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elocal magazine March 2024

Lamb Biryani

There are quite a few steps to this dish, and lamb biryani may seem like a journey of a recipe, but it’s one you’ll be glad to have embarked on once you taste the end result – it’s just so unbelievably comforting. A rich and tender curry, fluffy grains of rice, crispy onions and fresh herbs combine to make the ultimate rice dish.

Ingredients: 2½ cups basmati rice, soaked in water 4 dried bay leaves 8 cardamom pods 6 cloves 1 cinnamon stick 3 tsp sea salt 1 cup roughly chopped mint leaves 1 cup roughly chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves Lamb curry: 1 tbsp sliced ginger 4 cloves garlic 1 green chilli, roughly chopped 2 tsp sea salt 1 tbsp ground coriander 2 tsp garam masala 1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder ½ tsp ground turmeric 1 cup natural yoghurt 1kg (2 lb 3 oz) lamb shoulder, boneless, cut into 4cm (1.5”) chunks 2 tbsp ghee

Crispy fried onions: 4 small red onion, sliced in rings vegetable oil, for deep-frying

Bloomed saffron: 2/3 cup milk 2g (just under 0.1 oz) saffron threads

Kachumber salad: 1 small cucumber, 1cm (⅜”) dice 1-2 tomatoes, 1cm (⅜”) dice ½ red onion, 1cm (⅜”) dice 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves 2 tbsp finely chopped mint ½ lemon, juiced ¼ tsp ground cumin 1 tsp sea salt

Onion raita: ½ cup natural yoghurt ¼ red onion, finely diced 1 tbsp finely chopped mint 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander ½ long green chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped ½ tsp sea salt

Steps: Step 1: To make the marinade for the lamb curry, place the ginger, garlic, green chilli and salt into a mortar and pestle. Pound to a smooth paste. Transfer to a clean mixing bowl, then add in the ground coriander, garam masala, turmeric, kashmiri chilli powder and yoghurt. Give everything a mix until well combined. Next, add the lamb pieces and ensure all the pieces are evenly coated all over. Cover, then leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours (although overnight is best).

Step 2: Place a heavy based saucepan on medium heat. Add the ghee, followed by the marinated lamb. Cook, stirring and flipping the meat, for around 3–4 minutes until everything is smelling lovely and you start to see some browning on the lamb. Now pop a lid on the pan and reduce the heat to low. Slow cook for 2 hours, or until the lamb is fork tender and falling apart. Leave aside.

Step 3: For the fried onions, fill a saucepan or wok roughly one-third of the way up with oil. While the oil is heating, line a tray with some paper towel. Once the oil is hot, fry onion rings for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until golden and crispy. Drain and place on the lined tray to absorb any excess oil. Set aside for later.

Step 4: While the lamb is cooking, place the rice in a large bowl. Cover with enough cold water to cover the rice entirely, then leave to soak for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, add around 3 litres of water to a large pot, followed by the bay leaves, cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick and 3 teaspoons of salt. Drain your soaked rice, then add to the water. Bring to the boil. Cook rice for 4–5 minutes – at this point, it will still be far and not fully cooked, but we’ll finish it off later. Strain the rice (be sure to keep the aromatics in the rice), and leave to cool.

Step 5: To bloom the saffron, place the milk into a small saucepan. Add the saffron. Turn on the heat to low-medium and gently warm the milk, stirring often – you should be able to feel a pleasant warmth when you pop your finger in the milk (anything too hot will disrupt the flavour). Turn off the heat and allow to infuse for 15 minutes. Transfer to a jug with a pourer.

Step 6: To assemble the biryani, you’ll need a deep heavy-based or cast-iron pot (or claypot). Place all of the tender lamb and cooking juices in an even layer on the bottom. Top with half of the cooked rice and pack it down firmly. Next, scatter half of the fried onions on top of the rice along with half of the fresh mint and coriander. Follow again with the remaining rice, onions and herbs, packing everything down firmly.

