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Time that flies and chicken biryani.

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Nearly all the spices that went into the biryani! Photo by Shantanu Pal on Pexels.com

Wow, I cannot keep up!

It is 5 days since my last post – time absolutely flies! I don’t know why I feel that way, since I’m really not busy at all – quite the opposite, in fact, and then normally time drags by.

Remember I said last time, or the time before, that I was going to try a few different Indian/curry recipes this winter? So yesterday I decided that I’m going to make myself a chicken biryani. I had some of the ingredients, like the chicken and the rice, the rest I went out and bought, because it is spices that I’ll use again.

Now it has been quite some time since I’ve had a good biryani, and I remember loving it, so I was hoping it will live up to expectations.

Once again, I’m not going to give the recipe since there are hundreds all over the internet. I chose my recipe on Pinterest.

I started off with marinating the chicken pieces for about two hours.

I then put some oil and butter in a pot, and fried off the spices and onion.

It looks like there are hardly any spices there, but remember most of the spices are already in the marinade.

I then added the marinated chicken, fried it a bit, and then closed the pot so the chicken can cook. When that was ready, the rice was added, with warm salted water. I closed the lid and left it to slowly cook. Remember it should not be stirred at all.

Of course, I forgot to take a picture when I added the rice! I’m sure that won’t be a bother, since I am not actually doing a step-by-step recipe for you anyway.

The result was very flavoursome – a good, spicy depth of flavour, but I have to say, a bit too dry to my taste. I’m not sure how I’ll change that, since you are supposed to cook all the fluids away so the rice is dry and you can separate the kernels.

Any ideas? I would love to make it again if I could just get it to be less dry…

Now it is time for Daisy’s daily walk, so until next time, keep the sunny side up!

Spicing it up.

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My tiny chilli plant really delivered this time!

I do love spicy food.

By that I don’t mean food that burns my lungs out, or makes my tongue go numb, but I do love spices, and lots of it! Food can be spicy without any heat, of course! I generally like using spices in all my food, not only curries. I enjoy Indian and Thai food, and a mild to not-quite-so-mild sting is fine, as long a I can still taste my food. I also love Middle Eastern food, and Chinese flavours.

The other day I realized that I haven’t had a bit of spicy heat for some time, and the weather was perfect for some comfort food, so I decided to make a mutton curry (I prefer mutton to lamb.) I mostly do not follow recipes, so I cannot give you a recipe for this, but it did come out flavoursome and moreish.

First I fried some onions, fresh garlic and ginger, and spices together, then I added the meat to give it some colour.

I then added some tomatoes and water, and left the curry to cook slowly for a couple of hours.

I love using veggies in my curries, so close to the end I added potato cubes, baby marrow and a few florets of cauliflower. Served on Basmati rice, and voila!! Delicious.

My most used spices for curries are S & P (of course!), turmeric, coriander, fresh chillies (or chilli flakes, depending on what I’ve got handy), sometimes cumin and a piece of whole cinnamon. I taste and taste and taste until it has the degree of heat I want, the curry flavour I love.

Other favourites are butter chicken, and Thai green chicken curry. I want to explore and try out other curry styles like Madras, tandoori, tikka, etc., so I’ll be eating a lot of the good stuff during the winter months!

Let me know what your favourite curries or spicy foods are, and which one’s you’ve made yourself.

Have a good weekend folks! 🙂

Weekend well underway.

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My valley.

In the end, we did do something last night.

We decided that we needed to at least end the week on a positive note, so we went out to dinner at our favourite local restaurant. A good ending to a difficult week. 🙂

I’m not always sure how to psych myself up, or someone close to me, when things are really tough. Spewing out a few platitudes and mumbling a few well meant phrases of encouragement, really doesn’t mean too much in those circumstances. But it is mostly all I can think of. Once in a while I can come up with some advice, which is mostly a bit redundant, because I don’t always know enough about the real way things work in the business to offer any meaningful input.

I try.

Today was a beautiful day, weather wise. There is a definite chill in the air, but it was a clear, sunny day with blue skies. We pottered around the house, and then went for a lovely drive past McGregor and Bonnievale, two of our gorgeous neighbouring towns. Just what the day called for.

