I thought I would take some time to explain the term ‘Basic’ when it comes to Spices, after all my blog is named Spice Addiction 🙂
Coriander powder , Chilli Powder and Turmeric or a combination of these are considered to be the base for Indian curries /Stir fry .
These days a variety of spices are readily available in supermarkets all around the world. . The best part about Spices is that they have a shelf life of 6 months when stored in airtight containers and away from moisture .
Coriander Powder – is mainly used as a binder i.e. to make the gravy or curries thick , similar to using corn starch to thicken soups .Traditionally , in order to enhance flavour and smell , coriander seeds are dry roasted and powdered . It is not the end of the curry world if you do not get your hands around roasted coriander powder , supermarket coriander powder will do the job for us .
25 grams of coriander powder will be enough to make ‘Fish Curry’ and at the same time we won’t need that much to make ‘Dhal /Sambar’ – remember this acts as a thickener and depends on how thick or how runny you like your curries to be . Yikes ! this sentence gave me a whole different picture .Moving on!
Chilli powder- Good Indian curry should make you sweat , thirst and crave for the next bite ,That is, if you are able to stomach it . Chilli powder is basically used as a seasoning agent .This super scorcher is essential for increasing your metabolism and balancing the dish by giving the right seasoning .
If you are allergic to Chillies , you may by all means avoid chilli powder and substitute it with pepper .
Turmeric Powder –This little guy is not only used to enhance flavor and color but also for its antibacterial properties .Turmeric is used mainly when cooking meat and sea food, to camouflage the raw smell .
Pic courtesy -Australian Women’s Weekly
Have you ever wondered why Quails ( Kaadai ) are not served as a part of the menu in restaurants if you are living anywhere outside of south India ??
Is it because not many have tried this delicate bird?
Is it because it is mostly bones and less of meat?
Is it because, they are so tasty and flavourful that you can’t stop with one or 2 ??
Or is it just me , with my head floating around with these crazy questions ?!
Whatever the reason, once you’ve tried this tender meat cooked in basic spices , onion gravy and a generous topping of freshly ground black pepper you will change your mind about reaching for chicken next time .
The dish by itself can be served as an entree, or as an accompaniment.
I have decided to pair this with my ever so simple but fluffy, fragrant coconut milk rice aka Ghee rice .
6 Quails , cleaned and halved .
¼ cup sesame oil *
1 tablespoon Pepper Powder
10 shallots or 2 medium onions ,chopped .
1 tablespoon fresh Coriander , roughly chopped .
1 Tablespoon fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoon Ginger ,finely chopped
2 tablespoon Garlic , finely chopped
1 cinnamon bark
I bay leaf
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
Curry leaves – 2 tablespoons , roughly chopped .
1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
½ teaspoon turmeric Powder
¾ spoon Chilli powder
1 – according to taste
1.Heat oil in a non -stick Pan , add fennel , cloves , cinnamon and bay leaf . Fry for 30 sec .
2.Add the chopped curry leaves , mint and coriander leaves , stir for well .
3.Add ginger and garlic fry for 1 minute , followed by the chopped onion until golden brown .
4.Add the meat and fry well for 2- 3 minutes . The key to this dish is to add the ingredient step by step and frying / incorporating them well .please don’t be in a hurry and add the ingredient all at once .
5.Now , add the turmeric powder , stir well , followed by coriander powder and chilli powder . Mix well . Add Salt .
6.Add ¾ cup of hot water , Stir well , cover with a lid and cook for 7 – 8 minutes .
7.open the Lid , add pepper powder and Stir well for 2 to 4 minutes on low flame , until water evaporates.
8.Garnish with coriander leaves / curry leaves and Serve .
Best enjoyed with rice / rotis.
Additional notes :
*Sesame oil is KEY in the signature flavour of this dish. You can use sunflower /vegetable oil , but the recipe will not taste the same. You can find it in the Asian section of grocery stores.
My love for biryani never ends !
Just one spoonful will get you hooked to this dish for the rest of your life.
