Sunday Brunch Recipe Series: Semiya Pongal + Medu Vada + Coconut Chutney Recipe

We don't need a ten course restaurant brunch to make our Sunday special but a simple traditional home cooked food is always soul satisfying. I have compiled a list of easy to prepare recipes for this series, topping my list was semiya pongal. We can prepare so many sides with semiya pongal but traditional way is to serve it with medu vadas and chutney. 
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Ingredients for Semiya Pongal:
1 Cup Wheat Vermicelli
1/2 Cup Split Mung Beans (Moong dal)
2 Green Chillies (slit) 
2 Sprigs Curry Leaves
1 Tbsp Crushed Black Peppercorns
1 Tsp Cumin 
1 Pinch Asafoetida
2 Tbsp Oil and 1 Tbsp Clarified Butter(ghee)
Salt to taste
2 Cups Water (Boiling water)

Ingredients for Coconut Chutney:
1/2 Cup Fresh Coconut
1/4 Cup Roasted Bengal Gram
2 Pods Garlic
3 Green Chilies
2 Sprigs Curry Leaves
1/4 Tsp Tamarind Pulp
1 Tbsp Mustard
1/4 Tsp Asafoetida
Salt as per taste
1 Tbsp Oil

Heat a wok on medium flame. Dry roast the vermicelli on low flame till it turns light pink in color and set aside.

Using the same wok add the moong dal constantly keep stirring and dry roast the dal on low flame till the dal turns light pink in color. 

Wash the dal thrice, add to pressure cooker with 1 1/2 cups or 2 cups water cover and cook for 3 whistles or until the dal has cooked.

Dry roasting the dhal and vermicelli will enhance the flavor. Roasted vermicelli is always good for any vermicelli based dish it will cook to perfection. 

Method to Prepare Coconut Chutney:
Wash and Chop fresh Coconut into tiny pieces. Peel the Garlic.

In mixer jar add the chopped coconut, tamarind, roasted bengal gram, garlic, chillies and salt pulse and grind to form a coarse paste.

Add a splash of water and grind the coconut to smooth consistency. 

Heat a fry pan with 1 tbsp oil once the oil is hot add mustard seeds allow to splutter.Add black gram dal and fry for a minute. 

Add curry leaves, red chillies and asafoetida fry for few seconds, temper the chutney and serve. 

We can prepare this chutney ahead of time and store in a sir tight container refrigerated up to 3 days.

During mango season we also prepare coconut and mango chutney which is a family favorite served for pongal. Recipe Blog Link πŸ˜Š

Method to Prepare Semiya Pongal:
Heat a wok on medium flame and add oil and ghee allow to reach temperature.

Add the cumin and black peppercorns fry till the cumins starts to splutter.

Add curry leaves, hing(Asafoetida), chillies and ginger fry till raw flavor from ginger reduces.

Add water and salt as per taste, bring to a boil.

Add vermicelli bring to a boil allow to cook till half done.

Add  cooked dal and mix well, bring to a boil allow to cook till semiya has softened. Moisture content should also reduce in the semiya.

Once the moisture reduces check for salt add if needed...Serve hot with coconut chutney or lemon pickles...Enjoy πŸ˜‰

1. Prepare the medu vada batter ahead of time and store in airtight container refrigerated until use.
2. We can cook the dal ahead of time and store it refrigerated until use.
3. Prepare coconut chutney and freeze until use. Thaw  and serve.
4. Use hot water it will reduce the cooking time.
5. Check for salt constantly in all dishes add accordingly.
6. Do not add masala, onions and salt to medu vada batter until use. Add all the ingredients before frying.

Cheese and Garlic Pull Apart Bread/Bun Recipe

These single serving cheesy pull apart buns are excellent when served with any soup. This recipe can be customized and prepared according to family size using uncut loaf of bread or even pav buns. Cheese melts evenly, faster and tastes excellent when prepared on a tawa than microwave oven. Bakery bought buns are economical and very easy to prepare, works well for this recipe.

