Chicken and Beetroot Pullao with Rainbow Chard and Radish

Pullao chicken and radish

A thrifty pulloa thrown together from leftover chicken and beetroot curry (see below), with added rainbow chard and radish. Used an extra shallot, 1/2 tsp each of garam masala and tumeric, couple of dessert spoons of yoghurt and a bit more chicken stock. Also some fresh coriander and mint and a squeeze of lime at the end.
Not really poss to write a proper recipe because of the thrift leftover nature of the dish..
The basic rule is always to have about 2:1 liquid to rice though.
Served with chilli poppadums.

A quick salmon and vegetable pullao after a day in the studio…

Salmon and vegetable pullao

Was feeling rather drained when I got in last night after a whole day in a recording studio staring at a keyboard and a computer screen.
It was one of those “shall I or shan’t I” moments when the call of the chinese takeaway round the corner seems to sound magnified…

However, having just got home from a gig in Moscow the day before, I’d missed the start of the World Cup (soccer for you Americans). I must admit, I’m one of those occasional football (soccer) spectators who only really gets interested when the World Cup is on, so when I switched on the radio and heard Paraguay score against the defending champions Italy, I decided to crack open a cold beer and cook whatever the fridge presented me with while listening to the match.

I’m glad I did… here’s what I did:

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skinless salmon fillets
  • 1 small tin of anchovies
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1-inch piece of ginger
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tblsp natural yoghurt
  • 3-4 chestnut mushrooms
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 small tin of sweetcorn
  • 1/2 courgette (zucchini)
  • 1/2 dessert spoon cider vinegar
  • Basmati rice enough for 2 people
  • boiling water (twice in volume to the rice)
  • 1 knob of butter
  • spring onion to garnish

Method:

Chop the onions, ginger, garlic and chilli and have them ready.

Heat some oil in the pan and gently mash the anchovies in there.

When they’ve dissolved (but not fried up) add the onions, ginger, garlic and chilli and fry till soft.

Add the tumeric, mustard powder, garam masala and black pepper and fry for a couple of minutes.

Chop and add the carrot, mushrooms, and courgette, and throw in the sweetcorn… fry down for a few minutes to soften.

Stir in the yogurt.

Stir in the rice.

Add the vinegar.

Add the salmon, chopped into chunks.

Add the boiling water, cover and simmer for 10 mins until the rice is done and the water absorbed.

Remove from the heat, chop and add the knob of butter. Cover for a couple of mins to let the butter melt in.

Serve, garnished with the chopped spring onion.

Prudence Pullao (and dhal)

Prudence Pullao

Yesterday I arrived home from Denmark after playing a Boy George gig at the Esbjerg Rock Festival.
As usual, after a full days travel, which commenced with a (reasonably) early start, following on from the previous days travel – soundcheck – gig – and a couple (ahem) of drinks at the bar  after the show, I was pretty tired and in two minds about whether to cook, or just plump for the takeaway option.

However, a look inside the fridge quickly persuaded me that cooking would be the far more prudent path to take on this occasion, given the fact that I had so much stuff to use up, not least of which was a few pieces of lamb kebab left over from a barbeque a couple of days before. There was also 1/2 a bunch of asparagus and a single carrot. I quickly hatched a plan. Here’s what commenced:

Ingredients:

  • about 6 pieces of leftover barbequed lamb,
  • 1 small tin of anchovies,
  • 1 small onion,
  • 1/2 inch pce of ginger,
  • 3 cloves of garlic,
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric,
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala,
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 carrot,
  • 4 sticks of asparagus,
  • 1 red chilli,
  • 1 tblsp natural yogurt,
  • 1/2 tblsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 1 cup basmati rice (soaked and drained)
  • 2 cups of boiling water

Method:

  • Heat some oil in a pan, and mash the anchovies into it until they’re dissolved.
  • Chop and fry the onion, ginger, and garlic.
  • Add the tumeric, garam masala, mustard powder and black pepper, and fry briefly.
  • Add the lamb (sliced thinly) and fry in the spices.
  • Add the chopped carrot, asparagus and chilli, and fry round some more
  • Add the rice and fry for a few moments.
  • Add the yohurt and tomato puree and stir through.
  • Add the boiling water and mint and bring to a simmer.
  • Cook until the rice is done, adding more water if necessary or drying off in a medium oven for 10 mins if needs be.

And that was that. You may notice I used anchovies instead of salt or stock. I tend to do this a lot with lamb, since it’s such a strong flavour, I think chicken stock confuses the issue. But anchovies go very well with it and don’t taste at all fishy in the mix….

Finally, I found a portion of dhal in the freezer, which I’d made some weeks earlier, so just thawed it out slowly in a warm pan.
To serve, I moulded the pullao into a small bowl, and simply upended it into the serving bowl – (hey presto !) and surrounded it with dhal as you can see above.

All in all, preferable to a takeaway, and very welcome after planes, trains and automobiles……

Prawns and Cauliflower Pullao

Not sure why, but prawns and cauliflower seem to go exceptionally well together in this combination.

Perhaps it’s something to do with the salt/sweetness of the prawns particularly suiting the flavour of the cauliflower.

Texturally also, there’s a very good counterpoint between the two main constituents, especially if the cauliflower is at that wonderful stage where it is cooked so as nice and tender, but not falling apart as it can do if overly stewed.

The slightly tricky thing about this particular dish is accurately judging the amount of water to use so as to cook the rice to perfection.

The problem here is that an amount of water is emitted by both the prawns and the cauliflower during cooking, and the yoghurt also increases the amount of liquid once it is assimilated into the dish.

In order to get round this, I use some judgement for the amount of water to add, but also then dry the pullao off in the oven (as I would a biryani), which I think has the added effect of helping the flavour to dissipate even more effectively throughout the dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 inch pce of ginger
  • 2 red chillies
  • small handful coriander leaves
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tblsp natural yoghurt
  • 300g prawns (cooked or raw)
  • 1/2 medium head of cauliflower broken up into small (1/2 inch size) florets
  • 1 cup of rice (enough for 2 people) (soaked for 1/2 hour then drained)
  • 5-6 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 lemon
  • salt

Method:

Chop the onions, garlic, ginger, chillies and coriander and fry until soft

Add the tumeric and cumin and fry for a couple of mins.

Add the rice and yoghurt and stir.

Add the cauliflower and prawns and mix well.

Add about 1 and 3/4 ‘s as much water as there was rice, and some salt (although not as much as usual since the prawns are salty).

Bring to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 7-10 mins. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160 deg

After 10 mins, the rice should be more or less cooked, but there’s probably still some excess liquid in the pot.

Throw in the tomatoes, and dot with butter.

Place in the oven for about 10 mins (but be wary of drying up to much. You just have to use judgement here).

When rice is fully cooked and pullao has dried up sufficiently, remove from oven, squeeze over some fresh lemon juice, mix and serve. (below is served with a spinach and mushroom dhal).