Stone Fruit Pavlova

Stone Fruit Pavlova

These last two weeks have been unexpectedly carefree and relaxing. I took a day off from work for Eid ul Fitr and two of my classes got cancelled because people didn’t sign up soon enough. Of course, on the day of the class itself, we had about 3 or 4 phone calls from clients wanting to come to the cooking class that evening. Uhhh…I need time to shop, prep and plan! There’s a reason for a RSVP. Oh well, the no classes meant I had some free time I wasn’t expecting. 

My days off from menu planning and shopping aren’t any different from my regular days. I still plan menus and shop, but for the blog. Cooking for the blog is a lot more stress free and open to pretty much anything. Right now, I’m insane over all the fresh produce. 

Stone Fruit Pavlova

My mind goes into over drive when I’m at the farm stand or at the produce section of the grocery store. I search out Colorado grown produce as much as I can and we are very lucky to have many farms just within driving distance from us who supply their goods to Whole Foods and other grocery stores.

I often think that I may look a tad strange as I stand there amongst the produce aisles with my little pink notebook and pen and a faraway look in my eyes. I’m thinking, planning, imagining and tasting all in my head.

Stone Fruit Pavlova

How about y’all? Do you like to create, improvise or follow recipes? 

I’ve always had a problem following recipes as such. I think in my life, I’ve followed maybe a handful, and that was when I wasn’t a very good cook. These days, I skim a book or recipe and then completely change it. I think I enjoy coming up with my own flavour profiles these days. Maybe it’s because of the cooking events I do and the demos; I have to plan a menu that can showcase the many features of a brand and sometimes that means changing a recipe or method.

Stone Fruit Pavlova

Last night for dinner, I threw together an idea of something I had in my head. I had a pile of turnip greens and beet greens that were leftover when I roasted beets. I threw them on a sheet tray with some olive oil and baked them, some turned crispy, some were still soft but they had a lovely chewy texture to them. I had two little turnips so I sliced them up and threw them into a quick pickle. Sautéed some broccolini with roasted garlic, boiled some pasta, opened a tin of garbanzos and fried up some Halloumi cheese.

The garbanzo beans were mixed with the broccolini and then tossed with the pasta with a few generous glugs of olive oil. I topped the plates with some baked beet and turnip greens, fried cheese and turnip pickles…..oh my goodness…SO good.

Stone Fruit Pavlova

Coming up with dishes like this is what’s fun about summer and summer produce. I may not like the sun and the heat but I appreciate all that it produces, like this beautiful, stone fruit pavlova. 

Pavlovas are great to make because I always seem to have egg whites left over. Whip up a meringue shell and fill it with seasonal fruit. This is summer right here. I filled mine with Colorado apricots and peaches, and some blueberries and strawberries for some berry colour. Plums would be great in here too, or some cherries. I didn’t want to make a trip to the store so I used what I had in my fridge.

Stone Fruit Pavlova

Instead of filling it with cream, I filled the meringue shell with a great local, yoghurt we get here. In fact, I buy the milk from the dairy they use to make the yoghurt. I chose a cherry flavoured Noosa, and Noosa yoghurts are AMAZING. They are so creamy and dessert-like that you can definitely use them in place of cream in your desserts. I wanted the passion fruit flavour but they were out so I thought cherry would go well with the stone fruits. It did, it worked perfectly.

The stone fruit pavlova was pretty amazing too. We had no problem polishing if off.

