Thursday, July 04, 2019

Best Mutton Biryani Recipe -- from Sanhita


If you have been following me for a while you know about my Biriyani woes. How I am never able to get that perfect Biryani rice

This year I was on a quest to a perfect my Biryani and the journey started with Neha Murad's Mom's Kolkata Biryani. It is a beautiful recipe and worked perfectly well and everything was good until it came to the rice part, when I faltered. It was always the rice which I either overcooked or it had extra moisture or something. I never got the "jhor jhore" Biryani rice where every grain is separate and independent.

Now two of my friends make excellent Biryani -- Moumita and Sanhita. Their Biryani is literally to die for and beats any restaurant Biryani that we get. I realized that the only way to salvage my Biryani was to shadow these experts in their kitchen and correct my errors.

Say Hello to Sanhita

My friend Sanhita kindly volunteered to teach me her excellent Biryani a couple of days back. Her approach to the dish was very simple, which caught my interest. She did not ask for any fancy ingredients and her style of Biriyani making seemed pretty simple with delicious results.

So I packed up 5lbs of goat meat, long grained Basmati rice, and arrived at her home on a hot summer afternoon to learn tricks of the trade.

Since none of us had time, we went with store bought Shan Bombay Biryani Masala. Next time I will be making Neha's mom's masala.

I am uploading 2 videos to show how the mutton was made and the rice was layered. The mutton is made with almost no water. After "koshaoing" or "bhuna-ing" for an hour, the mutton was transferred to a pressure cooker where it finished cooking. Point to be noted -- the oil from the mutton was not used in the Biryani.

 Cooking Mutton for Biryani

The rice grains were cooked al-dente and cold water was run through them to stop further cooking. The rice was then spread out in a tray and left to dry.

Layering Biryani


We made a very simple but utterly delicious Biryani. We did not waste our time in making the Birista(fried onions) to layer etc. The taste was subtle and clean, with the meat, spices, kewra and saffron flavoring each grain of rice.

Looks like my Biryani quest has finally come to an end with this delicious stop.

Saturday, June 08, 2019

Grilled Chicken with Sate Oil



I have been obsessed with this grilled chicken recipe and had to share it here. It is perfect for the summer. A little marination and a whole lot of flavor.

Usually I marinate my chicken with Indian spices for grilling. However that was getting kind of boring. The other marinades that the husband-man uses is bit bland for my taste and the chicken is not as juicy as I want to be. psst... he doesn't agree though.

Until...yes until last week...when this recipe changed my life and grilled chicken's.

The recipe is from Bon Appetit magazine, an annual subscription gifted by my lovely friend. I took two recipes of Chef Tom Cunanan and then made them my own.

First, I was blown away by the Sate Oil. This is very similar to the Chili Garlic oil that you get at Chinese or Thai restaurants.



Next was grilled Chicken where the chicken was marinated in a brine and that contained guess what ? SPRITE. Yes, sprite. The sweet-lemony and fizzy sprite did do wonders to the chicken. The aromatics (yes the author kept saying aromatics for ginger, garlic etc and I loved it) in the brine add a lot of flavor to the meat. The meat was also very juicy and did not become at all dry after grilling.

The original recipe of the grilled chicken called Chicken Inalsa, involved Acchiote Oil but I did not have it.

So, I grilled the chicken as per the recipes and then basted it with previously made Sate Oil. The best thing ever. That oil is amazing. Be liberal with Sate Oil if you wish to kick up the flavors. Serve grilled chicken with a simple salad, add it to pasta, or in a sandwich. It is delicious.


Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Grilled Lamb Chops with Indian Spices


When my kids were younger, I used to have this dream -- that they are now older, responsible teenagers and hence doing everything on their own, leaving me with huge expanse of plump, golden afternoons of nothingness. I used to crave for those afternoons of nothingness. I used to fantasize about all things I could do then like -- exercise,new recipes every other day, social media updates by the minute, blog every hour, write a new book every week...

Future seemed glorious.

I was like that kid who wanted to be an adult until she becomes an adult and has to pay mortgage!

Now that my kids are older, those afternoons seem to have vanished. I do not have afternoons. And if I have any, they are gone so fast that I miss them. My afternoons seem to sprint faster than Usain Bolt and vanish in the blink of an eye.

My younger one thinks I could have got hold of those afternoons to do some conditioning and get fit abs like her. My older one thinks I should use those afternoons to do anything but check her Physics hw.

I do neither and honestly I have no idea what I am doing really other than wasting my time browsing what-to-watch-on-Netflix. I keep saying I will get more time once the kids are in college, but those are all excuses. Clearly I am ignoring all these well-meaning quotes about "Living in the now". Or maybe I am actually "living-in-the-now" by doing nothing.



So anyway, instead of wasting my time describing afternoons, let me share the recipe of these delicious grilled lamb chops or more like grilled rack of lamb. With fresh garlic, ginger and Indian spices it is a very, very flavorful recipe. I learned it from my friend Deepsikha and just like her I make this dish completely in the oven. No browning in skillet or anything. You can use the same recipe for lamb chops too, only cooking time may vary.

Technically this is not grilling as I am doing it in the oven but I will take convenience and taste over jargon any day. So you can call it what you may but a morsel of that lamb in your mouth and you will agree it is delicious. Period.

I am sure you will love it as much as we do. For a summer dinner, I served it with a salad and a cool Tzatziki which Big Sis made.