Thursday, September 15, 2005

Sabz Biryani & Aloo Poshto

Tonight was the first house meeting for our newest roomie, Jesse. I haven't officially cooked for the whole house in... oh I don't even remember. Biryanis are elaborate, layered rice dishes that are meals all by themselves. I prepared a modified version of the following biryani recipe. You'll notice that some of the measurements were in metric. I used 2 cups of uncooked rice and one large onion, and then tailored the rest to what vegetables I had on hand and personal preference.

I tinkered with the masala paste a bit and added sweet paprika. I love that vibrant red!

After the rice was cooked, I spread it out to allow dry slightly. Biryani calls for alternating layers of rice and vegetables, so letting the rice cool and dry a bit is a good idea, as the vegetables have a ton of moisture.

Speaking of moisture, I had to turn the flame on high to get rid of the extra liquid from the vegetables. Otherwise I would've had a vegetable and rice stew.

Aloo Poshto is basic compared to biryani, so I didn't use any specific recipe. It calls for fried potatoes covered in a sauce of roasted white poppyseeds.

You can either roast the poppy seeds and then grind them into a paste or grind them first and fry the paste in the oil used for the rest of the dish. The seeds are really small and easy to burn, so I opted for the second option. Along with the paste are some cumin seeds and mustard seeds that were fried a minute or two beforehand.

Since I was concentrating on the biryani, I oven roasted the potatoes with a mixture of oil, garlic, and cumin powder.

Normally the potatoes would be fried on the stovetop, but this way I could just put them in the oven and forget about them for a good 30 min.

Sabz Biryani and Aloo Poshto, served with Sweet Potato Sambar

One of the topics of discussion was my friend Thom from New Orleans. My roommates gave the green light for him to stay with us while he looks for a place and a job in the Bay Area. He'll be arriving within the next two weeks. The roomies from left to right: Ketan, Jesse, and Natasha.

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