My Mom’s Awadhi Biryani Recipe

Do you like monotony? I’m sure you don’t.

There’s nothing interesting if you follow the same routine day in and day out. Life tends to get monotonous if you go about the same pattern every day.

But, boy do you really need to follow the commands like a robot?

No, you don’t have to. You have reasons, choices, and priorities to help break the routineness of life.

Hurray! Human instincts are still alive!

In my opinion, there are no better reasons than festivals to break this dullness. Celebrations make our lives colorful. And, not so long but at least for a moment or a day, we forget the humdrum of life and usher in the sheer spirit of fun.

Today is Monday and the day of a new post on my blog. It’s really a sweet coincidence, that today we all are celebrating the pious festival of Eid after a month-long fasting.

Breaking the monotony of posting romantic short stories over and over again for the past couple of weeks, this Monday, I’m posting something totally different.

Today, I’m posting my Mom’s authentic Awadhi Biryani recipe, the best chicken biryani recipe, for all those biryani lovers out there and for all my friends, followers, and well-wishers who love making and eating biryani at home.

So, here comes the Quick and Easy Biryani Recipe

Things Needed – Biryani Ingredients

Chicken – 1 kg (full with breast and legs)

Long-grain basmati rice – 1-1/2 kg (soaked in enough water for half an hour)

Curd – 500 mL

Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tablespoon

Garam masala powder – 1 tablespoon

Red chili powder – 1 teaspoon

Salt – to taste

Onion – 6 big (sliced)

Oil or Ghee – 500 mL

Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon

Cinnamon stick – 1-inch piece

Black pepper corns – 5 to 6

Cardamom – 4 to 5

Cloves – 4 to 5

Bay leaves – 2

My Mom's Awadhi Biryani Recipe, Easy Biryani Recipe, www.mariyamhasnain.com

How to Cook

Mix curd with ginger-garlic paste, garam masala powder, red chili powder, salt, and cumin powder. Marinate the chicken pieces in the curd. Put it in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Saute onion in a pan till golden brown. Add the marinated chicken pieces, cook and cover until chicken is tender. Saute the preparation until oil separates. Switch off the heat and keep aside.

In a big vessel, take 1 liter of water. Add salt, cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, black peppercorns, cardamom, cloves, and bay leaf. Put the water on the boil. When bubbles form, add soaked rice, and cook on low heat until the rice is semi-cooked.

Strain all the water from the rice. Now, take a flat-bottomed vessel, preferably copper, spread a layer of rice followed by a layer of cooked chicken. Repeat this process until all rice and all chicken is utilized.

Sprinkle mint and coriander leaves and some fried onion slices onto the top layer.

Dissolve some yellow food color or saffron strands in water and sprinkle on the top layer of rice.

Cover the vessel with Aluminum foil without leaving any space for the air to escape. This is necessary for steam buildup and uniform and proper cooking of rice along with chicken and spices.

Put the vessel on very low flame and cook for approximately 45 minutes. Switch off the heat and let the biryani stand on the switched off the stove for an hour or so before serving.

Serve the biryani with mint or cumin raita.

I hope you like this quick and easy biryani recipe straight from my mom’ kitchen. Hope, you’ll make it in your kitchen and enjoy it with your family.

See you next Monday, Till then Bye.

Happy Cooking!

 

Romantic Short Stories: Primal Desires

Hi, Friends!. Love You All. I hope you enjoyed your weekend and now looking forward to a new week. How about starting the new week by reading some romantic short stories. This week’s love short deals with the complex emotion of Lust. Perhaps Love. Perhaps both. You decide 🙂

Title: Primal Desires

“Are you nuts?” Shikha pushed all the stray hairs off her face back into a tight bun. “No way, he’s going to stay with us. Not when you’ll be not home.” She then looked away, glancing at the fresh lilies blooming in the green lawns of their house.

“He’s my childhood buddy. I can’t say no. It’s just a matter of a few days. Once the paperwork is done, he will be off.”

“Can’t you cancel your trip or can’t you book a hotel room for him?”

“Try to understand babes. Raghav is not just a friend. He’s much more than that.”

“I know. He was your emotional support pillar, but things are different now.” She arched her eyebrows as she flipped through the pages of the women’s magazine. “Fine. If you can’t understand, let’s get this straight—I’m not going to stay with a stranger especially when my husband is away.”

“Please sweetheart. I really need this favor from you. Raghav is a cool guy, and he’s not a stranger. You have seen his photographs and even talked to him. Remember, when he called me on the wedding night.” Vikas crawled closer to her  on the couch.

