Rice, biryani style

If I had saffron water to drizzle over the rice after cooking, and if I had used cashew nuts instead of peanuts, this would be a more authentic biryani. Well, whatever “authentic” means considering that biryani is found in the cuisines of more than a dozen countries, including the Philippines, and none is exactly the same as another. But I didn’t have saffron and cashew nuts so I had to content myself with calling this dish a biryani-style rice. At any rate, a lot of the traditional spices that go into cooking biryani went into this dish.

Rice, biryani style

The idea and procedure I got from Malaysian cook Sherson Lian who hosts 5 Rencah 5 Rasa on Asian Food Channel. I liked the way he sauteed everything in a pan then transferred all the ingredients to the rice cooker. Modern and practical cook, I thought. That’s exactly how I did my arroz blanco and arroz amarillo — never mind purists screaming that you have to do it in a pot over burning wood or something. What the heck, eh? It is 2012, after all. »

Green, red and yellow curry: what’s the difference?

green-curry-paste

First of all, curry is a blend of spices, not a single spice. It is primarily used in South Asian and Southeast Asian cooking although it is fast becoming popular outside of these regions. What spices are included in the mix varies from cook to cook … »

Mango-ginger lassi

mango-lemon-ginger-lassi

When Speedy said "mango-ginger", I have to admit that I was a bit apprehensive. Although I am used to combining fruits with spices (mostly, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves), I wasn't at all sure how the mango and ginger combination would work. Amazingly, … »

Pulled pork curry with paratha

pulled-pork-paratha

I've never had curry this good. Seriously. And just as Speedy was saying how bored he was with curried stews, I served this for lunch today and all he could say was how delicious it was.What is it?It is a curried dish, obviously. But, … »

Bangus (milkfish) kebobs

milkfish-satay-kebobs

Lamb is the meat traditionally used for making kebob but, these days, especially with the popularity of vegetarian diets, anything can be skewered and cooked as a kebob. I grilled mine using bangus (milkfish) back fillets. I minced the fish flesh and … »

Masala chai (spiced tea)

spiced-tea3

Chai means tea in several South Asian languages. Masala (literally, a mixture of spices) chai means spiced tea although many people associate masala chai with spiced milk tea.The addition of milk is a British influence. Tea has been grown in some … »

Rice pilaf with chicken and cashew nuts

chicken-pilaf

Don't let the title intimidate you -- pilaf is just rice cooked in seasoned broth. It's something we've been doing for years here at home and, until recently, I didn't know there was a name for it. It's very similar to Hainanese chicken rice except … »

Spicy cucumber and mint raita

raita

My first raita experience was at Baba Ghannouj. The meal was preceded by small triangles of pita served with raita and another dipping sauce. I loved the raita but didn't really have a craving for it -- until I saw Elise's cucumber and mint raita, … »

Beef curry on a shoestring budget

beef-curry1

If you need to stretch your meat, cut them into smaller pieces. Add vegetables that go well with the meat and -- presto! -- you've doubled the amount of the cooked dish. It's something I learned from two women.When Speedy and I were newly married … »