Not just a curry

26 Jun

Impromptu Mushroom Biryani

I hadn’t really planned dinner tonight.  Actually, that is a lie, I had.  I just hadn’t had time to contemplate for hours about how I might craft the perfect recipe from a number of other recipes I can find through trawling the net.  So here is my recipe for a mushroom biryani.  I must admit you could perfect it by grinding some almonds in with the garlic and ginger, or sprinkling in some cashew nuts near the end, or throwing in other veggies such as aubergines, green beans, peppers, or even stirring through some freshly cut tomato just before popping the biryani in the oven.

Anyway enough chit chat, this is how I made it:

The ingredients:

200g mushrooms

1 large onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2cm ginger, grated/diced very small

2 tbsp vegetable oil/ghee

1″ stick of cinnamon

3 cloves

2 pods cardamom

5 peppercorns

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp cumin powder

½ tsp garam masala

1 cup yoghurt

Juice of 1 lime

1 tbsp Tomato puree

1 handful finely chopped coriander leaves

1 handful finely chopped mint leaves

Salt to taste

200g Basmati rice

The recipe:

  • Dice the onion, crush the garlic and grate the ginger
  • Wash the rice until water runs clear, then cook according to packet
  • Heat oil in a pan; add the whole spices (cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and peppercorns).  Fry for 2-3 minutes
  • Add the onion and fry until translucent
  • Add ginger and garlic.  Fry for a further 2-3 minutes
  • Add all spice powders (coriander, cumin and garam masala) and mix well
  • Add the mushrooms and sauté with the onion and spices for 3-4 minutes
  • Pour in to the pan, the yoghurt, lime juice, and a splash of boiling water to loosen the ingredients
  • Add the chopped coriander and mint leaves and salt to taste
  • Combine the rice with the spice and mushroom mix.  Pour into an over proof dish. Cover and place in a preheated oven at 200 degrees (Celsius) for 20 minutes

Tandoori Aubergine Kebabs

I love the smells you get emanating from tandoori ovens when you walk past Indian restaurants.  It is quite a unique aroma, and delivers well known tasty treats such as Tandoori chicken and naan bread.  Obviously as a vegetarian and a coeliac, these are beyond thee realms of my diet.  Henceforth, this recipe is to try and take tandoor matters into my own hands.

The Ingredients:

1 tsp Paprika

1 tsp Ground coriander

1 tsp Ground cumin

Pinch Salt

Pinch Pepper

1 tsp Sugar

2 cloves

1 tsp Fenugreek seeds

3 Green cardamom pods

1 tsp Turmeric

½ tsp Ground nutmeg

1 tsp Garam Masala

2 cloves

1 tsp Fenugreek seeds

3 Green cardamom pods

150g natural yoghurt

1 large aubergine

The recipe:

  • Put all powder spices into a large bowl (including the salt, pepper and sugar)
  • Put the fenugreek seeds, cardamom pods and cloves into a pestle and mortar and crush.  Add to the powder spices
  • Add the yoghurt to the spices and mix well
  • Cut aubergine into large chunks and then stir into the yoghurt and spice mix until all the aubergine is coated.
  • Leave to marinate for 1-2 hours – optional as you could cook it right away, but leaving it will allow the flavours to intensify
  • Thread the aubergine onto skewers and place on a lightly greased oven dish
  • Place into a preheated oven at 200 degrees (Celsius) for 20 minutes (or until starting to char)

I served both the Aubergine skewers and the biryani with a raita.  The raita was just chopped cucumber, a bit of natural yoghurt and a squeeze of lemon juice all mixed up.



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