Monday, September 8, 2014

Mango Lassi Popsicles

Just before bidding goodbye to Summer, today I am going to share a perfect recipe for this season - Mango Lassi Popsicles. What could be more satisfying than a mango drink in this summer! This frozen Mango lassis is just too appropriate for beating the current heat wave of southern California. Specifically September and October are the hottest months here in San Diego.  When we came here five years back, the climate was very pleasant but in last three years, there was not much rain and summer is not pleasant anymore here. Good news is that we have only one more month before the winter starts.

We have been making ice pops, ice cream and ice cream cake for most part of this summer to beat this heat. This ice pop recipe is a nice after-school snack that your kid would love to have. It is creamy, smooth and has tart flavor.  It can send you back to your childhood days because in some parts of India, without mango or mango lassi, summer vacation was not complete. In India, Lassi is nothing but a traditional summer drink which is similar to fruit smoothie. On the other hand, many Indians keenly wait for summer only because of Mango. So a combination of these two is so perfect for them! Other than mango lassi, there are other kinds too like salty, sweet or bhang lassi. The last one is very popular in northern part of India during the festival called Holy. It is made out of “bhang”, a liquid derivative of cannabis. In Indian sub-continent, Bhang has been used as an intoxicant for many centuries.

Mango lassi is a blend of mangoes , yogurt, sugar and a touch of spice. I combined all of the above in a food processor and made it as smooth as it can be. You can swirl it into popsicle molds with some mango-less yogurt/milk mixture for a pretty smooth affect. Now Mango lassi in popsicles are ready to freeze.  Making popsicles is major fun and so easy that even a novice can make it. You don’t need to worry if you don't have Popsicle mold. You can use paper cup, take some glasses or muffin tins and pour the mixture into the same and then freeze. In terms of flavor, the options are endless. You can change the flavor as per your taste and choice. The yogurt makes the popsicles so tasty and creamy. If you like your pops icy, better to skip the yogurt and make it simpler.  

Recipe of Mango Lassi Popsicles : Makes 6 to 8 popsicles, depending on the size of popsicles molds

Ingredients :

Ripe Mango, chopped : 2 cups ( 3 medium sized mangoes )
Greek yogurt / Strained yogurt / plain yogurt : 1/2 cup 
Sugar : 2 tablespoon, or to taste. 
Ground Cardamom : a pinch (optional )

Method :

1. Combine mango, yogurt, sugar, ground cardamom in a food processor or blender and blend it until smooth. 

2. Pour the blended mango mixture into the popsicle molds or small paper cups and freeze for one hour. Then push a popsicle stick into the center of each pop. Place back in the freezer until solid. 

3. To unmold, place the mold up side down under warm running tap water. 

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Focaccia Bread

Off late I have been thinking about sharing a bread recipe instead of sharing same kind of dessert or curry recipes. Most of us get nervous when it comes to making any bread related stuff. I am not an expert either in this field. But when it’s something new, I get excited to try it out. So I went ahead and did the experiment with today’s recipe of Focaccia Bread. I tried couple of different recipes of Focaccia Bread and eventually decided to stick to below one. Hope you will like it.  

Before coming to the recipe, let me give a brief introduction of Focaccia Bread. It’s a flat oven-baked, very popular Italian bread. It can be used as a side to meals, as a base for pizza, or as sandwich bread. In style and texture, it’s quiet similar to pizza. If you want something simple and classic, try rosemary and sea salt toppings. But when I searched about Focaccia, I found dozens of different and delicious toppings. The ones I liked are caramelized onions, half olives, cheese and half jalapenos. If you prefer to make focaccia to be a simple herby bread, you may allow only olive and herbs besides sea salt.

It is best served when it is warm. The recipe that I have tried today is highly inspired by Lorraine Pascale's Focaccia Bread. Though I have changed a bit here and there. The process of making Focaccia starts by making a dough of flour, oil, water, salt, sugar and of course yeast. Then it’s baked in an oven. A common practice is dotting the unbaked bread to create multiple wells in the bread. It helps to preserve the moisture in the bread. As a next step, olive oil is spread over the dough prior to rising and baking. Here is the details of the recipe. 

