Category Archives: Rice

Sushi

Basmala

Sushi looks so attractive but here in Riyadh it’s quite pricey. When I saw the Japanese seaweed ‘Nori’ sheets for sale in thelocal supermarket recently, I snapped up the opportunity to buy them along with a bottle of Japanese seasoned rice vinegar.

For each sheet of Nori seaweed:

  • 1/2 cup of Japanese rice or other shortgrain rice such as Italian arborio
  • 3/5 cup water
  • 1.5-2 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • Fillings cut into strip, i.e. raw salmon, smoked salmon, cooked shrimp, cucumber, avocado etc
  • Japanese Wasabi paste if you like it spicy
  • Soy sauce for dipping

Rinse  rice under cold water, drain. Add cold water and bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 12 min. Remove from heat into a glass bowl and mix in 1.5-2 tablespoons of Sushi vinegar using a wooden spoon. Leave rice to cool before using it.

Place a sushi Nori sheet onto a bamboo mat (I just placed it onto a sheet of aluminium foil). Spread with the cooked, cooled rice over about 3/4 of the sheet.

Now place your choice of fillings along the centre of the rice on a strip. Carefully roll up the mat or aluminium into a sausage. (Watch demonstration here) Gently squeeze to ensure that the sushi stays rolled and then remove the mat or foil.

Carefully slice the sushi before serving.

I found it very easy to make and my sushi loving 12 year old really enjoyed it!

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Hyderabadi Biriani

Basmala

I’ve made biriani/biryani many times before but have never been 100% happy with the results and have found it a little time consuming to make. That was until someone pointed me in the direction of this recipe for Hyderabadi Biriani (the link will take you to a Youtube video of the vahrehvah.com chef making the biriani). The method for making the biriani is simplicity itself but there is certainly no compromise on the taste!

All you need to do is marinade the chicken pieces in yogurt and spices for a few hours, semi-cook some basamati rice and then transfer it all to a large pot. I used my dutch oven (cast iron, enamelled pot). First empty the chicken into the pot along with it’s marinade, cover with the half-cooked rice, sprinkle some saffron water (I also added a few drops of red and yellow food colouring) top with a scattering of fried onions and mint leaves  and then leave to cook for around half an hour. In that short amount of time your chicken and rice will transform into a beautifully aromatic biriani.

I did find that the chicken stuck a little to the bottom of the pot so I intend to try baking in the oven next time. Hubby also asked me to leave out the mint leaves next time. In all though, I was really pleased to have made a quick, easy and authentic looking and tasting biriani! Top marks!