Spicy beef biryani recipe.

This is a recipe from Ben O’Donoghue and I was THRILLED with the results. I made a few changes, things like changing saffron to tumeric (too expensive), getting rid of mint leaves (couldn’t find any) and conveniently forgetting bay leaves (old age). Yet, the biryani was absolutely delicious!

# – Made it for a family dinner.

For the rice:

  • 300-500 grams of beef steak, thinly sliced
  • 70 grams of tomato puree
  • A pinch of tumeric powder
  • 50 ml of milk
  • 500 grams of basmati rice
  • 1 cup of coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • A pinch of salt

For the marinade:

  • 5 cm of ginger, peeled & grated
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 3 long chillies, roughly chopped
  • 20 grams of papaya, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablepoon of tumeric powder

For the spice mix:

  • 100ml of vegetable oil
  • 3 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons of cardomom pods, bruised with the back of a knife
  • 1 cinnamon quill, broken
  • 2 teaspoons of cloves

# – First, dump all the ingredients for the marinade in a blender except for lemon juice and tumeric powder. Puree the mixture.

# – Pour it out then add the lemon juice.

# – Stir in the tumeric powder.

# – Add in the sliced beef and stir to ensure the beef are evenly coated with the marinade. Set aside while you continue with other tasks.

# – Prepare the milk in a jug and add the tumeric powder and a pinch of salt, let stand for about 20 minutes.

# – In the meantime, boil the basmati rice in salted water for 6-8 minutes.

# – Then drain the rice.

# – Now, to start with making the spice mix. Fry up 2/3 of the thinly sliced onions till brown (confession: I over fried mine a bit :P). Set aside.

# – Fry the remaining onions with the cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon quill.

# – When the spices are fragrant, throw in the marinaded beef. Reserve the marinade.

# – As soon as the beef are browned, pour in the tomato paste.

# – Followed by the rest of the marinade reserved earlier. Stir to combine.

# – Next, pour 1/3 of the drained rice over the meat mixture.

# – Then throw on some coriander leaves.

# – Cover with more rice and then a layer of the fried onions. Repeat until no rice’s left.

# – Pour in the milk mixture all over the rice.

# – Cover and stick in a preheated oven at 170 degrees celcius to bake for 15 minutes. This will allow the marinade at the bottom to steam the rice and flavouring it at the same time :D

# – Spicy beef biryani, DONE!

# – Stir it up before serving…

# – Delicious, fluffy biryani.

I made a pot of vegetable curry to go with it. Superb!

Before this, I’ve always wondered how people make good biryani rice, with the rice so fluffy and not sticking together in clumps. The thought of screwing the dish up put me off from attempting it.

I’m glad I got over the fear and made this because the BF and I LOVE biryani and now that I understand the basics of cooking basmati rice, I can experiment with more flavours in the future.

Sweet Princess Beef Recipe (hot, sweet and sour dry beef curry)

I have a confession.

I can’t do Asian food. I don’t know why, but I just can’t get my head around it. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Asian food but I can’t seem to be able to achieve that delicate balance of flavours that the cuisine is known for. Lets not even begin on some of the techniques and skills involved with preparing Asian food…

And that’s why I decided to buy a cook book by Chef Wan, Malaysia’s answer to Jamie Oliver. It’s called “Simply Sedap!” and it contains apparently all of Chef Wan’s favourite recipes. The recipes, are not all local, but there are enough of them of which I would love to learn how to cook.

While flipping through the book, I realised that I have yet to acquire a lot of spices needed for some of the recipes. There I was…stupidly thinking that I had an awesome spice collection, but yet, I still did not have in my possession spices like fennel powder, cumin powder, candlenuts, mustard seeds and garam masala.

I believe there will be more to come. I can actually think of one more now…coriander powder! Arghh!

I believe I need more spice jars.

I’m hyperventilating!

Oh gawd, stop me!

I need help!

/give myself a good slap to the side of the head/

Anyway, the first recipe that I tried from Chef Wan’s book is called “Daging Puteri Manis” in Malay or Sweet Princess Beef in English. Don’t ask me why Chef Wan named the dish as such, but you got to admit…it’s a pretty catchy name.

# – “Daging Puteri Manis” or Sweet Princess Beef.

It was STUPENDOUS. Yeah, sorry I really do use words like that in my household. Sometimes, ‘delicious’ just doesn’t cut it, you know. The thick sauce was a perfect balance of sweet, sour and spicy. The knuckle steak was surprisingly tender thanks to an hour long of simmering.