Stone Fruit Pavlova

Stone Fruit Pavlova

Rating 

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: Serves 6

Ingredients
  • MERINGUE BASE
  • 3 egg whites
  • ¾ cup/150g sugar
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch/corn flour
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • FILLING and TOPPING
  • 1 or 2 apricots, sliced or halved
  • 1 or 2 peaches, sliced
  • strawberries
  • blueberries
  • or assorted berries,
  • plums,
  • cherries,
  • 8 oz/225g container of flavoured yoghurt
Instructions
  1. MERINGUE BASE
  2. Preheat the oven to 300℉/150℃
  3. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and draw a 6"/15 cm circle on the underside.
  4. Set aside.
  5. Whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
  6. Add the sugar and beat until glossy and thick.
  7. Add the cornstarch and the vinegar and blend until just incorporated.
  8. Dollop the egg whites onto the parchment paper using the drawn circle as a guide.
  9. Make an indent in the middle to hold the filling.
  10. Turn down the oven to 250℉/120℃
  11. Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  12. Turn off the oven and allow the shell to cool completely in the oven.
  13. Once cool, fill the meringue shell with the yoghurt or cream.
  14. Top with the sliced fruit, leaving some whole or halved for aesthetics.
Notes
There's no quantity for the fruit, use as much and what you like. Summer time, stone fruits are great to top the pavlova. I used one 8 oz container and it was enough for us and the small meringue shell. If you like more filling, feel free to use more yoghurt or cream.

Stone Fruit Pavlova

Sunday had three of us packing a picnic and heading up to Rocky Mountain National Park for a spot of hiking. It was quite hot in Denver so we relished the thought of the cooler temperatures at the higher altitudes. We headed off only to get stuck in some festival traffic that was moving at a snail’s pace right outside of Estes Park. We took a longer route around and still managed to make our picnic.

Bierstadt Lake

Bierstadt Lake

So, this hike…yeah….we wanted to try a new trail to discover some of the hidden lakes of the park and all went well and we made it to the lake. It’s a pretty lake, quiet and calm. We ate our picnic swatting bugs and watching a mama duck lead her duckies across the lake. The dragonflies were out skimming the foliage with their fast moving purple wings, they are so beautiful. The hike to the lake was about an hour, through mountain forests and some rocky terrain. On our hike back, we decided to hike over to another lake that was a mile out and then catch the shuttle back to our car from there. Yes, my husband the navigator turned us around and we walked, and walked and walked….close to 2 hours through some of the worst rocky terrain. I just wanted to cry. It was exhausting, and all the good exercise I had had earlier for my knees was now replaced by the worst pain imaginable.

RMNP

We made it back finally, but after taking a short cut where we saw the main road! After some leftovers for dinner, a hot shower and a much needed hydrocodone for me, I climbed into bed and was out!

RMNP

Monday was a little slow moving after the rough Sunday 🙂 How was your weekend? Any gruelling hikes for you guys?

Hope your week’s off to a good start! Have a great one!

Star Wars Tartlets for Star Wars Day

Star Wars Tartlets

Happy Star Wars Day or May the 4th!! As you all already know, I’m a big nerd and lover of most Sci Fi! It doesn’t help that I married an even bigger Sci Fi nerd and so, by genetics, all our kids are heartily into Sci Fi, especially Star Wars.

Star Wars Tartlets

I don’t even know what it is about Star Wars that makes it the cult that it is. Honestly, when we go back and watch it (almost every week!) we find so many discrepancies, bad acting and just overall cheesiness! But still, we can’t stop; they are great movies and probably more than anything, for my generation, it’s a nostalgia thing.

My children have followed in our footsteps, much to Daddy’s excitement. We have Star Wars marathons, themed parties and on May the 4th, we enjoy something Star Wars-y. 

Star Wars Tartlets

Last year it was Star Wars cookies, check them out if you haven’t; they took me FOREVER to ice. The year before, I made Star Wars cake pops for Laith’s school project (and let’s not forget the recent Star Destroyer)

This year I was bit limited in my imagination. For the past 18 months, I have stopped all food colouring and that’s what you need sometimes to make themed desserts pop. There is natural food colouring available but it is expensive and you really need a lot to get the colour desired.

I had to come up with something other than Star Wars topper cupcakes. A while back, a friend of mine, knowing my obsession with Star Wars, gave me a set of pancake moulds from Williams-Sonoma. These did not work very well with pancakes but they made excellent tartlets/pop tarts.

