Kolhapuri Chicken Dry

Recipes from Kolhapur are spicy and are only meant for those who are daring with chilies. I always love super spicy food and though like most Kolhapuri dishes, this is spicy too I tried to keep the recipe perfect with spices rather than making it super hot and hard to handle.

Use byadagi chilies and lavangi mirchi to give the kolhapuri chicken bright color and also to spice it up. It’s always good to prepare the masala fresh. Especially for making any chicken dish like this, a semi-dry one, I would always advise that the whole spices should be dry roasted and then grind to a powder. The aroma released by freshly ground spices is amazing and adds a very earthy flavor and fragrance to the dish.

Now I made my spice powder fresh but if you are always making things on the run, you can always make the spice powder in advance and store it in an airtight container. It will stay fresh for up to a week. Just make sure you add coconut powder only when you are ready to use it. Coconut tends to go bad quickly in comparison to the rest of the spices.

The marination [process of the Chicken and then cooking it with Onions, chilies, and curry leaves along with the spice powder makes the dish super delicious. I roasted the spices using Olive oil but used Ghee for cooking the dish as the recipe calls for using ghee, but if you want to witch it using another oil of your choice then it shouldn’t make much of a difference in the flavor of the dish. Ghee does add a very different appetizing and earthy aroma to the food, but switching it with oil will not change the flavor. Though you can serve this dish anytime, it goes best as a side dish with Daal Chawal.

Andhra Chicken Dry

My younger son happens to love food and travel shows on TV. He would watch all the shows that showcase Indian restaurants and famous Indian dishes. The good thing that I find in him watching these shows is when he always remembers famous dishes from different regions of India and of course, being an Indian parent living far away from my country, the pride of raising a kid who loves his roots and flavors is just beautiful.

So one of the shows that he was watching showed this old eatery that makes amazing Andhra Chicken and they showed the way they do the preparation and cook it. The good thing about shows like this is that they display a pretty detailed description of the dishes they make. Of course, there is always that secret ingredient and they would never give you a detail of how much of each ingredient to be added to the dish, but honestly trying out a dish with basic knowledge and then figuring out the measurements for each ingredient based on your taste and flavor is actually the real joy of cooking.

Cooking even a simple dish gives me immense pleasure and when it’s something like this where we are partly aware of the flavors since we have tasted the dish in restaurants but not too sure if the ingredients are being mixed in the right quantity. These experiments just make me happy, since they test my sense of flavor.

Kolhapuri Chicken Biryani

Biryani is an absolute classic that needs no introduction. India offers so much on its culinary platter but the one dish Non vegetarian Indians unanimously love indulging in is the mouth-watering biryani. With local and hyperlocal variations having evolved into distinctive styles of biryanis, one is spoilt for options when it comes to experiencing this melting pot of flavors. The delicious complex blend of spices are the reason behind the love this dish gets from people of all generations.So if you are a die-hard fan of this delicious dish, take things up a notch and tease your taste buds a little more with the story of what makes biryani so extraordinary.

Though it may appear to be a dish indigenous to  India, in reality the dish originated quite far away. Biryani is derived from the Persian word Birian, which means ‘fried before cooking’ and  Birinj, the Persian word for rice. While there are multiple theories about how biryani made its way to India, it is generally accepted that its a gift to the Indian cuisine from the Mughals. Along with extraordinary skills of architecture and artillery, they also came along with the beautiful flavors of orange blossom, screw pine water and Rose water mixed with saffron and the skill of using the beautiful spices India offered with other spices from the middle east and create so many non vegetarian dishes that would make Indian/Pakistani cuisines thank them till the end of the world.

One legend has it that the Turk-Mongol conqueror, Temur, brought the precursor to the biryani with him when he arrived at the frontiers of India in 1398. Believed to be the war campaign diet of Temur’s army, an earthen pot full of rice, spices and whatever meats were available would be buried in a hot pit, before being eventually dug up and served to the warriors.

