Sunday, 12 June 2011

Chick pea rice..

It is also known as Channa rice if I am not mistaken. Completely got this recipe from my Pakistani friend Zargham. Very easy, quick and delicious.

Here we go..

1. Get 450g rice and soak it in water. Use the amount of water you would use to cook this amount of rice.

2. Dice 2 medium onions, 400g tomatoes (What I used was a tin of chopped tomatoes.), 3-4 green chilies, half a pepper (or if you cant get a capsicum), few cloves of garlic and a teaspoon of chopped ginger (grinded would be of course better). Also one potato cut in to 1 cubic cm pieces.

3. Make ready 240 g of chick peas almost done. What I used as a tin of ready made chick peas, of which the drained weight was 240g.

4. On a pan heat some oil and when its heated up, fry few cloves (5-7), cardamoms (5-7), 1 teaspoon of cumin and few cinnamon sticks in it. Add in the garlic and ginger and fry.

5. Next add in onions, potatoes, chick peas, pepper, and green chilies and enough of masala (amu thuna paha) let it fry for few mins until onions are brown. When its done, add in the chopped tomatoes and let it cook for some time. Also, add in enough salt, some sugar to taste, and some corriander powder if you have any. This is what it will look like towards the end, it will be very thick.

6. By now the rice should be enough soaked. Add salt and some tumeric in to this rice and put all the contents (rice and water) in to the rice cooker, or to the hob. Next, add in the cooked chick pea curry on top of this. Do not stir. This is how it will look like.

7. Now cook as you normally cook your rice. Cook it until you have no evidence of no remaining water. Towards the end what you will see is something like below,

8. Finally, mix it and serve with raita (or yogurt)

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Sri Lankan Muslim Style Chicken Biriyani

This is also known as Shahi Chicken Biriyani in some other parts of the world. A muslim cook who worked for my father named Ajimi made this with so much of Expertise. This is a recipe I wanted to try for so many years, however, half cooked rice always haunted me. So I always restored to the 'Make the Curry and Mix with Rice Biriyani'. Its not wrong, but its not exactly what I wanted. Overall cooking time is around 1 1/4 hours. Here we go then..

Part 1: Marinade of chicken

- 30-40 pieces of chicken (any part) of size 1 inch.
- 4 tablespoons yogurt
- 4-5 cloves garlic
- roughly the same amount of ginger
- 4 green chilies
- 2-3 tablespoons mixed spices (thuna-paha as in Sri-Lankan, or dry garam masala as in indian)
- 1 stick of celery ( Not there in the original recipe but works just fine)
- 2 tablespoons Coriander leaves chopped ( I used the paste)
- 2/4 teaspoons chili powder (depending on how hot you want)
- 2 teaspoons tumeric
- 2 teaspoons coriander powder
- 2 teaspoons black pepper

grind garlic, ginger, green chilies, celery together to make a paste (need not be a smooth paste).

mix it with the pieces of chicken and then add in the rest of ingredients, mix well and leave for at least half an hour, while you prepare the next bits.

Part 2: Preparation of Rice

Get around 750g of Basmati Rice (not long grain, but may be a thin/small type of rice should do), wash it and add enough of water ( around 1 1/2 inch above the surface of rice) and boil with added salt.

Keep an eye on it constantly, and stop boiling it when it is half done (half tender), and drain the water.

Part 3: For the Biriyani curry

- 3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut in to 1 inch squares (1 cubic inch :))
- 4 big onions ( cooking or red), sliced not chopped
- 3 tomatoes, again cut in to small pieces.
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1 teaspoon green cardamoms
- 3-4 1-inch size cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons oil (should be enough to fry the onions enough)
- 400ml coconut milk ( if you cant find or you dont like, water should do)
N.B. note this might vary with your amount of potatoes and rice. This is equal to the amount you would need to cook the other half of the rice and the potatoes.

By the time you are done with chopping these and starting to fry, it should be roughly half and hour, and chicken should be ready to use. If not please drag your time till it is half and hour :)

fry the onions until golden brown. Towards they being brown, add the cumin, cloves, cardamoms and cinnamon. let them fry for a bit until you get a spicy aroma.

Now, add in the marinade chicken and tomatoes and potatoes in to the frying pan. Then add in the coconut milk and let it cook until the chicken is tender, and potatoes are almost (3/4) done.

Part 4: Cooking of Biriyani

In a separate cooking utensil, big enough to cook the rice and the chicken, apply some butter on the bottom.

Now add in 3/4 of the half cooked rice in to it.

on top of that rice, add the curry you prepared in part 3.

Now, cover the curry, with the remaining 1/4 of half cooked rice.

Cover the utensil tight ( 'Ajimi' used to prepare a dough out of wheat floor, and paste with it the lid and the saucepan with it)

Timing is as follows, and is important for the right texture and outcome:

5 minutes in high heat (5/5)
10 minutes in medium heat (3/5)
15 minutes in low heat (1/5)

DO NOT STIR WHILE IT IS BEING COOKED. Do not worry too much, if you feel the bottom of the rice is being overcooked, it is a matter of not using the correct amount of water/coconut milk. This wont harm your dish much :)

Finally garnish the rice with coriander leaves. Some people hate coriander leaves, so know your guests before doing this. 

Part 5: Fancy stuff (Optional)

Garnish the cooked biriyani with fried onions, fried cashew nuts and sultana.

Get a small bowl full of rice from the top, color it with red and orange and then mix with the entire rice.

- Unhealthy bit: add butter on the top of the cooked rice.