Sunday, April 29, 2012




Today, i am proud to announce that i have another special guest foodie blogger, Jay. We have been great friends  for a while now, i like to surf through her recipes, bookmarked many of them, and have tried a few... but not yet the biryani- which needs a lot of rice cooking skills. 

Jay, I will try to try this after you become my guest :)  :)

I love flavored rice very much, especially biryani. When i saw her "Ambur biryani", i fell in love with it instantly, in fact Jay was a bit reluctant to post this recipe, because she had this published already this year.. But i made a special request- ie: nothing less than ambur.. that leaves her no choice. Thanks Jay for that- so sweet of you to oblige.

Let's hear from Jay-

Hy Friends,
This is Jay, of Tasty Appetite..!   First of all, I would like to thank Ms.Wan, my favorite foodie friend,  for giving me this honour of guest blogging in her awesome space. 

To speak about myself, I am an Indian by birth & soul. I am a passionate cook, mom of two lovely kids, who keep me busy all the time. My hubby is a software professional & its my hubby’s encouragement that helped me to start my own food blog & share the recipes with the world. Cooking has become a passion for me, since the day I started blogging. 

My speciality is Cuisine from South India, but  I love trying out new recipes and giving them a twist of my own wherever possible. The sources of my recipes are – My mother, Mil, grandma, Internet, magazine, friends & of course my own experiments. This blogging world has encouraged me to try out new recipes and to exhibit my talent. Another plus is,  it has earned me so many blogger friends worldwide.;)

Now, talking about today’s post,  Ambur Biryani -  it’s a recipe for non-veg lovers. This spicy and yummy recipe is one of the famous biryani recipe of South India. It is prepared mainly using Basmati variety of rice and  has an unique appetizing taste. 
Try this recipe, surely you’ll love it.


·  Basmati Rice           - 2 cups
·  Chicken                  - ½ kg
·  Oil                         - 6 tbsp
·  Cinnamon               - 2
·  Cardamom              - 3
·  Cloves                    - 5
·  Onion                     - 3
·  Ginger paste           - 1 tbsp
·  Mint leaves             - 1 cup
·  Coriander leaves      - handful
·  Red chilly pwd         - 2 ½ tsp
·  Garlic paste            - 1 tbsp
·  Biryani masala pwd  - ½ tsp
·  Tomato                  - 2
·  Lemon juice            - 1 tbsp
·  Yogurt                 - 1 small cup
·  Salt to taste

1.   Wash and soak biryani rice for 5 mins.
2.   Drain water and reserve.
3.   Clean chicken pieces in running water and strain water from it.
4.   Take 2 pans and heat them simultaneously
5.   In one pan, add water and allow to boil without covering with lid.
6.   In the other pan, add oil and heat.
7.   Add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, wait to splutter.
8.   Add chopped onion and roast it to golden in medium flame.
9.   Add garlic paste and add chopped mint and coriander leaves.
10.Now add ginger paste and toss continuously.
11.Add red chilly pwd, chopped tomato pieces, fresh lemon juice, yogurt one by one with stirring.
12.Toss it in medium flame till oil separates(approx 5 mins)

Now biryani masala curry with strong and rich aroma has been prepared.

13.In this stage, add chicken pieces, saute it in masala curry.
14.Add salt and required water.
15.Allow to cook for 10 mins.
16.Now add soaked and strained biryani rice to the first pan with boiling water.
17.Allow the rice to get half cooked.

18.Transfer this rice to the biryani masala curry prepared above in the second pan.
19.Stir and close it with a lid.
20.Allow to cook in medium flame for 4 to 5 mins.

21.Remove from flame & cook it in “ dhum “
22.For cooking in “dhum“, heat a strong dosa girdle on the
23.Place the biryani pan on top of the girdle.

24.Now take a wide bowl, add 4 tumblers of hot water to it.
25.Place this bowl on top of the lid of biryani pan.
26.Keep the biryani in “ dhum “ like this for 15 mins.

27.Once it is done, open the lid and fluff the biryani gently.
28.Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
29.Serve hot with  spicy curry  & onion raitha.

30.Mouthwatering Aambur Chicken Biryani is ready to delight your taste buds..!
So , Wan thanks once again for giving me an opportunity for doing the Guest post. 
And friends, I welcome you all to my world  Tasty Appetite –  feel free to explore, express and record your feedback to improve my culinary skills.
Thanks & I hope to see you around.. :)
Hi Jay, many thanks for your authentic Ambur biryani recipe and for your willingness to be my guest. Here, is a bouquet of roses for you as a token of appreciation from me.
         Please check at my sidebar on Jay's link-'Tasty Appetite'

Tuesday, April 24, 2012



COOKING TECHNIQUES– GRILLING and the right way to do it

GRILLING AND RADIANT HEAT is a form of cooking that involves dry heat applied to the surface of food, commonly from above or below.  Grilling usually involves quite a lot of direct, radiant heat, and tends to be used for cooking quickly, meat that has already been cut into slices (or other pieces).

