northern lights

northern lights

Wednesday, 24 August 2011


You must be wondering what is this Chicken BP.No doubt,it is a mystery which will unfold in the next few sentences.My grand children are very fond non-vegetarian food.I have to device tasty.and mouth watering dishes for them.Last week,when Jyoti and family were expected for dinner,my  grand daughter Ramita suddenly came out with a desire to eat Chicken Biriyani.Preparing chicken biriyani is a gigantic job.It  entails shopping for a long list of spices,  and  grinding these spices,which takes lot of time.I can never disappoint my little angel, specially when her parents are abroad and she has high expectations from me . This request made me think "how to make biriyani, which will not take much time to cook,and make the servant run to the market." I Planned to cook something as tasty as biriyani and to use whatever was available at house.I decided to prepare  an amalgamation of  'biriyani and pulao.'(chickenBP)  A nice and captivating name!! So here is the recipe.
1.Rice  2 cups
2.Chicken (preferably boneless) 1/2 kg
3.Garam masala(bay leaf,big cardamoms,black pepper, cinnamon, jeera, coriander seeds) whatever is available at home.Tie all these in a small piece of cloth
4.Oil 4 Tb spoons
9.Salt to taste,.pinch of turmeric and red chili powder
10.curd 3 spoons 
  In a wok  pour 3 spoons  oil. Add two onions finely chopped, Stir till it is golden brown.Now add ginger and garlic.Keep stirring till a fine flavour emanates  from it.Add  two chopped tomatoes and  stir. Now add curd.Stir till it is roasted.Add salt turmeric and chili powder, After one  minute add the chicken pieces and roast it well. Cover it and lower the heat  till chicken is done.Take  another wok.Add one spoon oil  and one finely chopped onion and roast it  till it turns brown,add ginger and garlic and stir. Also add the tied cloth containing spices, add salt and rice and stir for a few minutes.Pour 4 cups of water and boil till the rice is half done. A mild fragrance will spread in the whole house.Remove the cloth containing spices and discard it. Now the last stage. In a heavy bottom pan add 1/3rd rice, a layer of chicken, another layer of rice  second layer of chicken and finally  a  layer of rice.Now close the pan tightly so that no steam can escape. Keep it on low heat for 10 to 12 minutes. Don't open the pan for another 15 minutes. When you open  the  pan an awesome and tempting flavour will invite you to taste it immediately. I was happy  that my grand children,Rajita, Ramita, Unni and Appan loved it.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Raksha bandhan

In India,all  festivals are calebrated with a spirit of vigour,and joy.People look forward to the festivals.Festivities and festivals are inseparable.People dance and sing and indulge in merry making. Good food is an integral  part of these celebrations.So far so good.The real spirit behind the festival is forgotten. In India  there are a large number of festivals .Most of these  have a religious   or social significance. Some festivals are of national importance, while others have a regional flavour.
Raksha Bandhan,falls on Purnima day of the month of  Sravana.. 
This year the festival will be celebrated on the 13th August 2011.Sisters tie a colorful thread on the wrist of their Brothers.Many people, especially youngsters,  are not aware of the background and significance of this practice. There are many legends associated with the festival. According to a popular  saying, it is believed that a Hindu queen, after being widowed, sent a thread to a Mughal Emperor, to protect her from the onslaugt of his soldiers, who were intoxicated with their victory.The king, on his part ,protected her modesty. This gave fillip to the  custom already  in vogue , since time immemorial!.It signifies a special bond between the siblings. The brothers and sisters pray for the well being , good health,and prosperityof each other.They exchange sweets and gifts mutually. Rakhi should be celebrated in the spirit in which it originated. It should not depict a vulgar show of wealth.
The Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi is mainly celebrated in North India by Hindus and Muslims.In some areas, the village priest  ties a  red coloured thread on the wrist of the seniors of the village and pray for their well being and a prosperous life and get Guru Dakshina in return. Perhaps, the modern day Friendship Band is an extension of Raksha Bandhan in a different  form.
Happy Rakhi wishes  to every one! May all be blessed. Let us spread the message of love, good will and mutual trust  among ourselves and the society.!