I baked and baked as soon as I came back home. After our long trip in December, I realized I needed to do things as one does when they come back home, get everything organized and back in order. The backyard grew fast in the short bit of time we were away and everything got a major haircut.Read More
Come summer and I lean towards ice cream and cold sweet things but also towards smaller dishes that I can snack on versus larger meals. Dips can become a meal especially with a colorful assortment at the table and if you include a few different types (keeping in mind your diner's preferences) you could end up with a gorgeous spread of tastes and aromas begging to be eaten.Read More
If you read my interview with the Kitchn as part of their Bite-Sized Guide to Oakland, you will have learned some exciting news. Sometime late Fall last year, I signed a book deal with the wonderful folk at Chronicle Books. "My first cookbook", it feels a little surreal to even type those words or say it but this is happening and will be released in Fall 2018! So stay tuned while I reveal behind-the-scenes footage and more, over the next few months here and on Instagram.
I rarely share too many traditional Indian recipes, most of recipes reflect my journey of adaptation as an immigrant, I sometimes cook traditionally but more so than often the food I cook and create is influenced strongly by my past and present. It's somewhere in between/ Take this samosa pie for instance, I first ate phyllo in the honey soaked baklava at a Greek restaurant in Cincinnati. The sweetness and the crunch of the thin sheets of flaky pastry that revealed a heavenly nut filling scented with rose water. Samosas are an Indian-style hand pie and on some days I'm too lazy to assemble two dozen samosas and so the samosa pie was born. This one envelopes the filling with layers and layers of thin delicate phyllo, brushed with ghee and topped off with a generous sprinkle of nigella.
samosa phyllo pie
makes one 9 inch-pie
2lbs russet potatoes
2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil
2 teaspoons crushed coriander seeds
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
2 inch piece ginger root, peeled and julienned
1 cup frozen or fresh peas
1 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (cayenne will work)
1 1/2 teaspoon amchur powder (dried raw mango powder)
1 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup packed chopped cilantro leaves
1 serrano pepper thinly sliced
1 box of whole-wheat phyllo pastry, at room temperature (about 18 single sheets of phyllo)
1/4 cup melted ghee or butter
1 teaspoon nigella seeds
1. Rinse and scrub the potatoes and place them in a large stockpot and fill with cold tap water up to an inch above the potatoes. Add 1 teaspoon salt and heat on medium-high heat for about 20 to 25 minutes until the potatoes are completely cooked and tender. Drain the water from the potatoes and allow to cool before peeling. Once the potatoes are cooled, chop them into large chunks and keep aside.
2. Heat the oil in a large stockpot or Dutch-oven on medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot add the coriander seeds and cook until they start to brown within 30 to 40 seconds. Add the onions and ginger and cook until they brown in about 10 to 12 minutes. Then add the chopped potatoes, peas, the remaining salt, chili, amchur, black pepper and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally to coat evenly. Remove the stockpot from the stove and and taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Fold in the cilantro leaves and serrano.
3. Place a wire rack at midlevel in the oven and preheat to 350F. Grease a 9-inch circular pie pan with a little ghee or butter. Carefully line the surface of the pan with one single sheet of phyllo and brush gently with ghee or butter. Place another sheet of pastry at a slight angle to the first and repeat. This will allow you to cover the entire pan as you rotate the placement of the pastry sheets. Place 9 such phyllo sheets. Then fill the pan with the potato-pea filling. Cover the filling with the remaining sheets of phyllo, brushing each layer with ghee or butter. Once the pie is layered, take a kitchen shears and trim the overhang leaving about 1 inch of extra pastry on the edge. Fold this extra inch over itself and crimp it gently to seal. Brush the entire surface of the pastry with the ghee or butter. If you have any extra left-over pastry, you can use it to garnish and decorate the pie. Sprinkle the nigella seeds over the pie and make six 1 inch cuts around the center of the pie to allow it to vent in the oven. Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake for about 60 minutes, rotating once halfway through until golden brown. Remove the baked pie from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Serve slices of the pie with a sweet tamarind chutney and/or spicy green cilantro chutney or even Indian-style mango pickle.