Recipe of Focaccia Bread : One flat loaf , serves 6 to 8 

Preparation time : 30 minutes 
Cooking Time : 25 - 30 minutes 

Ingredients : 

Bread Flour : 500 g ( 2 cups and 1/4 cup )
Active Dry Yeast : 2 tablespoons / 1 sachet 
Olive oil : 80 ml (1/3 cup plus extra for drizzling ) 
Water : 150 - 250 ml ( 1 cup ), warm ( 105 degrees F )
Vegetable oil / oil spray / olive oil : 
Salt : Large pinch 
Sugar : 1 tablespoon
Cheese for topping :  as per your choice, I used a blend of  Mozzarella, Parmesan and Asiago, 1/2 cup,
Fresh Rosemary : 2 teaspoons, minced ( optional )

Method : 

1. Take a mixing bowl, add yeast and warm water and whisk it. Add olive oil, salt, sugar and the flour. Mix it well using a wooden spoon until dough is too stiff and sticky to mix. 

2. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Knead the dough for about ten minutes by hand on lightly floured work surface.  The dough will feel stretchy when it pulled. To test if the dough is ready, make a ball with dough then, using a well-floured finger poke a shallow indent in the side. If the dough springs back, then it is ready. Or knead it for a few minutes longer. Total kneading time is about 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil into a large bowl, place the dough into the bowl. Coat it with extra olive oil. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil and let it rise in a warm place until the volume gets doubled. It will take 1 to 2 hrs.

4. Take  a baking sheet, coat with olive oil / oil. Turn the dough out into the prepared pan. Press gently into a rough oval or rectangular shape. Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap.  Let it rest for 15 minutes. 

5. Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons more olive oil on the top of the dough. Poke oil-covered fingers deeply into the dough to make dimples all over the surface. Let it rise again until the dough becomes double, it will take approximately 45 minutes. 

6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F or 200 degrees C. Drizzle 1 more tablespoons oil on the surface of the dough, sprinkle cheese, rosemary ( optional ), or other toppings ( as per your choice), Sprinkle some sea salt over the dough. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until the bread is well risen and light golden brown. 

7. Remove from the oven, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and brush it on the top of the loaf, leave to cool on the baking pan. Cut and serve. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Chilli Chicken

Indo-Chinese Cuisine is my weakness; probably the same is true for most of the non-vegetarian Indians. When we grew up in nineties, India was yet to be globalized and the American or Italian cuisines like Burger, Fries, Pizza or Pasta didn’t make their entry to my home country. At that time, Chinese cuisine was the only option for dinning out. Calcutta has a long history of pioneering Indian style of Chinese food, mainly because of its reasonable Chinese population from pre-independence era. India’s only Chinatown is located in Calcutta and it’s the place that started the Calcutta’s famous roadside stalls of Chinese food. These food stalls adopted Chinese cuisine with mixing Indian taste into it.  Today the Chinese food has become an integral part of the Indian culinary.

Chilli Chicken is one of the popular dishes in this cuisine and I am going to share its recipe today. In abroad, we miss those road side stalls, the big wok, the smell of burnt garlic, soy sauce, the sound of stir-frying. So once in a while I try to make this dish at home because it’s both my son and husband’s favorite one.

In general, Chilli Chicken refers to a type of dry chicken preparations that is made with fresh chili peppers. There is no standard recipe for it and everyone makes their own version of this popular dish. There are multiple variations of chilli chicken recipes. More commonly boneless chickens are used in Chilli Chicken and batter-fried chicken cubes are stir-fried with onions and green bell-peppers. They are coated with hot and spicy sauce. Sometimes it comes up with little gravy, but generally people prefer to cook it dry or without gravy. It goes well with fried rice or chowmein. If you don’t like chicken, the same recipe can be tried with fish / vegetables / Paneer. 

I have learnt this dish couple of years ago and always make the healthier version which means that there is no MSG and with less sodium soy sauce and no food color.  You should find the recipe is easy and quick to prepare.

Recipe of Chilli Chicken : Serves 4

Ingredients :

Chicken : 1 lb/ 500 g ( around ), skinless, boneless, chicken breast or thigh, cut into bite-sized pieces

For Marination  and first part 

Vinegar : 1 tablespoon
Ginger paste : 1/2 tablespoon 
Garlic paste : 1 tablespoon 
Soy Sauce : 1 tablespoon 
Chili sauce : 1/2 tablespoon 
Pepper Powder : 1/2 teaspoon ( freshly ground )

Cornstarch / cornflour : 2 tablespoons  
Egg : 1
Oil : for deep frying 

For the final cooking :

