Saturday, April 9, 2011


Bangladeshi Chicken Biryani & Brussel Sprouts with Naan and Channa Masala 
After a couple weeks off to tend to my husband and his reconstructed knee, we officially reinstated our Foreign Food Fest Friday.  Last night we chose Bangladesh for country number 53.  I decided to make a Bangladeshi Chicken Biryani and  Brussel Sprouts.  Don't let the long list of ingredients scare you away.  It is well worth the trip to the store to buy some extra spices.  I've never had too much luck making recipes from the subcontinent taste authentic.  But these two dishes brought back memories of when my husband and I were rafting down the Ganges River.

Chicken Biryani

1 lb chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup plain yogurt (I used Greek style)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp coriander
1 1/2 tsp salt
pinch cayenne pepper
2 cloves garlic
2 saffron threads crushed
1/2 inch piece ginger chopped
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 cup frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
3-4 T ghee (clarified butter) or butter
1/2 onion sliced
pinch cinnamon
1/2 cup cilantro
2 cups Basmati rice rinsed

Place chicken in a glass dish.  Mix turmeric, cardamom, coriander, salt, garlic, cayenne pepper, and saffron in a small bowl.  Stir yogurt into chicken, then add mixed spices.  Mix well.  Cover chicken and marinate overnight.
Cook 2 cups of Basmati rice according to package directions.  In a large frying pan, heat ghee or butter over medium heat.  Add cumin seeds and cook about 2 minutes or until they give off a slight fragrance.  Add chicken and yogurt mix to pan.  Cook until chicken just begins to brown.  Add onion slices, crushed red pepper, and ginger. Add more butter if needed.  Add cooked rice to chicken mixture.  Incorporate rice into mixture so that it absorbs all the sauce and is an even light yellow color.  Add frozen veggies.  Continue cooking until all liquid is absorbed and bits of rice and chicken are browned.        

Bangladeshi Style Brussel Sprouts

15- 20 Brussel Sprouts cleaned and halved
1 cup  baby spinach chopped
1/2 onion sliced
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/8 tsp mustard seed
1/8 tsp fenugreek seed
1/4 inch ginger chopped
1/2 tsp salt
Juice of 1/2 lime
olive oil or butter

Heat oil in a saute pan over medium heat.  Add fennel, cumin, mustard, and fenugreek seeds.  Cook for about 2 minutes.  Add onions and cook until they start to soften.  Turn heat up to medium high and add brussel sprouts, adding more oil if necessary.  Don't crowd the pan.  If necessary, cook in two batches.  Saute brussel sprouts until they start to brown.  Add ginger, salt, pepper, and chopped spinach.  Turn off heat and let spinach wilt.  Add the lime juice and stir.

Serve Biryani and Brussel sprouts with Dal and Naan bread.  I cheated, and bought Tandoor Chef brand frozen Naan and Channa Masala.     It turned out great, except my son's first reaction was, "Wow that's a little spicy."



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