Monday, July 26, 2010

comfort things

Some days seem so hard...we had a very nice and capable guy managing hotel number 1, just a slight problem with him, he drinks and he decided to do that at work yesterday and get one of the boys drunk with him as well!!
Praveen was called to Delhi the night before by some mystery illness of his Mum, 2 doctors later and nothing seemed to be wrong...Praveen and all her relatives visiting seemed to be all the cure she needed- good for her, difficult for us.
So I sacked the guy last evening, did a big juggle of staff, receptionist at hotel 1 is also away for one week so very short handed, I need to be at the front desk by 8.00am to work there, have so much else to do as well....
Before all this started just 2 days ago I was heading along the side of the Nature Reserve to the plant nursery in shock- this was bare, leafless sticks 2 weeks ago, now it soft pretty greens. How beautiful and I was off to get trees for my garden, as well...

It was a good that moment.
The phone call from P's Mum came whilst I was at the Nursery....

This is a recipe I got off the TV on the Travel and Living Channel...sorry no more details I forgot to write them down. I have already changed it somewhat and think it would be even better as a vegetarian version.
It was for muttom, I used chicken and suggest in future substituting that for fresh peas, carrots, mushrooms and cooked chickpeas. I will have to wait for winter for those things to become available....
The marinade was spectacular- I tend to be rather rustic in the way I cook and so chop the ginger, garlic and chillis into small, matchstick pieces rather than pound them. I love the little intense flavour explosions you get from time to time.
Hydrabadi Chicken Biryani
- chicken marinate 1 hour in

  • 1 t tumeric

  • 1 inch ginger

  • lots  of garlic

  • 4 cardomon pods- thumped to open them up

  • 3 or 4 cloves

  • about 1 cup curd/yoghurt

  • handful of chopped mint

  • handful of chopped corriander leaf

  • 1 or 2 green chillis
- while that is happening chop up heaps of onions and caramelize them very slowly in a small amount of oil with about 1 " cinnamon stick [I think the cinnamon swaeting in the onion really does something for the falvours]
- in another pot put a cup or 2 of milk and a big pinch of saffron- bring to boil, then turn down heat and let simmer for 20mins or so...
- cook some basmati rice

-layer marinated stuff into bottom of a heavy based pot or oven proof dish that has a tight fitting lid
- put rice over top
-onions over that
-spoon milk and saffron over that
Put lid on and cook on stove on very low heat for 40 mins [in oven probably for an hour??] or until meat is cooked through.

we had it with a green salad that had lots of chopped mint leaves in it and with lemon to squeeze over.

Motto of the moment...
Enjoy every moment because you never know when the shit is going to hit the fan!!

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