Food to be grilled is cooked on a “Grill” (an open wire grid with a heat source above or below), a grill pan (similar to a frying pan, but with raised ridges to mimic the wires of an open grill), or griddle (a flat plate heated from below).

Grilling is also termed Broiling and  the pan that holds the food is called a broiler pan.
Direct heat grilling can expose food to temperatures often in excess of 260 °C (500 °F).
Suitable choices of food for the intense dry heat of grilling
-Food should be of good quality  tender items of small / medium  size and are regular in shape to ensure even cooking.
-Meat should have a reasonable fat content - veal escalopes, are so lean that they will just dry out.
-Tough cuts of meat are unsuitable for grilling, because the temperatures are too high, the conditions too dry and the time too short for the connective tissue to be converted into gelatin.
-Tomatoes and mushrooms grill successfully, particularly if they are first brushed with oil, but vegetables with a low moisture content will rapidly dry out and shrivel.

Health benefits of grilling

Lower saturated fats. Grilled foods can become lower in saturated fats, if fat is allowed to drip out after it liquefies in the grilling process.

Health risks of grilling
Carcinogenic effects-  A carcinogen is any substance, radionuclide or radiation that is an agent directly involved in causing cancer. This may be due to the damage of cellular metabolic  processes.
Several radioactive substances are carcinogenic, due to their emission of gamma rays and alpha particles. Carcinogen is in tobacco smoke”.  Cancer is a disease which is a no programmed cell death.

Co-carcinogens”   are chemicals that do not cause cancer on their own, but promote the activity of other carcinogens in causing cancer.

Studies have shown that cooking meat, poultry and fish, also frying or baking at high temperatures and overheated potato fries and can lead to the formation of compounds, which are carcinogenic. . via 2 processes:

1)   "HCAs “ (Heterocyclic amines) are formed when amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), sugars and creatine (a substance found in muscle) react at high temperatures
2)   “PAHs” (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons)- PAHs are formed when fat and juices from meat grilled directly over an open fire drip onto the fire, causing flames. These flames contain PAHs that then stick to the surface of the meat 

The body will eliminate carcinogen, through a process called “Biotransformation”. This is to make the carcinogen more water soluble so that it can be removed from the body. But these reactions can also- convert a less toxic one into a more toxic carcinogen

How to reduce carcinogen
i- Proper marinade may reduce the formation of these compounds. Marinades which are already  known to significantly reduce carcinogens when grilling are: garlic, rosemary, basil, mint, sage, savory, marjoram, oregano, olive oil, cherries and vitamin E.

ii-Side dishes and drinks rich in antioxidants, such as veggies and tea, have also been shown to neutralize the toxins by mixing in one's stomach

iii-Another method is pre-cooking the meat in the microwave for 2-3 minutes which helps remove HCA, then draining meat juices so they do not fall onto flames, preventing release of PCAs.
Trimming a whole
-SPLIT and Cooked Flat. Use a butcher knife, place back of bird down on a cutting board, then run the knife through the entire length of the bird to split open. 
Slightly notch a slice, above the wishbone. Break the two halves apart and spread flat.  Remove the cartilage type backbone and the wishbone. For a better look, bend the wings back behind the body so as to let all the skin be browned.

Seasoning is simple on chicken.  Marinade in your favorite concoction, after marinade, add a  rub on.  Concoction  can be one or a combination of condiments like  soy sauce, teriyaki, honey, garlic, lemon grass juice AND melted butter or oil, marinade onto all the major parts. Marinade for 4 hours in  the fridge. Next, season chicken with either/ or mixed lemon pepper, garlic granules, cumin powder/ salt and marinade again for one hour more.

Most glazes (BBQ Sauces) have sugar content, thus sticky-  wait until the last 15 minutes of grilling, before brushing them on.  So, when just about done- pull, glaze, then put the bird back in for 15 minutes.  After that 15 minute period the bird is done.

Smoke in 100% pecan OR  80%oak and 20% hickory


1.   Fat (wikiquote )

Saffy: You've been getting dressed for three hours and you still look    like a bloated citrus fruit.
Edina: You are what you eat, remember?
Saffy: Which makes you a very large vegetarian tart.

