I made this dish with the south Indian style chicken I made for my husband the other day. Since I was making dinner, I had to come up with some vegetables to serve with the protein.
I wanted to echo the same flavors I added to the chicken tikkas. I bought a bag of shredded cabbage and I had a head of broccoli. I decided to cook them together and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves. I also added shredded coconut that I buy frozen from the Indian stores on Oak Tree road in Edison. They package and freeze fresh, grated coconut- it is great to have on hand for sauteed vegetables or meats and even desserts.
The vegetables took about 20 minutes to cook- so ideal for the summer. I finished the dish off with a good squirt of lemon juice. It wakes up all the flavors and makes everything delicious.
The chicken and the cabbage went really well together. I grilled some corn on the side and also made a garlic bread. It was perfect- we opened a Rose and enjoyed the meal outside….
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This is a delicious way to incorporate fish into your diet. Typically cooking a biryani can take all day and the results are unbelievably delicious with complex flavors- but in order to make this dish through the week- I needed to simplify it. I skipped a few steps and this version is definitely not as detailed but it is extremely delicious and full of flavor.
I think the key to use very bold flavors with extremely fresh ingredients. My daughter loves cod and so I decided to go with it for this preparation. Any white, sturdy fish can be used- tilapia or catfish are quite popular for Indian curries.
I sauteed the fish quickly to brown each side and then cooked the onion, garlic, cilantro and dill mixture. I didn’t cook the fish all the way in order not to overcook it in the oven later with the rice. The whole process took me less than an hour- of course I cooked the basmati rice in advance and cooled it off. Once the curry and the rice were layered, I covered the dish with a wet cheesecloth to provide moisture and baked it for half an hour.
Next time you are confused what to do with fish- try making a fish biryani.
- 1½ cups basmati rice
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the rice and salt and bring to a boil. Cook on high till the liquid begins to evaporate. Cover and cook for ten minutes. The rice should about three quarters done since the rest will be cooked with the fish curry. Take out of the saucepan and spread on a plate to cool off.
- 1 pound cod fillets, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil
Heat the olive oil in a heavy Dutch oven on high heat. Add the cod pieces and sauté 2 minutes each on both sides while sprinkling salt. Take out and keep aside (the pieces won’t cook through- which is what we are looking for).
- 1 medium onion, rough chopped
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 cup cilantro, rough chopped
- ½ dill, rough chopped
- ¼ cup water
Add the onion, garlic, cilantro, dill and water into a blender. Blend till the mixture is turned into a smooth paste. Keep aside.
- 1 tablespoon extra light olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¾ teaspoon ajwain (carom) seeds
- 1/3 cup half and half
- 2 teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cheesecloth
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Reheat the Dutch oven and add the olive oil. Add the cumin and ajwain seeds. Saute for a minute, or till the seeds start to sizzle. Add the dill paste and sauté on medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the half and half and turn heat down to medium low. Add the coriander powder, cayenne pepper and salt to taste. Cook on low heat for another 4 to 5 minutes stirring constantly. Turn the heat off. Let the pan cool off for a few minutes and then add the fish pieces. Mix careful not to break the fish pieces. Add the fish curry to the bottom of an ovenproof dish. Add the rice on top and cover with a wet cheesecloth. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Serve with raita and a cucumber salad.