WEEKNIGHT BIRYANI {EXPRESS VERSION}

WBEV-titleBiryani is one of those dishes that’s usually reserved for special occasions or holidays.

Growing up, my mom would make it for Christmas or a birthday. My husband and I have made it for our anniversary. It’s usually not one of those everyday meals—partly because of its richness, partly because it can be somewhat tedious to make, until I came up with this Express Version. This recipe is for vegetable biryani, thus saving time, unlike its chicken or lamb counterpart.

Opinions may differ on the “right” way to make biryani, but the methods are as varied as the types of biryani themselves. This version is a quick one you can make anytime–even weeknights—whether or not they fall on a holiday.

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WEEKEND BIRYANI {EXPRESS VERSION}


INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 sliced purple onion
  • 4-5 tablespoons ghee
  • 3/4 tablespoon biryani masala
  • pinch of turmeric
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables (I used a mix of corn, green beans, carrots, and peas—whatever you use, make sure they are cut small)
  • 2 handfuls of raisins
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 cups water

PREPARATION

  1. In a medium pan, heat ghee and add onions. Once onions are caramelized, add turmeric and biryani masala.
  2. After spices are incorporated, fold in vegetables and raisins.
  3. Cover and allow to simmer on medium heat until almost soft, about 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Wash rice until water drains clear. Place into separate pot. Add water.
  5. To this, add cooked vegetable and cinnamon stick. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to low and set timer for 10 minutes.
  7. After 10 minutes, remove from heat and wait another 10 minutes before opening.
  8. Carefully fluff biryani with a fork and serve immediately with mango achaar (pickle) and raita. Serves 4-6.

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aloo channa masala

aloo channa titleIn Hindi, aloo means potato, while channa means chickpeas. Masala is just a general word to refer to a mix or combination of spices, different ones in varying amounts, based on the dish.

For me, Aloo Channa Masala has always been something easy and healthy to make, a go-to source of comfort food. It provides both protein and fiber to keep you fuller longer.

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ALOO CHANNA MASALA


 

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 small to medium potatoes, diced
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste or sauce
  • 3 green chilies (optional)
  • 1 tbsp ginger, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 3/4 tbsp garam masala
  • 3/4 tbsp ground coriander
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 3 tbsp canola oil

 

PREPARATION

  1. Soak chickpeas overnight.
  2. Boil chickpeas and diced potatoes in pressure cooker, with water level just above contents. After one whistle, turn the heat to Low, and set the timer for 35 minutes.
  3. Heat oil in a frying pan and add onion slices and fry until light brown.
  4. Add turmeric, coriander, and garam masala and stir it well for few minutes.
  5. Add tomato paste/sauce, green chillies, ginger, garlic, salt and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Once the masala-onion mixture is done, add it to boiled potatoes and chickpeas in the pressure cooker. Add some water if the cooker contents are too thick. It should have the consistency of a heavy stew, not mashed potatoes.
  7. Stir in masala mixture carefully to evenly distribute it. Check for salt.
  8. Serve hot with chappatis or rice.

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