Monday, October 26, 2009

Recipe Roulette: Chicken Biriyani

This week we chose a random recipe from Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything. The winner was chicken biriyani, also known as the most expensive recipe I have ever made. Of course I had to buy whole cardamom, cloves, cinnamon sticks and - the winner - saffron. Ahh. (Unlike Nichole, I was able to find a thimble's worth for $5.69) But now my spice rack is sufficiently stocked. And don't let the spices scare you, this was an extremely easy dish to make and it gave me the chance to experiment with some new flavors.

My only regret? My dish wasn't quite as flavorful as I'd expected. I mean, what does a pinch of saffron really mean? Next time, I will use more and step it up a bit. And, yes, there will be a next time. Not only do I now have all the ingredients, my husband applauded this tasty meal. My only other complaint was that it was impossible to pick out the cloves and whole cardamom and I did not find either to be a tasty surprise while eating.

Did I mention it was healthy, too? I substituted brown basmati rice in place of regular basmati and we are also trying, whenever possible, to use all organic meats (and dairy) these days so I felt even more special about the chicken in the dish, too.

Now that I have spices on the brain, let me know what your favorite spice is to use in a recipe. Mine is cumin.

Go here to read about Nichole's adventure.


Nichole said...

I'm going to have to come to your house for some Biryani! I love red curry paste. I don't know if that counts as a spice.

Sandi said...

Now you have lots of spices for making any kind of Indian food! All of my recipes from this one book Dave bought me (6 hundred and something curries) call for whole cinnamon and cloves, etc.!

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