Oil : 2-3 tablespoons 
Onion : 1 big one, or 2 medium, cut into 1 inch chunk. 
Green Bell peppers / capsicum : 2 small, or 1 big, chop into 1 inch sized square pieces. 
Green chillies / green hot peppers : 3-4 (as per your tolerance ), chopped
Ginger + Garlic paste : 1 tablespoon 
Soy sauce : 2 tablespoons 
Tomato ketchup : 2 tablespoons
Chili sauce : 1 teaspoon 
Cornstarch / cornflour : 1 teaspoon
Water : 1/2 cup 
Spring onion / green onion / scallion : 1 stalk, finely chopped 
Salt : ( if needed )

Method :

1. Wash and pat dry the chicken pieces. Take a big bowl and place the chicken pieces into it. Add vinegar, ginger paste, garlic paste, soy sauce, chili sauce, pepper powder to it. Mix it well and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes. 

2. Remove the excess water from the chicken. ( if required ) Now add the beaten egg and cornstarch to the marinated chicken pieces. Mix it well again until the chicken pieces get a coat of cornstarch. 

3. Take a deep frying pan, add oil and heat it up. Deep fry the chicken pieces over medium high heat in small batches. Fry them till they get nice brown color on the both sides. Take them out from oil and place on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. ( If you want to avoid deep frying, just add 2-3 tablespoons of oil and follow the rest of the process.)

4. Take a wok or a big pan, add 2-3 tablespoons oil. Once oil is hot, add the ginger garlic paste. Give some stirs and add chopped onions, green bell peppers and green chillies. Saute them for few minutes over high flame. Do not overcook, the onions and bell peppers should remain crunchy. 

5. Add soy sauce, chili sauce and tomato ketchup. Stir to mix it nicely. Add chicken pieces, stir and mix until chicken pieces are well coated with sauce. Check the seasoning and add salt or sauces if needed. Add the chopped spring onions and stir. If you want the dry version of Chilli Chicken. Switch off the gas and serve it with Fried Rice or Chowmein or can serve it as an appetizer.

6. If you like to have your Chilli Chicken with thick gravy, then mix the cornstarch with water and add the mixture to the prepared chilli chicken. Stir and mix it for couple of minutes over medium high heat. Serve hot. 

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Mango Kalakand ( Mango Flavored Indian Cottage Cheese Fudge )

After a break, I am back with a traditional Indian sweet dish today. When I noticed that my last post was 100thone, made a plan to celebrate this event with some dessert recipe. Thanks to all of my readers to follow this blog and encourage me all the time.

When it comes to sweets, you will find different variety of cuisines in IndiaSome of these dishes are popular only in a specific region. But there are others that get widely popular and manage to cross boundaries of many states and regions. Kalakand is one such sweet preparation, which was invented in northern part of India, specifically in Rajasthan. But it has made its name in every part of the country and commonly appears during festival season of either parts of India. Kalakand, also known as Sandesh, is made out of solidified, sweetened milk and cottage cheese.The name of this Softcrumbly, bite size , milky-white, square-shaped sweet makes all Indian’s mouth water.

You can follow several different styles to make kalakand. In one process, it’s preferred to use sweetened and solidified milk(khoya), while others like to use condensed milk. The whole preparation can be either done in a microwave or on a stove-top, whatever is the easier way for you.  I am not against the fact that the traditional method can still provide you the best results. It gives the best texture and the perfect softness, but at the same time, the easier method is not that bad as well! Though I have tried both, today I will share the traditional one. 

The process starts with making some fresh paneer. All you need is whole milk and something acidic, like lemon juice or vinegar. Making Paneer at home is little time-consuming. If you would like to take the short route, you can however skip this step completely. I mean, you can buy paneer from any Indian store or replace paneer with ricotta cheese. But I have preferred to use fresh paneer. As I said, most of the time Kalakand looks milky white. But since I added some mango pulp to give some summer flavor, so it got a nice yellow color in my preparation. Hope you would like this than the usual kalakand.  

Recipe of Mango Kalakand : for 24 pieces 

Ingredients :

Home-made fresh paneer : 500 g around ( 2 cups )
Sweetened Condensed milk : 1 can (400 g)
Milk powder / Dairy whitener  : 2 tablespoons 
Mango pulp : 4 to 5 tablespoon 
Cardamoms : 3-4, crushed
Pistachios : few, chopped 

Method : 

1. Mash paneer coarsely and add milk powder to it. Add the condensed milk and mix it nicely. 

2. Take a thick bottomed pan, pour the mixture into it and heat it up. Cook on medium high heat. Add the cardamoms and mango pulp. Stir continuously till the mixture becomes thick. It will take 8 to 10 minutes (approximately ).