“Yeah, I remember, but that was just a formal call. He just congratulated us. That’s all. The truth is that I don’t know him. I mean if he’s going to stay with me, he will definitely eat, sleep, and do all the things that he does.”

“Of course. How can you stop the person of not doing his daily activities of living?” Vikas cocked a brow.

“So, what does he eat?”

“He’s not that picky. Anything with chicken will do. I will fill the refrigerator with an extra supply of chicken and beer for you two.”

Vikas’ gentle persuasion was flawless, and he finally succeeded in melting the ice of Shikha’s heart. She agreed to let Vikas’ childhood friend Raghav stay at their house for a week while Vikas was off to the US.

***

“Coming…” The doorbell ranged the third time. Shikha ran to the door, wrapping her wet hair in a towel.

“I’m sorry…was in the shower…Please come in,” she said, her faint smile vanishing. Her eyes fixed on a 6 feet tall hunk, an owner of a sculpted body that he hid underneath a white creased shirt and khaki pants, standing next to Vikas.

Raghav never looked that sexy in the snaps. Perhaps, that were the entire old ones I saw. He’s a grown up man now. A man with bulging biceps and tattoos. No wonder why he didn’t marry until now. Perhaps, he is a player. A man who always plays with women takes them to his bed but never gets involved in a relationship.

Anyways, who the fuck cares. He’s not going to stay here for any longer. It’s just a matter of seven days. All I need is to feed him good food, take him around the city, talk to him politely while he finishes his work in the town, and finally leaves the house.

Shikha assured herself that Raghav’s visit was not going to make any difference to her life as she arranged the table for lunch. However, she couldn’t stop herself looking at Raghav, devouring his intoxicating appeal.

That evening, Vikas left for the US leaving his wife alone in the company of his old childhood friend for a complete one week.

***

One evening…

“So what do you do?”

“Me. nothing. Just cooking, sleeping, watching TV that’s all.”

“You don’t have any hobby?”

“I never thought about it.”

“Never thought about it?” He chuckled. The sound of his snicker sent shivers of excitement all through her spine. And, boy, those vivid brown eyes, sexy enough to disturb all the sleeping butterflies in her stomach.

“I mean…Yeah…I used to make soft toys for kids when I was young. I mean it was long before getting married.”

“For kids?”

“For kids of the maids who would work in our society.”

“I see, and you used to gift them?”

“Yeah. Right.”

“That’s pretty adorable. I mean who the damn cares about these things.” His lips set in a grim line as he looked down the carpet of the living room. The air was heavy. There was this constant sound of raindrops falling on the tin roofing of the backyard. He looked sad, vulnerable, almost on the edge of shedding tears.

Vikas told her that Raghav was the son of a woman who used to work as a housemaid in their palatial residence. It was Vikas’s parents who helped Raghav’s mom to get him educated.

For a moment, she thought of going close to him and putting her hand on his, but she restrained. Restrained her from looking at him. Teardrops slid from the corner of her eyes. She couldn’t understand why she felt that way. A few days with this man and her world had changed. She never felt the intense magnetism towards any man she felt for Raghav.

“What do you do?” She broke the ensuing stillness of the rainy evening.

“I make sculptures?”

“Sculptures? You’re a sculptor?”

“Yeah…You guessed it right.”

“Interesting. So what do you sculpt?”

“Anything. I mean anything that fascinates me.”

“And, things that don’t fascinate you. Do you still sculpt them?”

“It depends. If I have to do it for a client. I once sculpted a fat businessman with fairly big mustaches, and I got sixty thousand bucks for that.”

“OK. Deal. You will make my sculpture, and because I’m not that fascinating, I’ll pay you for that.” She smiled.

“Who says you’re not fascinating?” He chortled.

His words electrified Shikha’s entire being. Hot desires grew from inside, making her cheeks blush. She cast her eyes downward, no words escaping from her mouth.

***

“Can’t you sit still…I’m shaping the features. And, please brush that hair away from your face.” Raghav’s voice was soft yet commanding enough to make Shikha’s heart race.

“No, no, not that…Oh, okay, just let me do it for you.”

As he came close, his body warmth floated around her. The brush of his fingers, all clay on them, on his forehead, and a shiver ran down her spine. Butterflies fluttered harder. Almost ready to tear her stomach. Her heart thumped even harder making it difficult for her to breathe. A choking feeling couldn’t let her inhale oxygen. All, she could inhale was the musky fragrance of his cologne as he stood just an inch away from her. His broad chest exposed in a blue vest, sweat drops traveling from his temple to his Adam’s apples before touching down the chisels of his gorgeous chest.

