In My Kitchen : part 3- Claypot Biriyani

Well i continue my kitchen story the thrid part and this needs one whole post only for this subject.

Yes i love biriyani and we all do love biriyani.

In sri lanka mainly they cook biriyani with keeri samba a short grain rice which is soft and fluffy when cooked well. It might take extra time to cook it but still it tastes different.

My aunt used to say that she learnt how to make sri lankan biriyani by watching the cooks do their job during the functions. Thats a good idea i guess to learn a few recipes.

According to my aunt the secret thickening agent for the main gravy of the biriyani is coconut and cashew. Totally sri lankan ingredients.  Sri lanka has cashew at a reasonable price and according to us its a very expensive product unlike coconut which is very cheap. Mixing both is the best way i guess to balance the flavor and budget.

So in indian and pakistani biriyanis they add yogurt or curd as a thickening agent as long as i know and in sri lanka they use coconut and cashew Both grinded to a paste in a motar and pestal. Added to the gravy and cooked.

There is also a special taste of cream which comes from the coconut and enhances the color to a orangish red. Am drooling and craving for sri lankan biriyani.

So as i was not very interested in creating a sri lankan biriyani considering the long process of making a thickening agent amidst its taste, i just ran my hands into the common and easiest recipe the varnasi biriyani i guess i didn’t type the name wrong. It was taught in my sisters cookery class and she taught me. I just loved the flavor combination and the simplicity of the dish.

I was out of biriyani masala and this dish asked only for madras curry powder and kashmir chillie powder.

A cup of yogurt and rice. Thats simple isn’t it.

I just love it, it’s so similar to karachi darbar biriyani.

So to make it a pot biriyani i cooked the chicken curry in the pot and assembled the rice which was already cooked separately and cooked it for 10 minutes on a very low heat.

Finally garnished with coriander leaves and served with my special kebabs.

My kebab recipe

Ingredients

500 grams boneless chicken breast

2 teaspoon kashmir chillie powder

3 teaspoon red chillie powder

Salt to taste

1 teaspoon garlic paste

A drop of red color

2 tablespoon yogurt

Directions of cooking

1. Clean, wash and pat dry the chicken and cut into small cubes.

2. Mix all the ingredients except the chicken in a bowl.

3. Coat the chicken with the marinade and keep covered in the fridge for an hour.

4. Assemble the chicken in BBQ skewers and cook on a tava for 5 minutes over a very low heat turning all four sides.

5. It takes 15-20 minutes to cook in total depending on the size of the chicken.

6. Rest the kebab for 5 minutes and serve warm with khuboos amd yogurt raita.

7. Squeeze half a lemon on top just before serving.

Serves 2 people if they eat less rotti or plenty for 4 with some extra hummus and rottis.

Varnasi chicken buriyani

Varnasi chicken buriyani

My kebabs

My kebabs

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International cuisine

Cooking up an international lunch
It was a Saturday and I decided to cook up an international lunch. I have gone to many buffets and even an international buffet at the deira creek cruise which was a surprise gift from my husband on my first birthday after our wedding. I have never had an international lunch cooked at home. As usual I tried to be a bit creative and cook up something with the inspiration of Lebanese, Pakistani, indian, Thai and Arabian cuisine.

The Arabian cuisine, a mix of zataar

As I’ve always mentioned in my previous posts zataar has become my favourite spice to cook with and I enjoy experiments with zataar.
As a result I tried adding a few pinches of zataar to my chicken kebab.
I was inspired by masterchef Australia season 3 recipe for chicken kebabs and I finally mastered the art of kebab making.
I now try adding my favourite spices and ingredients to give the kebab a personal touch. Which is why I tried adding zataar to the chicken kebabs. I somehow fed my family zataar without even addressing the spices addition which they really liked eating and was amazed at how good my cooking skills have become since I got married especially my second sister.
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The chicken and mutton kebabs

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My version of Tom yum soup

Thai cuisine-my very own tom yum soup

I have tried a few versions of tom yum soup and have a good knowledge of how it tastes and what spices are added. The tom yum soups I’ve tasted are overpowered with herbs such as pandan leaves and lemon grass. It also contains the sour taste from the tomato. So I decided to create my own version by adding a few spice I have tasted in the tom yum soup without even checking a recipe online.
Here is my recipe –

Ingredients

2 inch pandan leaf (chopped)
1 onion chopped and tempered
1 12 cm piece lemon grass
1 medium size ripe tomato
A few chicken bones
1 tablespoon thick coconut milk
A few pinches of turmeric
1/2 teaspoon chillie powder
1/2 teaspoon chillie flakes
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
A few pinches of pepper powder
1 teaspoon oil
Salt to taste
5 curry leaves
A few pinches of cumin powder
Water as required
Method
I added all the ingredients except the coconut milk and lime juice and boiled till the chicken bones were done.
Finally I added a bit of thick coconut milk and cook for a minute.
Later I seasoned the soup with lemon juice and took off heat.
I gotta compare it with a traditional tom yum soup to see if its same or I’ve got to find the difference.

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Curd riata
It’s a common dish when you buy buriyani at any indian or Pakistani restaurant and the difference w
Is either it would be light or thick yet taste the same with the same ingredients used.
I made my raita with 2 tablespoons of curd mixed with an onion and 3 green chillies blended together in a blender to a fine thick paste. Later I added some salt and lime juice. Mixing all these together and garnishing with a pinch of pepper powder made the raita spicy and delicious.

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Lebanese rice without roasted pine nuts garnish
The Lebanese rice was done following instructions on a website yet without the pine nuts. I have fallen in love with Lebanese food ever since my neighbour in Dubai sent a bowl of Lebanese soup with a flat bread. It was so delicious and perfectly balanced with all spices and salt. I am still in a hunt to learn Lebanese and am trying out different recipes as a result. Should I detail my rice dish it’s just plain rice with a mix of tempered onions and some turmeric. I wish I could try my hands on saffron very soon.

Finally my long-awaited international meal is now gonna be live on my blog.
Hope to get back soon with more food stories.