Posts Tagged ‘Poultry’

Muslim Biryani


2010
08.02

IMG_7527

Sing ye all good folks- Joy to my world!! I finally got my hands on the most divine recipes of all!!! The recipe that eluded me all these years, taunted my taste buds in ever so many occasions, teased my nostrils with its titillating whiff, ignored my yearning lustful eyes and and mockingly snuck away from my greedy grasps. YES!! I have it with me today. And who do I have to thank? My darling little niece, Sneha, who meticulously jotted down the recipe from her Muslim friend at school. My sweetheart cousin Jasmine, who trusted her daughter and her friend and followed the recipe to the T-recreating it, so the doubting Thomas in me  would believe. And my dear BIL EJ, who in seconds notice had the recipe scanned and printed for me to treasure – FOREVER!!! Now ain’t mine a dandy sweet family??! It sure is.

IMG_7843All those who have known me for even just about a week, let alone years,  would have had an earful about my long, unfailing loveand fidelity to what I think is the supreme food of all – The Muslim Biryani. For several years I tried making it deciphering it by taste. Experimenting with different combinations of spices and ingredients, I failed miserably though. I realize now, I was over thinking it the whole time. And since the proof is ALWAYS in the pudding, there is no doubt the arrogant me would have taken one look at Sneha’s notes and dismissed it as too simple to be true if Jasmine hadn’t made it that day so I could see, taste and believe.

My 4 attempts at trying this recipe were all successful barring one. The exception happened when I tried it at my sister Sophie’s where she stood beside me second guessing all the measurements and where after the first whistle of the pressure cooker, the kitchen was consumed by the powerful aroma of the Muslim Biryani , she proudly declared – yes we have done it. With just this premature avowal all hell broke loose. If she had ever cared to listen to my books of providence she would have known that you NEVER EVER go proud on your dish until you’ve tasted the first spoon, and if you are stupid enough to do that, you are screwed!!  Of course only because of that, the pressure cooker malfunctioned and we had to schlep burnt Biryani to the garbage bin. But, there is one thing worth mentioning though, the burnt carcass still smelt divine!!! So, if I were you, while following this recipe, I would not go second guessing it nor would I make any presumed declarations!

 IMG_7523

All these years I always thought that the orange-ish red  color of the Muslim Biryani came from the tomatoes and the saffron. I couldn’t be more wrong. Apparently it is from the red chili powder. Something that I never  use in any of my Biryanis. And for the color, I added a lot of tomatoes -Mistake number 1. In spite of what my sister Sony thinks, I’m always tight fisted when it comes to using oil and ghee in my cooking. I maintain that while making Biryanis as well – Mistake number 2. There is no way that you can cringe on oil and ghee while making the Muslim Biryani. The onions and lots of ginger garlic, deep fried in ghee and oil is what gives this Biryani a totally new dimension.

Ingredients
1 lb skinless chicken cut into medium sized pieces
1 large  or 2 medium or 3 small onions finely sliced
1large tomato, diced in chunks
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp ginger–garlic paste 
8 cloves
5, 1/4 inch pieces of cinnamon 
2 crushed cardamom
3 cups jeera samba/basmati rice
1/2 cup curd
pinch of saffron
1/2 cup refined vegetable oil
1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
2 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
1 tbsp chopped mint
1 tsp red chili powder, alter this based on tolerable spice level
1tsp paprika/ kashmiri mirch
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt to taste