The Nizams of Hyderabad and Nawabs of Lucknow were most famous for their appreciation of the subtle nuances of biryani. Their chefs are renowned the world over for their signature dishes. These rulers popularized their versions of the biryani, which by the way, just in Hyderabad is around 20-25 varieties along with mouth watering accompaniments like mirchi ka salan, Dahi ki chutney/ Raita, khatte baingan, Dalcha and baghare baingan. All different regions in India offer different accompaniments with the Biryani that they serve.

The perfect biryani calls for meticulously measured ingredients and a practiced technique. Other than the technique, spices also play a critical role in dishing out a good biryani – some recipes call for a very limited use of spices while others use more than 15 different spices. Meat or chicken is often the main ingredient, though in some coastal varieties, fish, prawns, and crabs are also used. Use of rose water, screw pine water / kewra water in biryani is also common, a practice prevalent since the medieval era. The pot, sealed around the edges with dough, or covered with a cloth with the lid or something heavy is placed on the lid that doesn’t allow the steam to escape and for the meat to tenderize in its own juices while flavoring the rice.

This recipe of Biryani as the name indicates is from the princely state in Southern Maharashtra, Kolhapur, also popular for its footwear. Though the original recipe also has Raisins, but I have not added them as I do not enjoy sweet with spicy in my Biryani. You can always add it if you prefer. This recipe is super spicy, since most Maharashtrian foods are spicy so this one is a little more for the daring ones. But for sure a recipe that’s a must try for any Biryani lover.


Maleeda is a sweet dish made for weddings in Bangalore. During Muslim weddings, all over the world, its a ritual to distribute sweets and dry fruits to all the guests after the nikah. Different places have different kinds of sweets, as in if you were in the Middle east you’d be served with Cashews, Dates, Walnuts and probably Baklava. Where as, if you were in Europe, you will be served Chocolates with other things. The ritual is to distribute sweets and nuts, following the Islamic traditions set by the Prophet.

Now, when it comes to India, the country has Muslims as the second largest population and I happen to be a proud Indian Muslim as well. Its amazing how much culture, tradition and food variety we have from a Muslim community of one state to another. And, at the same time, we all pray the same way, have same celebrations and share the same belief. Coming back to the traditions, I am from the Northern west and my side they usually distribute dry dates with cashews and Almonds and sometimes sweet beetle nut. Around a year and half after I became a member of Mr. Parveez’s family, his younger sister got married, that’s when I discovered that they have a tradition of distributing a crunchy, crushed powder kind of thing in small packets, called Maleeda. Mr. Parveez was so madly in love with Maleeda that watching him eat was a delight in itself. He looked like a child who found his way to his favorite candy store with free candies.

Funny enough, it was only made for the purpose of distribution during weddings. Well, after 4 years every brother and sister and cousins in the family were married and my dear husband would miss having his favorite Maleeda. That’s when I tried to find out how exactly it was made and tried making my own at home for him. Now, its not just him but even my boys are huge fans.

Usually for the Maleeda, the Roti is made fresh and fried and, further crushed to almost a thick powder. I always use my leftover Rotis since I feel this is the best way to utilize it. After that they add coconut, sugar, cardamom powder and carom seeds with little ghee. If you want it fancier, add almond powder, saffron and chopped almonds and pistachios. I make this pretty often and keep it in airtight jars. I find this healthier as a sweet snack for my kids than to any of the sugary store bought cookies. This has a shelf life of around a month if kept in an airtight container in a cool dry place. Enjoy!!!

Khoya Seviyaan

Seviyaan are an integral part of Ramadan and Eid celebration in every Muslim. Seviyaan can be made in different ways and this is one of those ways. Though Vermicelli is made in almost all Indian Families, sweet and spicy, but there is something very special about “seviyaan Zarda” or sweet seviyaan that is cooked in Muslim families during the holidays. The taste is awesomely delicious and is always treated as something very special. I personally always looked forward to the seviyaan made by my mother every Eid.