2-Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside. ~Mark Twain

Saturday, April 21, 2012




The Theory on Fruits being best "eaten alone and not with other foods" is based on Theoretical thinking. This is still a debated item with more studies needed to determine whether or not this is indeed true.

This “FRUITS STORY” triggered my interest deeper after reading Dr Herbert Shelton’s article… knowledge I knew not before. I explored further for my own use, researched many reliable sources. I found this subject very stimulating and would like to share a little knowledge with you readers, via this post…even though you may know much more than me.
Dr. Herbert Shelton, (92 years old), a leading expert in the field of nutrition, published many articles in his HYGIENIC REVIEW. He collected knowledge from the old hygienic masters as far back as the 1820's, cleared out the junk, and made it into a basic intelligence system – Natural Hygiene or Orthopathy. He is a great genius, and published the best hygienic magazine ever- covered numerous aspects on health, food etc.

Excerpts of what Dr Herbert said: What else you should know:

1-Graying hair, balding, nervous outbursts, and dark circles under the eyes will not occur if you eat fruit on an empty stomach

2-When you drink fruit juice, drink only fresh fruit juice, never drink from cans. Don’t drink juice that has been heated (homogenized).

3-Eating whole fruit is better than drinking the juice. If you do drink the juice, drink it mouthful by mouthful slowly, letting it mix with your saliva before swallowing it.

Cooking varieties, suggest you don’t try this tip if you have some form of health problems.. If you are “fit” to try, you may, at your own risk..however, should you feel giddy or nausea on day 1 or any day at all, please break the diet!
Ha ha..just my chicken opinion. 
Don’t be stubborn and don’t blame me.. I merely share with you a supposedly great tip from the doctor. Ha ha. 
On a fourth thought, I may just want to try this for one day only… Hey presto, should you succeed, do share with me your experience. If I succeed, I will do two days the following week.
I have a strong urge to clean up my arteries AND artery walls. Then  maintain clean blood to transport nutrients to all parts of my body.  
Remember, when people go for medical check up,  the doctors always take blood samples, to detect stuff...i think my thoughts of wanting to clean my arteries is a brilliant idea... long overdue :) 

Here is the TIP: (remember, he is 92 years old- excellent memory)
4- It is quite healthy to periodically go on a 3-day fruit fast to cleanse your body; just eat fruit and drink fruit juice throughout the 3 days and you will be surprised when your friends tell you how radiant you look!
Tell me more, tell me more… if you try, please go for the superior fruits, the less acidic type, eat smart, don’t waste your effort and yes, no milk!- cooking varieties.


Do you experience gas pains or bloating, after eating fruits during or after meals? If yes, you are experiencing the fruit activity, as it mixes with the putrefying food (all the other foods you ate) and produces gas. Hence–you bloat!
So, if you have this “gas “, digestive problems, celiac disease or candida disease, eat your fruits alone by itself, 20 minutes before meals.
Do not eat fruits with/during meals or shortly after meals. Fruits get digested quickly.  
For some fruits, the longest it takes to digest is 40 minutes. By this time, the fruit sugars are already processed and properly utilized by our body. They wont mix with the other foods like carbo and protein.

Carbohydrates and protein takes longer time to digest- between 90 minutes to 4 hours.
Since the fruit is not together with the carbo and protein. It does not have to wait for the carbo and protein food to digest. The waiting can ferment the fruit.

Simply put, eating fruits alone before meals, can avoid fermentation of food in the intestine.

However, fruits have enzymes that digest and assimilate proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and plant, if you have no digestive problems etc, eating fruits during meal is good, example, raw pineapple and papaya has enzymes that can soften meat. Do have raisins in your bread and fruits with your yogurt.

There is a delicate balance between carbohydrates and proteins, to which we have to conform - disease and degeneration resulting from failure to conform- Dr Shelton

SUPER fruits refers to quality fruits (nutrients and antioxidant) which has scientific evidence supporting a potential health benefit. Fruits that hardly has any supporting scientific evidence is not called a "super" fruit.
KIWI FRUIT- This almost unbeatable super fruit has vitamin C twice that of orange, its potassium content by weight is slightly less than a banana. Contains vitamin E, and some vitamin A. The fruit’s skin is a good source of flavonoid antioxidants, but it may have pesticides on. Mild laxative, due to its significant dietry fiber. A study at the University of Oslo, Norway reported consuming two to three kiwifruits daily for 28 days significantly reducing the risk of blood clots.
Raw kiwifruit is rich in the protein-dissolving enzyme “actinidin”, which is commercially used as a meat tenderizer. People allergic to latex, papayas or pineapples are likely to also be allergic to kiwifruit.
GUAVA-(jambu) a super fruit with species flesh of white, orange, pink or red color. A single guava contains the highest vitamin C which is four times more than oranges. Vitamin C is one of the potent antioxidants. Has vitamin A for preserving and improving eyesight. Also vitamin E for skin. Low-calorie profile of essential nutrients and anti-oxidants-
Slows down the absorption of sugar in the body. A high fiber diet- less risk of developing type-2 diabetes. Copper for thyroid metabolism especially in hormone production and absorption. It’s magnesium helps relax the nerves and muscles.
Guava has B group of vitamins (B3, B6) for brain function. B3 (niacin) stimulates brain function and promotes blood flow.B6 (pyridoxine) is nutrient (food) for brain and nerve-

