04 June 2006

Yummy Biriyani dinner

Hooray! Pictures at last.

We'd invited our dear friend AS for dinner last night. And I thought I'make a nice spicy biriyani a-la-Nayeem. Nayeem makes the best biriyani in the whole world. Anything else takes a pales to an insignificant second place. Of course, my effort wasn't too bad, but it was nowhere near Nayeem's level of utter perfection! We miss you lots, Nayeem. Actually, we miss biriyani more than we miss you :) ... er.... foot in mouth happened there.

Arun of course, would never be content with just a salad or a raitha to go with his biriyani. So I made a nice dish of baby-potatoes in gravy. And of course raitha. And I know it all tasted good coz we had no leftovers. And my little one actually ate ALL her potatoes!

I love N's biriyani recipe for it's sheer simplicity. No overly elaborate cooking procedures! And because the biriyani and raitha had plenty of onions, I decided to leave out onions in the gravy for the potatoes.

This must be one of the more elaborate meals I have cooked since we came to Tsuruoka. It doesn't compare with some of the 6-7 course dinners for 25 that I have made in Singapore. A tiny kitchen does dampen culinary enthusiasm!

Baby potatoes in gravy
serves 4

20 baby potatoes
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tsp jeera powder
1 tsp dhania powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 pinch hing
1 tbsp + 3 tspb oil
salt to taste
1 cup water

Wash and scrub potatoes. Parboil in salted water. Peel when done.
Heat 3 tbsp oil. Add jeera seeds and hing and let it splutter.
Add the potatoes and fry till very lightly browned. Keep aside.
Mix the masala powders with about 3 tbsp water.
Heat 1 tbsp oil. Add the masala mix, and fry till oil begins to float on top.
Add tomato paste and fry for about 2 minutes.
Add potatoes.
Add water to bring gravy to desired consistency.
Add salt to taste.
Cover and cook on a low flame for about 15 minutes.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves before serving.

serves 4

2 cups basmati rice
1 big onion (sliced)
1.5 tsp ginger garlic paste
2 cups cut mixed vegetables (beans, peas, carrots, cauliflower)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder (or to taste)
1 stick cinnamon
5 cloves
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
2 tbsp tomato paste
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

Wash and soak basmati in 4 cups water.
Heat oil. Add Jeera and let it splutter.
Add sliced onions and fry till onions start to brown.
Add ginger garlic paste, and continue frying till the raw smell of garlic is gone.
Add the cut vegetables. Add salt to taste.
Add chilli powder and turmeric and saute for 3 minutes. Add a little water to ensure that vegetables cook fully.
Add tomato paste, and continue to cook till oil starts to float on top.
Heat oil. Lightly fry cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves in turn till fragrant.
Add whole spices to the rice.
Cook till almost done.
(I used a microwave rice cooker. 12 minutes on high power should do)
Drain rice in a colander. Rinse with cold water to stop it cooking further.
Layer rice and vegetables in a dish, starting and ending with vegetables.
Cover with cheesecloth. Close dish with a steel or any metal plate large enough to cover it completely.
Place a pot of boiling water on top of the plate.
This is a very simple method of 'dum' cooking.
The rice finishes cooking with the juices from the vegetable mixture, making the biriyani quite juicy.
Leave aside for about 30-45 minutes.
When ready to serve, take a serving spoon and mix the rice and vegetables well.

serves 4
1 big onion (finely chopped)
1 big tomato (finely chopped)
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
2 cups beaten curds/plain yogurt
salt to taste
1/2 tsp jeera powder
1/2 tsp chaat masala

Toss chopped vegetables together with salt to taste.
Gently stir in beaten curds/yogurt.
Add jeera powder and chaat masala.
Serve chilled.

1 comment:

Foodie's Hope said...

I am bowled over by your dinner menu! Looks wonderful and mouthwatering, Vidya!
Do Japanese like spicy food? Do you like their food?
I have seen footage of this Bush's daddy senior Bush throw up on the podium while he was Japan. They still say it's their food which made him hurl and laugh about it :D