Star Wars Tartlets

I filled the Star Wars Tartlets with Sith strawberry and Rebellion rhubarb filling. Pretty darned delicious. If you don’t like rhubarb, you can fill with just about any kind of jam. I have included my filling and there will be plenty leftover to spread on toast.

These tartlets are like hand pies but maybe share more similarities with pop tarts. Either way, they are delicious. Of course, you don’t need to make them Star Wars themed, the dough can be cut into rectangles or circles for regular tartlets.

Star Wars Tartlets Collage

Star Wars Tartlets

Serves: 10

Calories: 3031

Fat: 146g

Sith strawberry and Rebellion rhubarb filling inside a buttery, crisp pastry.
Ingredients
  • Pastry: 2 batches needed
  • 2¼ cups/225g all purpose/plain flour
  • 1 stick/113g butter, chilled in cubes
  • 3 tablespoons organic vegetable shortening (Spectrum), cold
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon organic vinegar
  • 3-5 tablespoons cold water
Sith Strawberry and Rebellion Rhubarb Filling
  • 1lb/455g strawberries, hulled and chopped
  • 3 cups/4 large rhubarb stalks, chopped
  • ¾ cup organic brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • ¼ cup water
  • egg yolk or a tablespoon heavy cream to brush on top
Instructions
Filling
  1. In a small saucepan, add the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, salt and water and bring up to a simmer.
  2. Let the fruit break down and let simmer until thickened, about 20-25 minutes.
  3. Once the jam is thickened, check for sweetness, add more sugar if needed.
  4. Take off the heat and allow to cool.
  5. Depending on how think your jam is, add a tablespoon of chia seeds at a time.
  6. I added 2 tablespoons first, and a 3rd when I wanted the jam thicker.
  7. Remember jam will be thicker when cooled.
  8. Put in the fridge to cool completely.
Pastry
  1. While jam is chilling, make the pastry.
  2. You will need 2 batches of the pastry, one for the top part and one for the bottom.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, salt and sugar and pulse to mix.
  4. Add the butter cubes and the shortening.
  5. Run the processor and break up the butter to the size of peas.
  6. Add 3 tablespoons water and vinegar and process until dough starts to hold together.
  7. Check to see if the dough holds when pinched together.
  8. Add more water if it doesn't hold.
  9. Amount of water used does depend on the dryness if the flour and even the humidity in the air.
  10. Roll the dough into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and chill for atleast 30 minutes.
  11. Repeat the process for another batch.
  12. Preheat oven to 375F/190C
  13. Once the jam and dough are chilled, time to cut out the shapes.
  14. You can make paper templates or use the Star Wars pancake moulds that I used.
  15. These are available from Williams-Sonoma.
  16. Or just cut out using a saucer or biscuit cutter to get small tartlets.
  17. If using the pancake moulds, you will get 5 shapes from each portion of dough.
  18. Roll out the dough to about ⅛-¼ inch.
  19. You may have to re roll to get all 5 shapes
  20. For the top pastry, press the moulds on the rolled pastry and allow the markings to indent the pastry.
  21. It will even make the steam vents.
  22. For the bottom crust, the indents and steam vents aren't necessary so carefully press down or just cut around the mould with a sharp knife.
  23. Once all the cut outs are done, it's time to fill.
  24. Place about a teaspoon or two in each of the bottom cut out.
  25. Place the top cut out over the filling.
  26. Press around gently but firmly to seal.
  27. Use a fork to seal the tartlet.
  28. Repeat with the other cut outs.
  29. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and place in the fridge to chill a few minutes.
  30. Allow to chill about 10-15 minutes.
  31. Brush the tops with an egg yolk or heavy cream
  32. Place the baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven for about 15 minutes.
  33. After 15 minutes move the sheet up to the centre rack position, for another 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  34. Allow to cool slightly on a rack.
  35. Serve warm or at room temperature as is or with ice cream.
Notes
The amounts listed for the jam filling will make quite a bit of jam. You can half the recipe to get just enough for the filling, or you can make the whole amount and store the rest in the fridge for your toast, crumble or tart.
Star Wars Tartlets

How about you all? Do you or have you watched Star Wars? Do you go all out when May 4th comes around? Hope your weekend has been sunny and hot like ours! 

