Saturday, October 14, 2006

Egg Biryani and a Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake
Dear Daughter wanted to bake a cake with her friends for her birthday celebration. She usually likes to have a party at Chuck E Cheese (they never seem to outgrow this place, hmmm), Bowling Alley or some such place. Last year after her party we arrived at a bright idea, she gets to have a birthday party at one of those afore mentioned places or the equivalent money goes to her bank account, hoping in the process it will teach her value for money and how not to spend it frivilouly. She chose the latter and hence the idea to bake cake and enjoy with her friends.

She and her friends were busy playing and when the time came they wanted play rather than bake the cake. So I went ahead and baked it. I have to confess this is the only cake I know how to bake. Really quick and simple. In the end I am pretty sure the kids enjoyed this toned down free celebration rather than the planned one.

1. 2 Cups of All purpose flour
2. 1 1/2 cups sugar
3. 2 sticks of butter at room temperature
4. 4 Eggs
5. 1/4 cup milk
6. 1/4 tsp Vanilla extract
7. a pinch each of baking powder and salt.
8. Chopped nuts and raisins, we added pecans chopped and craisins(dried cranberries sweetened with apple jucies and is slightly tart)



1. Reserve a little bit of the butter for lining the baking pans and beat the butter and add all the sugar till they are mixed well.
2. Beat the 4 eggs till frothy separately.
3. Now start adding the flour little by little to the buter mixture and when it starts getting dry start adding the the beaten egg mixture and when that is done add the milk little by little, add the vanilla extract and salt also. Mix using a egg beater and stop when all they are all incorporated.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans. We made one plain and the just before pouring the batter into the next pan mixed the chopped nuts and raisins using a spatula.
5. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for aobut 40 minutes or an inserted knife comes out clean.

Briyanis have always been a favorite of mine. Whenever I tasted Briyanis at a party or in a restaurant, I remember thinking "man they taste so good and must be hard to prepare", this was a little before I started cooking. But now they are my favorite recipe and also in my opinion easiest to cook provided you are using a pressure cooker like I do most of the time. I arrived on the precise timing to cook after several trial and error and having about an inch charred and stuck to the bottom of the cooker. So if I want something quick and tasty I fall back on Briyanis to do the trick. I cook better Non. Veg Briyanis than Veg. ones.

I saw Shankari's Egg A Meal could not resist and cooked it the next day. Briyanis get tastier as they get older so a good dish to pack for lunch the next day. You will find everybody wandering towards the kitchen to check out where the amazing smell was coming from.

Egg Briyani
1. 5-6 boiled eggs, slit in half.
2. 2 Cups Basmati rice
3. 1 Big Red onion thinly sliced lengthwise
4. 6 pods garlic, 2 inch piece ginger 2 green chillies chopped in a food processor (you can also ginger garlic paste but chopped cooks faster)
5. 1/2 tomato chopped fine
6. 1/4 cup cilanro leaves chopped
7. 1 cup mint leaves chopped
8. Seasonings, curry leaves, cumin 1/4 tsp , fennel seeds 1/4 tsp, 2 bay leaves, 3 cloves, 1/2 inch piece cinnamon stick
9. 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
10. 2 green chillies (adjust this because it also added minced)
11. 1 tsp red chilly powder, 1 tsp chicken masala or garam masala powder
12. 1 tbsp oil, 1 tsp ghee
13. Salt
14. roasted cashews for garnish (optional)


1. In a pressure cooker heat the oil and ghee and add all the seasonings, as they turn brown add the onions and saute till they are translucent and brown.
2. Add the chopped ginger, garlic and chillies and saute till the garlic is soft.
3. Add the chopped mint and cilantro leaves. When they start to wilt add the turmeric, chilly and chicken masala powder and mix well.
4. Add the tomato pieces and cook till they are soft and mushy.
5. Add salt.
6. Add the washed Basmati rice and mix it well with the rice.
7. Add 3 cups of water and bring it to a boil and when the rice is 1/2 cooked, add the eggs and cover them with the rice. Don't mix too much the eggs will fall apart.
8.Close the lid put the weight, turn down the heat to just below medium and switch off the heat in 6 minutes and remove the cooker from the stove and keep it aside, or the heat will make the rice in the bottom stick.
9. When the cooker cools transfer to a bowl and garnish with onion rings and cashews.

Serve with the classic onion pachadi or any pachadi you prefer. RP has a great collection of pachadi recipes listed here.


  1. Hi Indo,
    Lovely cake and a delicious egg biriyani. I too was tempted by shankari's egg biriyani.
    It is really a good idea to save the money in the bank so that kids will know the value of money.

  2. Thanks for mentioning my blog. Your recipes sounds too good, I will try your version pretty and tell you the results.

  3. very nice looking cake. I love that u added cranberries in it.As for the egg biryani, silly as it may seem, I have never tried my hand at it and have been craving htat recently. thanks.

  4. Beautiful birthday cake, ISG. Rice looks delicious too. Happy b'day to your daughter :)

  5. Thats a lovely cake and biryani ISG. I keep baking that cake but without any nuts.

  6. You have a good daughter who is willing to compromise!!Happy B'day to her!! Egg Biryani looks good too, Indo!!

    Happy Diwali!!

  7. ISG
    Both cake and biryani look delicious.
    Loved your way of teaching the value of money to kids and I must say your daughter is a smart one. She had her cake and ate it too :-)

  8. Hi ISG,
    Your cake looks yummy!!
    Our belated wishes to your daugher.
    Nice way of encouraging kids to save money.Thanks.

  9. Hi ,

    Tried your egg biriyani and it was a great hit with my hubby. He loves biriyani but so far it has never turned out to his taste but he loved this and so did our friends. Thanks to you..
    Now I plan what I am going to cook at the week end by first browsing your blog and picking out a recipe to try out.

  10. Girija,
    your comments are big rewards for me. I am so happy to hear the recipes work well for you and in a small way the blog is helping you plan your meals.


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