For the past month or so, I've been going back and pouring over older books to understand what "California" cuisine really means. Not just recipes, though they do provide one part of a practical component of understanding the culture behind a regional cuisine but at the same time, also try to learn the history and influences that drive the thinking behind the process. Some influences are obvious, the weather and geography that make this state such an agricultural diamond mine which in turn also led to the migration of people from different parts of the nation and the world to come in search of brighter futures. Subsequently, these factors shaped and transformed the way in which food is expressed in a rather unique way in this region.
And so, part of my research has involved, immersing myself completely, daily cooking my way through some of these books and adding my own touch as I go along. Here is one of the recipes for a blood orange ice cream that I came across in the Chez Panisse Desserts cookbook by Lindsey Remolif Shere, who worked as the pastry chef at the iconic restaurant. It's a simple recipe and the only special tools you'll need is an ice cream maker and a freezer. I've infused the egg custard with rosemary and star anise at different stages of preparation, the flavors are subtle and don't overwhelm the citrus notes of the orange.
rosemary and star anise infused blood orange ice cream (adapted from the Chez Panisse Desserts book by Lindsey Remolif Shere)
makes : approximately 1 1/3 quarts
1 lb (453.59g) blood oranges (around 3 to 4 oranges)
2 star anise pods
3/4 cup half-and-half
1 cup sugar
6 egg yolks (obtained from large eggs)
2 1/2 cups whipping cream
two 3 inch rosemary sprigs (it should be relatively young and not woody)
1. Wash the oranges and gently wipe them dry with a kitchen towel. Cut very thin strips of orange peel from 2 out of the fruit (avoid the bitter white pith under the peel). Put the peel in a non-corroding saucepan with star anise, half-and-half and the sugar and heat on medium-low heat until it just starts to boil. Remove from heat, cover with a lid and let steep 15 minutes, then reheat. Remove the peel and discard but leave the star anise pods behind.
2. Whisk the egg yolks and pour the hot mixture into them slowly, beating constantly so the eggs don't scramble. Pour back into the pan, bruise the rosemary with a knife and add it to the mixture, set over low heat to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the spoon. Strain the mixture into a bowl. Using a zester, grate the zest of the remaining oranges and add to the custard. Fold with a silicone spatula and allow to stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Fold in the cream. Juice the oranges and strain the liquid. Add 3/4 cup of the juice to the custard. Fold with a silicone spatular to combine and then freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions of your ice cream maker. Freeze the ice cream in an airtight container for at least 4 hours before serving.
It's World Vegetarian Day today and I'm kicking it off at the KitchenAid blog (where you can get the recipe) with this easy and delicious spinach and chickpea stew in their lovely new Slow Cooker!This is one of the tastiest and easiest dishes that you can put together and not have to worry about. A few simple ingredients and spices and you let the Slow Cooker do all the work for you.
I chose a simple yet flavorful recipe to celebrate this day. Vegetables are as diverse and delicious as you can imagine and you can season them with simple ingredients to create more interesting flavors. I've gone back to the basics and taken inspiration from the way my mom would probably approach cooking if she had a busy week at work. Simple, easy and flavorful!
The "most complex" ingredient in this recipe is garam masala and you can find that at most stores or use my recipe to make your own. I also selected canned chickpeas and frozen spinach for use in this recipe (you can also substitute with fresh) because I always keep them in stock and to be honest, I sometimes don't plan ahead and they save me time in prepping. So don't feel guilty! The advantage of using a Slow Cooker is having to think less about cooking especially when you're short on time, so you can set this up at any time of the day and forget about it till it's ready. The chickpeas and spinach become soft and tender and every bite has the tanginess of fresh lemon juice to balance the flavors of the spices. Serve this with flatbread or rice or as is (maybe with a side of plain, unsweetened yogurt)!
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by KitchenAid. All opinions expressed are solely my own.
Often I’m short on time especially these days as we’re still getting parts of our home remodeled and renovated. There was a time I thought home remodeling and renovations were a breeze (clearly I had watched way too many home renovation tv shows) but reality is a little different. The design part is fun and the final reveal a blast (hopefully), it’s the inbetween that can be a little nuts and it’s often a lesson in patience. It’s also made it a little trickier for me to visit our local farmer’s market and grocery store when I need to. Recently, I got the opportunity to try out the grocery delivery service run by AmazonFresh and it was a great experience!