And remember, May The Force Be With You 🙂

Apple and Rhubarb Galette

Apple and Rhubarb Galette-3

This week went by in a haze almost as thick as the one that hovered over Civic Centre this past Sunday during the 420 festival. I’d like to say with certainty that the thick clouds around the Capitol building are bulging rain clouds but one can’t entirely be sure 🙂

Colorado State Capitol

Not that I actively participated in the annual Colorado tradition centred around our most laid back of recreational activities; smoking weed 🙂 The air was thick, heavy and sweetly scented. There were throngs of people and just as many police.

420 throngs

We happen to stumble upon the festivities as we drove through downtown Denver. I knew it was going on sometime (4/20) but the date just escaped our minds until we were stuck in traffic wondering why there was so much traffic on Easter Sunday. Then looking around and seeing the obvious state of oblivion of so many, we understood.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter and for those observing Passover, I hope that you all had a grand feast too. Last week was a short week for the kids and my hubby was off for three days too, so it ended up being a very nice weekend for us as well.

I was in Fort Collins doing a cooking demo for Specialty Appliance on Saturday and afterwards we took a drive to Estes Park. It was a beautiful day, albeit a bit cloudy with a scattering of ominous clouds but none threatened us until much later.

The Rockies

Like first time tourists, we walked through the little town of Estes Park, dipping in and out of the little shops that line the main street. We found an old time candy store with the sweetest of owners and a wonderland of sweets. We grabbed a few handfuls to occupy our hands and our mouths as we strolled the little town. A much needed snack of hot, gooey pizza pie and we piled back into the car, satisfied from a successful day at work and a great day out, and drove back home.

We don’t celebrate Easter in our family but it’s still a wonderful day and always filled with that holiday vibe. That’s what I love about all holidays, whether we celebrate them or not, the whole day has that special family and holiday feeling.

Our Sunday started off with a much anticipated viewing of the new Captain America movie. It was action packed and exciting, as expected and was enjoyed by all, especially our resident geek and comic book lover, my husband. A drive to downtown Denver to walk the luxury boutiques of Cherry Creek ended with a perfect and impromptu picnic at City Park.

It was an absolutely beautiful day for a picnic and I’ve decided that if we don’t plan one, the weather holds out better for us! We never have any success with planned picnics; it always hails, snows, rains or lightning strikes! A quick trip to the nearby Whole Foods provided us with all our picnic supplies. It was just nice to be with the family and enjoy time with the children. 

picnic

So, this galette or crostata or tart, whatever you want to call it, is delicious. It’s the last instalment of the cooking for the guys series. Their dessert was this Apple and Rhubarb Galette. I just realised that I love this combination so much that it has appeared in my blog like 5 times! So, I promise, no more apple and rhubarb! At least for this spring, anyway.

Apple and Rhubarb Galette-2

This isn’t a fancy, unique or particularly difficult thing to make, but it’s a thing of beauty and people are always impressed, and it tastes fabulous. Lots of great reasons to make it (that, and the fact that I have been so busy I haven’t cooked or photographed for the blog in weeks and I have nothing else to post!)

It’s delicious; make it. Unless you are one of those people who doesn’t like rhubarb, then I don’t know what to say.