Directions

  • Marinate the chicken in lemon juice, 1/2 tbsp of ginger-garlic paste, curd, turmeric, mint, cilantro  and salt over night in the fridge.
  • Soak washed rice with 5 cups of water and set aside for an hour.
  • Heat refined oil and ghee  in a wide bottomed  hollow pan, make sure the pan can be fitted with a tight lid that doesn’t let steam escape.
  • Add cloves, cinnamon and cardamom and let them puff up.
  • Add the chopped onions and sauté until deep brown (the onions should look fried).
  • Add remaining ginger-garlic and sauté for a minute.
  • Add in the diced tomatoes, chili powders and sauté until oil separates.
  • Add salt to taste
  • Add in the chicken along with the marinade and sauté for 5 -10 minutes and then reduce the flame to low let it cook until chicken is done.
  • Add 1 tbsp of ghee, salt and cook the rice until the water boils and the rice is only  3/4 done.
  • Gather all the chicken and the masala mixture together and flatten it at he bottom of the pan
  • Dissolve a pinch of saffron in 2 tbsp of milk and add to the boiling rice and mix it.
  • Pour in the boiling rice into the pan making the rice form a layer on top of the masala and has no direct contact to the bottom of the pan.
  • Close the pan tight shut and let it sit on the very low flame for 15 – 20 min or until the rice at the top is done.
  • Removefrom the stove and mix in the rice and masala
  • Serve with raitha or baingan masaledar.
  • Simple Biryani with Whole Spices


    2010
    05.18

    The kitchen at my sister Sophie’s, is always open round the clock!. Ok, I take it back. There might be a quiet time between, say around 12 midnight to daybreak 5. But the rest of the time, a stove is always lit. It might not come as a surprise to you, knowing how greedy I am about food, that this is one among the many things I look forward to when I visit India. And like I have mentioned before, Sophie is a fine cook and I’m one of her biggest fans. This simple Biryani recipe that she often makes, uses whole spices and it is amazing how different, spices taste when ground, and when used as a whole.

     IMG_7329

    Ingredients
    1 lb skinless and boned chicken cut into medium sized pieces
    1 large  or 2 medium sized onions finely sliced
    4 large tomatoes, diced in chunks
    5- 6 green chilies, slit length wise
    1/2 tsp turmeric powder
    2 tbsp grated ginger
    2 tbsp diced garlic
    1/2 tsp black pepper corns
    8 cloves
    6, 1/4 inch pieces of cinnamon
    1/2 tsp whole fennel seeds/saunf
    3 cups jeera samba rice
    1/4 cup curd
    pinch of saffron
    refined vegetable oil
    2 tsp sesame oil or ghee (clarified butter)
    2 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
    1 tbsp chopped mint
    1/2 tsp red chili powder, alter this based on tolerable spice level
    2 tbsp lemon juice
    Salt to taste

    Directions

  • Marinate the chicken in lemon juice, curd, turmeric, cloves, cinnamon, pepper corns, green chilies, chili powder, mint, cilantro  and salt over night in the fridge.
  • Soak washed rice with 5 cups of water and set aside for an hour.
  • Heat 2 – 3 tbsp of oil  in a wide bottomed  hollow pan, make sure the pan can be fitted with a tight lid that doesn’t let steam escape.
  • Add fennel, and let it splutter.
  • Add 3/4th of the chopped onions and sauté until golden brown.
  • Crush the grated ginger and garlic and add them to the pan along with the green chilies and continue to sauté for 5 minutes.
  • Add in the diced tomatoes and sauté until oil separates.
  • Add salt to taste
  • Add in the chicken along with the marinade and sauté for 5 -10 minutes and then reduce the flame to low let it cook until chicken is done.
  • Add 2 tbsp of sesame oil or ghee, salt and cook the rice until the water boils and the rice is only  3/4 done.
  • Gather all the chicken and the masala mixture together and flatten it at he bottom of the pan
  • Dissolve a pinch of saffron in 2 tbsp of milk and add to the boiling rice and mix it.
  • Pour in the boiling rice into the pan making the rice form a layer on top of the masala and has no direct contact to the bottom of the pan.
  • Close the pan tight shut and let it sit on the very low flame for 15 – 20 min or until the rice at the top is done.
  • Remove from the stove and mix in the rice and masala
  • Deep fry the remaining sliced onion and sprinkle on the rice as garnish.
  • Serve with raitha or baingan masaledar.
  • Chicken Mole Poblano


    2010
    03.29

    IMG_5951

    This is one dish, when I make I can be assured, doing the dishes will be easy. Roy, literally wipes (licks?) clean all the pots, pans, bowls, plates, spoons, everything that has had even a remote acquaintance with the dish. It is not a pleasant sight. But I think for a guy, who sacrifices so much, including his mind, to keep me happy, the least I can do is suppress my disgust and smile as he slurps through the entire dish in a matter of minutes.