AmazonFresh carries a wide selection of fresh fruits and vegetables and produce from local suppliers, along with over 500,000 items (including everyday household essentials) that are available for same-day and early morning delivery. All I needed to do was plan out my shopping list, log into my account and order what I needed and select a time slot for delivery. Everything was delivered to my doorstep before 7am on Saturday morning in Amazon’s reusable thermal bags that kept my produce fresh. This all worked out rather well since I need to cook something for a brunch at a friend’s place last weekend. I typed in my ingredients the night before and set my delivery time so I could prep and cook and take my warm food straight from the oven to my friend’s home. AmazonFresh kept the entire process seamless and stress-free and the ingredients were fresh as promised.
If frittatas were an Indian dish, I think they would have been made this way, at least, I imagine it would. A spicy mixture of chickpeas simmered with bell peppers and onions and later folded into a creamy egg mixture only to be baked with the sweet and tart flavor of goat cheese. You can also serve it with a generous portion of this baked spiced potatoes and though, I say “also” I think you’ll be very happy if you do.
Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing this dish;
You can easily make the potatoes ahead of time and then reheat when ready to serve.
Use fresh ingredients and spices for a full flavor.
This isn’t a traditional recipe for channa masala, I’ve modified it quite a bit to make it work for the frittata but even by itself the chickpea makes a great side (if you just want to cook that for a meal).
You can cook the potatoes a little longer and make them crispy, just watch them so they don’t burn.
channa masala frittata with baked spiced potatoes
baked spiced potatoes
3lbs red potatoes, cut into wedges
2 cups large onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
1 cup thinly sliced green bell peppers
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
Place a wire rack at mid-level in the oven and preheat to 400F.
Mix all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and transfer them to two large baking sheets. Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, tossing the potatoes halfway through baking and cook until the potatoes are golden brown and crispy. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the pan for at least 5 minutes before serving.
for the chickpeas
1 tablespoon ghee
1 cup white onion diced
1 cup red bell pepper diced
1 cup green bell pepper diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
one 15 ounce can chickpeas
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
one 14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes
3 cups fresh spinach leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
1. Heat the ghee in a large thick-bottomed saucepan on medium-high heat. Add all the ingredients from the onion to the garam masala to the saucepan and stir for 2 minutes. Then add the tomatoes, spinach, and salt, stir and bring the contents of the pan to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Most of the liquid should evaporate from the pan and the final mixture will be saucy but not runny. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature before adding it to the frittata.
for the frittata
12 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons ghee
3 cups chickpea mixture, cooled
4 ounces goat cheese
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
Place a wire rack at mid-level in the oven and preheat to 350F. Whisk the eggs, heavy cream, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl until just combined. Avoid over-whisking the eggs. Keep aside.
Take an oven-safe 12 inch skillet (I used a stainless steel braiser) and melt the ghee on medium-high heat. Spread the melted ghee to coat the surface of the pan evenly. Once the ghee is hot, pour the whisked egg mixture into the pan. Allow to cook for 3 minutes until the egg just starts to set. Scoop and lightly spread the chickpea mixture and goat cheese over the eggs in the pan and garnish with the cilantro leaves. Transfer the entire pan to the preheated oven and cook for about 25 minutes until the egg turns golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving with the country fries.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by AmazonFresh. All opinions expressed are solely my own.
There are many things I love to do with freshly grilled corn besides eating it off the cob and this cold salad is one of them. If you have leftover grilled corn on hand this is an easy and tasty way “to get rid of it”. It’s got a hint of heat from the chili and a fresh flavor from the young fennel fronds and lemon juice. This cool salad goes great along with BBQ’d meat from the grill and helps to balance the heat.
The Best Food's Organic Mayonnaise used in this recipe, has a light and creamy flavor. I’ve used the Original version but they also make a lot of other delicious flavors such as the Spicy Chipotle and Roasted Garlic which you could add in this salad. Just remember depending on the type of mayonnaise used the flavor of the final salad will change a little.
Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing this salad;
• You can grill the corn over the fire or in the oven. The more it’s charred the better the flavor. However, when mixing the corn with the mayonnaise, make sure the corn is cooled to room temperature or cold or else the heat will cause the mayonnaise to fall apart.
• I like to use the younger bright green fronds of the fennel bulb for the garnish.
corn and fennel salad
yields: 2 to 4 servings
2 cups grilled corn
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced into rings
1 cup Best Foods Organic Mayonnaise
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon kosher sea salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon fennel fronds, chopped
1. Toss the corn and fennel in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
2. In a small bowl, mix the remaining ingredients from the mayonnaise to the pepper. Fold the
dressing into the corn and fennel.
3. Garnish the salad with the fennel fronds. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving. Serve
There's no beating the silky, smooth texture of a freshly cooked noodle. It's one of the best things invented centuries ago. They're delicious and I can eat bowls of slurpy noodles every day! Then came the advent of the veggie noodles which departed from traditional grain based noodles. It made it possible for me to eat noodles at lunch without the fear of passing out at work from satiety. My personal favorites when it comes to veggie noodles: zucchini, sweet potatoes, beets and carrots. There is one exception, I use red beets only when I know the red color of the beets won't affect the overall look of my dish but otherwise, I love to go crazy with my spiralizer. There are lots of magical things that can happen with KitchenAid's spiralizer, beyond noodles of different shapes and sizes, you can peel and core apples and other similar produce, thinly slice them, etc.
This veggie noodle bowl uses zucchini and lightly roasted sweet potato noodles tossed in a simple coconut milk based curry. You can grab the recipe for my Goan inspired veggie noodle bowl curry at KitchenAid's blog with step-by-step visual instructions on how to cook it. Happy spirailzing!
Disclaimer: Thank you to KitchenAid for sponsoring this post. All opinions expressed are solely my own.
For the past few weeks, I've realized I'm terrible when it comes to saving time during the week and for that matter sticking to clean eating habits. Don't get me wrong, I love to eat out and try new things whenever possible but it starts to add up and things can get rather expensive. Consequently, I've been trying to get my act together and start planning out our weekly meals. There are a bunch of new one pot meals that I've been working on and I've kept one recurring theme in mind, little effort but bold flavors.
Though I can cook for hours, I hate, hate washing dishes and wiping the kitchen table down after I'm done. There are times when I want to snap my fingers or twitch my nose in the hope that my mess cleans itself up. Unfortunately, it doesn't but there is one thing that can happen to make all of this a little less crazy. Through trial and error, I've figured out what works best for me and I've learned to set realistic goals with a more practical approach. Less prep work and cooking time translates to more free time to do other things and it makes me very, very happy!
By using a rotisserie chicken, I've cut back on a lot of time that would have otherwise been spent at the stove/oven. From shredding to chopping to simply serving it as is, the meat can be used in lots of tasty ways and you can add it to dishes such as this pilaf to make a hearty meal..
This one pot meal is very aromatic and flavorful. Basmati rice has it's own floral scent and that fragrance when infused with cardamom and bay leaves makes one spectacular dish. The chickpeas and chicken in the pilaf are infused with an extra layer of flavor from this delicious Progresso stock, turmeric and ginger root. I prefer to use the unsalted version of Progresso's chicken stock to control the taste of the dish but you can use their regular one too.
Here are some of my kitchen notes that you might find helpful when preparing this dish;
- Use a good rotisserie chicken. I like to use the herb seasoned or lemon seasoned ones in this particular dish as they add great flavor to the rice and chickpeas.
- As always, I recommend leaving the whole spices in the rice when serving. It showcases what to expect in terms of flavor and taste and makes a great garnish.
