Monday, January 9, 2017

"Lucky" New Year's Biryani


I am always looking for lucky foods to eat for New Year so we can celebrate the day and hopefully bless us with some luck throughout the year.  

I made this biryani on New Year's Day and my family went crazy for it.  This biryani is packed with all the lucky foods that I make sure I have on hand to cook to celebrate the New Year.  

I had pork (to move forward), collard greens ( for money), and black-eyed peas (fortune) all in this one biryani.  My son loved the black-eyed peas so much in the biryani he said he always wanted them added.  I also cooked a pot of lentils since they represent gold and coins.   

Here's to hoping that 2017 is a great year! Cheers!! 

"Lucky" New Year's Biryani
Recipe by Ramona from Kitchen Simmer


The Biryani Curry:
3 pounds boneless pork loin cut into large cubes (all fat removed)
2 Tbs garam masala powder
1 Tbs red chili powder
1 tsp turmeric powder 
2 Tbs grated ginger
3-4 cloves finely chopped garlic
salt and black pepper 
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large onion finely chopped
2 jalapeno peppers finely chopped
red chili flakes (to taste)
1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes
1 package Biryani powder
2 cans drained and rinsed black-eyed peas
1 small bunch of collard greens cleaned, trimmed and chopped
salt and black pepper to taste (if needed) 
1 1/2 cups sour cream  
2 1/2 cups water

The Rice
3 1/2 cups uncooked basmati rice
2 dry bay leaves
3-4 cardamom pods
3-4 cloves
2 star anise
1 stick (2 inches) cinnamon stick
1 Tbs chicken bullion powder
5-6 cups cold water 

Sliced Red Onions
Green Onions

Making the Biryani Curry:
Heat 1/4 cup of canola oil on high heat.  Add pork, garam masala, turmeric, salt, black pepper, ginger and garlic to pan. Then cook for 5-6 minutes and fry pork and spices.  Next add 2 1/2 cups of water to the pot and stir well. 

 Lower heat to medium heat and place lid on pot.  Cook pork for 45 minutes and check periodically.  ** If needed add water if needed.  

Clean collard greens well and remove the rib/stem.  Chop greens and set aside.  

Chop onion and jalapeno peppers.  Once pork has cooked for 45 minutes and is tender, add the collard greens, onion and biryani powder to the pot with the pork.  Cook for 10 minutes. 

Next add the can of diced tomatoes and cook for another 10 minutes.  

Then add the rinsed/drained blacked-eyed peas and cook another 10 minutes.  Stir occasionally and taste for seasoning and flavor.

Turn stove off and allow curry to sit for 5 minutes.  Then stir in the sour cream and mix well. 

Cooking the Biryani Rice and Curry:

Prepare rice when biryani curry is half way cooked. Wash rice well until water runs clear. Into a large pot add rice, cold water, bay leaves, star anise, cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick and bullion powder.  Place on medium heat and cook until rice is 3/4 of the way cooked.  If necessary drain any extra water out.  My rice absorbed all the water.  Turn stove off and set rice aside until later.   Note:  I took the time to pull out all the aromatics (seeds/pods/cloves) from the rice before assembly.

Assembly ingredients:  (Note: Photos are from another biryani recipe)

Part1:  Partially cooked rice

Part 2: Biryani curry

Layering Process: 
Layer 1: In a large casserole dish place some of the curry gravy on the bottom.  

Layer 2:  Place more than 1/3 of the partially cooked riced in a layer.

Layer 3: Place half of the pork and 1/3 of the gravy over the layer of rice.  

Layer 4:  Layer of rice. *Use the same amount of rice as the first layer.

Layer 5:  Layer rest of pork pieces and 1/3 of the gravy.
Layer 6:  Final 1/3 of rice. (this layer can be a little less than the other two layers of rice. 

Layer 7: Spoon remaining curry gravy over top layer of rice. 

Cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes.  Before you serve biryani, mix all of the rice and chicken well and put into serving dish.   Serve with any curries you wish, salad, raita, boiled eggs etc.. 

Note:  Remember when you eat curry or biryani, the cardamom pods, cloves, seeds are meant to be removed as you eat.  They are only there to enhance the flavors of the dish and are not meant to be eaten.  Eating them does no harm, but the flavors are very strong and not pleasant on their own.

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