    I use  skinless chicken breasts and simmer them for a long time in mole, made with a combination of dried chili peppers (chipotle and ancho), chocolate, cinnamon, cloves, nuts, tomatoes, onions and garlic. You can vary the combination of peppers and the quantity, to your taste. We are a family that likes food really spicy. So, I don’t deseed any of my peppers. But, I wouldn’t recommend that you do the same unless you have paralyzed taste buds like ours.

    Ingredients
    2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    1small onion, chopped fine
    1 tomato, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, chopped
    1/4 tsp ground cumin 
    1/4 tsp cinnamon clove spice mix
    2 chipotle peppers
    2 ancho peppers
    1 cup chicken broth
    1 tbsp peanut butter
    1 tbsp shavings of bittersweet chocolate preferably Mexican)
    1 lb chicken breasts
    1 tbsp lemon juice
    1/2 tsp oregano (preferably Mexican)
    1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
    salt and black pepper to taste

    Directions

  • Marinate chicken seasoned with salt and pepper with lemon juice for about 30 minutes.
  • Tear the ancho and chipotle peppers and soak them in warm water for about 30 minutes till they are soft
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a heavy bottomed skillet.
  • Add onions, garlic and sauté until the onions turn translucent.
  • Add tomatoes and sauté until they form a mush.
  • Transfer to a blender, add the soaked peppers, cumin, peanut butter, spice mix, oregano and chocolate and blend to a smooth paste.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in the same skillet and brown the chicken on all sides.
  • Pour in the mole sauce and chicken broth and let it simmer for 45- 50 minutes until the chicken is cooked tender and the sauce is thickened.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve hot.
  • Butter Chicken / Murgh Makhani


    2010
    02.09

    The most popular Indian dish around the world, the Murgh Makhani, it is said, has its recipe traced backed to the Mughal rule in India. I can’t vouch for its history but I’d surely say that this dish is as magnificent and grand as the Mughals were.

    Traditionally this dish is prepared using grilled or pan roasted boneless chicken marinated overnight in a spiced yogurt mixture. I however like to use chicken with bones because I hate to lose out on the flavor the bones impart to the meat.

    butter chicken

    Ingredients -for the tandoori chicken

    2 lbs skinless chicken, cut into desired size
    11/2 tbsp fresh ginger garlic paste
    3/4 cup fresh yogurt
    1 tsp paprika/kashmiri mirch (mainly for color)
    1 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”cayenne pepper/red chili powder”]B0001UQVUM[/amazon-product]
    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1 1/2 tsp kashmiri garam masala
    1/2 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”fenugreek powder”]B000JMBEGS[/amazon-product]
    1/2 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”turmeric powder”]B000JMAXOC[/amazon-product]
    1 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”cumin powder”]B000JMAVVC[/amazon-product] 
    2 tbsp lemon juice
    salt to taste
    2 – 3 tbsp refined vegetable oil/ butter for basting

    Ingredients – for the gravy
    11/2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
    5-6 tomatoes pureed (or 1/2 cup tomato paste mixed with 3/4 cup water)
    1/2 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”fenugreek powder”]B000JMBEGS[/amazon-product]
    2 tsp paprika/kashmiri mirch
    1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    2 –3 tbsp butter
    2 tsp minced cilantro
    1/2 cup half & half
    1 1/2 tsp kashmiri garam masala
    1 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”cumin powder”]B000JMAVVC[/amazon-product] 
    1/2 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”turmeric powder”]B000JMAXOC[/amazon-product]
    2 tbsp cashew nuts,  soaked in water and ground to a fine paste (use almonds if you have started worrying about all the calories)
    2 tbsp of refined vegetable oil/ butter
    1/4 tsp sugar
    1 tbsp fresh cream for garnish
    1 tbsp chopped cilantro for garnish