Oh! God! I want to breathe, and this man is not letting me do that. I will die if he doesn’t go away in another 10 seconds.

“I’m sorry. I can’t do this.” She pushed Raghav in his chest and scurried past him, darting out of the outhouse.

Romantic Short Stories: Primal Desires, www.mariyamhasnain.com

“What’s wrong with you? It’s half done. Just a matter of few more hours.”

“I can’t sit still for that long. It’s okay. Just leave me alone. Just go.”

She could sense his presence behind her.

“Can’t sit for long or you can’t have me near you?”

His words pounded her heart, shattering it into pieces with each piece saying – yes you’re the one I ever longed for.

“Why are you here? Finish your damn paperwork and leave. Please go away.” She smoldered as she wiped her tears.

“Shikha…”

His low husky voice. Her name on his tongue worked like an aphrodisiac, igniting the fire more intense than ever before.

“Are you falling for me?”

She didn’t reply, tears making her vision blurry, her heart sinking, her lungs laboring for air.

“Aw, shucks, I can’t believe this.”

With that, he turned his back. And the next moment, he was gone out of her room.

20 minutes passed by

Perhaps, 30

Probably, an hour

“Raghav…” She cried like a kid as she searched for him everywhere in the house.

“Raghav. Where are you?”

“I’m here.” He came out of the guestroom, hauling his suitcase behind him.

“You can’t go away. Can’t leave me like this.”

“What do you want from me?” He came closer and looked in her eyes. “It’s lust Shikha, nothing else.”

“It’s not lust. If it were, I would not have wept that night when I saw tears in your eyes. Your presence, your nearness, your touch bring a hurricane of feelings. Feeling unknown to me. Feelings I’ve never had before. Feelings I want to melt into, fade into, dissolve into finishing my entire being. Being with you is like putting me on fire and asking you to leave is like letting that fire burn me.”

“You’re my friend’s wife Shikha, and I can’t break that trust. You understand. I can’t break that trust.” His grip hardened on her shoulders as he tried not to reveal his vulnerable side. The side he kept hidden from her, feelings that were burning him too, inside out.

“Don’t hurt me if you can’t love me.” She shoved his hands off her shoulders and turned around. “You should be gone when I come out.” And, she rushed to her bedroom, not wanting to see him leave.

Again, she could sense him standing behind her. His hand on her waist made its way under her shirt, pleasure bubbles forming inside her skin. His touch on her flat belly sparked thousands of volts of electric current. She closed her eyes to dissolve, to melt, to finish in the heat that dissipated from his body. Her head tilted backward, her lips parting in anticipation.

The touch of their lips kindled a fire. A fire that ignited both the bodies. Flames ready to burn them alive, turn them into ashes, a heap of slag, had they not extinguished them, doused them, smothered them succumbing to their primal desires. Love, Lust, Whatever.

***

Did you like what you read? If you did, don’t forget to share.

Want to know more about short love stories to read online for free go to Wattpad. You can even download some of my FREE short romantic stories – Here

~MH

Romantic Short Stories: A Flight of Stairs

Howdy Friends! It’s Monday and I’m here with yet another love flash from my hidden treasure of romantic short stories.

Title: A Flight of Stairs

With that last tattoo, of a dragon, done on my forearm, I was all set for my first-ever concert as a singing pop star of the town. My long-cherished dream would come true. Never in my whole life, had I missed a single night when I didn’t dream of singing in front of a huge crowd of fans.

And, I nailed it. My latest album hit the top 10 Asian-American songs of the month. Though I was no stranger to facing the media glare, performing in front of a live audience gave me goose bumps just like we get before exams or job interviews.

I was running late, so I scrambled towards the elevator, got inside, and touched the 0 button.

“Shit.”

In haste, I couldn’t work out that the lift was going upstairs. A couple minutes of ride from 5th floor to 27th floor seemed like an irritating, never-ending journey. A journey that takes you away from your destination.

The elevator reached the top floor, and a man entered inside. Worried about reaching the concert venue on time, I threw an irritating stare towards him.

Cleanly shaven with a tangle of wayward brown curls pushed back on his head, he either took a decent amount of time to set his hair or got out of the bed without even brushing a hand on his head. Whatever it was, he looked damn gorgeous in a black suit that hugged his broad-shouldered tall frame perfectly.

