Posted in Recipes

Chicken Biryani, a delicious creamy one pot curry

I love food. That’s a given. This is one of the best things that I have ever cooked. What that means is that this is a really good dish. REALLY GOOD! Okay, you get it, I like this Chicken Biryani. Let me count the ways though : It is easy. It is relatively quick. It is a crowd pleaser. It will feed a crowd (yes, these are two different points). It cooks in one pot. It is delicious. I like it. 7. There are 7 reasons why this is a really good dish! And you don’t care, you just want the recipe so move along there Sheila and share…

Couple of notes, if you are finding your way with cooking and exploring new things you may yet have come to use cardamom. Don’t be put off by ingredients that may be unknown to you. You will find cardamom pods easily in the super market and you will bash the outer husks using a pestle and mortar or a rolling pin to release the inner seeds. Another note I like to share is about fresh ginger. Keep it in the freezer and grate what you need straight from frozen using a microplane grater, there is no need to peel ginger.

Chicken curry

Chicken Biryani Recipe
Feeds 6 easily.
You will need :
250g frozen peas
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion chopped finely
spices :
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp Garam masala
2 tsp turmeric
8 cardomon pods seeded
Half teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tsp cumin
Chicken breast 500g
2 tbsp tomatoes purée
2 cups quick cook rice = approx. 350g
Tin coconut milk
2 cup veg stock = approx. 250ml
Flaked almonds to toast
Fresh Coriander to serve
Place 250g frozen peas in jug of boiling hot water and set aside
Finely chop the onion, grate the ginger, crack open the cardamom pods to release the seeds
Melt 1 tbsp coconut oil in large pan over medium heat
Gently fry the onion for 5 mins.
Stir in the following spices :
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp Garam masala
2 tsp turmeric
8 cardomon pods seeded
Half teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tsp cumin
Cook spices couple minutes stirring through the onion.
Add chopped chicken 500g and 2 tbsp tomatoes purée, mix to coat chicken with spice
Add the drained peas stir through
Add 2 cups rice stir through
Pour in Can of coconut milk and the 2 cups veg stock
Raise the heat until just begging to bubble, stir well reduce the heat to medium and cover with lid for 10 mins
(Check every so often with wooden spoon that nothing is sticking to bottom of pan if it is give it a stir and turn down the heat a little.)
Toast the flaked almonds in a frying pan
Chop the fresh coriander
Once the Chicken Biryani has simmered for 10 minutes remove the lid and test to see if rice cooked, if not simmer a little longer covered and add more liquid if any danger of sticking.Turn the heat up for a few minutes more until just bubbling again.
Serve with the toasted almonds and fresh coriander.}
Enjoy! Sheila.

Posted in What's for Dinner Mom?

Insanely Good Sauces – Bombay Curry Sauce

As I’ve been very busy with ‘real’ work lately in our food safety business developing a new website and running the office I’ve been reaching quite gladly for various Insanely Good sauces on the days that I am strapped for time.   Insanely Good Sauces are Irish and produced in West Cork and are now being stocked in Dunnes Stores – you’ll find them in the fresh pasta section.  The kids love this Bombay Curry Sauce and I’ve been ramping up the vegetable content with some chopped onion and frozen peas.  Insanely Good describe it as a ‘medium-spieced, family-friendly curry containing 10 natural ground spices’ so it should please most palates.
Insanely Good Sauces
Insanely Good Bombay Curry Sauce
To prepare this Indian Feast roughly chop some onions and add to a heated pan with a little oil along with chopped chicken.  When the chicken is cooked I semi-defrost frozen peas in a jug of hot water then strain them and add them to the pan along with the Insanely Good Bombay Curry Sauce.
Turmeric Rice & Toasted AlmondsVibrantly colouring your rice by adding a tsp of turmeric to the cooking water as it cooks makes it visually more appealing and is also good for you.  Add a little texture by dry-frying some flaked almonds but watch them carefully as they will burn quickly.
Indian Feast of Insanely Good Bombay Curry Sauce with Turmeric Rice & Toasted Almonds served with naan breadNo Indian Feast is complete without some tear and share naan bread which is great to mop up the Insanely Good sauce!
‘Til next time, Sheila.

Posted in What's for Dinner Mom?

Chicken Curry

Chicken curry, well now that’s a very generic sounding dish isn’t it?
Chicken Curry Close Up
What originally started out as a ‘biryani’ transmorphed into a good old curry when an instruction or two into Lorraine Pascale’s ‘Lazza’s lamb biryani’ recipe I realised that the recipe is indeed unfinished and the reader/cook is left abandoned with browned meat.  She turns her attention to cooking coconut rice pumped up with sundried tomatoes and herbs and the meat is never again mentioned in the dish.
Coconut Rice
I’ve googled the recipe a bit and what turns up is some other confudled cooks left with half-cooked dishes.  So what does one do, one improvises.  With no mention of liquid in the ingredients list it would appear that this would be a dry dish which in my household would not go down well with he who shall remain named as The Gravy Man.  An addition of tomatoes and chicken stock merged with the spice dusted chicken to produce a wonderfully aromatic and moist chicken curry.  I’ve since cooked it for a girls night in, trebling the quantities below ensuring plenty of leftovers.  Leftovers are a very good thing when this cooking girl is feeling precious on the day after such a gathering.
Chicken Curry Dish
The fact that there is a half-finished recipe in Lorraine Pascale’s ‘Fast, Fresh and Easy Food’ only endears me to her further.  I’m often asked which cooks I like and what cookbooks I use and Jamie will always feature among my favourites along with Nigel Slater who is the food writing Deity in my opinion and now Lorraine is up there too.  They are my Culinary Trinity at the moment.
I am loving Lorraine for her practicality and oneness with us ‘normal’ people.  What other chef would admit to this : ‘I am not at all embarrassed to say that on many occasions I have returned home to the waiting party laden with food that just needs a simple peeling back of the plastic and a slight turn of the oven dial…’  Three cheers for Lorraine, I love her.
Chicken Curry with Coconut Rice
Lorraine’s lamb biryani dish started off with 500g lamb chump steaks so go with that if you would rather a lamb version.
Feeds at least 6 hungry people.
Chicken Curry
You will need:
1 tbsp olive oil or rapeseed oil
5 cardamom pods
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp hot or medium chilli powder
1 bunch spring onions
6 chicken breasts
400g tin chopped tomatoes
250ml chicken stock
Small handful fresh coriander
Bash the cardamom pods using a pestle and mortar (or whack with a rolling pin if you don’t have one) to release the seeds and then discard the husky outer pod.
Heat the oil in a large deep pan over a medium heat and add in the cardamom seeds, garam masala, turmeric, cumin and chilli powder and cook for a couple of minutes.
While the spices cook cut the chicken into bite size chunks and chop up the spring onions (green & white bits)
Turn the heat up to high and then add the chicken pieces and spring onion mixing well to coat with the spices and allow the chicken to begin to brown.  (You may wish to drizzle in a little more oil if things are catching too much on the bottom of the pan.)
After a few minutes cooking the chicken in the spices add in the chopped tomatoes and the chicken stock.  Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and allow to simmer for 15 minutes or so.  Check your chicken pieces are cooked through before serving with a scattering of finely chopped coriander.
Suggest you serve with boiled or steamed rice and naan bread to mop up the sauce.
‘Til next time, Sheila.