRY




his curry is the result of a cooking experiment we did at home in a bid to make something new. It came out really well and the smell of capsicum simply made it even more delicious. I have given the recipe below.

Ingredients

300 gms Boneless Chicken pieces

1 capsicum cut into 1”long rectangles

½ capsicum ground to a paste

1 large onion ground to a paste

2 tbsp tomato sauce

2 tbsp soya sauce

1 tbsp garlic paste

1 tbsp ginger paste

¼ cup oil

4 tbsp gram flour

½ tsp red chilli powder

Salt to taste

1 tbsp corn flour

Coriander leaves

Oil for frying

Method

In a bowl mix together gram flour, ¼ tsp red chilli powder, salt and water to make a thick batter. Dip the cleaned chicken pieces in the batter and deep fry till they are golden brown in colour. Once done set aside in a bowl. Then heat ¼ cup oil in a pan and add the sliced capsicums, garlic paste and ginger paste and sauté for some time. Then add the onion paste and capsicum paste and sauté for about 5 minutes. Then add tomato sauce, soya sauce, red chilli powder and salt. Mix well and cook till the oil starts leaving the surface. Now add 1 ½ cups of water and bring to a boil. Then dissolve corn flour in ¼ cup of water and add to the gravy. Finally add the fried chicken pieces and coriander leaves. Mix well and cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Then reduce the heat, close a lid and cook for 5 more minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot.

VEG ROLLS




Munching hot and crispy rolls with filling that just melts in the mouth on a cold rainy day feels so appealing. This is one snack that you can try on such an occasion. It is also ideal for parties or special events as it is simply delicious and very easy to make.

Ingredients

For the roll

1 cup maida (all purpose flour)

Water

¼ tsp salt

For the filling

2 tbsp oil

½ tsp garlic paste

½ tsp ginger paste

1 medium onion finely chopped

1 medium tomato finely chopped

¼ cup finely chopped capsicum

½ cup boiled and chopped vegetables (carrot, potato and peas)

1 tsp red chilli powder

½ tsp pepper powder

½ tsp cumin powder

1 tsp salt or to taste

Method

First take maida and salt in a bowl and adding water little by little, knead to form a smooth and soft dough. Cover with a lid and set aside for about ½ an hour.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan, add onions, garlic paste, ginger paste and sauté for some time. Then add capsicums and tomatoes and mix well. Cook for about 5 minutes. Then add the vegetables, chilli powder, pepper powder, cumin powder and salt. Mix well and cook for 2 more minutes. Switch off the gas and allow it to cool.

Divide the dough into 6 equal portions, roll each into a rectangle and set aside. When the filling has cooled down, divide it into six portions. Take the rolled dough one by one, keep one portion of the filling and roll it such that the filling does not come out. Seal the edges by applying little water at the ends. In the same way, make all the six rolls and deep fry in oil one by one. Remove on a tissue paper. Serve hot with tomato ketchup.
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