Monday, May 11, 2009

Cauliflower Dum Biryani

for lunch after a visit to Rajarajeshwari Temple

Rajarajeshwari Temple

On the outskirts of Bangalore is a beautiful suburb called Rajarajeshwari Nagar. It is home to a more beautiful temple. We were planning to visit it since almost a year. This 4 day break finally made it possible. Here in the south the Alankar seva (decoration) is really wonderful. The Goddess looked resplendent in all her finery. The darshan was calming and I was absolutely still for a moment and felt a glow inside and that traveled to my face instantly.

The construction work of the smaller temples in the complex is still going on. It is a pleasure to see sculptors work with modern tools while they retain designs and the ancient art.

sculptors at work

The walls are used to make designs for sculpting. It is evident a lot of geometry is the base for it.

Designs for sculpting and the sculpted pillars on the Garbha gruha of Chakreshwar temple in the same complex

We took Chimi along and no one objected to her presence in the entire temple complex. I did not take her in the Mantapa though. She is very quite during drives I had noted when I had taken her to the vet so she deserved this visit too. She loves to sit on the floor of the auto and rest her head on my feet as she watches the vehicles go by but just to be extra careful I prop her between Dad and me.

We returned home just in time to make lunch. I had a cauliflower that was looking good so Dum Biryani it was.


2 cups large cauliflower florets
2 onions sliced thin
2 tomatoes chopped fine
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 cup curd
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1 green chili
small piece ginger
4-5 cloves of garlic

1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 cup raw rice

1 cup raw rice

salt as required

Make a paste of the green chili, garlic and ginger. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a wok. Fry the sliced onions in it till crisp and golden. Save them.

In the same oil splutter the mustard seeds. Then add the cauliflower florets. Stir to coat them with oil. Add the tomatoes and chili, ginger garlic paste then cover and cook till the florets are softened and the tomatoes have disintegrated into a paste. Add the spices at this point and the curd and salt. Cover and let it simmer for a while. Put off the heat and add the chopped cilantro. The cauliflower masala is ready.

Meanwhile in two boxes steam the rice in a pressure cooker. Wash the raw rice. Put 1 cup of rice in one box, mix in salt as per taste and 3/4 cup water. In the second box put 1/2 cup of the washed rice with 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and 1/2 cup water. Steam for just one whistle. Let it cool completely before opening.

Remove the 2 rice separately on 2 plates. Fluff it up with a fork.

Now in a flat pan layer the biryani. First a layer of half of the white rice then half of the fried onions. Now a layer of half of the cauliflower masala. Then a layer of half of the yellow rice. The second layer of cauliflower masala. Now mix the remaining half of the white rice and remaining half of the yellow rice. Spread it at the top and then sprinkle the remaining fried onions on the top. Now keep the pan on heat and cover it. Let it sit for about 10 mins. Slide off the rice off the pan carefully into a serving bowl taking care not to disturb the layers.

While serving scoop up from the bottom to get all the layers.

This Biryani is a complete meal in it self. I served fried papad along with it and slices of mango for desert. The Cauliflower Dum Biryani is tasty, not so spicy and moist.

More of the temple....

The Gopuram and the Swarn Khamb in front of the sanctorium

The watch tower that gives a view of the entire complex. This is where I took the long shot of the temple (1st pic.) and the garlands for sale.

The dome just before the gopuram is where all the preparations for pooja are done. It is also a place for homa-havan (fire sacrifice and worship)

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