Apple and Rhubarb Galette

Serves: 1

Serving size: 6

Calories: 509

Fat: 31g

Perfectly crisp and buttery pastry tart filled with juicy apples and ruby red rhubarb.
Ingredients
Pastry
  • 1½ cups/220g all purpose/plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 stick/113g unsalted butter, cold, cut into medium dice
  • 3-5 tablespoons ice cold water
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
Filling
  • 4 stalks/2 cups rhubarb, cut into medium pieces
  • 2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped in medium dice
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • ⅓ cup/60g sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • squeeze of lemon
  • knob of butter
Instructions
Pastry
  1. Preheat oven to 375F/190C
  2. To make the pastry crust, place the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor.
  3. Pulse a few times to mix.
  4. Add the butter cubes and pulse until the butter is the size of little peas.
  5. Add 3 tablespoons of the cold water and the teaspoon of vinegar.
  6. Pulse to let the dough come together.
  7. Add more water, a tablespoon at a time until the dough holds together when pinched between two fingers.
  8. If the dough holds, tip out the mixture onto the counter and knead gently to bring the pastry together.
  9. Roll into a disc and cover with plastic wrap.
  10. Allow to chill for 30 minutes.
  11. In the mean time get the filling ready.
  12. Once the dough has chilled for 30 minutes, lay out the disc on a lightly floured counter or on a piece of parchment paper (preferred)
  13. Roll out into an 12"/30 cm circle, about ¼" thick.
  14. Place the pastry circle onto a baking sheet, this is where it helps to roll out on parchment.
  15. Pile the filling onto the middle of the pastry circle leaving a 2 inch border all around.
  16. Pull up the sides of the pastry circle and pleat all around the filling.
  17. Dot the surface of the filling with the knob of butter.
  18. Place the baking sheet with the galette onto the bottom rack of a preheated oven for 30-40 minutes.
  19. Check to see the crust is browned and the filling is bubbling.
  20. Pay attention to the bottom crust and make sure it is browned and crisp as well.
  21. Place onto a rack to cool.
  22. Serve warm with ice cream or custard.
Filling
  1. Toss the apples, rhubarb, flour, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and cinnamon together.
  2. Pile onto the middle of pastry crust.
Notes
Of course, you don't need a food processor to make the pastry but it does make life simpler. To make pastry by hand, rub the butter cubes into the flour. Add 3 tablespoons of water and the vinegar and try and bring the dough together. Add water as needed in tablespoons. Bring the dough together by kneading and then roll into a disc and chill. Follow the rolling instructions above.

Apple and Rhubarb Galette-1

Here I made 2 smaller galettes that cut into 6 pieces each. I have to mention that I baked these in a Jenn-Air convection double oven and the bottom crust on the galettes was phenomenal. The oven did such a fantastic job browning the bottom and the top crusts. Galettes, crostata and pies, in general, have a hard time not getting soggy bottom crusts. This oven made them ultra crisp that even after sitting and cooling whilst everyone ate, they still remained crisp when I cut into them an hour later. I was well impressed with the browning and the ease of use of the Jenn-Air ovens. Once again, this is my opinion and I wasn’t paid to rate or review! 

I’m a little behind catching up with everyone’s news so please forgive me. I’ll be round the next couple of days. The kids’ long weekend kind of threw a spanner in my works but it was pleasant. At least, I didn’t have to pack lunches. Hope you’re all having an awesome week so far!

Spring Break 2013 ~ Houston and San Antonio

Texas Bluebonnet

Texas Bluebonnet

I am back after a wonderful 10 days of rest and relaxation! I wish I could say that was true but I am sure you all understand when I say, vacationing is exhausting! As much as I love going away and doing something other than the usual grind, it is so wonderful to come home and crawl into your own bed. I don’t know about y’all, but even though its great to get a break from the kitchen chores and cooking, I can only eat restaurant food for 3 days max and after that I am wanting to cook and eat home food again. We ate out the entire trip pretty much except for one day when we had a family BBQ. I thought I would share some photos from my trip since I haven’t started back in the kitchen yet and though I have post or two ready to go, maybe you’d like to see a non food post? Here is my Spring Break 2013 trip to a Houston wedding and San Antonio, for two days of actual Spring Break.

Despite all the tiredness and fatigue, I had a fabulous time! It was so wonderful to see my dad, siblings, nieces, cousins, aunts, uncles and friends! We were eating a lot, talking and laughing way too much and sleeping in the wee hours of the morning. It was a lovely family reunion after about 4 years. My cousin looked very handsome on both his receptions. The bride was gorgeous. We all got a chance to dust off our party clothes, do ourselves up a bit and party! We had a midnight pie run to the House of Pies where we cousins took up 5 tables on a very busy Saturday night/Sunday morning, much to the annoyance of other patrons who obviously weren’t having as much fun as us!

