Wednesday, 13 February 2008

My Biryani

Okay, so we can all open a packet of Shaan biryani mix :) This is something I have tried a couple of times and I prefer it to the very spicey and heavy Bombay Biryani that we all know. Try it.

This is what you need:

Rice, 3 mugs, 255 gms each - almost 800 gms, of course, keeping in mind that I have a family of 4 - with large appetites :) - boiled with a few curry and mint leaves - for the biryani
Chicken (or any other meat, but I prefer chicken)- around 1 whole, making 6 to 8 pieces
2 large onions, finely chopped and fried golden brown - save the oil u fried them in
3 big tomatoes
1 bowl of yoghurt
10 - 15 leaves of curry (karipatta)
half a bunch of mint
Ginger and Garlic as paste and ginger julienne
Garam masala:
2 big black cardamoms
3, 4 greens cardamoms, 4- 5 cloves, 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1 & half tsp roasted cumin
1 and half tsp ground coriander, 3/4 tsp red chili, 1 tsp, or more or less according to your taste salt, 1/4 tsp haldi,
some food colouring in half a cup of milk - you need a deep yellow colour
3-4 tbls lemon juice
1/4 tsp each of nutmeg and mace powder and ground cardamoms (green and black together)

.. and this is what you should do:

1- put the fried onions in a dry pot - without oil and let them heat up a bit
2- toss in the tomatoes and the garam masla and around half of the curry leaves
3- let it all cook, stirring so that it doesnt burn. Add a little water if it seems too dry

4- add the chicken, ginger garlic paste and a tbls of lemon juice, so that it doesnt stick and burn
5- let the chicken cook for a while, then add the spices. Cook it more, around 10 minutes and then add the potatoes
6- the chicken and potatoes would need around 15 minutes to be done, chk and set aside

7- cover this chicken with the boiled rice - as is! dont give in to the temptation of mixing the rice with it. Just cover the chicken
8- now decorate with the mint and curry leaves and ginger julienne. Pour over the milk/colour mixture and the saved oil of the onions

9- spread the yoghurt over it all and sprinkle with the nutmeg/cardamom and mace powder

10 - cover with a clean cloth, directly over the yoghurt. Fold in the sides so that the rice is fully covered

11- let it gather steam, around 15 minutes, uncover, turn the biryani up and around, to mix, and enjoy :)

- the yoghurt will have turned into a paneer like thingy, which tastes very good when it comes between the rice. The gravy is just enough and the rice has a very nice colour to it. If you feel a bit daring, add a drop of kehwra to the milk mix. The fragrance is wow! I did..

- just make it this way once without adding or taking anything away. Since I have made it, no one asks for the other one. And it passed the acid test - I had just one hour and 20 minutes and it was done within that time! So its quick too. Try it :)

Simple Pudding

Sometimes we end up with bread that is stale and not eatable anymore na. So make a pudding next time :)

This is what you need:

Bread.. fresh or old.. though old tastes better
1 egg
1/2 to 1 liter milk
Sugar, per taste
Nuts, as u like
1 packet of cream
some butter
a drop or two of food colour

.. and this is what you should do:

1- break the bread in pieces, toss in a form
2- sprinkle nuts on top

3- pour enough milk direct on top to soak the bread without creating a pond!
4- beat the egg with the sugar till it looks almost creamy, add some more milk to thin it out

5- pour it over the bread and pat down lightly with the back of a spoon or a flat knife

6- beat the cream with a little milk to make it thinner, add some food colouring if you want and pour that on top

7- cut up some butter in small pieces and place on top of the whole ensemble
8- bake for 5 -7 minutes in a hot oven, switch off the base and switch on just the grill

9- it should come out nice and crispy and golden brown on top and soft and creamy on the inside.

- this pudding does not taste eggy, like many do. It doesnt cost you much and the ingredients are such that one normally has them at home. You can of course omit the cream if you want, it will just taste better this way. Also, feel free to add vanilla essence if you want, I didnt. Enjoy :)