Sindhi Biryani

Biryani.

The mere name conjures up images of steaming piles of desi goodness, all yellow and white and heavenly. Your brain teases with memory of the spicy aroma and your heart leaps in anticipation.

Biryani is the heartbeat of our nation and nothing feels better than knowing that you have mastered the art of making it. Recipe on the blog.

Biryani is the heartbeat of our nation and nothing feels better than knowing that you have mastered the art of making it.

Biryani is the heartbeat of our nation and nothing feels better than knowing that you have mastered the art of making it. Recipe on the blog.

Today I am going to share the recipe that’ll make you the master of biryani too.

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Over the years, I have tried more than 15 different biryani recipes with varying degrees of success.

This one is my baby. So read carefully and follow each step to the book.

Biryani is the heartbeat of our nation and nothing feels better than knowing that you have mastered the art of making it. Recipe on the blog.

If it seems like too much work… Well then, you are simply not ready yet. You can start with the easy peasy chicken karahi :p

Biryani is the heartbeat of our nation and nothing feels better than knowing that you have mastered the art of making it. Recipe on the blog.

I’ve tried to explain each and every step in the recipe as clearly as I could but here are some extra tips that make all the difference:

  • Slice onions as thinly as possible. The thinner the onions, the crispier they’ll be. If your onions aren’t thin enough, they won’t brown evenly and will turn soggy. You want the onions to be nice and crunchy so that you crush them up easily and not have big onions bits in your biryani.

  • Don’t skimp on the whole spices. All the different spices that together make up what we call ‘garam masala’ are essential to the aroma and taste of agood biryani. It might be frustrating to collect and add all the bit (and you might hate biting onto a piece of illachi) but trust me when I tell that you it’ll be worth it!

  • The secret is in the masala. Use red, ripe tomatoes, ½ kilo of them which is around 4 large ones. The riper they are, the better the masala ends up being. Together with the green chilli paste and ginger garlic; MIX MIX MIX. Mix till oil appears on the surface

  • Have patience. Cook the chicken low and slow. Cook the rice till al-dente. This step is something which I always mess up and so get my mom to do it for me

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. That’s what mums are for

 

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So, one fine Sunday why not ditch the store-bought biryani masalas and make this delicious authentic Sindhi Biryani from scratch. Its rich and spicy and filled with herbs and succulent meat and potatoes. A family favorite at my house and will become your’s too InshaaAllah 💜

Sindhi Biryani

Prep Time: 30 minutes                                                                        Serves: 8
Cook Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Ingredients:
½ kg Basmati rice, soaked for 30-60 mins
6 +4 whole green chilies
4 Tbsp fresh coriander leaves
½ cup cooking oil
2 large onions, sliced thinly
4 large tomatoes, sliced
1 Tbsp whole mix spices1
2 Tbsp ginger garlic paste, heaped
2 tsp chili powder, heaped
2 tsp salt, leveled
1 kg chicken cut into 12 pieces
2-3 potatoes, cut into quarters
1 cup yogurt, whisked till smooth
½ tsp garam masala powder
10-12 dried plums soaked in warm water
Fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Fresh mint leaves
¼ tsp yellow food color
Directions:
1.      Boil rice in water + 2 Tbsp salt + ½ tsp black cumin + a bay leaf. Cook till rice is 3/4th of the way done. Drain and set aside.
2.      Grind together 6 green chilies along with the fresh coriander. Add just a splash of water to help the grinder going. Set aside.
3.      In a pan, heat the oil and fry the sliced onions, constantly mixing, till dark brown. Take out the fried onions and spread them on some paper towels. When dry, crush them coarsely with your hands.
4.      In the same pan used before, add the tomatoes, ginger garlic, the grinded chili coriander mix, the whole spices, red chili powder and salt. Constantly mix with a wooden spoon. When the tomatoes turn mushy and oil appears on the surface, add in the chicken pieces, potatoes, and half cup water. Mix. Cover the pan and leave to cook on low heat.
5.      When the chicken is half done, add the yogurt, fried onions, garam masala powder, and the 4 whole green chilies. Mix well, cover and leave to cook till both chicken and potatoes are tender.
6.      Grease the bottom of a bigger pot with a spoon of oil. Transfer half of the boiled rice. Top with the entire chicken mix. Spread it. Sprinkle the fresh coriander and mint leaves + the dried plums. Top it off with the rest of the boiled rice. Spread it and press the rice with the back of your spoon.
7.      With the end of your wooden spoon, make holes in the rice, going ¾ of the way down. In these holes spoon in the yellow food color mixed in some water.2
8.      Cover with a tight lid and place on very low heat for about 15-20 minutes to steam.
9.      Mix and serve immediately with mint raita and fresh cucumber salad.
10.  Enjoy!
Notes
1.      Whole spices include: 1 bay leaf (tayz pata), 2 cinnamon sticks, 4-6 black cloves, 4-6 black peppercorns, 3-5 green cardamom pods (hari illachi), 2 black cardamom pods (bhari illachi), 1 tsp cumin seeds (sabat zeera)
2.      This is optional, it’s the way I do it. Alternatively, you can just pour the food color mixed in little water, in just one go over the rice.
Recipe source: The amazing Shireen Anwer

 

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Dhaba Dal

Eating out is fun and adventurous. You get to try yummy new dishes without the hassle of cooking, table setting and washing up. It’s exciting to dress up and watch the waiter go by with trays laden with food that isn’t yours.

But sometimes the overpriced plates of pasta drowning in white sauce just don’t cut it. Sometimes what you need is good ol’ dal chawal.

