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Shan's mixture
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This is a recipe I made from a Shan “Fish Biriyani©” spice mix of indeterminate age (no indication at all on the package); it could have been over 10 years old. Still, despite what they say, well-sealed spices keep well, so we tried it. The recipe on the back even looked relatively good. Here's a modification of what I made, as I would make it next time:

quantity       ingredient       step
300 g       basmati rice       1
300 g       Hoki (blue grenadier) filet, in cubes       2
25 g (half pack)       Shan “Fish Biriyani©” spice mix       2
25 g       garlic, peeled       2
40 ml       lemon juice       2
150 g       onion       3
30 g       ghee       3
1 (5 g)       green chili       4
10 g       coriander leaf       4
125 g       yoghurt       4
20 g       methi leaves       5
about 350 ml       water or broth, to cover rice       5
10 g       salt       5
50 g       onion       7
10 g       ghee       7
  1. Wash rice and soak in water for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Mix cubed fish, spice mix, lemon juice and garlic and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Slice onion and fry in ghee until translucent.
  4. Slice chili lengthwise, chop coriander if necessary. Add to the onion mix. Add fish mix and fry until firm. Add yoghurt and fry gently, being careful not to damage the fish. Fry gently until liquid has reduced.
  5. Fry methi in ghee until warm. Add rice, broth, salt and bring to the boil. Cook for 20 minutes.
  6. Layer the meal in a casserole: half the rice, the fish mixture, then the other half of the rice. Heat gently.
  7. Fry the remaining onion in ghee until browned and crisped. Sprinkle over the dish. Serve.

The original recipe called for boiling the rice in much water and then draining. This is the first time I've ever seen an Asian recipe (including all of Asia) that recommends this. I had always considered it a British abuse.

I also had my doubts about the rice. Biriani should have lots of stuff in the rice, but here it was just the methi leaves (dill in the original recipe, which sounded just plain bizarre). But in fact it didn't taste too bad, though of course Yvonne (who had asked for the dish) found it too hot. And that although I had only put one chili in instead of the 10 - 15 (admittedly ridiculously many) in the recipe.


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