About My Husband

Prologue by my husband Sandeep 'mashoor'

"Basically I love food, not just to eat but love to do everything about food

To think, to read, to view, to listen, to smell, to cook, to serve, to imagine, to explore, to ‘dream’, to understand its historical aspects and different foods of different ethnic groups, to know science of cooking, to search hotels, restaurants offering good food; in short all about food

I was very thin long back. Although I belonged to well to do family in Thane, Mumbai (खाते पिते घर का) but I had not developed my ‘taste’. Later on my passion to learn Urdu took me to Qasim Shaikh who became my close friend. Qasim introduced me not only to Urdu literature but to many Muslim delicacies such as Biryani, Dabba Gosht, Reshami Kabab, Afalatoon and so on. He taught me to enjoy food in perfect combination of food items of complimentry taste. His company made me realize immensejoy even in small things such as eating curd and sugar at Brijwasi, Thane. He truely developed a ‘kahavaiyya’ in me.

Gradullay I travelled from just exploring in kitchen to have complete possession of kitchen. Women get this knowledge passed on by their mother and could easily know many referal tasks in the process. I did not learn from my mother but ofcourse observed her cooking. Observation, trial and error were the methods through which I became a cook. I relied on ‘Annapurna’ by Mangala Barve and eventually cookery shows, columns, blogs on internet, clips on Youtube, short cookery courses done after settling in Pune all contributed in this creative journey.

I enjoy cooking by all senses. My joy doubles if people like my preparation. This joy made me understand that I can ‘express’ through this. One of the forces behind this blog is ‘Preeti’ (wife is formal relationship but a closest friend of mine). Sometimes I used to publish snaps of my recipes on my facebook profile and used to get good response. But once Preeti published it under the title ‘My Husband’s Recipes’ and she got action packed response. Therefore she insisted on starting a blog by same name.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Chicken Biryani

Biryani is rice based food item made with meat, spices and of course rice. Although single dish it is a complete food. Tasty, aromatic biryani is a kind of food which is irresistible. 
Biryani was originated in Iran. The term is derived from Persian word berya meaning roasted or fried.  The dish has many local variants as Hyderabadi, Kacchi, Awadhi, Sindhi and so on.
We can easily get recipes of Biryani, but in many recipes there is long list of spices and other ingredients. To make required masala from the khada masala ingredients is a bit tedious process.  So we tend to use ready to cook mixtures available in the market. Although instructions on such items advise not to add anything, but many times it doesn’t give us a taste that we look for. My experience is; blending of traditional method and use of ready to cook items gives best results.
Lazeez chicken biryani masala is one of the best available items. Ready to cook biryani spice mix of Parampara is also available in the form of dry paste.       
To make biryani for 5 to 6 people; we need
  • Rice Basmati: 1 kg
  • Chicken: 1 kg – get leg/breast pieces as per your choice
  • Lazeez Chicken biryani masala: 50 gm
  • Parampara ready to cook spice mix: one packet
  • Onion: 0.5 kg
  • Tomatoes: 400 gm
  • Curd: 100 gm
  • Cashew (optional)
  • Saffron for flavor
  • Badi ilaichi, cloves, pepper and tez patta
Mix lazeez masala and parampara ready to cook spice. Add curd and mix it well, marinate the chicken with it. Cut the tomatoes and add it in the chicken and mix it well. Keep chicken marinated for at least one hour.  Wash rice, remove the water and also keep it for one hour. Actual cooking starts after one hour when chicken gets marinated and rice soaked.

Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan and add ghee and fry the khada masala items. Add rice and salt and fry it. Add water and let the rice cooked. Add saffron and cover the pan. Generally quantity of water required is that of double to the rice but in case of basmati rice, little less water is required.   
Heat the oil in another pan and deep fry chopped onion. Add cashews and fry it. Put marinated chicken in the pan and add a handful of water. Let the chicken cook on sim flame.
Spread a layer of half cooked rice on chicken, add some ghee, cover the pan and let it cooked. Turn off the gas when remaining rice is cooked in the first pan. After chicken gets cooked, turn off the gas but keep the pan covered, let it cooked further on dum (steam) for 15-20 minutes. As you open the lid, kitchen smells fragrant with the rich aroma.    

Serve the biryani with papad, lemon and raita.