Step 7: In a circular motion, pour the saffron milk over the top of everything – this will give you a mix of yellow and white grains of rice at the end. Cover the top of the biryani with 2 layers of aluminum foil and press firmly to secure the dish. Cover with a lid and place on medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes to steam on the stovetop. Once the time’s up, turn off the heat and allow the pan to sit there (keep the lid on) for a further 15 minutes.

Step 8: While that’s happening, let’s make the kachumber salad. Place all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Mix to combine and leave in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

Step 9: To make the onion raita, mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Leave aside until ready to serve.

Step 10: To serve, scoop out the biryani onto serving plates, being sure to get right to the bottom of the pan so you have every layer on your spoon. Serve with kachumber salad and onion raita.

Apple and oat cookies

These cookies are incredible easy to make and bursting with apple. They have a lovely cake-like texture with slightly crisp edges - ideal for dunking into a cup of tea. This recipe is quick and fun, and great to get children involved in cooking.

Ingredients: 125g plain flour 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda ¼ tsp salt 175g porridge oats 100g unsalted butter, softened 150g caster sugar 1 egg 4-8 tbsp milk 150g apple, diced

Method Prep time: 20 min Cooking time: 20 min

Step 1: Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Line a couple of baking trays with baking paper and set aside.

Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda, salt and oats.

Step 3: In a separate mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together using an electric mixer or whisk. Now add the egg and mix until fully combined. Step 4: Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix until just combined. Slowly add enough milk to bring the mixture together. You want a thick but sticky consistency. Now gently fold the apples into the dough.

Step 5: Using a large spoon, scoop balls of the dough onto the prepared trays, leaving some room between each one. Mix some cinnamon with sugar in small bowl, and sprinkle a little on top of each cookie (optional).

Step 6: Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cookies are browning and set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Mustard pork escalopes with parsnips and greens

Lemon and mustard pork escalopes accompanied by parsnips roasted with apples and greens. Escalopes are cuts of lean meat, beaten flat for swift cooking. Fry them in a very hot pan; they don’t take long and you want as much colour on them as possible, it adds to the flavour. The swiftest way to shred any leafy greens is to stack the leaves on top of each other and roll them into a tight cigar shape. Then slice them widthways, as finely as you can.

What cut is a pork escalope? A pork escalope is usually a small piece of fillet, or can be the eye of the loin that has been bashed flat between sheets of cling film.

Ingredients: 500g parsnips 2 shallots 2 garlic cloves salt and pepper oil for roasting and frying 2+ Cups spring greens 2 apples 4 pork escalopes 2 tbsp coarse grain mustard 1 lemon

Method:W Prep time: 5 min Cooking time: 25 min Step 1: Preheat your oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Peel the parsnips and cut into chunky batons. Peel the shallots and cut each into 6 wedges. Roughly bash open 2 unpeeled garlic cloves.

Step 2: Toss the parsnips, shallots and garlic in a roasting tray with salt, pepper and just enough oil to coat. Roast in the oven for 25 mins, turning them halfway through cooking.

Step 3: Meanwhile, wash the spring greens. Strip the leaves off the central stalks. Discard the stalks and finely slice the leaves.

Step 4: Cut each apple into 8 wedges. Cut away the core from each wedge. When you take the parsnips and shallots out to turn them halfway through cooking, add the apples.

Step 5: Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan. Add the spring greens and cook for 3-4 mins until beginning to wilt. Remove and keep to one side. Give the pan a wipe clean.

Step 6: Return the pan to the heat and add another 1 tbsp oil. Season the pork escalopes on both sides with salt and pepper. When the pan is very hot, fry the pork for just under 2 mins on each side. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the mustard and a squeeze of lemon juice to the pan. Turn the escalopes a few times to coat them in the mustardy juices, then leave them to rest.

Step 7: When the parsnips are cooked, remove the roasting tray from the oven and add the spring greens. Mix them through; the heat of the tray will warm them through and finish the cooking.

Step 8: Slip the skins away from the roasted garlic. Divide everything from the roasting tray between 2 plates. Serve with the escalopes and any juices from the pan.

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