3. Remove from heat, and spread it on to a greased dish. Sprinkle chopped pistachios.

4. Put it into the refrigerator and let it cool. Cut into squares and serve. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Panchmel Dal / Pancharatna Dal ( Mix of Five Lentils )

Lentils/Dal form an important part of any Indian meal. Different variety and styles are used in different parts of the country. It means that you can try a different one every day.J Usually served as a side dish, it’s a tasty way to get your protein for the day.

Panchkuti / Panchmel Dal is a traditional lentil dish that was originated in Rajasthan. This tasty and nutritious dish of Rajasthan is a staple in almost every household in Rajasthani cuisine. Though it is generally served with famous Dal Batti, but also goes well with hot steamed rice or with Indian flat bread. Considered as extremely nutritious, a protein packed dish as it contains the goodness and nutritive qualities of 5 different lentils/dals. Panchamel dal is also known as panchratna dal. The word Panch means five and Ratna means jewels.J 

So as the name suggests, it is prepared from five different lentils. Split Urad dal, chana dal, whole masoor dal, split moong dal and toor / arhar dal are commonly used. Other ingredients that make this dish richer in taste and flavor are chopped tomato, cinnamon, cloves, cumin seeds, chopped green chilies, turmeric powder, grated ginger, lemon juice and some chopped cilantro. The lentils are first cooked in a pressure cooker till they are soft and then simmered together with other ingredients. 

First time I made this dal when I had small quantity of different dals in my kitchen. I was trying to use all of those together and so was searching for the recipe. I found the following one and tried out. The result was so delicious and aromatic that it has now become a favorite at my home. I have made few alterations, used onion and garlic, though it is delectable even without them. I have used pink lentil / Masoor dal in the place of whole masoor.

If you are in India, then you will get 5 different dals in one packet in most of the popular retail stores. Or you can also try with whatever variety you already have in your pantry. You would love the final product anyway J

Recipe of Panchmel Dal / Pancharatna Dal ( Mix of Five Lentils ) : serves 5 


Mixed Dal / Lentils : 1 cup ( equal amounts of chana dal, green moong dal, masoor dal, Toor / arhar dal, urad dal)

Oil : 3 tablespoons
Asafoetida (hing) : 1/4 teaspoon
Cumin seeds : 1/2 teaspoon 
Red Chilies : 1 ( broken )
Green Cardamom : 3
Cinnamon stick : 1/2 inch
Cloves : 2 

Onion : 1 small one, finely chopped 
Garlic : 1 tablespoon, finely chopped or paste ( you can skip onion and garlic )
Ginger :1 teaspoon, grated 

Turmeric powder : 1/2 teaspoon
Red chili powder : 1/2 teaspoon ( as per your tolerance )
Coriander powder : 1 teaspoon 

Tomato : 1 medium, chopped 

Salt : to taste 
Cilantro : a handful, chopped 

Method :

1. Wash and soak all the lentils in water for half an hour. Now take the dal in a pressure cooker, add 3 to 4 cups of water. Close the lid and let it cook until 3 whistles come. You may cook the dal in a pot or a sauce pan, but it will take lot of time. Once dal is well-cooked, set it aside.

2. Take a big pan, add oil and heat it up. Add cumin seeds, green cardamoms, cinnamon stick, cloves and broken red chili to the pan, wait until they are fragrant. Now add asafoetida. 

3. (If you are using onion and garlic) Add chopped onion, stir it until it is translucent. Add the garlic, cook till the raw smell goes off. 

4. Add ginger, stir and mix it. Now add the turmeric powder, red chili powder and coriander powder. Stir it until oil starts coming out from the sides of the pan. Add the chopped tomato, add salt and cook it until tomato becomes soft. 

5. Once the spices are well cooked, add the cooked dal. Add salt, add water to get the right consistency. Simmer the dal for another 8 to 10 minutes.

6. Check the consistency, check seasoning. Add a handful of chopped cilantro and switch off the gas. Serve hot with rice or Indian flat bread.

