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Paneer Kuska

Kuska is nothing but plain biryani without adding vegetables or meat. This simple rice is so much flavourful and doesn't require any masala powders. The green chillies give sufficient spiciness to kuska, so adjust the quantity according to your taste buds. This goes very well with Brinjal gravy or Onion raita. I have used homemade paneer in this recipe which can also be substituted with store bought ones. For the procedure of home made crumbled paneer, click HERE. Sambha rice can also be used instead of basmati rice which indeed gives a flavourful rice.

Ingredients :

1 1/2 Cups Crumbled Paneer ( I have used homemade paneer )
1 Big Onion, chopped
3 - 4 Green chillies
5 - 6 Garlic pods
1/2 inch Ginger piece
2 Medium sized Tomatoes, chopped
2 Tbsp Ghee
1 Tbsp Oil
1 Cup Basmati Rice ( I have used India Gate brand )
2 Bay leaves
1 Elachi
1/2 inch Cinnamon stick
Small piece of Blackstone flower / Kalpasi
1 Lavang / Clove
Few Mint leaves
1/4 Tsp Turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1 1/2 - 1 3/4 Cups Water

Method :

Wash and soak basmati rice for 30 minutes.

Grind tomatoes into fine paste and keep aside.

Grind spices ( Cinnamon, Elachi, Clove and Blackstone flower ) except bay leaves into fine powder.

Add green chillies, chopped onions, garlic and ginger to the spice powder and grind it again into fine paste by adding little water and keep aside.

Heat ghee and oil in a heavy bottomed pan or cooker and add bay leaves followed by mint leaves.

Add onion - spices paste and saute till the raw smell goes off.

Now add the tomato paste along with turmeric powder and crumbled paneer.

Saute till the oil separates from the pan and add the measured amount of water followed by the required amount of salt to the pan.

Let it boil and meanwhile, drain the water from basmati rice and add it to the pan.

Simmer the flame, cover the pan with aluminium foil and place an iron pan on top of it.

Cook it for 15 - 20 minutes or till  the rice gets cooked.

Once done, switch off the flame and keep it aside for 5 - 10 minutes.

Garnish with mint - coriander leaves and serve hot.

Serving Options :

Serve hot with Curd or Raita.


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Vaikunta Ekadesi  is celebrated every year in the month of December or January and particularly on the 11th waxing moon that falls in the Margazhi month. Early morning of this day “the gate to Lord Vishnu 's inner Sanctum” is opened and in tamil we used to call it as “sorga vassal”. And according to our family culture, we used to fast on this  particular day by taking only tiffin items ( No rice allowed). Along with that, Kali is made as offering for god. And the next day of ekadesi is called as Dhuvadesi, on which fast is broken with the preparation of rice and curry with 21 vegetables. My mom prepares karakuzhambu with 21 veggies and according to my in laws place we prepare sambhar with 21 veggies. 
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