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A Dozen Bakery Bought Buns
1 Whole Garlic Finely Chopped
200 Grams Salted Butter
3 Tbsp Chilly Flakes
10 Green Chillies Finely Chopped
1 Cup Grated Cheddar and Mozzarella Cheese 
1/2 Bottle Sliced Olives
1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Spring Onions
1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning (Optional)
1 Tbsp Pepper Powder
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
Oil as required
Salt Optional
Finely Chopped Parsley for garnish...

These Cheesy buns are very addictive with soup, a dozen buns are not sufficient for a family of four, please double the recipe accordingly πŸ˜‰ 

Slice the buns vertically and horizontally making sure not to slice all the way through.

In a microwave safe bowl add butter and melt for 30 seconds. We can also melt the butter on stove but on low flame.

Once the butter has melted, add chillies, spring onions, chilly flakes, italian seasoning, pepper and salt if needed mix well reserve.

 Gently spread the butter mixture all over the bun and specially in the sliced grooves.

Stuff the slit grooves with grated cheese. Heat a tawa on low flame add a 2 tbsp oil gently place the stuffed bun and fry on low flame for a minute.

We can also microwave the stuffed buns for a minute. I liked the crispy base in the bun when its fried on tawa.

Once the cheese has melted reserve on a serving plate. Garnish with sliced olives, spring onions and parsley serve hot with tomato soup...Enjoy 😘

Lazeez Bhuna Murgh Biryani From BEHROUZ

Hi Friends πŸ˜‰ By now all of you know I love biryani its been an obsession to try various biryani and branded biryani in the market.

As a content creator and food enthusiast I have to try dishes to create good content for everyone Ordered Lazeez Bhuna Murgh Biryani every order comes with mughlai gravy, mint raita and gulab jamun they also provide plastic fork and paper napkin. This is regular portion order price 352/-.

My thoughts quality of ingredients was superb. Chicken was very tasty literally melted in my mouth. I liked the addition of almonds and rose water in the Biryani. Portion size for a southindia is less we like to binge on Biryani πŸ˜‰

Order Biryani

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Murgh Sofiyani Biryani (White Chicken Biryani Recipe)

Our ancestors used spices in soups, biryanis, curries, stir fries and in desserts, which enhanced good flavors and rich taste to the dish, but spices played a vital role for centuries in our Indian cuisine as it was known for its healing properties. 

We dont have the exact origin of sofiyani biryani, many people claim it was from hyderabad. According to my research when I interviewed few key people who were biryani enthusiasts, they told me that biryanis were a way of nourishment it had healing properties mainly prepared for badly wounded war soldiers. 

The extra rich biryani could have been prepared for nourishment. A staple army or war field recipe gained popularity and made its way to royal kitchens. For a fact we know that our famous Bangalore biryani was prepared during war and also helped cure many people during the great plague. 

Sofiyani biryani is currently prepared during special occasions such as third day of marriage ceremony, Baby showers and muslim festivals. This is not your quick fix biryani recipe but is worth every bit of effort. We enjoyed every morsel, the biryani was bursting with rich flavors from whole spices and literally melts in your mouth.

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1 Kilo Chicken (Skinned with bone, biryani cut)
750 Grams Basmati Rice
10 Almonds
10 Cashews
1/2 Tbsp Shahi Jeera
1/2 Tbsp Fennel Seeds
5 Pods Green Cardamom
1 Pod Black Cardamom
2 Inch Sticks Cinnamon
5 Cloves
1 Star Anise 
Small amount freshly grated Nutmeg
15 Green Chillies Slit
1 Large Onion Sliced
2 1/2 Tbsp Ginger and Garlic Paste
1 Bay Leaf 
1 Lime
4 Tbsp Heavy Cream
2 Tbsp Milk Solids (Khoya)
500 ML Milk
Ghee as required 
Oil as required 
Mint and Coriander as required 
Salt as per taste...