Related Recipes, you also might like :

Yellow Mung with Bell Pepper

Bengali Style Cholar Dal

Friday, July 18, 2014

Oreo Mug Cake

After a week’s break, I am back with a new recipe of a Mug Cake. World cup ended with a sad note for our family. Because my husband is an old Argentina supporter and I liked Messi because of his innocence look. We got an opportunity to watch the match in a big screen organized in their office and first time I saw my husband so excited. Though my son started with supporting Messi, he changed his mind once Germany won. Because he has to always win! Anyway, besides that life was good in the peak of summer vacation. We had a road trip to Big Sur on Labor Day weekend, enjoyed some breathtaking views, long-drive on US-1 and eating out in different places on the way.

I am going to share the recipe of Oreo Mug Cake. It’s perfect if you have busy schedule and have no time to try any complex recipe. I love the concept of microwave mug cake. Stir a few ingredients in a mug and put it in the microwave for a minute or two and it’s ready to serve. When I tried the mug cake first time, I realized that microwaves can be used for other purposes than heating frozen meals or making popcorn. It’s not so new concept but I came across this easy recipe of making Mug Cake in microwave very recently.  My temptation got stronger when I saw that it needs only three ingredients to make. It's full of chocolate flavor and has a great texture. 

The end product came out really tasty, but not so spongy and not overly sweet. This recipe is flexible enough to be built with other flavor combos. You can make fun additions like chocolate chips, marshmallows or nuts or Nutella spread to the recipe. Or serve it with a topping of peanut butter or chocolate sauce or with a scoop of ice cream. I promise this would be your new favorite mid-night chocolate snack.

Recipe of Oreo Mug Cake : for one Mug cup 

Prep time: 5 minutes, Cook time: 2 minutes, Total time: 7 minutes 

Ingredients :

Oreo cookies : 9 pairs 
Baking powder : 1/2 teaspoon 
Milk : 1/2 cup 
Sugar : 1 tbsp ( If you do not like overly sweet can skip it, I do not add any sugar )

For toppings : Ice cream and chocolate sauce  (or whatever you like )

Method :

1. Crush the Oreo cookies(do not remove the cream of the cookies) roughly. You can use food processor or blender. Or take a Ziploc bag, put the cookies into it. Take a rolling pin and gently press it. 

2. Take a bowl transfer the crushed cookies to it. Add the baking powder and combine well. Add milk and mix the batter until incorporated. 

3. Grease a microwave safe cup with oil or non-stick cooking spray. Transfer the batter into the prepared cup. Microwave for 2 minutes. ( in regular microwave mode )

4. Let it cool down for 10 minutes and serve with a scoop of ice cream and chocolate sauce. 

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Chicken Biryani

The dish that I am going to share today doesn't need any introduction. If you ask any Bengali about his/her favorite food, 90 percent chance is that the answer would be Biryani. Some may like Goat Biryani; others may like chicken or egg Biryani. Some will vote for the “shiraz” as the best restaurant for Biryani, others will go with “Aminia”. But they are all crazy about Biryani. Even in abroad, they can travel long distance only to find a good Biryani place. Here in any community program, if the lunch/dinner menu has Biryani, then the event surely attracts more people.

In my younger days, I made several attempts to make Biryani but end result was not good. While I was in Florida, received a recipe of pressure cooked Biryani form one of my friends and was very excited to prepare it. But then what came out of the cooker was almost like khichdiJ. Later I learnt Hyderbadi Chicken Biryani from our cook in Bangalore. Whenever I made this dish, my husband's concern is that it shouldn’t be that rich/oily that restaurant serves. Rather it should be moist and the rice should be soft. I had to agree with him that this tastes better.

For the people who are not so familiar with Indian dishes, let me give a brief introduction about Biryani. It’s a rice-based dish, made with chicken, mutton, fish, eggs or vegetables and spices. Biryani is a Persian dish and was introduced to India from Persia by the Muslims travelers or merchants of the Mughal Empire. It was one of the most popular dishes in the kitchen of the Mughal Emperors. Today I will share the recipe of Pakki Dum Calcutta Biryani. Other popular versions of Biryanis are Lucknow Biryani, Hyderabad Biryani and Bombay Biryani.

There are two types of process in cooking of Biryani. One is Kachchi Biryani and the other one is Pakki Biryani. Kachchi means raw, raw marinated meat is cooked with rice in this type of preparation. On the other hand, in Pakki Biryani the meat is marinated for a shorter time, and cooked before being layered with the rice.  Biryani is traditionally cooked in earthenware pot which gives it a unique flavorThe pot is usually sealed with wheat dough to allow cooking in its own steam and not opened till it is ready to serve.  Biryani is mostly served with boiled egg, mixed salad and with a spicy yogurt based drink called Borhani or Raita. 