I’ve been craving a good bowl of curry for a few days now, so at the moment I am busy putting a mutton curry together. I am sitting at the kitchen table, glass of red wine close at hand, and the curry cooking away on the stove, while I entertain you with my thoughts. I might tell you more about that tomorrow, if it comes out the way I want it to.

At the moment I am very cautiously optimistic that this pandemic nonsense is slowly but surely moving in a positive direction. A lot of unnecessary crap has come out of it, like now South Africans suddenly need a visa to enter Ireland. I mean, COME ON!!! Really, and after everything has settled down that will not be changed back to the way things were before Covid, so why???? So many governments’ decision making makes absolutely no sense at all.

Tomorrow we might drive around and have a little braai (barbeque) somewhere. We’ll choose a route, and stop wherever we feel like it, and do a bit of a barbie. ‘Wors’ (sausage) and rolls – something simple and easy over the fire. We will have to be very careful where we do it, as the veld is very dry at the moment. All though we’ve had some rain, it has not been enough to change the fact that fires are a real threat.

I hope you have a lovely rest-of-the-weekend, and chat to you again soon. 🙂

Mullet (not the hairstyle!)

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Food…yes please!

Once again, I am hungry!

I had a late morning grilled cheese, tomato and onion sandwich. A straight forward, no nonsense sandwich that I grilled in a pan. It was delicious, because by that time (somewhere between 10 and 11 am), I had quite an appetite.

Now it is late afternoon, and because I didn’t have lunch, I am hungry. Again. 😀

So I’m thinking – we’ve got a whole left over grilled mullet in the fridge from two nights ago, so I’ll zjoosh it up a bit for dinner tonight.

Potato and spinach with butter, salt and pepper, and I’ll fry the mullet to heat it up, after I’ve rolled it in some flavoured flour. Let’s see how that goes…

It was YUMMY!!!!!

I’m not good at taking pictures of food, but I can tell you that it tasted a whole lot better than what it looks like in the picture! It was yummy! I divided the fish up into pieces, and rolled each one first in egg, and then in flour that was seasoned with turmeric, a smidgen of chili powder, paprika and salt. It came out way better than I expected.

Happy tummy, happy me. 😀

Tomorrow we are going to do some more work on the guesthouse while there are no builders around, but for now it is time to relax.

Have a lovely evening!

Tomatoes.

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Fresh from the garden.

In everything.

Well, nearly everything.

I use tomatoes a LOT. I find it difficult to make a meal without it. I use it in stews, soups, salads, and pasta dishes, of course. A bleak, grey stew looks horrible and unappetizing to me, so I always add some tomato paste or fresh tomatoes for a rich, dark colour and taste. I love growing tomatoes (as you can see in some of my previous posts), and those organic tomatoes fresh from my garden are just the best – they actually taste so much better that store bought ones! My SO eats tomatoes like other people eat apples – he loves them!

Vegetable soup I made last night, with freshly baked bread.

And my goodness, I have forgotten about toasties and hamburgers! What is better than a toasted cheese and tomato sandwich? To which you can add any number of extras – onions, pickles, ham, salami, herbs… Now my mouth is watering, and it is way too early for lunch, since I had a late breakfast! And a hamburger… I’ve heard of a strange sub species that does not like tomato on a hamburger. I have not encountered one of these weird beings yet, so I don’t believe they exist, because I can not imagine eating a juicy hamburger without a slice or three of the red fruit on it. (I’m assuming you all know by now that the tomato is actually a fruit, not a vegetable.)

Photo by Valeria Boltneva on Pexels.com

As far as their benefit to our health goes – they are of course very healthy! It contains vitamin C and potassium, amongst a few other vitamins and minerals, and the lycopene in tomatoes has been linked to a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease. So don’t hold back, eat your tomatoes, it will be to your benefit, and that of your family.

I am impatiently waiting for my plants to grow and start producing some tomatoes. I planted this second batch a bit late in the season, and I am holding thumbs that I’ll manage to get a harvest out of them before it gets too cold. And should I maybe get around to posting a few more recipes on my blog, you will notice that I use tomatoes regularly.

New tomato plants.

Are you a fan of tomatoes? Or are you one of the sub species? 😉