Sunday, August 1, 2010

Suvir's Sweet Pepper Biriyani

I have mentioned again and again how much I love chef Suvir Saran, author of my most used and heavily stained cookbook, Indian Home Cooking.

Today for Sunday dinner I made his Sweet Pepper Biriyani with Cumin and Fennel Seeds. This is a wonderfully light, aromatic dish that is well spiced and relatively low on guilt.

It is basically made from alternating layers of basmati rice, fresh cilantro, and a gorgeous fragrant medley of sweet bell peppers, onions, a spice blend, fresh tomatoes, Andy's homemade tomato chutney (I am so very spoiled) and --this was my addition--raisins and slivered almonds.

The spice blend is coriander, cumin, black mustard and fennel seeds and dried red chile, all ground into a powder. The smell of grinding your own spices is intoxicating.

The veggies are sauteed with the spice blend until everything is really tender. The rice is cooked to near-doneness. Then Everything is stacked up in a covered casserole in layers and baked in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes.

Let it sit for 10 minutes if you are able. The aroma is so tempting that it will be hard to do this unless you have a glass of wine at the ready. Scatter some more cilantro on top and feed to your sweetie with a kiss!

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