Prepare Chicken Korma:
Wash chicken twice and drain excess water using a colander.
In warm water soak almonds and cashews allow to soften of 20 minutes. 
Almond skin should easily peel after 20 minutes. Clean the almonds wash twice.
In a mixer jar add the soaked almonds and cashews pulse twice to grind into a coarse format. Gradually add milk and grind to form a smooth paste.

Heat a heavy bottom large pot on medium flame. Add 1 tbsp oil and 2 tbsp ghee allow to reach smoking point.
Add all the spices leaving out the nutmeg. Allow all the spices to splutter, add sliced onions and fry for a minute.
Add ginger and garlic paste fry till raw flavor reduces. Add 1/2 cup milk to the onion and cook till onions soften.

Once the onions soften add the milk solids stir well.  
Add the ground almond and cashew paste allow to cook for a minute.
Add the chicken pieces to the gravy stir well.
Add 1 cup water and salt stir and cover, cook on medium flame.

Once the chicken is half done add slit chillies and cream stir well place on high flame. 
Allow excess moisture to evaporate reserve the chicken.

Prepare the Biryani:
Wash the basmati rice twice and soak for  10 minutes.
After 10 minutes drain the excess moisture and add the rice to a pressure cooker. I had measured the rice before soaking it was 3 coffee tumblers. For every coffee tumbler rice add 1 cup water and 1/4 cup milk.

Measure and add the liquid to the rice. Add 1 tbsp ghee and salt as per taste.
Bring the rice to a rapid boil cover, place the whistle, cook the rice for 4 minutes on high.
Once the pressure reduces try to open the cooker and fluff the rice a bit.

We can use a oven proof dish and bake the biryani after layering at 450 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.
I used a handi and added a tsp of oil in the bottom. Divide the rice in two equal portions. Layer the handi with rice at the bottom. Top the rice with chicken korma and layer with coriander and mint.

Freshly grate a tiny amount of nutmeg on the chicken, top with other half of the rice.
Place on low flame just before sealing the pot top the biryani with a tsp of ghee.
Cover with a tight fitting lid and place a heavy pot or water or mortar and pestle which will seal and cook the biryani evenly.

Cover and cook the biryani for 10 to 15 minutes. After 15 minutes garnish with lime juice and serve right away with sliced onions and green chilly pickle...Enjoy 😊 

South Indian Banana Stem Salad Recipe (Bale Dindina Kosambari)

Banana stem kosambari is a very traditional and auspicious southindian salad, prepared during marriages and festivals. This salad is high in fiber and contains vitamin B6. We highly recommend consuming banana stem regularly specially patients suffering from kidney stones, diabetes and anemic issues. I have shown a detail video how to clean the Banana stem, we have to practice few times to perfect the art of cleaning this vegetable. 

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2 Cups Finely Chopped Banana Stem
1 Cup Peeled, Deseeded and Finely Chopped Cucumber
2 Carrots Peeled and Finely Chopped
3 Sprigs Coriander Finely Chopped
3 Sprigs Curry Leaves Finely Chopped
1/4 Cup Freshly Grated Coconut
1 Lime
1/2 Cup Split Mung Beans (Moong Dal)
1/4 Cup Peanuts
1 Tbsp Mustard Seeds
1/2 Tbsp Split Black Gram Dal
1/4 Tsp Asafoetida
3 Tbsp Oil
Salt as per taste...

Clean and finely chop banana stem. Soak the finely chopped stem in water. Add juice of one half lime mix well cover and soak until banana stem softens. It took 15 minutes to soften for me. After 15 minutes strain and reserve the banana stem until use.

Wash the split mung beans thrice and soak in a pot of water for 15 to 20 minutes the soaked beans should double in volume. Once the mung beans have doubled in volume drain excess water and reserve.

Heat a wok on medium flame dry roast the peanuts on low to medium flame. Constantly keep stirring till the peanuts start to split and the outer skin starts turning light brown in color. 

Transfer the roasted peanuts on a plate allow to reach room temp. Rub the roasted peanuts between your palms to remove the skin. Reserve only the roasted peanuts.