The ingredients:

  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges then fried
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 4 cloves
  • 3 sprigs of curry leaves
  • 2 inches of cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 10 shallots, finely diced (actually I used only 1 large red onion cause that’s all I had :P)
  • 1/2 inch of ginger, finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons of chilli paste (original recipe called for 4 but I think mine was quite spicy, so go easy…you can add more if you want later)
  • 1 tablespoon of coriander powder (I used the seeds cause I didn’t have powder)
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon of fennel powder
  • 500 grams of cubed beef (I used knuckle steak)
  • 250 ml of water (if you’re only cooking for 30 minutes, I did add a dash more later on to prevent drying as I cooked for 60 minutes)
  • 60 ml of tamarind juice (derived from 60ml of water + 2 tablespoon of tamarind paste)
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced into rings

There are loads of ingredients but the steps are really simple so it helps to prepare all the ingredients beforehand to avoid confusion.

# – First, you heat up enough oil to cover the bottom of the saucepan.

# – Chuck in the potato wedges to brown (I’ve already nuked them in the microwave to ensure they cooked through, you can boil or steam them first if you like)

# – When potatoes are browned, set aside.

# – With the same saucepan and leftover oil, throw in the cinnamon sticks, curry leaves, cardamom pods and cloves and stir around till fragrant.

# – Then, throw in the finely diced garlic, ginger and shallots.

# – When the shallots have turned translucent, throw in 2 teaspoons of cumin powder.

# – Followed by a teaspoon of fennel powder.

# – And a tablespoon of coriander seeds (original recipe called for powdered coriander seeds but I had none).

# – Next, 3 tablespoons of chili paste. Stir to combine.

# – Now, throw in the beef!

# – Then the water.

# – Stir and let it simmer uncovered for 30-60 minutes (I did 60 minutes, beef got more tender!)

# – 5 minutes before serving, pour in the tamarind juice.

# – Followed by 3 tablespoons of sugar.

# – And not to forget, a sprinkling of salt.

# – Almost done now….stir in the sliced onion.

# – As well as the tomatoes.

# – Most importantly, the divine potatoes prepared earlier. Stir till everything’s covered in the awesomesauce.

# – Then cover and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

# – 5 minutes later, Sweet Princess Beef, DONE!

# – Serve with piping hot rice for a STUPENDOUS dinner. Sorry, I did it again..

We cleared it.

Just short of licking the saucepan.

# – Only because I couldn’t fit my head inside :(

Have fun cooking!

A recipe of caramelised potato and beef with onions.

This dish is another one that I grew up eating. In fact, it was a childhood favourite! My mom used to cook it with either minced pork or pork fillets but this version that I’m blogging about uses beef steak cut into strips. You can even use chicken, or whatever meat you fancy, except perhaps seafood.

The main star of the dish however, is not the meat. It’s the potatoes. They’re soft in the middle and slightly crispy on the outside. And they’ve got a very appetising sort of smokiness to them, derived from the chinese dark caramel sauce.

# – Caramelised potato and beef with onions

Now that I’m older, I realise how fattening it is to eat potatoes with rice but hey, we all need some comfort food now and then ;)

The ingredients:

  • 2-3 potatoes, sliced
  • 1- 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of Shaoxing or chinese rice wine
  • A couple of dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of chinese dark caramel sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of ordinary chilli sauce or Tabasco sauce (I used Sriracha hot chilli sauce)
  • 150 ml of water
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 200 grams of beef steak, sliced and marinaded with a bit of corn flour and salt (you can use minced meat too. And switch to pork or chicken)

# – Of course, heat up a wok or pan with oil :)

# – When oil is hot, throw in the chopped onions. Ah, the sound of sizzling oil…

# – When the onions have turned a bit translucent, throw in the potatoes. Stir around for a bit till they’re a bit browned.

# – Pour in about 150 ml of water…

# – A few dashes of Worcestershire sauce.

# – Drizzle over the dark caramel sauce.

# – A good tablespoon of salt.

# – Followed by a tablespoon of chinese rice wine.

# – And lastly, a tablespoon of chilli sauce. Mix till all are combined.

# – Then cover the pan with a lid, turn the heat down to medium and let the spuds cook for about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

# – After that, push the potatoes to one side in the pan, and throw in the beef.

# – Drizzle a wee bit of dark caramel sauce over the beef. Stir to combine. You don’t have to cook beef too long but if you’re using chicken or pork please make sure you cook them through.

# – Mix everything up, and garnish with chopped chives or spring onions. Errr, I used Rosemary because that’s what I had…

You can add chopped chillies for some kicks or more caramel sauce if you like the dish darker. You can also slice the potatoes thinner or thicker, depending on your preference. Sometimes I pan fry the potatoes first without adding any water for a much more crispier taste.

Eat together with rice or do I what I used to do when I was little….eat everything and save the potatoes for last.

Have fun cooking!