Yelly Eats

No to takeaway – yes to biryani

So for someone who works a 9-5 job (well, okay, it’s really 8:30AM to 5PM) with a 2-hour commute (return trip, of course), giving up ordering takeaway for Lent can be quite disastrous because there are days when you simply don’t want to cook and you’d rather have pizza or chicken or a Chinese or Indian.  But there you go.  I have given up takeaways for lent.

Alan, bless him, has found something interesting in the aisles of Asda though.  He found a biryani spice mix for under £1.  There were instructions on the box about how to prepare the biryani.  I was excited.  If I couldn’t order a biryani, I would make it myself.  Granted it wouldn’t be my spice mix…but how spicy could it be (surely not as spicy as that biryani I ate in New York – that was like a volcano exploding in my mouth).

So I followed the instructions on the box.  The cooking process was quite fun, actually.

Ginger and onionsOnce the biryani was cooked, I plated up.  I artfully topped the bowl with mint and coriander.  I was so excited!

Lamb biryani

Then it felt as if I had bitten into a birds eye pepper.  I tell you, I was thankful we had mango lassi with our biryani and leftover yogurt because I have never made raita that quickly!

The next chapter of this biryani story is me trying to make biryani completely from scratch.  I don’t want to not feel my tongue when I eat one of my favourite Indian meals.

Watch this space!  Recipe testing is on the horizon.

 

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Yelly Eats

Lamb kofta kebabs

I am certainly fond of my takeaways – even while I lived in the Philippines, takeaways were a regular occurrence in our household.  I may be wrong, but we seemed to have a better variety of takeaways available for home delivery.  One of my favourites were barbecued squid, stuffed grilled fish and spit-roasted suckling pig with amazingly crispy skin.  Yes, you phoned in and they delivered it to your home wrapped up in a banaa leaf (properly packaged in aluminum foil and a takeaway box of some fashion, of course!)!  Is it any wonder I miss Philippine food?

Tonight I made lamb kofta kebabs and paired it with roosterkoek breads using Andy Bates’ recipe.  It’s a lovely way to make one’s own takeaway-style food with the comfort of knowing exactly what’s in the food!  I’d like to share with you my recipe for the lamb kebab.  It’s my version of a kebab recipe that I found in a book called The Takeaway Secret.  I’ve modified the recipe so that it’s made up of ingredients that I’ve found in my cupboard!

Ingredients:

  • 500g lamb mince
  • 1 heaped teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 large clove of garlic, very finely chopped)
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped (or 2 heaped teaspooons onion powder)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon chilli flakes (or 2 red finger chilli peppers very finely chopped)
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped coriander (including stalks)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 egg

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, combine all ingredients.  Mix the ingredients but try not to overwork the mince too much.  Allow to marinade for at least 2 hours, or overnight if possible.  TIP: You can adjust salt to taste, increasing or reducing the amount by half a teaspoon.  I haven’t tried this recipe using beef, but I think if you’re using beef, make sure you DON’T use lean or extra lean beef mince because you need the fat in the kebabs so that they don’t dry out.
  2. Divide the koftas into 9-12 pieces.  Shape the pieces into cigar-shaped pieces and flatten slightly.
  3. These koftas can be fried in a griddle pan or frying pan with a little oil.  My favourite way of cooking them is under a grill though, set to a medium-high heat.  Cook the kofta pieces (whether fried or grilled) for 6-8 minutes each side, or until the meat is cooked through and golden.
  4. Serve with pitta, salad and a tzatziki sauce if you like.  Will also work with hummus!

Kofta kebabs