I've been pestering my friend, Sudha, for Indian recipes. This is the first (and hopefully not last) she's written out for me. She originally saw the recipe on tv in India, where Sanjeev Kapoor (she called him the Emeril of Indian Cooking) was making Chicken Biryani. Sudha modified it a little to be vegetarian, and then Gerry modified it from there to include shrimp. So there's shrimp in the pictures, but this is the basic recipe!
Farm ingredients included: peppers, tomatoes, carrots.
1 1/2 cups basmati rice
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1-2 green chillies (depending upon the level of heat required) sliced
1 cup (all together) green peppers and carrots, finely diced, and peas
2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
a few strands of saffron
a couple of drops of rose essence
1/2 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves
2 to 3 tbsp plain yogurt
extremely thin ginger slices (optional)
1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3-4 cardamoms, peeled and coarsely ground
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tbsp garam masala
Cook the basmati rice until almost done, about 6-7 minutes after it comes to boiling (1 1/2 cups of rice require 3 cups of water). Keep aside.
Add oil in a wok on medium high heat, add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and the bay leaf.
Saute the spices for 1-2 minutes and then add the onion and green chillies. Saute for 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the peppers, carrots, and peas, saute until the veggies are partially cooked. (Pre-cooking the carrots and peas in the microwave makes it faster.)
Add coarsely chopped tomatoes, a pinch of turmeric, and the ginger-garlic paste. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
Stir in yogurt, cook for 1-2 minutes and then add milk.
Mix in the rice, add salt, and now arrange the thin ginger slices in a ring on top of the rice.
Add garam masala, saffron, rose essence, cilantro, and mint.
Cover and cook for 15 minutes on medium heat, making sure that it doesn't stick to the bottom.
This is how it looked right before putting the lid on to cook for 15 minutes. Gerry called me at work to tell me how good the house smelled!