    Directions

  • Make a few slit on the pieces of chicken on all sides using a sharp knife.
  • Mix the tandoori portions of paprika, [amazon-product type=”text” text=”turmeric powder”]B000JMAXOC[/amazon-product], [amazon-product type=”text” text=”cayenne pepper/red chili powder”]B0001UQVUM[/amazon-product], salt, black pepper and lemon juice into a smooth mixture and apply liberally on the chicken pieces on all sides and set aside.
  • Prepare the marinade for the tandoori by combining, the salt, yogurt, ginger garlic paste, garam masala, [amazon-product type=”text” text=”fenugreek powder”]B000JMBEGS[/amazon-product], [amazon-product type=”text” text=”cumin powder”]B000JMAVVC[/amazon-product],salt and soak the chicken pieces in and refrigerate over night(make sure to bring it to room temperature before you broil it the next day)
  • Broil or pan roast the chicken  for about 10 – 15 minutes, turning it over every few minutes while basting with butter or oil to keep it moist.
  • Heat butter in a pan and stir in cumin and ginger garlic paste and sauté for a minute.
  • Add [amazon-product type=”text” text=”fenugreek powder”]B000JMBEGS[/amazon-product], black pepper, cashew nut paste, minced cilantro, tomato puree, [amazon-product type=”text” text=”turmeric powder”]B000JMAXOC[/amazon-product], garam masala, sugar and salt bring to boil.
  • Simmer and stir in cream or half and half.
  • Add water if the gravy is too thick.
  • Add the tandoori chicken and cook on low heat for 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Take off the flame and garnish with cream and chopped cilantro.
  • Serve over Basamati rice or with Indian breads.
  • Curry Chicken in Coconut Milk -Kerala Style


    2010
    01.02

    This mouth watering chicken curry drenched in coconut milk, seasoned with shallots, mustard and curry leaves is very unique to the character of Kerala. More specifically, Kottayam. Though so distinct to this region, this curry goes well with possibly anything you can think of – rice, rotis, naans, bread, dosas, idlis, paal appams, iddi appams an endless list. But, being from Kottayam, obviously I think it is best matched with kappa (tapioca). Come rain or shine, the malayalee in me is always ready for a bowl of kozhi curry and kappa.

    Curry Chicken in Coconut milk - Kerala Style

    Ingredients

    2 lb chicken skinned and cleaned
    1 large or 2 medium sized onions, finely sliced
    4 -5 shallots finely sliced
    1/2 tsp kerala garam masala
    1 tsp coriander powder
    2 tsp chili powder (base it on tolerable spice level)
    4 tbsp coconut Oil
    1 tbsp diced garlic
    1 tbsp grated ginger
    1/2 tsp turmeric powder
    1/4 tsp roasted cumin powder
    1/2 cup canned coconut milk ( use 1 1/2 cup thick coconut milk if you are making fresh from scratch)
    salt to taste
    one sprig Curry Leaves
    1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
    1/4tsp whole black pepper corns
    2 tbsp lemon juice

    Curry Chicken in Coconut milk - Kerala Style

    Directions

  • Marinate skinned and cut chicken pieces with 2 tbsp of lemon juice, salt and 1/4 tsp of turmeric and refrigerate for an hour or two
  • Heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil in cooking pan, splutter 1/4 tsp mustard seeds, add cumin, pepper corns and onions and sauté till the onions are nicely caramelized. The onions have to attain a deep brown color.
  • Crush ginger and garlic, add to the pan and continue sautéing until the oil separates.
  • Add the marinated chicken pieces, turmeric, chili, coriander, garam masala powders and salt and mix well for 4 – 5 minutes.
  • Add 1/2 cup of water reduce heat and let it simmer covered for 20 – 25 mins or until the chicken gets tender and cooked, stirring occasionally.
  • When the chicken is well done, add coconut milk, mix it thoroughly and let it remain on very low flame for a minute or two.
  • Finally, shallow fry shallots with 3 tbsp of coconut oil remaining mustard seeds and curry leaves and season the curry.
  • Serve with white rice or Indian breads.