What happens when you stumble upon a beautiful recipe book with stunning photographs? Don't you start pinning your favourite recipes in your mental scrapbook and wondering whether the pantry has a stock of all the ingredients and perhaps that one special spice to add a twist to the recipe you have just seen to make it more personal, to improve upon the original and make it personal?
I start day dreaming about it and make a menu planning out the elaborate details or sometimes simply noting it down if I am not feeling too lazy to pick up the mighty pen.
Today's post is one of such recipe that I was hooked to, when I first came across a lovely book long time back. This book was called "The foolproof cookbook for brides,bachelor's and those who hate cooking" by Rohini Singh. It had some good collection of simple recipes for self satisfaction and were crowd pleasing too.
I loved this particular recipe because the whole process of cooking rice in stock that is infused with meat and whole spices renders an amazing flavour to the dish. This recipe is a milder version of biryani and has a fine delicate balance of flavours.
Recently when I was browsing at our local library I found a lovely book "Indian Kitchen"by Maunika Gowardhan. She takes us on a captivating journey of recipes to suit our moods and feelings. I love her saying " whatever your mood, the book will inspire you to add Indian cooking to your weekly menu". Her introduction about elaborate meals cooked in Indian houses is touching and emotional and transports me to the old memories of elaborate meals and spreads my mum and my mother in law whips up happily.
The books has great recipes and stunning photographs. I have bookmarked few recipes and this particular recipe of Yakhni pulao caught my attention and this is the first time I am using lamb instead of Chicken. It was such an amazing Sunday lunch. Here is an recipe adapted from the lovely book
Here is the recipe adapted from the book - Indian Kitchen by Maunika Gowardhan.
500g to 600g Lamb diced into pieces with bone
1 medium sized onion chopped
1 inch ginger minced
2 to 3 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
4 -5 cloves
4 to 5 cardamon pods
1 stick cinnamon stick
1 tsp fennel seeds
For the Pulao
1 1/2 cups basmasti rice
2 tablespoon oil/ butter/ ghee
2 bay leaves
2.5 inch cinnamon stick
5 green cardamom pods
2 onions thinly sliced
1teaspoon ginger paste
1teaspoon garlic paste
Green chillies to taste
salt to taste
In a big stock pot, add onions, wholes spices and lamb pieces with bones. Add a litre of water and bring it to boil. Simmer the heat and cook it for about an hour. You can use the stock immediately or if you have time, as Maunika has mentioned. Let it rest in the pot overnight and it will amazingly enhance the flavors.
Discard the onion and whole spices. Reserve the stock and meat.
Soak the rice for 30 minutes, Use a heavy bottom pan or cast iron pan. Add butter/ oil, when hot, add the bay leaves, cinnamon and cardamom pods and fry them for a few seconds until they realise the aroma. Add sliced onions and fry the over a medium heat until they are soften and light golden brown. Add ginger and garlic pastes along with green chilles and add rest of the spices ( nutmeg and cinnamon). Cook them for couple of minutes
Mix in cooked lamb and rice.. Season it with salt and add 3 cups of reserved stock. Cover and cook on a low heat for about 20 minutes or until the rice is completely cooked and liquid is absorbed.
Remove from fire and serve it with raita.