A little distraction seemed like a flight to heaven, and I enjoyed the ride downstairs with the man who took my breath away.

His cologne tantalized my senses and filled my brain with all the naughty thoughts.

What if I was marooned on an island with this handsome stranger? How about getting stuck in this elevator with this gorgeous man?

Hey, relax Ritika. You’ve to perform in a couple of minutes.

Restraining my thoughts, I stopped ogling him and fixed my stare to the floor of the elevator.

I took a deep breath to stop the flickering butterflies flocking hard against my ribs and closed my eyes to slow down my thumping heartbeat.

Darkness.

Yeah, it’s good. I’m feeling much better.

With that, I open my eyes.

Have I opened my eyes?

Holy shit!

I never thought the wish I made two seconds ago would become true.

Yes, we had got stuck in the elevator.

“Oh! No.” A deep cry escaped my throat.

“Are you in a hurry Miss?” His commanding voice filled the stranded elevator.

Irritation and anger replaced the burning desires.

“It’s because of you, I’m in this situation.”

“I’m sorry? Because of me?”

“Have you not pressed the button, I would have reached the ground earlier.”

“If you were going downstairs why did you catch it at first place?”

“Oh! Please. Don’t you argue with me like an attorney?”

“What, if I’m the one?” He chortled.

Romantic Short Stories: A Flight of Stairs

“Aw! Shucks. I hate lawyers and never in my wildest dreams I thought I would get stuck in the elevator with a conservative attorney?” I bit my lips in frustration.

“Conservative attorney?” His eyes gleamed like two shiny marbles in the thin light of his smartphone. A brief smirk tugged the corners of his lips, flaunting a set of deep dimples as he looked me in the eyes.

“So what do you do?” His gaze smoothly shifted from my face to my exposed skin covered with tattoos of insects, birds, and animals.

“I’m a rock star.”

Before he could make any assumptions about my character or behavior, I proudly introduced myself.

“Rockstar? The one who sings and dances maniacally.”

“Excuse me, Mister.” Heat escalated through me, and I knew, all of it was not anger.

“Oh…I’m sorry.” He smirked again. But, this time there was something in his eyes that made me blush.

He came close and stood across from me. His hand roamed through my narrow waist as he pulled me close.

Anticipating his next move, I closed my eyes and my head tilted backward, almost instantaneously.

A brush of his lips at the corner of my mouth and the stranded elevator breathed to life. It got illuminated and started moving down. He released me from his grip, and we occupied opposite corners.

Mute.

Embarrassed.

Restless.

Within minutes, we reached the ground. Coming out of the lift, he escorted me till my waiting cab, the concert organizers arranged for me.

“I think I need to see you again. How about a dinner? Tonight at eight?”

“That’s cool.” I readily agreed. “Why don’t you come with me now?”

“Umm…Let me reschedule the meeting I have with my clients, and I will follow you in my car.” He chuckled as he touched some buttons on his smartphone before putting it closer to his ear.

****

Did you like what you read? If you did, don’t forget to share.

Want to download some of my FREE romantic short stories – Click Here

~MH

20 Interesting Facts About Thailand, Its People and Culture

Just in case you didn’t know, Thailand is one of the hottest travel destinations in the Southeast Asia. People come here from different parts of the world eager to experience the “Complex Thai Charm” that they have only heard of before…  Something that has drawn them for a long time and then they get fascinated by the hospitality, beauty, and friendliness of this amazing exotic country. So much so that they keep coming back if not making the Land of Smiles their permanent abode some day. Besides the picturesque beaches, hospitality, and affordability, it’s the Thailand nightlife that attracts visitors from across the world.To all those travel enthusiasts and those who are planning a visit to the country, these are some quick yet interesting facts that will warm you up before you visit amazing Thailand.

To all those travel enthusiasts and those who are planning a visit to the country, these are some quick yet interesting facts that will warm you up before you visit amazing Thailand.

Living in Thailand is an exotic dream for many westerners which they can live without even burning a hole in their pockets or breaking their banks.

To all those travel enthusiasts and those who are planning a long stay in the country, these are some quick yet interesting facts that can help you not just have a great time but also minimize the culture shock.

20 Interesting Facts about Siam, its people, and culture

  • In the Thai language, the country is named as Prathet Thai. The English meaning of the term Prathet Thai is the land of the free which exactly defines the origination and history of the country. Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that had never been colonized by any of the European nation.
  • The highly practiced religion in Siam is Buddhism with 94.6% of the population following the teachings attributed to Lord Buddha.