- Use long grain basmati rice, preferably the Indian one. The other varieties don't taste as good and don't give the same aroma or flavor.
spiced chickpeas an chicken pilaf
yields: 4 to 6 servings
2 tablespoons ghee or olive oil
1 cup red onion, diced
2 tablespoons julienned peeled ginger root
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 15 ounce cans chickpeas, drained
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne powder
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 cup basmati/long grain rice, washed and drained
4 black peppercorns or 2 long black peppercorns
2 green cardamom pods, cracked
3 bay leaves
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken, skin discarded
2 cups Progresso unsalted chicken stock
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of ghee/olive oil in a dutch oven on medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until light pink. Then add the ginger and turmeric and cook for 1 minute. Fold in the chickpeas, salt, and chili powder, cover the dutch oven with its lid and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the dutch oven from stove and transfer the contents to a large mixing bowl, add 1 tablespoon of cilantro and keep aside
2. In the same dutch oven, heat the remaining ghee/oil. Add the drained rice, peppercorns, green cardamom, and bay leaves. Cook the rice and spices constantly stirring for about 2 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and stock to the rice and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the dutch oven with its lid and allow the rice to cook, undisturbed for about 15 to 20 minutes. The rice is cooked when the water has completely evaporated and the grains are tender. Fold in the chickpeas and cook for another minute. Remove from stove, garnish with remaining cilantro and serve warm.
A few weeks ago, we started the mortifying challenge of trying to find a home to purchase in the Bay. If you've watched Million Dollar Listing: San Francisco on Bravo, you'll get my drift. It's a stressful experience with all the competitiveness . It's similar to taking a test without knowing what the topics are so you might as well study everything you can think of. But the one part I do love, is to take a sneak peek at all the different homes on the market. For a brief moment it gives me the option to take a peek into someone else's life and imagine it as my own. What a future home could look like and the endless possibilities that lie ahead when it comes to decorating and styling a home. Let's see what happens in the days to come. (Also, what's with the upside down photographs of homes ?)
Some of you have asked me previously about my experience making the transition to working as a pastry cook. It has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life and career. I didn't go to pastry school and I've decided that for now, I won't. The cost of attending culinary school and the current loan rates make it difficult for me to justify attending school. But working in a pastry shop kitchen gave me a lot of those tools from cooking to styling but also in other aspects such as customer service and paying attention to detail. And of course, speed, that's an important skill you will acquire on the job. Since, I had no experience prior to this and culinary education to back my work, it was hard finding a job. But be persistent it will pay off! I made a list of all the bakeries and pastry shops that were in a 15 mile radius from where I live and called each and everyone one of them. I was fortunate that one person, finally called me back and gave me a chance to come in and try out. I decided to go part-time at my pharmaceutical job and then see if I would actually last at the pastry shop. After a month, I knew that this was exactly the kind of education and work experience I needed and my time there has been rewarding. Working in a kitchen has its moments, it's not all "diamonds and rosé".
We work long hours and you're on your feet all day long, you tend to make the same things all the time but remember every time you remake a dessert you learn from the previous experience and it will be better than the previous time. Your clothes will get messy but you do build muscles because you lift heavy sheets of sweet goodness. You learn how to style and be clean and appreciate what the elements in a dessert garnish. Apply practicality when styling and think of how it will make the dessert stand out and taste but also how your customer will react to out and want to come back for more. This experience has made me think about creating food in more ways than I could have ever imagined.
I now start a new chapter in my life, I've accepted a job as a food photographer in the city and will be working at Sprig where I get the opportunity to not only style and shoot food but also work closely with a talented team of chefs and creative people who's mission is to bring affordable and healthy meals to everyone created from locally sourced organic ingredients. This is going to be one exciting journey!
Speaking of new experiences, I'm sharing one of my favorite Indian recipes today. Chicken biryani, it's the one pot wonder dish that I make often when I have a lot of guests over and I'm short on time. Biryani is a layered rice and meat (beef/lamb)/poultry dish (there are other versions with vegetables, shrimp, fish and even eggs), though the components of the seasoning used change a little depending on the type of protein. Traditionally, you would cook the rice and meat in a large pot but I've found a new way to do this. I'm using my tagine from Le Creuset. The base is made of strong cast-iron which ensures even heating when frying the spices and cooking the chicken but the very nature of tagine helps to lock in the steam and cook the meat and rice and make it even more tender and flavorful.
Chicken biryani is a very flavorful and aromatic dish. The meat is seasoned with a rich combination of spices and then mixed in with basmati rice that's been seasoned with a lot of green cardamom, black cardamom, cloves and bay leaves. Imagine all those rich and sweet fragrances separately and then imagine them combined, that's what make biryani special. Not only is it a one pot meal, it's also one of the most fragrant and tastiest dishes to impress people with and it doesn't really require much effort other than cooking the components and putting them together.
Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing this dish,
- There are two ways to cook biryani, one involves cooking everything together and the other way (which I use here) is to cook everything separately and then add the components together. I like the second method because I know the meat is completely cooked before I serve it.
- Marinade your chicken for at least 2 hours, I prefer to do this overnight in a ziplock bag and perhaps shake the bag every 10 to 12 hours to mix things up.
- I recommend using full fat or low-fat greek yogurt in the marinade for a tastier chicken and sauce.
- I use whole spices to flavor the rice. Just remember to avoid eating them. You could also remove them from the rice before adding the chicken but I like the interesting textures they add to the dish.
- Use good quality long grain basmati rice only in this dish. Any other type of rice won't do this justice. I don't recommend using wild rice or the multicolored basmati rice here as the rice takes on various colors from the chicken sauce and turmeric when it comes into contact making a fun and interesting color palette.
- You can also grab 1/4 cup of the rice after it is cooked (just before you add the chicken) and mix it with 2 tablespoons of hot water mixed with a tiny pinch of saffron. The rice will take on a pretty orange color. Sprinkle this randomly over the rice and then add the chicken and garnishes.
- I've used chicken drumsticks here but the breast or thigh will also work here. I like to use chicken with bones in this dish because the meat is much more tender after it is cooked. You don't need to use the skin if you don't like it.
Here are some accompaniments that you can serve with this chicken biryani;
chicken biryani tagine
equipment: 4 3/4 quart tagine
for the chicken
6 large chicken drumsticks (with/without skin) (approximately 1 lb)
1/2 cup greek yogurt
4 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed
1 teaspoon kosher sea salt
1 teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder, freshly ground
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 tablespoon grated ginger root, fresh
1 tablespoon grated garlic, fresh
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
for the garnish
1 1/2 cups red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 green or red thai chili peppers, sliced in half
2 cups white potatoes, peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup vegetable oil /ghee
for the rice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil/ghee
3 bay leaves
10 green cardamom pods, whole, gently crushed
2 black cardamom pods, whole, gently crushed
10 cloves, whole
1 1/2 cups basmati rice, rinsed and soaked for 20 minutes in cold tap water
2 cups water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves, julienned or chopped
1. Pat the chicken dry with a clean paper towel. Make a couple of gashes in each drumstick and keep aside. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade from the yogurt to the turmeric in a large gallon ziploc bag. Add the chicken to this marinade and seal the bag. Mix to coat the chicken and then place it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours preferably overnight.
2. On the day of preparation: Take the cast iron base of the tagine and heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil/ghee on medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot add the onions and salt and stir to coat with the oil. Cover the tagine base with the lid and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook the onions for about 15 to 20 minutes until they have caramelized and turned completely brown. You will need to open the tagine and stir the onions occasionally to ensure they don't burn. Add a little more oil if necessary. Add the chilies in the last two minutes and cook. Remove the caramelized onions and chilies from the tagine and keep aside until ready to use.
3. In the same tagine, add the remaining oil and fry the potatoes until they are crispy and golden brown. This will take about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove and place them on a clean paper towel to drain the excess oil.
4. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator after marination. Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in the same tagine, on medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces with the marinade and cover the tagine with the lid and cook for about 12-15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and tender. Remove the chicken and the gravy separately, and keep aside until ready to use.
5. Heat the one tablespoon of oil in the same tagine on medium-high heat. Add the green cardamom, black cardamom and cloves. Fry them in the oil for 30 seconds. Drain the soaked rice and add it to the tagine. Add the salt and water and mix. Cover the tagine with the lid and cook the rice on medium-high heat for about 10-12 minutes until all the water has almost just evaporated. Reduce the heat to a medium-low.
6. Arrange the chicken pieces over the rice, drizzle the remaining gravy over the chicken. Sprinkle the onions and potatoes over the rice and chicken. Cover the tagine back with its lid and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from stove and keep aside. Just before serving garnish the biryani with the cilantro. Serve with cold yogurt/raita and a chilled salad.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Le Creuset and all opinions stated here are purely my own.