Biryani is one of those dishes, a different flavour bursts with every bite.
And, I’ve got to tell ya – it really is embarrassing, because I just
The warmth of the spices in this cozy dish is so comforting now that Fall is starting to show its face.
Sounds like a lot of work, but it’s cheap therapy for me.
That’s how I keep my smile.
Plus, I’ve tried ready-made dry spice mixes. Those are usually weak and bland. Who knows how long they’ve been on the shelf at the store? Ground spices quickly lose their essence.
So, when you have a few minutes,
DIY your own garam masala!
You don’t have to have a culinary degree to do it. Just check your spice rack and make sure you have all the basics: Cinnamon sticks, whole nutmeg, coriander seeds, cardamom pods, cumin seeds, etc.
Already wearing your bunny slippers?
Don’t worry about it. Just go with whatever you do have.
Toast them whole, then grind a small batch every now and then.
It’s the secret to making a fragrant sauce or paste.
But, this was nothing-special Tuesday and I was pooped.
So, I went for the jar.
Ok, yeh, yeh, we live on the *American Riviera* sunny Southern California. But, who knows what sort of weather YOU have to battle? I’m just lookin’ out for ya here. Next time you’re at the market, be sure to grab a couple of jars of Patak’s .
Raid the fridge for more supplies: Green beans, tomatoes, cauliflower, carrots, peas, zucchini. Whatever you have on hand is fine. This dish is very forgiving.
Cooking the rice is the hardest part. The meat is optional, but you should have some sort of protein there, maybe beans or quinoa?
My version is a bit non-traditional. Fresh ginger and rare saffron earn Mom’s nod of approval.
Serves 6 (or 4 lumberjacks)
What you need:
5-6 threads saffron
2 TB hot water
2 medium onions, chopped
2 TB 7-spice
2 lbs ground meat (optional) or 1.5 cups quinoa, cooked
3 cups basmati rice
4 cups water
5 heaping TB of Patak’s biryani paste
1 head cauliflower
1 knob fresh ginger, minced
3-4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 cup green beans
3 large carrots
1/2 cup cashews or almonds
1/3 cup frozen peas
handful fresh coriander/cilantro
What to do:
Thoroughly grind the saffron threads with the sugar.
Add the hot water and allow the saffron to steep and become fragrant.
Cook the rice in water, biryani paste and saffron.
While the rice is cooking, clean, trim and cut vegetables into bite-sized pieces.
Brown the onion in a bit of olive oil and salt. Add turmeric, ground meat, if any, or quinoa and brown for another 10 minutes or so.
Once the water has been absorbed (~10 mins), gently fold the vegetables (all but the peas) and meat/quinoa into the rice and cover the pot. Reduce the heat and allow the vegetables to cook (~20-30 mins).
I did my homework and found many different formulas for biryani.
That means no rules!
Don’t let the list of ingredients intimidate you.
Remember there’s a lot of freedom in cooking.
Have fun. Don’t be afraid to omit or include something.
What’s in your fridge?