Thailand Meditation

  • Thai is the national and widely spoken language of the region. Like Chinese and Vietnamese, Thai is also a very tonal language with 32 vowels and 44 consonants.
  • Millions of tourists visit the land of smile every year and their number approximates to around 16 million. Thailand is one of the hottest travel destinations among people from developed countries across UK, US, and Europe.
  • Sex tourism was at its peak in the country during the 1960 and 70s when Vietnam War American troops were directed to R&R site, not attached to military bases.
  • The country was first time hit by the human immunodeficiency virus in 1984. Today, Thailand has the highest occurrences of AIDS cases than any other Asian country.
  • Child sex trafficking incidents are the common occurrence here, and the country has one of the worst child sex trafficking records in the world.
  • Siam is known for its sexual tolerance and is a safe place for same-sex couples and transgenders – famous with a street name of ladyboys, seen commonly in the mainstream society.
  • Thais are humble, polite, and fun loving people, so raising your voice is completely unacceptable in Thai culture. One should never lose his or her cool in public. The best way is to avoid confrontation and let things go.
  • Thais always seem so happy and relaxed. Happiness is in their attitude and comes from within. This explains the hospitable and carefree nature of the land of smile.
  • Thai people are really obsessed with two things. The first is white skin and the second is taking selfies.
    20 Interesting Facts About Thailand, Its People and Culture, www.mariyamhasnain.com
    Thai way of Greeting People
  • Thailand is a constitutional monarchy much like England where the King is considered to be the head of the country. Thai people are seriously sensitive about their king and can’t accept any rude behavior or remarks towards the dignity of their king.
  • Putting feet or stepping on Thai currency is considered equivalent to disrespecting the monarch because it carries the king’s image on it.
  • Drug trafficking is a serious offense in the country, and the penalty of the crime is as severe as death or life imprisonment if the accused is found guilty in the court of law.
  • The national and official symbol of Thailand is Garuda, a half man and half eagle, from the Indian epic Ramayana.
  • Thailand’s culture is highly influenced by China’s traditional and Indian religious values and teachings.
  • The country’s capital city Bangkok is the highly populated city of the country and stands atop the list of world’s most visited cities.
20 Interesting Facts About Thailand, Its People and Culture, www.mariyamhasnain.com
Buddhist Monks Walking the Streets of Bangkok
  • Siam has always been the hotbed for world trade and had ancient business links to Asia, Middle East, and Europe. In the past, the ancient city of Ayutthaya was the most powerful city in terms of economic stability and international trade.
  • Thailand is the world’s largest exporter of orchids and the second largest exporter of rice.
  • Thailand’s tourism industry that suffered some minor setbacks after the recent bombing at a shrine in central Bangkok has started to pick up and the country hopes that it will bounce back.

As you can see Thailand is a whole new experience and is very different from visiting any South Asian country. For you who loves intrigue, awakening and a whole new world, I would recommend reading Camouflage: The Racing Romantic Suspense Set In Exotic Thailand.

***

Camouflage - Lost and Found, www.mariyamhasnain.comIf you are already smitten by Thai charms, You would love to read my new romantic suspense thriller Camouflage. The best part is I’m giving away first few chapters totally free. You don’t want to miss this amazing “Quick read with a fantastic blend of romance and intrigue” that will keep you on the edge of your seat for the entire time – Click here to get it now.

Camouflage is a story of Mark, a corporate executive, who migrates to Thailand in search of happiness, freedom, and most importantly to feel alive and ends up falling in love with his next-door neighbor, a Thai Girl, Sheina.

Rich in vivid description, full of intrigue, thrill and lots of passionate romance, Camouflage explores the truth hidden behind the glittering and wild nightlife of Thailand. The book sneaks into the darker areas of the country’s thriving sex industry, drug trafficking, and gang violence.

All in all this would be an edge of the seat entertaining read…assured!

Claim The Free Read of Camouflage

 

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FREE BONUS TO LUCKY WINNERS

Grab your copy of Camouflage in any format and you are eligible to receive this surprise gift worldwide.

No, you’re not getting another book free but something that has a genuine connection to Thailand. So I am giving away 5 of these retro-style open Thai rings to 5 lucky winners every month.

Thai Vinatage Open Ring
5 Lucky Winners Will Get This Amazing Vintage Thai Ring Every Month.
Thai Open Ring[1]
Goes nicely with your style.
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