I have a funny story with this dish. So, after I got married, during my initial “cook to impress hubby” days, I asked my mother for the seviyaan recipe. Back home, in India, people like my mother don’t cook with proper measurements, but its mostly a calculation done while cooking and always comes out perfect. So, my mother gave me the recipe based on her calculations, but what she didn’t realize is that I required perfect measurements. Anyways, I started cooking and was happy that it smelt and looked like what my mother makes. Once done, I decorated my seviyaan and started waiting for Mr. Parveez to get back from work. I felt he will be super impressed and happy and honestly, he did love the look but just as he took a spoon to dig on, he just couldn’t stop laughing. My seviyaan, once on room temperature got so hard that it if thrown at someone, the other person could get injured. Mr. Parveez though behaved like a good husband and tried his level best to break that rock solid seviyaan. That time I didn’t understand what went wrong but now I do. I put too much sugar and very little water . The imbalance of ingredients made the dish terrible.

After that episode, Mr. Parveez cooked seviyaan and since then seviyaan became his dish, which he would cook on Eid and other special days… and I always enjoyed them and so did my boys, till one day I learnt that seviyaan can also be made with Khoya and I felt that this recipe is pretty different from what Mr. Parveez cooks and it should come out good. I must say, this is one of the best kinds I have ever eaten.

Here the Vermicelli is cooked with milk solids and is very different from the seviyaan we normally make. The dish is cooked using Ghee and its a request that if you decide to make this dish Please use Ghee. No matter what oil you use, it will never make the dish appear, smell or taste this amazing unless you make it using Ghee. Please follow the recipe properly in order to get a perfect dish. This dish serves as a great sweet dish for parties, specially Eid and Ramadan. It can be prepared a day before and just needs to be reheated.

If you like this Please do have a look at Gulbahar as well.

Bangalore Dalcha

Muslim families all over India and Pakistan serve Biryani. It is basically our go to dish when it comes to big occasions. Now we do have people who aren’t great cooks or who cannot make Biryani, but trust me we rank No. 1 when it comes to judging people over food and more if the Biryani is not cooked or if its not cooked properly. Yupp, we judge and please don’t go over the beautiful smile appreciating the Pulao because in our mind, we know it could have been better….LOLzzz.

I apologize for getting a little funny before but its honestly the truth. Now, getting to the biryani part. We always serve Biryani with some accompaniment. In North India, its usually with different kinds of Raita, with a variety from plain boondi, onion, cucumber or mint. Southern part of India on the other hand serves Mirch ka salan, khatte baingan, Raita and Dalcha. Each dish is equally delicious and makes your Biryani taste even nicer.

This is my second Dalcha recipe that I am sharing. The one before was the recipe from my in laws and this one is inspired by the catering service from where we order food on family functions in Bangalore. This was a time when we ordered Dalcha instead of khatte baingan and Raita. This Dalcha was very different from what we regularly make. It was called “Shaadi ka Dalcha”. Funny but true

The daal wasn’t just Chana Daal but, a combination of Toovar daal and Chana daal. The daals should be soaked for an hour or two and boiled till soft. The bottle gourd should be boiled as well. When you start cooking the Dalcha, along with the regular spices, we also add fennel seeds. The fennel seeds adds a lot of fragrance to the dalcha. Adding chopped onions, tomatoes and spices make it perfect. This Dalcha does not have pureed coconut, but garnishing with dry coconut powder does add a lot of flavor.

Though Biryani in Muslim Families is a non vegetarian dish, but its always accompanied with vegetarian dishes like these ones and you might find it hard to believe but, dishes like Dalcha taste great with plain rice as well. So, if you happen to be a vegetarian, I wouldn’t suggest you to make Dalcha with Vegetable Biryani, but it would go great with Paneer Biryani or even plain Rice.

Trying different Biryanis is always great. I have shared loads of different Biryani recipes on my website, and I feel trying different side dishes with the Biryanis also makes you add a lot of variety to your cuisine. Enjoy!!!