Heat a wok with 3 tbsp oil, add mustard seeds allow to splutter and reduce. Add black gram dal and fry till the dal turns light brown in color. Add asafoetida allow to splutter remove from flame and reserve.

In a mixing bowl combine the banana stem, finely chopped carrots, cucumber, coriander, curry leaves and grated coconut mix well.

Add salt and tempering mix well check for salt and add if needed. Finally garnish with roasted peanuts and lime juice mix once and serve chilled or right away...Enjoy!

Discover the Taste of Rajasthan @Gokulam Grand SPA & Hotel - Bangalore

Gokulam Grand Hotel & SPA hosted me for their ongoing Rajasthani Food Festival. Rangeelo Rajasthan! One gets to experience a culinary trail from different districts of Rajasthan right here in Bengaluru. 

Chefs from rajasthan are here with specially curated signature and traditional dishes for this festival. The menu consists of various dishes prepared with legumes, spices, herbs, millet breads and vegetables from the region. 

We enjoyed Laal maas, Dhal Batti churma, Ker sangri, Gatte ki Sabji and Mirchi vadas from the spread. The food festival also features folk music, dance, pop up shop for fabrics, ornamental jewelry, toys and more till 7th October, 2018.
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Non alcoholic welcome drinks (Shikanji, Gulab Jaal and Lassi) 

Entrance hall featured a fort decorated with flower rangoli, every guest is greeted with aarthi and flowers at the entrance. Once seated we got to enjoy folk music and rajasthani dance. Overall ambience and decor elevates festive atmosphere. 

We also shopped for fabrics and ornamental jewellery before dinner. The spread consists a combination of veg and nonveg dishes on the buffet, Live chaat counter, salad counter, starters, live roti station and dessert section.

Live Chaat Counter. Salad and Starters Counter
Ragda Patties, Samosa Chaat, Pani Poori, Rajasthani Mirchi Vada, Gathiya Sev, Dal Kachori, Khatti Meethi Mirchi, Dahi Bhalle...

Vegetarian Spread
Gatte ka Pulao, Masala and Dal Bati , Churma, Shekhawati Paneer Curry, Ghatte Ki Curry, Kale Channa Ki Curry,  Rajasthani Sev Tamatar Ki Sabji, Jodhpuri Dum Aloo, Panchmel Dal, Fluffy Steam Cooked Rice, Hara Bara Kabab, Nagori Paneer Tikka, Bhindi aur mirchi ki sabzi, Rajasthani Ker Sangri...

Non Veg Spread
Mangodi aur Murgh Palav. Laal Mass, Ramgadi Fish Curry, Murgh Jodhpuri, Murgh Angara, Hariyali Fish Tikka, Pickles Missi Roti, Butter Naan...

Dessert Counter
Rajasthani Specials: Laapsi, Pantua, Malpua and Rabadi, Kesariya Kheer...

On My Plate
Samosa Chaat
Ragda Patties
Pani Poori
Nagori Paneer Tikka, Murgh Angara, Hariyali Fish Tikka and Harabara Kabab...

Rajasthani Mirchi Vada
Gathiya Sev, Dal Kachori, Khatti Meethi Mirchi...

Channa and Chicken Soup...

Batti, Churma and Panchmel Dal

Murgh Mangodi Biryani, Laal Mass, Murgh Jodhpuri...

Butter Naan

Missi Rotti


Kesariya Kheer


Fresh Cut Fruits 

Overall thoughts...a festive atmosphere that kept us entertained for hours. We enjoyed the food and service. Three picks from the entire food tasting was Laal Mass, Mirchi Vada and Lapsi very authentic I had to have second serving. 

Dinner only / Price 1395/- ++/ Contact: 080 4300 1000


Sunday Brunch Recipe Series: Semiya Pongal + Medu Vada + Coconut Chutney Recipe

We don't need a ten course restaurant brunch to make our Sunday special but a simple traditional home cooked food is always soul sat...