Semi-homemade Indian Cooking: Biryani Pot-Pie and Pineapple Raita

 I was driving back home from work. There was too much traffic in the freeway. I left my windows open.Gentle cool breeze touched my cheeks and curls in my hair danced to the tune of the wind. I smiled as it was refreshing. I turned my head to play my favorite song. I listen to same playlist every every day. I looked at my watch. It was 5.30 PM. I need to drive 7 more miles in this bumper-bumper traffic to reach home and I need to pick my son before his school’s closing time. It’s Monday. First day of the week and I am always on the run from one place to another. In the middle of all this, my mind keeps racing to think what t fix for dinner.

Parda Biryani_2

I have been trying a lot of new dishes in my kitchen for the last few weeks. I try to pick vegetables that are new and unique. For instance I loved the dishes I made with purple cauliflower, kale and avocado. I reached school right at 6.00PM. My boy was busy playing and I had to drag him out of the school. He loves it so much that he wants to stay there all the time. I wanted to cook something easy and also make use of he left over vegetable brinji / biryani I made on Sunday. I thought about Parda Biryani. It is a simple dish made with puff pastry. I grabbed the frozen square puff pastry from the freezer and since it was intact in the packet, I left it in hot water to thaw for 30 minutes. I served my kids milk and snacks. We drank chai and I planned to cook dinner at 7.00 PM. I wanted to serve it with sweet and spicy pineapple raita.

biryani pot pie

The concept is very similar to pot pies. The biryani packed in ramekins are covered with puff pastry and baked until crunchy good. Once hot enough to handle, I served it with dollops of chilled raita. The crisp puff pastry complements perfectly with the flavorful basmati rice and cooling raita mellows down the heat perfectly. It feels like eating crispy burritos.

I am working on creating quick and easy recipes to make your and my life easy. I came across 2 ingredients Ice Cream Bread recipe in Pinterest and I wanted to test it couple of times before I share it with you all. I made two batches; one in loaf pan as suggested in the original recipe and another one in mini cupcake pan. The bread made in loaf pan came out well but it was little dry for my liking and the ones made in mini cupcake pan was a disaster. So don’t even attempt it.

You can read more about ice cream bread here. I am making it for my Valentine’s day dinner.

Next on our menu will be my famous signature dish – Parda Biryani. Yes, our usual Indian biryani will be covered with puff pastry and hence it gets the name Parda Biryani. Grab the recipe below. I will be serving it with cooling pineapple raita.

Valentine’s Day Menu from my kitchen

  1. Salmon Quinoa Patties
  2. Parda Vegetable Biryani
  3. Pineapple Raita
  4. Ice Cream Bread with Mixed Berries Compote in a shot glass

Enjoy the dinner by telling this phrase to your soul mate “I have nothing more to give you than my heart”

Parda Biryani_3


Recipe for Vegetable Brinji or chicken biryani here (Use any left over flavorful rice dish)

For the parda biryani


  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken or any biryani of your choice
  • 6 square puff pastry (big enough to coverthe ramekins)
  • 6 ramekins

Cooking Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F
  2. Warm the biryani and place them in the ramekins
  3. Thaw the puff pastry in hot water. Cover the ramekins with square puff pastry sheets. Cover them without any breaks. Expand it to touch he base of the ramekin. Work gently and using your fingers, seal the end with water.
  4. Bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes until they brown on the top. Serve hot with pineapple raita



Source: Self

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 dry red chillies
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple, finely chopped
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
  • Salt to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. Beat the yogurt with water. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Once hot, add mustard seeds and let it pop. Add dry red chillies, asafoetida, curry leaves and saute for a minute.
  3. Sprinkle turmeric and chilli powder and saute for 30 seconds. Mix in the pineapple and let it cook for 8-10 minutes. Mix it with yogurt and add sugar/honey. Season with salt and serve cold.

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  1. I tried the Banana flambé and it was delicious. Thanks Vijitha for such a wonderful and simple recipe.

    • Thanks Priya. Glad that super quick and easy recipes are working well

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