This was a recipe I stumbled upon. I had one and a half big tubs of yogurt and went into Jamie Oliver's website. I found this: Cucumber yogurt. I had cucumber, I had yogurt, I had cilantro. But no salmon for the tikka recipe. It didn't matter coz I was only interested in the cucumber salad recipe. Here goes:
Peel and halve your cucumber lengthways, then use a spoon to scoop out and discard the seeds
• Roughly chop the cucumber and put most of it into a bowl
• Halve your lemon and squeeze the juice from one half into the bowl
• Add the yoghurt, a pinch of salt and pepper and half the chopped chilli
• Pick the coriander leaves and put to one side
Then I googled for Burmese Briyani. I thought the cucumber salad would be a nice accompaniment for that. So why Burmese Briyani? When my Burmese friend got married many many years ago, we had a very memorable briyani but it was different from the usual kind we eat at weddings. It had loads of caramelized onions that gave the rice an extra but natural sweetness. And it was so nice that even though I wasn't a big fan of briyani that I had two helpings and resisted a third helping. Here's the recipe: Danpauk
300g Basmati rice (2 cups Ecobrown brown rice/ Jati Basmati brown rice)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
4 tbsp margarine (1 tbsp and 2 tbsp canola/ sunflower/ vege oil)
250ml plain yogurt
1 tsp salt
900g chicken, chopped into large pieces (1 whole chicken, a bit larger than bite sized pieces, marinated with salt, paprika powder, a bit of pepper, a bit of oil)
80ml cooking oil (canola oil)
2 tbsp ghee (1 tbsp margarine/ butter)
5cm cinnamon stick, lightly smashed to break up
4 slices ginger
10 shallots, thinly sliced
3/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
5 cloves garlic
1 star anise
5 cardamoms, lightly smashed
1 tsp ground fennel
1 tsp poppy seeds
10–15 cashew nuts, deep-fried
1–2 tbsp shallots crisps
1. Wash and soak Basmati rice in water mixed with turmeric powder for 30–35 minutes. Drain rice in a colander. (yup, I did this first too. How much water to cook? At the bag of the rice packet, it says for every one cup add two cups water. So it should be 4 cups water, except some I substituted with the "gravy?" from the chicken and also added a chicken cube. Anyway, while the rice is soaking, I'd prepare the chicken coz I wanted to use the excess gravy as stock to cook the rice. So if I had 1 1/2 cup of chicken gravy, I'd top up with 2 1/12 cup of water, so it becomes 4 cups water.)
2. Heat margarine and fry ingredients (A) until fragrant. Add 2 tablespoons yogurt and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix in (B) and chicken. Fry well, then add in another 2 tablespoons yogurt and remaining salt. Continue to fry until chicken is tender. (You will realise at this point that you have loads of gravy from the chicken, later you'd only be putting the chicken in, so the gravy seems wasted, so I decided to pour out the excess gravy and use it as stock. Continue to fry chicken till the chicken browns.) Leave aside till it's time to put it into the about-to-cook rice.
To cook rice:
3. Heat oil and ghee (I use margarine) in a clean wok. Put in cinnamon stick and fry until fragrant. Add the remaining yogurt to mix. Toss in rice to mix, then transfer the well-mixed ingredients into a rice cooker.
4. Add sufficient water to a level that is 2cm above the rice (As mentioned, I substituted some water with the chicken gravy and added a chicken cube, add salt and a bit of sugar to taste). Cook rice for 20 minutes.
5. Open the rice cooker and add in the precooked chicken and continue to cook until rice is done.
Remember I said the wedding briyani I ate had caramelised big onions? Anyway, I browned some thinly sliced onions and put them in when i put in the chicken. I fried this separately.)
Add garnishing before serving.
I have made this 3 times now. It's nice...Really!