Dal (curried lentils) is comfort food in all its comforting glory! It comes together in minutes and is very healthy and filling.

Dal (curried lentils) is comfort food in all its comforting glory! It comes together in minutes and is very healthy and filling.

It’s perfect for vegetarians and meat eaters (especially after Bakra Eid) alike.

Dal (curried lentils) is comfort food in all its comforting glory! It comes together in minutes and is very healthy and filling.

 

 

If you’re a newbie to lentils, fear not. This was the first dal recipe I ever made, and I’ve made it a dozen times since. It’s super easy to cook. It involves none of that pressure cooker hassle. I’ve never used a pressure cooker and never intend to use it in the future either. That thing gives me the jeepers! Its the fault of all the horror stories told about the pressure coolers exploding.

Lentils cook beautifully well by simply boiling them in spiced water.

Dal (curried lentils) is comfort food in all its comforting glory! It comes together in minutes and is very healthy and filling.

There’s two parts to this recipe: the cooking of the lentils and the tempering. I’ve tried to explain each one of the steps involved as clearly as I could.

It’s a classic Shireen Anwer recipe (bow down for the queen). So you can’t go wrong with that!

Do give this recipe a try. It’s spicy, creamy, and reminiscent of the dal you get served on the roadside restaurants.

Coupled with roti hot off the tandoor or plain boiled rice, this dhaba dal is sure to become a family favorite in your house.

Dhaba Dal

Serves: 6-8
Ingredients:
250 g chana dal/split chick peas
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp red chili powder
½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi powder)
½ cup ghee or cooking oil
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp red chili flakes
¼ tsp garam masala (all spice powder)
Green chilies, finely chopped
Fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Directions:
Soak the dal in water for 3 to 4 hours. Then wash and place in a pan along with; 3 cups of water, salt, red chili powder, and turmeric powder. Cook on medium high flame till dal is soft and is cooked completely.
For the tempering/tarqa:
In a small pan, heat the oil and fry the sliced onions till brown. Then add in the tomatoes, garlic and the chili flakes. Cook on high flame, mixing continuously, till tomatoes turn mushy and the oil comes on top of the surface. Add in the chopped green chilies, and garam masala powder. Mix well.
Pour the tarqa on top of the prepared dal and mix the two together.
Garnish with fresh coriander.
Serve hot with plain white rice.

 

Dal (curried lentils) is comfort food in all its comforting glory! It comes together in minutes and is very healthy and filling.

Karhai Qeema

This time around sehri is receiving the foodie-attention it deserves.

So I decided to add to the yumminess that is the early morn, sleep-eyed meal.

Karhai Qeema + Parathas + Mint Chutney = spicy, smoky, and very very yummy.

 

Everyone can attest to the fact that it is very hard to eat anything at 3 am (esp if you have to be woken by a dozen alarms and missed bells like me). But sehri is an essential part of Ramadan and we all must do our part on the dining table.

Karhai Qeema + Parathas + Mint Chutney = spicy, smoky, and very very yummy.

Here I am sharing one of my favorite things to eat at sehri… Qeema with hot, flaky parathas!

 

 

I know how much you guys love the Chicken Karhai recipe I posted a while ago, and so now I present to you, a spin-off on the traditional version!

Karhai Qeema + Parathas + Mint Chutney = spicy, smoky, and very very yummy.

 

This version is spicy, smoky, and very very yummy. The ground beef can be subbed with minced chicken too, if big animals eek you out.

You can make it before bed and then enjoy it in sehri the next morning.

Karhai Qeema + Parathas + Mint Chutney = spicy, smoky, and very very yummy.

No paratha recipe though, I’m sorry. They are courtesy of my mom. (I’m hopeless when it comes to rotis or parathas.) You’ll have to rely on your respective mothers and cooks for those too.

Karhai Qeema + Parathas + Mint Chutney = spicy, smoky, and very very yummy.

Hey hey. While you’re at it, make some mint chutney too.

Qeema Karhai + Parathas + Mint Chutney = Heavenlyyyy!

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Do something different for sehri this Ramzan. Try this Karhai.

Karhai Qeema

Prep Time: 10 minutes                                                                                   Serves 6-8
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Ingredients:
¼ cup cooking oil
2 medium sized onions, sliced
1 Tablespoon ginger garlic paste, heaped
4 medium size fresh tomatoes, sliced thinly
½ kilo ground beef
2 teaspoon red chili powder, leveled
1 ½ teaspoon salt, leveled
2 teaspoon ground cumin (Zeera powder), leveled
2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds (Dhunia powder), leveled
4-6 green chilies, sliced
Water
Fresh coriander leaves
Ginger, julienned
Directions:
In a pan heat the oil. Fry the onions till golden brown.
Add the ginger-garlic paste and the sliced tomatoes. Mix well.
When the oil appears on the surface, add the ground beef. Cook on high heat, mixing continuously till the beef changes color. Add a little water along with the salt, red chilli powder, ground cumin and coriander powder. Mix well. Add 1 cup water and cover the pan with a lid. Leave to cook on low heat till beef is fully cooked, around 45 minutes. If there is still a lot of water, crank up the heat, and cook uncovered till water dries.
Then add the green chilies, and mix.
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and julienned ginger.
Serve hot with parathas.
Notes:
·         Giving this Qeema a smoke of coals in the end will take this Karhai to a whole new level.
·         For all those who don’t know, Qeema = Ground Beef

 

Karhai Qeema + Parathas + Mint Chutney = spicy, smoky, and very very yummy.