My cousin waiting for the arrival of his bride.

My cousin waiting for the arrival of his bride.

 

My son, Laith with the bridegroom, they are best buds.

My son, Laith with the bridegroom, they are best buds.

 

My husband and me at the wedding reception

My husband and me at the wedding reception

After the wedding festivities, we drove to San Antonio to see my father in law and relax there. San Antonio allowed us to catch a breath and rest a bit. We took the opportunity to visit a couple of places we hadn’t been to there; The Japanese Tea Gardens and The Witte Museum. The Japanese Tea Gardens were beautiful! It was so nice to see lush greenery after months of Colorado grey. It was still a bit too muggy for me with the humidity and heat and I am glad to be back in the cool Colorado temperatures once again. Of course, we couldn’t leave the Gardens without actually trying some tea (I need no excuse when it comes to tea or coffee) We chose a pot of Red Flowering Jasmine and Peach Apricot Oolong; both were fragrant and delicious and I thoroughly enjoyed my 5 cups 🙂

Japanese Tea Gardens, San Antonio

Japanese Tea Gardens, San Antonio

 

Japanese Tea Gardens

Japanese Tea Gardens

 

Japanese Tea Gardens

Japanese Tea Gardens

 

Red Flowering Jasmine Tea

Red Flowering Jasmine Tea

I also had the chance to meet up with the very lovely Denise from the blog From Brazil to You. If you remember, she did my very first guest post. It was so nice to meet the lady behind the wonderful words and photos. She treated me to a delicious lunch at The Turquoise Grill, a Turkish restaurant serving authentic Turkish fare. We had a lovely lunch and great conversation. She has two beautiful daughters who were such perfect little ladies and became great friends with my daughter.Thank you Denise for lunch and your friendship.

having lunch with Denise

having lunch with Denise

 

chicken adana kebab

chicken adana kebab

 

Turkish manti: dumplings filled with ground beef covered in a yoghurt and mint sauce.

Turkish manti: dumplings filled with ground beef covered in a yoghurt and mint sauce.

 

Thank you for welcoming my guest bloggers and leaving such wonderful comments while I was gone. I apologise for not replying to comments and for not visiting everyone but with the time frame I was working within and shoddy wifi at best, I just couldn’t get to everyone. I really appreciate y’all stopping by!

Hope y’all have a great rest of the week.

 

Yakhni Pullao ~ Beef Pullao

yakhni pullao

Growing up in England, we ate mainly my mum’s cooking and it was, 80% of the time, Indian food. My mum tried new cuisines and new recipes, but we always pretty much had the same food in rotation. Outside of my home, I learnt to love British food (yes, there is such a thing), Italian and Arabic. My comfort food, or soul food always stems from one of these cuisines; biryani from India, treacle pudding from England, a bowl of pasta with tomato sauce or some kebabs. 

My father spent a lot of time in Italy and as a result, he loves Italian food and we ate a lot of it growing up. He had my mum recreating all kinds of pastas and meat dishes he had tried in Italy. He truly thinks of Italy as his second home and so, I believe there is some Italian in me 😉

I digress. What I wanted to say was that, as well travelled as my father was, he was and is, a very picky eater. He likes good food, well made, well flavoured and traditional; be it Italian, Indian or any other cuisine. At home, I mentioned we ate the same foods quite often, and I believe it was because of his selective taste. My mum knew what he liked and what he’d eat, so she didn’t venture out too far afield. 

Since my childhood, and now in my own kitchen, I have discovered so many traditional Indian dishes that I didn’t try as a child. I believe now, it was because my father didn’t like them and so my mum never bothered making them; like this meat pullao.