AVOCADO-  most nutritous of all fruits, according to guiness world book of records..with kiwi fruit and guava following very close behind. 
Avocado is a super fruit- also known as aguacate, butter pear and alligator pear,  is a treasure-trove of nutrients. They contain more than 25 essential vitamins and minerals including vitamins B, K and E. They supply lutein, copper, magnesium, potassium and zinc. They have more fiber, folate, niacin, thiamine and riboflavin than any other fruit.
 They’re also one of the few fruits that have monounsaturated (good) fats.
 CANTALOUPE/ HONEY DEW MELON (Musk melon) has excellent  vitamin C. Cantaloupe, is a great source of polyphenol antioxidants chemical. This chemical regulate the formation of NITRIC OXIDE. Nitric oxide is for healthy cardiovascular and immune systems and prevent heart attacks. 
Has abundant potassium- good for blood pressure, also has A and B vitamins, Sodium and Magnesium. The cholesterol percentage is zero in this fruit. It takes longer time to digest in the stomach, we feel full longer, thus may help reduce taking snack..
STRAWBERRY: A fruit full of antioxidants. Contains a wide range of compounds which cut cholesterol levels and help clear out arteries- unclog your arteries the natural way. Strawberries contain fisetin, an antioxidant in relation to Alzheimer's disease and to kidney failure resulting from diabetes.
BANANA has high energy and carbo content  with zero fat, moderate amounts of vitamin B6, C, manganese and potassium.
Consumption of bananas may reduce risks of colorectal cancer and in women- breast cancer. Those with latex allergy may experience a reaction to bananas.
Bananas, with their HIGH POTASSIUM content, are highly recommended by doctors in:
  • Reducing depression, hangovers
  • Healthy kidney, normal bowel function, constipation, diarrhea
  • Eyesight protection, anaemia
  • Strengthening the bones
  • Regulates blood pressure- reduces stroke
  • Heart problems and Treating heart-burn
  • Overcoming nervous disorders, Improves nerve function.
  • Reduce cramps, smooth muscle contraction and expansion during exercises
2. Vit B6 is for people who feel weak, insomnia and irritated easily.
3. Helps elevate depression- improves your mood.
4. Bananas especially the red ones – an aphrodisiac
5. It is the best fruit to eat after a 4km jog. As the body loses vitamins and minerals, 2 bananas is enough to replace the nutrients lost as well as replenishing energy.

92% water. The rich red color is due to lycopene, a cancer fighting antioxidant. 
Is a very good source of vitamin C, a good source of vitamin B1, potassium and magnesium, nutrients which promotes a healthy immune and cardiovascular system. 

Recently, it was found to have Viagra-like effects to the blood vessels of the body due to its rich citrulline content.

Like guava, is another really top loaded with vitamin C content.

It’s orange color is beta carotene, great for the eyes.
Eating 2- 4 oranges a day can keep colds away.

Lowers cholesterol. prevent and dissolve kidney

 stones, also lessen colon cancer risk.

Raw pineapple is rich in manganese and vitamin C. 
It contains bromelain enzyme, which can be used as a marinade and tenderizer for meat. This enzyme will be destroyed upon cooking. It has anti inflammatory properties, that can ease joint inflammation in arthritis patients.

CHERRIES contain anthocyanins, the red pigment in berries. Anthocyanins are potent antioxidants. This fruit contains more than 17 compounds that help unclog clogged arteries.
BLUEBERRIES  have a diverse range of micro nutrients, with high levels of the essential dietary mineral manganese, vitamin B6, C, K and dietary fiber. An antioxidant, inhibit mechanisms of cancer cell development, enhanced memory and learning in older adults and reduce blood sugar. Alleviate depression and declining alzheimer’s disease.
For fruit lovers, it is worth knowing what are the top twenty superior fruits, in terms of nutrition. Study the top ten and remember their benefits in great details. When we know what we are eating, then, it is justified to say ”Eating fruits is healthy”. The rest of fruits may be eaten once in awhile- more for the taste buds.

and other various sources