Saturday, January 22, 2011

Malay Chicken Biryani

Preparation time: 30 minutes + Marination time
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 6

Spices to Roast & Grind:
Red Chilli: 4-6
Nigella seeds: 1 tsp
star aniseed: 2
cumin: 2 tbsp
cinnamon: 2 inch piece
black peppercorn: 1 tsp
brown cardamom: 2
cloves: 6

Dry roast all these spices and grind them coarsely in a coffee grinder,keep them aside.

Other dry Ingredients:
salt: to taste
turmeric: 1 tsp
paprika: 1 tsp or to taste
garlic powder: 1 tsp

Ingredients for marination:
ginger paste: 2 tbsp
garlic paste: 2 tbsp
Dry masala roasted and coarsely ground : 2 tbsp( save the rest for later use)
All the above dry ingredients

Other Ingredients:
Chicken: 750 g
Basmati Rice:500 g washed & soaked for 15 minutes
Tamarind: 50 g soaked for 30 minutes then press and sieve the juice/pulp
Onion Medium:  250 g or 3 onions finely sliced
curry leaves:50
Green chilli: 6-10
Olive oil: 1/2 a cup

preparation method:
marinate chicken pieces with the ingredients mentioned under marination and leave it to marinate for 1 hour.
Now take this marinated chicken and add 1/2 a cup of water cover and boil on medium heat until the chicken is tender.Then increase the heat and dry-up all the liquid.
Take a big pan and add 1/2 cup of oil and fry these chicken pieces on high heat until evenly brown stirring continuously. Remove the chicken and fried masala from the pan.
In the same oil fry the sliced onions until light golden brown.Add green chillis,curry leaves & rest of the roasted coarsely ground masala along with the tamarind pulp.Fry for a few minutes,stirring continuously. Now  add the fried chicken pieces to this add 1 cup of water and cook for a few minutes & remove from heat.

Boil 10 cups water and cook the rice till 3/4 done.drain the rice. Take the cooked chicken curry making sure the gravy is thick and does not amount to more than 2 cups if it is more than dry it up  till it is reduced to 2 cups.
Spread this along with the rice in layers in a pan which has a tight lid. Keep it in the oven on 350 degree f for 30 minutes or till cooked.
Serve with raita & enjoy :)!!!

Note: Increase or decrease the use of green chilli's paprika and red chillis to your taste.This biryani is not mild .

I have made this biryani without curry leaves,as I was running out of these,but I strongly recommend curry leaves as these impart a very distinct flavor to the malay biryani.

This recipe was inspired by the shan malay biryani  but I wanted to avoid the color and the artificial flavors so I read the ingredients on the box and made the masala at home free of artificial colors and flavorings.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Karela Anda Ghotala/Bittergourd Egg Scam

Thank you Mr Sanjeev Kapoor for giving us- Anda Karela Ghotala,I loved making it & eating it !!!

Bitter gourd is one vegetable I did not eat for the longest time in my growing-up years.I did try it occasionally as my father insisted on all healthy vegetables . I found it bitter and abhorred the chewy skin & texture. I got married and found out that Mahir loves karela and he quiet enjoys it for its quintessential after taste bitterness . I don't remember when but I think some good recipes helped me in developing a taste for this vegetable. I started to  enjoy the stuffed karela and usually I like all the stuffings but my favorite would be mango stuffed karela as I enjoy the sweetness the mango lends to the slightly bitter karela.

Well this recipe is not about stuffed karela's. This is a easier recipe and does not require all the cumbersome steps that a stuffed karela recipe entails for. I browsed through Sanjeev kapoor's recipes and I was amazed to find around 15  recipes, but this karela anda ghotala recipe stood out for me as  I was quite amused by its name. Also the fact that he experimented and concocted this recipe in his kitchen piqued my curiosity and I gave it a shot. I was actually planning on making this for myself and Mahir and cook seprately for Manasi (she does not eat karela) but she happen to see this while walking through the kitchen and asked me what smelled so good- I told her it was karela/Bittergourd with egg and she said  she wanted to try a piece of karela I pretended to look normal and nonchalantly popped a tiny piece of karela in her mouth she asked for another tiny piece and oh boy!! I was still trying to pretend I was not excited :) Finally after trying the two pieces she asked me to make her roti's with this sabji-So now you have a fair idea of  how good this turned out to be. I have made some changes to the basic recipe and have used some spices that were not there in the original recipe.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4

karela/bitter gourd: 3 medium sized
Fired onions: 4 tbsp ( store bought)
Tomato's chopped: 1 cup
Eggs: 2
Olive oil: 2 tbsp and a few drops for frying the omlette
Ginger Chopped very fine: 1 tsp
Garlic: Chopped 1 tsp
salt: to taste
Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
mango powder: 1tsp

Masala to be roasted and then ground to a fine powder

Fennel Seeds: 1 tsp
Fenugreek: 1tsp
Corriander seeds: 1tsp
Red chilli: 3 dried or to your taste
Black pepper corn: 10
cloves: 2
Green Cardamom: 3

1. Take the karela and with a potato peeler get rid of the skin. Sprinkle salt on these and leave them aside for couple hours. The salt helps in extracting the bitterness to some extent. I left them salted for a whole day.

2. Take the karela/bittergourd and wash it,pat dry it with a paper towel to avoid the spluttering during shallow frying . Cut the karela into 2 inch pieces.

3. Take a frying pan and add 2 tbsp oil to this. When it starts to smoke ,slide in the karela/bittergourd and fry till the skin turns brown and gets a little crisp.

4. Remove them from the pan and put them aside.

5. In the same oil add the fried onions (you can also use 2 medium sized fresh onion)chopped fine. To these add ginegr & garlic, now add the diced tomatos and add salt turmeric powder,mango powder and everything under the masala which is to be roasted and ground. Cook this till you see the oil appear at the edges .

6. Take the eggs and beat them with just a pinch of salt . Make an omlette and keep it thick. Now cut this into 2 inch pieces.

7.Add the shallow fried karela/bittergourd and omlette to the fried masala and mix it carefully without scrambling the omlette pieces.
8. Garnish with chopped cilantro and squeeze some lime juice on it and serve it hot with roti 's or naan. You are going to love this :)

Notes: lately I have been using the  sultan's golden fried onion as they  save a lot of time and add a nice  rich color to almost any preparation.
If you choose to use the freshly chopped onion,then please fry them till they turn a nice golden brown.
Vegetarians can avoid the egg and add nutrella chunks instead.