We had a difficult time explaining to my friend's general factotum, who was helping us cook, what on earth this is called. 'Lekin didi yeh kaunsa biryani hai?' Somehow 'Basmati and chickpeas Babulalji' just didn't seem to work. So we called it Choley ka biryani. Once again from Ottolenghi, this time from Jerusalem, we served it with this yummy yummy chicken sofrito, which I didn't make so no recipe and wasn't in serving dishes when we had light so I have no pictures of sadly.
Saturday, June 14, 2014
My favourite cousin got me my first Ottolenghi book, Jerusalem, as a present in February, and then I went and bought Plenty at the book fair. They've been hanging out in my cookbookshelf all this time and, on the occasion of dinner birthday party for two beloved friends, I fished em out to plan menus. Now these recipes are a little daunting, partly because he seems to use a hundred things in each recipe, but also partly because I'm like erm...really? THIS combination? Are you SURE? But I finally picked some stuff and went for it, shearing it of whatever I couldn't be bothered to do of course, and the results! Oh my god the results.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Back in November, I went on my first proper trip to the hills with friends since I moved to Delhi three years ago. Fuck more than three years now I come to think of it! Anyway, it was planned with The Writing Twins, and they brought friends with them. The six of us had a hysterically good time, ably assisted by the mascot and theme song, and have been planning a reunion hangout ever since then. We managed a crazy birthday party but haven't yet managed to do a six-of-us thing. So this dinner was planned, especially since three of them have never met The Balcony. But sadly people kept dropping out and it ended up being just three of us, all south Indian so I thought to myself I shall make sambar saadham. Only I woke up last night and had this...NEED to cook something warm and liquid and bland. And so I came up with corn chowder, grilled garlic chicken with mushroom bourgignon as sauce, mashed potatoes and butterscotch cake with caramel sauce.
I like to call myself a non-practising non-vegetarian. This is because I don't have a problem with meat per se, only with pork, fish and seafood, I hate the smell, and with beef and mutton, it's too chewy. But my biryani must be mutton, I love murg malai kababs, have adored the beef broth soups I ate in Colombia, and am generally happy to pick the meat out and eat. This of course leads people to look at me in shock and say 'you're vegetarian???' or mock me by calling me a fake vegetarian or asking me whether I am vegetarian today. Pffft to them I say ;)
Gosh I started making this recipe way back in 2009, and have been meaning to post it ever since. It's become a staple favourite of mine, especially in cold weather, and I have evolved so far from the original smitten kitchen recipe that I don't even know if it still is what I claim it is!