Chettinad Chicken Curry

A beautiful Chicken recipe that sure opens up all your taste buds in an amazingly flavorful way. This curry is spicy and only for the brave of hearts. Now the spice level can always be turned down by adding less chilies than recommended. You can always make modifications to suit your own palate, but the fact is that this is not the curry where you should really be doing this. It has to be made this way for experiencing the real taste of Chettinad.

This recipe is from the southern state of India, Tamilnadu. Chettinad chicken curry is quite fiery. I have tasted this curry as different restaurants, each different from the other. The curry always managed to win our heart. But I had never thought of making it at home until recently that we tried it as a restaurant in Bangalore, the night before we were traveling back home.

First bite of that curry and I just knew that this was the perfect Chettinad curry ever. the spice level just sent us rocking. I just knew that all the ones before this were so modified and I would highly recommend, please do not do that. This curry is amazing and is one of our family favorite too.

Beetroot Chhole Sabzi

We were watching a TV show that was showing places and foods. We love watching those TV shows and we also make a mental note to go to those awesome restaurants if we ever travel to those places. We have visited some of those places and also to those awesome food places. And, other times when we watch these shows, I love seeing things and try to make them at home.

This dish is inspired from some restaurant in Kerela, India. The blogger went to a random restaurant which served authentic vegetarian food and tried Beetroot with chickpeas. It is a different combination and I found it weird to be honest. I do make Beetroot curry and Chhole but separately, never thought of them to be together.

So, I could never get an idea of the recipe except that it was beetroot shredded and had chickpeas. I added spices keeping Kerela flavors in mind. I added onions, a little tamarind and coconut. The end result was great and looked almost same as the curry we saw on TV and with taste, anyone who has tasted Kerela food can feel the connection.

Its an easy curry to make as long as you have Boiled Chickpeas. I usually soak and boil chickpeas, divide them and put them in ziploc in the freezer. I just prefer using them than using canned chickpeas. Its just a personal preference and won’t make any difference to the curry flavor.

Hyderabadi Chooza Curry

This is a Chicken curry influenced from the era of Hyderabadi Nizams. I came across this while reading a book on Hyderabadi Nizams which mentioned how their culture, tradition and also the food was so much similar to the Mughals.

The reason why this dish is called a “Chooza” curry and not a “chicken” curry is because in those days curries were made out of baby Rooster’s meat, which was called Murgha or Chooza, it had more meat. Chicken on the other hand was “Desi Murghi”, it was more of bones and less meat and it was mostly used for making Biryani. So, this curry was made with the meaty chicken, hence “Chooza curry”.

The Hyderabadi Nizams were known for their rich choice of jewels, clothes, decorations and food. Even now, if you ever happen to eat Hyderabadi food, you can taste the richness of Ghee, Butter, Cream, Dry fruits and Khoya. Most dishes always have coconut as one of the ingredients as well, which also adds a lot of richness and creaminess. I have always enjoyed cooking Hyderabadi cuisine. I love the use of whole spices in dishes and Hyderabadi cuisine uses so much variety of them that as a cook it makes you feel really good, working with so many different spices and experiencing the fragrance while you cook.

This dish can surely please your guests and its a perfect dish for grand dinners and special occasions. Goes well with parantha or Sheermal.

Green Bean Curry

Green beans is a family favorite for  us. I normally made green beans with potatoes  until, I decided that a lovely vegetable like these beans deserves to be served by itself. I also make potatoes and green bean filling for my famous puff pastry. They always come out nicer than the plain potato ones. in fact, these were the puff pastries I made, when initially I started making puff pastries.

And then of course the curry with potato has always been the easy and go to curry. But Mr. Parveez isn’t a big fan of potatoes and he loves green beans. So I tried experimenting with this curry and it came out super fab. I have since then even tried to make it in a few different ways to get them in more flavors. This is one of the easiest and the fastest way to make them. It goes great as a side vegetable or main and tastes amazingly delicious with phulka or poori.