They say handwriting can reveal a lot about a person. I hope that this isn't true because a cursory glance at my cursive would reveal:
a) a confused individual
b) a lost individual
c) a lazy individual
_Ransom note message from Mr NQN
Just plain messy
I'm not the only one with illegible handwriting. Mr NQN's admits that his is the kind of handwriting that serial killers or kidnapper's ransom notes are made out of. My illegibility could make me a doctor although I'm sure that doctors aren't as afraid of blood as I am. My poor handwriting has gotten me into trouble before. I have looked at my calendar (yes I still have an old skool calender, how ancient) and have found myself staring at an entry wondering what on earth I have scheduled myself to do at a certain time that I just cannot read.
I first saw Faith's recipe for these gorgeous Beef Biryani bowls months and months ago and had actually put this on the shopping list. I wrote basmati rice but in my haste and sloppy scrawl I had written something that didn't resemble those words. Instead I stood at the supermarket wondering what b..... r..... item I was to pick up. Beef rissoles? Hmm unlikely. Beetroot relish? Maybe... Bacon Rinds? Definitely not.
My pantry finally stocked (I used the smoked rice I bought on my Marrickville tour) I decided, rather foolishly to make this on a day that I was hellishly busy. I thought that there was no way that I was going to get this done and photographed in time but once the beef was done I cooked the rice for ten minutes. I thought that it might be complicated to do and I may have issues unmoulding it so I tested one and it was so easy and unmolded so readily that I had dinner ready much quicker than I thought.
I took one bite and it was fantastic. The smoked basmati rice was an amazing addition and added another flavour dimension to the biryani. Adding turmeric added colour and flavour and the beef was lovely and tender inside. It could also be easily done with a vegetable curry if you prefer. It also thought that it was an interesting way to serve curry at an Indian dinner party.
So tell me Dear Reader, what would your handwriting reveal about you?
Beef Biryani Igloos
Makes 4 large igloos
2 tablespoons oil
1 kg/2 lb beef, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
6 cloves garlic, grated
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
6 tablespoons biryani paste
1 c plain low-fat yogurt
1 bay leaf
½ cup golden raisins
2 medium-large onions, thinly sliced
3 medium-large green bell peppers, thinly sliced
Basmati rice (for serving) I used smoked rice
Step 1 - In a 5 quart pot with a lid, heat the oil on high heat; add the beef and cook for 2-4 minutes until browned. Add the garlic, ginger, and biryani paste and sauté for about a minute. Add the yogurt and bay leaf and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add about 3 cups of water, cover the pot, bring it up to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer and let it cook for an hour. * *
Step 2 - Add the raisins to the beef and cook for 30-60 minutes until much of the water has evaporated out (see picture below). If the water isnt evaporating out fast enough, you can leave the lid ajar to allow the steam to escape. Add the onions and peppers and cook on medium for 30 minutes until there is little if any liquid in the pot (see picture below).
Oil the bowl and sprinkle tumeric powder around the bowl. Line the bowl with a layer of rice
Fill it with the beef curry
Cover with another layer of rice
Upturn bowl onto the serving plate and carefully remove bowl
Step 3 - To Serve Beef Biryani Stuffed Inside Basmati Rice: Lightly spray cooking spray inside a bowl (the bowl should be about the size of a bowl you would eat your morning cereal out of), then lightly sprinkle turmeric inside the bowl. Press cooked basmati rice onto the bottom and up the sides of the bowl, making sure to press hard enough so that the rice is packed. Add biryani to fill the well in the center of the rice, then add rice to cover the biryani, again, making sure to firmly pack the rice. Turn the rice out on to a plate, carefully twisting the bowl off to remove it.