Saturday, September 23, 2017

Green Biryani




I had this craving for eating something delicious that was bothering me. But when you return home after a long time and don't have the time to do groceries you try to be resourceful with what is left in the freezer and on the grocery shelf in your home. That's exactly what I did for the whole week and exhausted all the resources except for some frozen shrimp, a couple of onions, green chillies and a can of coconut milk. I had no mood to eat the same shrimp dishes once again. This need compelled me to make something different and unique with the ingredients I had. As they say "necessity is the mother of invention, lo and behold, I made this green biryani with shrimp and coconut milk. I call it green biryani because I used green masala with no turmeric, tomatoes or red chilli powder etc.

It was so flavourful, tasty and delicious!! And the best thing of all is I made it in instant pot, it was pretty quick and easy.

Ingredients:
25 Jumbo Tiger Shrimp  
2 Cups Basumathi Rice
1 Cup Coconut Milk
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
2 Onions (medium size)
11/2 TBS Ginger Garlic Paste
1 Black Cardamom
2 inch stick Cinnamon 

For the Green Masala Paste
4-6 Green chillies 
1 Cup Fresh Mint Leaves
1/2 Cup Cilantro
1/2 Tsp Cumin Seeds
1/2 Tsp Black Pepper Corns
4 Cloves
4 green Cardamoms
a pinch of Saffron
Salt as required.




Method: 

1. Wash the rice and soak it in water for at least half an hour

2. Peel, devein, wash and clean the shrimp and keep aside.

3. Slice the onions, grind the ginger garlic paste. Reserve some mint and cilantro for steaming the rice and grind together the rest with 2 green chillies, cumin seeds, black pepper corns, cloves, green cardamom and a little water to a fine paste. First grind the dry spices then add the mint, cilantro and green chillies. This is the green masala.

4. Heat oil in the instant pot, (set it on sauté mode) lightly fry the shrimp quickly, remove and keep aside.

5. In the same oil in the instant pot fry the onions till golden brown. Add the ginger garlic paste, green masala, lightly stir, add 1/2 cup coconut milk, a little water mix well and switch off the instant pot. Soak the saffron threads in 1 tbs hot water and set aside.

6. Meanwhile steam the rice by cooking it in boiling salted water till 70% done. Drain it. Switch on the instant pot to sauté mode low and when the green masala comes to a boil, pour the rice over the masala curry.

7. Throw in the reserved mint and chopped cilantro, saffron water and the remaining 1/2 cup coconut milk. Add 3- 4 drops of green food colouring to 1tbs of the cooked rice. Mix well and sprinkle this coloured rice on the top layer of rice.

8. Close the instant pot lid. Switch it on and set it to pressure cook on low for 5 mins.  Keep the valve in the venting position.

9. After 5 mins open the instant pot lid. Then gently slide a flat spatula from the sides to the bottom and slowly lift the rice and fluff it. Repeat gently and carefully from all sides till rice is mixed well with the sauce taking care not to break the long basumathi grains.

10. Serve hot and enjoy with onion yoghurt or tomato chutney. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

Apple Turnovers




You could have these apple turnovers for breakfast or tea time, they are just so enjoyable. If you have some puff pastry ready at home you could quickly prep them up in no time using any fruit or savoury fillings of your choice with meat, chicken or vegetables. They are so easy to make that you would wonder why you haven't been making them before.
Ingredients:

1 Pack of Puff pastry dough 

4Large Apples (cored and peeled) 
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar 
1/2 TSP Cinnamon (ground)
1/2 TSP Vanilla Essence
1 TBS Unsalted Butter



Method:
1. Thaw the puff pastry if frozen and unfold it on a lightly floured pastry board. Cut into 4x4inch squares if it is a thin long sheet. Otherwise if it is a big thick square, cut it into smaller squares and roll into 4×4 inch square
2. For the apple filling, peel, core and slice the apples. Add a blob of butter to the sauce pan followed by the apple slices, brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla essence. Combine well and cook till the apples caramelize and are no longer runny. Remove to cool and set aside.
























3. Place one or two teaspoons of filling in the centre of each pastry square, brush the edges with egg white and fold into a triangle. Then press the edges using your fingers.






















4. You could be a bit creative to make a design on the edges with the fork or cookie cutter. This not only makes them look pretty but helps to seal them well.You could also make square shaped hand pies by using 2 pastry squares one on top of the other with the filling inside.



























5. Prick with the fork in the centre to let the air out before putting them in the oven. This prevents the pastry from bubbling while baking. Glaze them with egg white and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. It is better to keep them chilled in the fridge for sometime before placing them in the oven.






















6. Bake in the oven preheated at 375 degrees fahrenheit for 30 – 35 minutes till golden brown.
























7. Cool them on a wire rack and enjoy with tea or vanilla ice cream.