I thought I could live on Twitter. It allows me to work 10 hour days at four different clinics and still keep in touch with what’s happening in the world. It’s my newsfeed, entertainment, communication system and everything else rolled into one phone app.
It’s pretty darned hard to share a recipe on Twitter, though. God knows I’ve tried.
So here it is- a lotus stem biryani so delicious it made me write a blog post. 🙂 Loosely adapted from this recipe.
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1-1.5 lbs raw lotus stems
1.5 cup plain yogurt (greek or homemade)
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp fennel seeds, powdered
1 tsp cumin seeds, powdered
1 tsp powdered coriander seeds
1/2 tsp dried ginger powder
1/8 tsp mace, powdered
1/4 tsp powdered cinnamon
1/8 tsp powdered nutmeg
1.5 cups long grain basmati rice
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick cinnamon
3 small green cardamom pods
1 black cardamom pod
1 bay leaf
a handful of fresh mint
a handful of fresh cilantro
1-2 hot green chillies, minced
– Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
– Start by prepping the lotus stems and the rice. You can find fresh lotus stems at most Asian/Indian grocery stores. Look for ones with closed ends, as they are less likely to have dirt in the veins. Cut off the ends, scrub clean in plenty of water, and boil/pressure cook in 2 cups of water until you can easily poke through one with a fork. Cool and peel, then slice into bite sized pieces.
– While the stems cook, take a saucepan and soak the rice in 2.5 cups water, salt, and the whole spices- cinnamon, cardamom pods, bay leaf, cloves. When it turns opaque (about 10 minutes), cook the rice by bringing it to a boil, covered, then simmering at low heat until all the water is absorbed. Do not stir until the rice is done, then fluff gently with a fork. Remove the whole spices if you wish. (If you’re new to cooking rice this way and want the grains to be completely separate like in restaurants, add 1 tbsp of oil to the water.)
– In a bowl, beat together the yogurt and all the other spices. You can add a little lemon juice to the yogurt if it’s not sour. The blended mixture should taste like a spicy tandoori marinade.
– Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add the sliced lotus stems and saute for 5 minutes until the stems are golden brown and somewhat crisp. Turn the heat to low and add the yogurt blend. Stir occasionally and cook on low heat until the sauce thickens and coats the stems. Taste and adjust seasoning.
– Coarse-chop the mint/cilantro/green chillies.
– In a 10 inch baking dish/casserole, layer the biryani. Spread half the rice in the bottom, cover with half the curried stems, half of the mint mixture, rest of the rice, rest of the fresh herbs, and finally the top layer of curry.
– Cover tightly with a couple of layers of foil/an oven safe lid, and bake for 20 minutes until the flavors blend. Serve warm.