My little monster was down with fever a few days back. This was the first time in my life as a mother (which is about 18 months) that she had a bad fever. A, just like he has been for the past few weeks, was traveling and I was alone at home with her. She was playing and jumping all around and I didn’t even realize that she was sick until I was getting her ready to go to bed. I waited for a few hours hoping that temperature will come down but finally at midnight I called her doctor. Front desk picked up and promised to return my call. While I was waiting for the call, my anxiety and nervousness was soon turned into panic! I had to keep my mind busy so I logged on to twitter and tweeted about it. In minutes I got so many messages and emails of support and confidence. Rebecca who blogs at Chow and Chatter couldn’t resist picking up the phone and calling to check on me. All of a sudden I realized that I was not alone waiting for the doctor’s call anymore. When someone asks me about what I love most about the blogging world, I have to say experiences like this!
Its just amazing how people you have never met or spoken to get so much closer to you. I’ve met so many talented people through my blog and got to learn so much from them. One such friend I made is Ria who is a great food blogger (also from India) and blogs at Ria’s Collection. A lovely blog with beautiful stories and photos and fabulous recipes! Ria told me about the Afghan Ruz Bukhari recipe that she was going to try. She was trying it for the first time and had got it from another common friend of ours. Bindu, who again we have never met but have gotten closer to. I was so intrigued by the recipe and all the talk about it that we decided to try it together and if it turns out well, maybe we can share it with YOU.
Yes, it turned out pretty good and hence we are here! Sharing it together and sending our love and thanks to Bindu who is not a blogger but is a great cook and definitely an awesome teacher.
I was so amazed at how good this dish turned out to be and that made me curious about its history. So I went to Mr. Google but surprisingly I didn’t find much about it. So if you know anything about its origins, please let me know! But what I can tell you about this dish is that its an Afghan take on biryani, its SO easy to put together and has great flavor with little use of spice. If you consider salt a spice then that’s the only spice I used for this dish!
Ingredients: Serves 8-10
(I made a few tiny little changes to Bindu’s original recipe but its pretty much hers.)
1.5 pounds lamb with bones (cut into medium size chunks)
3 cups of Sela Basmati rice (Sela basmati is a variety of basmati rice that is just milled a little differently giving it a slightly yellow color and is perfect for slow cooked rice dishes like biryani or pulao. You can find it in any Pakistani or middle eastern store)
3 cups thinly sliced onions
2 cups thinly silvered carrots
1/4 cups oil
1/4 cup raisins (I used golden raisins but you can use black raisins)
3 1/2 tbsp tomato puree
6 cups water
Thoroughly wash the rice and soak it in water for at least a couple hours.
Meanwhile wash the meat thoroughly with water, squeeze out all the excess water and let it out in the air to dry. You can even let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.
Take a big thick bottom pot, heat oil in it.
When oil is hot, add lamb and stir it well so that lamb doesn’t stick to the bottom. Keep stirring until the meat doesn’t stick to the pan anymore.
Meat will start oozing liquid, keep cooking until all the liquid dries out.
Then add onion. Cook it until the onion turns translucent.
Now add water and salt to the lamb. Cook till the meat is “almost” done but not all the way through.
Drain out all the water in which the rice is soaked.
Now in a big vessel with lid arrange a thin layer of rice. Then arrange all the meat on top of the layer of rice, over which you will have to arrange the carrots and then on top of that a layer of raisins which are washed and soaked in water for 15 minutes. Top it all off with all the remaining rice.
After you’re done with the layering, you need to pour the remaining broth from the meat all over the rice and start cooking.
Oh wait, there is something else I had to talk about. The winners of the giveaway! Little monster helped me find the four lucky winners of the fabulous cookbook by Monica Bhide. Following are their names with their comments.
Rookie Qookie said…
Congratulations for the lovely year spent in Blogosphere!! Wish you well for many more years to add Have been following you and loved all the Indianness you bring to your blog and recipes.Now why whould I not want this Book!! Well I have no reason not to want and would enjoy learning more from all the beautiful recipes..
Maranda said… Congratulations on your blogiversary!!!! I’m so sad I missed the giveaway. I would have loved to win this cookbook since I’m falling in love with Indian food lately.
I’ve made your garlic chicken a couple times now and it is ALWAYS delicious!! Here’s the url http://mannadonn.blogspot.com/2011/01/garlic-chicken-indian-style.html
Chow and Chatter said… happy birthday to your lovely blog, lovely gift away maybe one day you can give away your cookbook
Sneh | Cook Republic said… You go girl! Congratulations on your Blogoversary
Congratulations! Please email me your names and addresses.