Skip to main content

Staying Motivated to Cook: Our Favorite Indian Dishes + Pork Biriyani


I really wasn't cognizant of how much the boys motivated me to cook - multiple dishes, appetizers, and even desserts. Now that it's just me and Jake, a salad has sufficed for dinner and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich was all I made for lunch the day after we dropped off R. Yikes. I am in need of empty nest cooking motivation!

Jake wanted to invite a departing co-worker over for dinner and it was a great reason for me to create multiple dishes in one evening. It turns out the friend never showed up - he had broken his foot! - so we had lots of leftovers and I delivered dinner to my parents the following day.

The last time AndrĂ©s came over for dinner, I served a Kimbap Sushi Hybrid along with Hawaiian Saimin. When I asked Jake what I should make, he said...

Butter Chicken


Palak Paneer

Whenever I make Indian food, my favorite is Palak Paneer. But for the centerpiece of the table, I decide to make a biriyani. Usually I make lamb or beef biriyani, but I had pork in the fridge.

Pork Biriyani

Ingredients
Spice Blend
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 Tablespoon black cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 3 teaspoons peppercorns (we used a mix of white, black, pink, and green peppercorns)
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 6 white cardamom, seeds removed and pods discarded
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2-inch cinnamon stick
Curry
  • 7 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-inch knob fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 T butter
  • splash of olive oil
  • 1 to 2 pounds pork (we used a boneless loin), cubed
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 Tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons ground almonds
Biriyani
  • 2 cups basmati rice cooked with a pinch of saffron threads
  • fresh cilantro for garnishing
  • Also needed: a large bowl for molding the biriyani
Procedure
Curry
Prepare the spice mix by placing all the whole spices - except for the cinnamon - in a pestle. Grind with the mortar. Grate the cinnamon and stir in the cinnamon, turmeric, paprika, ground ginger, and nutmeg. Put to one side. In the same pestle grind the garlic and ginger with one teaspoon of salt until you have a rough paste. Set aside.


Place your meat in a large mixing bowl. Add in the dry spices, ginger, and garlic. Massage the spices into the pork. Let stand for 10 minutes.


In a large pan - we used a Dutch oven - melt butter in a splash of oil. Brown the meat until golden on all sides. Remove meat from the pan and stir in the onions. Stir well. When the onions begin to soften, add the meat back in to the pan.

Add the tomatoes, vinegar, yogurt and ground almonds. Stir well to incorporate all of the spices that might be stuck to the bottom of the pan.

Add enough cold water to cover the meat. Bring to the boil, cover, and let simmer for three hours, until the meat is tender. You can stop at this point and resume the following evening...or keep going if you
have planned far enough in advance to not be eating dinner at midnight!

Biriyani
Layer some of the curry into the bottom of the bowl you are using as a mold. Press saffron rice into a layer. Then repeat: curry, rice, curry, rice until the bowl is full. Press firmly to compress the mixture before inverting onto a serving platter. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and serve with a bowl of the remaining curry and a batch of Homemade Naan.


This Indian menu definitely gave me some cooking motivation. Stay tuned for more of my empty nest cooking adventures. This is certainly a shift in menu planning and execution for me!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Quick Pickled Red Onions and Radishes

If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you probably know how much I love to pickle things. I was just telling a friend you can pickle - with vinegar - or you can ferment - with salt - for similar delicious effect. The latter has digestive benefits and I love to do that, but when I need that pop of sour flavor quickly, I whip up quick pickles that are ready in as little as a day or two. I've Pickled Blueberries , Pickled Asparagus , Pickled Cranberries , Pickled Pumpkin , and even Pickled Chard Stems ! This I did last night for an upcoming recipe challenge that requires I include radishes. Ummmm...of course I'm pickling them! Ingredients  makes 1 quart jar radishes, trimmed and sliced organic red onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer) 3/4 C vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar) 3/4 C water 3 T organic granulated sugar 1 T salt (I used some grey sea salt) 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper Proce

Aloo Tiki {Pakistan}

To start off our Pakistani culinary adventure, I started us off with aloo tiki - potato cutlets. I'm always game for tasty street food. I found a couple of different recipes and incorporated those together for this version. Ingredients 6-8 small red potatoes, scrubbed 1 T cumin seeds 1 T fresh chopped parsley 1/2 t ground coriander 1 t minced garlic Procedure Boil the potatoes until they are tender. Drain and let cool. Mash the potatoes. Traditionally they are mashed without their skins. I left the skins on. In a small pan, toast the cumin seeds on high heat until the begin to give off an aroma and begin to darken. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate to keep them from cooking any more. Blend all of the spices into the mashed potatoes, then shape into small patties. If you wet your hands, the potato mixture won't stick to them. Heat a splash of oil in a large, flat-bottom pan. Dip each patty into beaten egg and carefully place in the oil. P

Meyer Lemon Custard-Filled Matcha Turtles #BreadBakers

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our  Pinterest board  right here. Links are also updated after each event on the  Bread Bakers home page .  We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. This month Stacy of Food Lust People Love  is hosting and she wrote: "Your bread can be large, as in one big animal, or small - animal-shaped rolls. Use your imagination! Points for flavor and shape!" If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to Stacy at foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com. Here's the animal-shaped bread basket from the #BreadBakers... Beef and Sweet Onion Dim Sum Pandas from Karen's Kitchen Stories Bird Bread Rolls from Ambrosia Easter Bunny Buns from Cook with Renu Ham and Cheese Elephant Rolls from Food Lust People Love Hedgehog Bread from Making Mir