Oof… Happy New Year Y’all!
Welcome to the first weekly installment of New Recipe Night – from now on, every Friday!
It also marks the first recipe made from the first cookery book I’ve bought in six months – only because it was on offer when I bought my mum one for Christmas. It was rude not to buy it really. The book is Lorraine Pascale’s Fast Fresh and Easy food:
To serve four, the recipe uses Vegetable Oil, 5 Cardamom Pods, 2 tsp Garam Masala, 2 tsp Ground Tumeric, 1tsp Ground Cumin, 1 tsp Chilli Powder, a bunch of Spring Onions, 500g Lamb Chump Steak, 350g Basmati Rice, a tin of Coconut Milk, 100g Sundried Tomatoes, 50g Raisins and 25g Toasted Flaked Almonds.
I halved the quantities to make it for two people. Splitting it worked really well, with the added bonus that I can make it the day after Nigella’s Curry in a Hurry (see week 8: https://newrecipenight.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/week-8-curry-in-a-hurry/) using the left-over coconut milk. However, this is one recipe I wouldn’t make then freeze – just because I’m a bit gun-shy about freezing rice, but it’s really quick to make so it’s OK.
Unfortunately, with it being the last Saturday before Christmas when I made it, the butcher didn’t have lamb so I used beef instead.
It went together really easily and I was surprised just how straight forward the recipe was, especially after the Jamie Oliver recipe last week!
To start, heat a bit of oil in a pan, slam the cardamom pods open and put them in a pan with all the spices for 3 or 4 minutes. While this is cooks finely slice the spring onions, and cut the lamb into bite-size pieces (although my lovely butcher did this for me)
Turn the heat up and lob in the lamb and onions, with a little more oil, and brown the meat for 2 or 3 minutes.
Add the rice, coconut milk and 100ml of water. Fit the lid, bring it up to the boil and then turn it down to a very gentle simmer and leave it for the amount of time the rice takes to cook (it says it on the packet)
When its done, you take off the lid and it should look like this (preferably better than this) and it will be just like Christmas!
While its cooking cut up the sundried tomatoes, some coriander (or mint) and stir them into the biryani when the rice is done, along with the raisins, and heat for a couple of minutes.
Season it with some salt and pepper, maybe stir in a knob of butter if you want your biryani to be extra creamy (I didn’t) and plate it up. Artfully sprinke some more coriander/mint and the toasted flaked almonds over it and serve it to admiring diners (who will shower you with compliments and maybe wash up)
The only thing I would change if I used beef again would be the cut of beef. When I told the butcher I was doing biryani he selected a cut of stewing beef, and as this recipe is really quick to cook the beef was pretty chewy. Delicious, but chewy.
Lorraine Pascale’s instructions are much clearer than mine, so I reckon this book is a must have for your kitchen (and its always really cheap in Smiths’)
Fast Fresh and Easy Food by Lorraine Pascale (Harper Collins 2012 ISBN: 978-0-00-793482-9)
Available here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lorraine-Pascales-Fast-Fresh-Easy/dp/0007489668/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1388749392&sr=1-1&keywords=lorraine+pascale+fast+fresh+and+easy+food or on 2 for £10/3 for £12.50 at WHSmith.