The word "khana" in Indian Khana Made Easy means food. So come on, let's explore and cook some easy Indian food together including Gluten Free dishes.

January 30, 2011

Bring Home the Tropics

Let's recap the events of the past few weeks: snow, more snow, and even more snow. Most of our time was spent shoveling, scraping, and salting our driveway, porch and cars for the umpteenth time. I know it sounds like I'm complaining but this is my way of venting and I know some of you feel my pain.
My sunny getaway
With all this awful weather, I just want to escape to a tropical island and relax. For now the vacation will have to wait...and since I can't go to the tropics, the tropics will have to come to me. You're probably confused as to what I'm talking about. While we sent my dad on a mission to the grocery store for some ingredients, my mom and I decorated our table with Hawaiian leis, lit some aromatic candles and made Pineapple Paneer Biryani for dinner. It almost felt like we were on an island with the beautiful setting and warm house.
Ingredients:
•Basmati Rice........................................... 4 cups
•Paneer (cottage cheese).......................... 6 oz (approx. 175g), cut into cubes
•Pineapple............................................... 1 small size fruit (or 20oz can of slices)
•Biryani masala / garam masala (mild)....... 1 ½ tbsp or adjust to desired spice intensity
•Peas & carrots (frozen)............................ 1 cup
•Red onion.............................................. 1 large, sliced finely
•Garlic.................................................... 4 pods, chopped finely
•Salt....................................................... ¾ tbsp or as per taste
•Cashews or almonds............................. 10 – 12 nuts chopped
•Vegetable oil......................................... 3 tbsp

Procedure:
1) Soak rice in plenty of water for 30 minutes. Core and cut fresh pineapple into cubes or cut the canned pineapple slices into ½” pieces.
2) Heat oil in a non-stick wok or Dutch oven. Fry onions and garlic until they start to brown (a pinch of sugar can make onions caramelize faster). Add Paneer cubes and fry until they start to brown, mix in pineapple cubes and stir for 2-3 minutes. Remove from container and set aside.
3) Place the wok/oven again on low heat and add biryani masala and rice (drained from water). Stir for 4-5 minutes until the aroma comes out. Now add 4 ½ cups of water and salt, close it with the lid and cook rice until all water is absorbed (approx. 15-20min).
4) When most of the water is evaporated, add the onions & pineapple mix into rice and mix well and cook the rice until done completely.
At the end, stir in the frozen peas and carrots.

5) In a small pan heat 2 tsp of oil and fry the nuts until golden brown and add to the biryani. Serve hot by garnishing with fried onions for additional taste.

Quick Tip: Fried firm tofu can be substituted for Paneer.

1 comment:

  1. That was a splendid idea! Looks amazing as well!

    ReplyDelete

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