Recipe of Chicken Biryani : Serves 3 to 4 

Ingredients :

For Biryani Masla :

Fennel :1/2 tsp
Shah jeera / Black Cumin seeds :1/2 tsp
Cloves : 4
Cinnamon : 2 inch stick
Cardamom : 4-5
Black Cardamom : 1Nutmeg (grated) :1/4 tsp
Mace - 1 floret
Star anise : 1
Black peppercorn : 5-6

To Cook Chicken : 

Chicken : 2 lbs or 800 g, cut into big sizes 
Yogurt : 4 to 5 tablespoons 
Garlic paste : 2 tablespoons
Ginger paste : 1 tablespoon 
Biryani Masala : 1 1/2 tablespoons 
Red chili powder : 1 teaspoon 
Salt : 
Onion : 3 medium sized, thinly sliced 

For Rice : 

Basmati rice : 3 cups 
Salt : 
Black peppercorn : 5-6
Cinnamon : 1 stick 
Cardamom : 2-3 
Clove : 2-3 
Bay leaves : 2 

Other Ingredients : 

Potato : 2 medium sized, boiled and cut into two halves 
Hard boiled egg : 3
Milk : 1/4 cup, warm
Saffron strands : few 
Oil : 4-5 tablespoons 
Ghee / clarified butter : 5-6 tablespoons 

Kewra essence : 4-5 drops ( use it to get authentic taste or flavor or you may skip it too)
Rose water : 1 teaspoon

Method : 

1. To make the Biryani Masala, first dry roast all the spices, till they are aromatic. Let it cool down and grind it to a powder. Biryani Masla is ready. Set it aside 1 and 1/2 tablespoons for use and rest you can store it into an airtight box for couple of months. 

2. Wash and pat dry the chicken pieces. In a big bowl, add yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, salt, red chili powder and 1 and 1/2 tablespoons Biryani masala. Mix together well and add the chicken pieces to the bowl. Rub the marinade all over chicken pieces gently. Wrap the bowl tightly with a plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. Let it sit for overnight or at least 3 to 4 hours.

3. Now take a big pan, add oil and heat it up. Once oil is ready add the boiled halved potatoes and fry them till the color changes to golden brown. Once potatoes are done set it aside. In the same oil add the hard-boiled eggs and fry it till they have brown spot on their surface. Take it out from the pan and keep it aside. 

4. In the same pan, add oil (if required) and add the sliced onions. Fry it till the color changes to golden brown. Add the marinated chicken, stir and cook until chicken is well cooked and oil starts to separate from the spice mixture. Once it is done set it aside.

5. Next step, preparing the rice : Wash and soak the rice in water for 20 minutes. Take a small piece of cloth, then put cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and peppercorn in it and tie a knot. 

6. Now take a deep-bottomed  pan, add enough water ( 7 cups ), add the tied cloth, add salt and bay leaves. Once water starts boiling, add the rice. Cook it until rice is 80 % done. Drain away the extra water and spread the rice on a flat surface. 

7. Take a small bowl, add the milk and saffron strands. Mix well and let it rest for couple of minutes. 

8. Layering or final cooking :  Stove-top method : Take a large heavy bottom pan with lid. Add 2-3 tablespoons ghee ( melted ) to the pan. Spread it nicely and add a layer of rice ( using half of the rice) . Then add the cooked chicken, potatoes, eggs. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of Biryani Masala and ghee. Now again add a layer of rice and sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of ghee. Add the saffron milk and kewra essence and rose essence. 

9. Put the lid on, seal it with flour dough and let it cook over lowest possible heat. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes. Make sure the pan is heavy bottomed and keep the flame lowest, so that the rice does not get burnt on the bottom of the pan.

Oven Method  You can use oven instead of stove top for final cooking. For that process, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F or 176 degrees C and take a oven-safe dish. Add 2-3 tablespoons ghee ( melted ) to the pan. Spread it nicely and add a layer of rice ( using half of the rice) . Then add the cooked chicken, potatoes, eggs. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of Biryani Masala and ghee. Now again add a layer of rice and sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of ghee. Add the saffron milk and kewra essence and rose essence. cover it tightly with aluminum foil and  let it cook in the oven for 30 minutes.

 10. Switch off the gas, or oven. Let the dish covered for again 10 to 15 minutes on the kitchen counter top, then mix the rice and chicken gently together. Transfer it to a serving plate and serve with salad.

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