Tag Archives: Curry

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!

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Chickpea curry

Basmala

This dish is a big favourite with my children which is strange as they tend to pick the chickpeas out of every other dish we have! I often get special requests to make this curry which is fine by me as it’s cheap, cheerful and very nutritious!

I like to start making the curry in the early afternoon and then once the chickpeas and water have been added to the pan I leave it to simer very gently for two or three hours so the chickpeas are soft and the sauce flavoursome.

Click here for printable recipe

 Ingredients

  • 2 large onions finely sliced
  • 1 inch chunk of cassia bark or cinnamon
  • several peppercorns
  • 2 black cardamoms 
  • 3 bayleaves
  • 1/2 tin tomatoes and some of the juice
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp of chilli powder
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 inch chunk ginger, minced
  • 1 whole green chilli
  • 1/4 tsp of mustard seeds
  • 2 tins of chickpeas
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cummin

At the end add:

  • pinch of garam masala
  • chopped coriander leaf
  • 1 whole green chilli
  • generous pinch each of cumin and coriander

Directions:

Throw the two chopped onions and the whole spices (cassia or cinnamon, peppercorns, black cardamoms and bayleaves) into a heated wok with a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil.

I didn’t have black cardamoms this time but they are interesting to try as they impart a distinctive but not overpowering, smokey aroma to the dish.

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Lightly caramelise the onions… this should take around 10 mins on a medium heat. Be sure to stir regularly to prevent burning.

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Add 1/2 tin (about 3 medium tinned tomatoes) and some of the juice, 1 tsp turmeric and 1/8 tsp chili powder (more if you like it spicy).

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Stir well and allow to cook for about 10 mins…

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Soon you’ll be able to see that the oil separates from the rest if the sauce…

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Add the ginger and garlic and stir fry for a couple of minutes before adding the 1/4 tsp of mustard seeds and the whole green chili (I omitted the chili this time as I was cooking for my children).

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Now it’s time to add the two tins of drained chickpeas and the 1/4 tsp each of cummin and coriander.

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Add 500ml of hot water, give a quick stir and then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low-medium, cover the pan and simmer for at least 45 minutes.

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The sauce should reduce somewhat and the chickpeas soften.

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When the chickpeas are soft enough, bring the heat up and reduce the sauce to your desired consistency.

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At the end add:

a generous pinch of garam masala
chopped coriander leaf (I omitted as my children don’t like to see the ‘green bits’ on their curry)
1 whole green chilli (Again, omitted for the sake of the children)
generous pinch each of cumin and coriander

Put the lid on and leave on a very low heat to allow the flavours to infuse.

I served this with vegetable pilau and tandoori chicken.

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