I only ever remember eating biryani and khichri, both rice dishes, one layered with meat and the other with lentils. We didn’t eat pullaos, which are usually rice dishes cooked in vegetable or meat stock. Whether she started cooking pullaos after I married and moved away, I don’t know, but I do know that I had never tried this yakhni pullao until I was married and had my own family. My mum passed away 15 years ago this March, so it’s been hard to get family recipes and her little twists on food. I really feel robbed of her expertise and experience. I wish we had had more time together.

So, most of my Indian cookery has come from just recreating from memory, or using cookbooks but changing a lot of it to the way hers used to taste, and learning a little bit from my aunts who are amazing cooks too. I’ve eaten this pullao from restaurants and my aunts make it occasionally. It’s fairly simple and has all the standard Indian spices, nothing too difficult to find. 

Traditonally, this is made with bone in lamb or goat meat. The stock from the bones flavours the rice that is cooked in it. It is a great one pot rice dinner with a lot of flavour and a nice spicy kick. I made it with boneless  beef because as you know by now, I don’t like lamb. If I had goat meat, I would’ve used that but my husband has issues with goat meat bones and he finds them a tad bit fiddly. I had beef, so I used it. It came out really well even with no bones with the spices really rounding off the flavour.

If you have meat with bone, I would use that to make this, but if you only have a boneless,  make it anyway. It’s still tasty and convenient for that sudden Indian food craving. Take it to the next level by adding nuts and sultanas, which I omitted, but they can really elevate the dish.

 yakhni pullao~beef pullao

Yakhni Pullao ~ Beef Pullao

Serving size: 8-10

Ingredients
Meat Stock
  • 2lbs/907g boneless meat (3 lbs with bone)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, minced
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 cloves
  • 6 cups water
Pullao
  • 3 cups rice, soak for 20 minutes
  • 5 cups meat stock
  • 1 teaspoon black cumin (shah zeera)
  • 2 black cardamom
  • 6 green cardamom
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 onions, finely chopped or sliced
  • 3 tablespoons oil, more if needed
  • salt and pepper
  • cilantro, handful
  • mint, optional
  • nuts: almonds, cashews, optional
  • raisins/sultanas, optional
Instructions
Meat Stock
  1. Put the meat, water, garlic, ginger and the stock spices in a big pot and bring to boil.
  2. Lower heat and cook until meat is tender, 40 to 60 minutes.
  3. You can also use the pressure cooker.
  4. Takes about 20-30 minutes to tenderise meat in a pressure cooker.
  5. Check your pressure cooker manual for details.
  6. After meat is cooked, strain the broth and keep for the rice.
Pullao
  1. Fry the onion in the oil till brown and crisp. Need to get a nice brown colour on them.
  2. Pull out the onions and put aside.
  3. Add more oil if needed, need to have a two tablespoons in the pot.
  4. Add the spices and let splutter a little.
  5. Brown the meat a little to get some colour.
  6. Add in the drained rice and coat with the oil and spices.
  7. Then add 5 cups of the reserved meat stock.
  8. If you need to, add a bit of water to make up to 5 cups.
  9. There should be an inch of stock above the rice.
  10. Add ¾ of the fried onions.
  11. Let the rice come to boil and then place on a steady simmer, uncovered until most of the water has been absorbed and holes are beginning to form on the rice surface.
  12. Make sure the rice looks halfway cooked, and not totally raw.
  13. Add more water if rice is too crunchy. If you soaked it, there should be no problem.
  14. Once the rice has absorbed most of the stock, cover the pot, turn heat to low and cook on low for 10 minutes. Put on a timer.
  15. At the end of the 10 minutes, pull of the heat and keep pot covered for another 10 minutes. Put on a timer.
  16. At the end of 10 minutes, remove the lid.
  17. The rice should be cooked. Fluff up with a fork and garnish with the rest of the onions and chopped cilantro.
  18. Serve on a big platter.
  19. Garnish with dried fruit and nuts if using.

 yakhni2

What are some things you never tried as a child and have learnt to love now? I think we are lot more adventurous with our food then our parents ever were in their time and our childhood. have you managed to convert your parents to your food likes?