I mean ..just look at the long grains of the basmati rice coated in onion, tomato & mutton gravy along with a little hint of mint and chillies served with Onion raita .. do I need to say more ?
Biryani and raita are a match made in the food heaven , Raise your hand if you agree ! 🙂
I am here to prove that you don’t have to struggle in the kitchen from morning till noon to prepare this mouth-watering recipe .
If you are making this in the Electric rice cooker ( which I recommend ) it takes 60 mins or less from start to finish .
Few things to note before we start :
The secret lies in sautéing the ingredients step by step on a slow to medium flame , this diffuses the flavour into the oil and enhances the taste .
Secondly , The logic with adding water is adding half of the normal count i.e. normally if you add 3 cups of water for 1 cup of rice , for biryani you should add half the quantity – 1 ½ cups of water for 1 cup of rice . Got it ?! you have mastered this dish ! See you in my next post .
I recommend the Electric rice cooker just for the non – stick aspect , but the same result can be achieved in the pressure cooker if you follow the instructions carefully.
We will start by preparing biryani in a heavy bottomed pan and finishing it off in the rice cooker , please check notes* if you are using the pressure cooker from start to finish .
Preparation time : 10 mins
Cooking time : 45 mins
Serves : 4
Goat meat (Mutton) – 1/2 kg
Basmati rice* – 3 cups (3/4 kg )
Sunflower oil – ½ cup
Ghee – 2 tablespoons
Onion – 2 medium sized
Tomato -2 ½ medium sized
Ginger garlic paste – 3 tablespoons
Cinnamon bark – 3
Bay leaves – 3
Star Anise – 1 or 2 ( optional)
Green chillies – 6 or more – depending upon your taste
Mint leaves- ½ cup
Coriander leaves – ¼ cup
Salt – According to taste
Chilli Powder – ½ teaspoon – optional
Lemon -1/2 a lemon juiced
Water – 4 ½ cups
1.Wash the rice and drain the water completely .
2.Pressure Cook the mutton with 2 cups of water , ½ teaspoon of turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in medium flame for 10 minutes.* This will reduce the cooking time as mutton pieces will take longer to cook than rice. Separate the cooked mutton pieces from the stock . Reserve the stock for later .
3.Meanwhile , heat the heavy bottomed pan and add oil and ghee .Season the oil with cinnamon, star anise , cloves and bay leaves. Watch out for the cloves they may splutter sometimes .
4.Then add the sliced onions and sauté until the onion turns translucent , add a pinch of salt to the onions which will help to draw moisture out of the onions and quicken the sautéing process .Then add the green chillies , followed by ginger garlic paste , sauté for 2 or 3 seconds.
5.Add handful of mint leaves , sauté well , followed by tomatoes . Cook the tomatoes for a 2 or 3 minutes until they are soft and mushy , this is going to be our gravy for the biryani .
6. Add the mutton pieces , mix well , add salt as required .Cover and cook for 3 mins .
6. Place the washed rice in the rice cooker and add the prepared mutton gravy .Mix well .
7.Add 4 ½ cups of water . Use the reserved stock instead of water .Mix well . check the seasoning ( this is where you add salt / chilli powder ).
8.Add a pinch of extra salt than you’d normally consume as the rice will absorb the salt.
9.Stir in lemon juice and the remaining mint leaves and coriander leaves .Put the lid on and set it to cook .
10.when ready , mix the rice with a long handled wooden spoon from the bottom , please take care not to stir, but , to lift the rice from underneath and mix.
Serve with Onion or Cucumber Raita .
Additional Notes :
*I use India Gate Classic Basmati Rice . good quality rice = good biryani 🙂
* if you don’t own a pressure cooker you can cook the meat in a saucepan with the lid on by adding 2 cups of extra water until the meat is tender . Please note that the cooking time may vary .
If using pressure cooker instead of rice cooker , follow till step 9 , when the pressure starts building put the weight on . Reduce the flame once the whistle starts , cook for 10 mins. Once the pressure is released open the pressure cooker and mix well. Serve and ENJOY !