The Italians have risotto. The Chinese have fried rice. The Spanish have paella and many other countries enjoy what's known as pilaf. The Indians call it biryani but whatever you call it, rice mixed with a protein and herbs and spices and other bits and pieces is a really easy meal to put together and is delicious. Making a biryani with basmati rice, I believe, makes it taste all the better too.
Some people might feel a little daunted by the ingredients and number of ingredients in Indian food but it needn't be daunting. I love an authentic Indian dish and used to have jars and jars of spices and grind them up but I was the only one in the house who enjoyed it so don't bother much anymore. I always have ground cumin and coriander on hand for any number of dishes. If you have those two, ground turmeric, garlic and ginger (crushed or powder) and chilli powder, you've got the basic spices for Indian food. Even a half decent curry powder will add a nice flavour to dishes. This dish was ready in about 15 minutes because I already had the rice cooked and pulled it from the freezer.
I served this dish with low fat yoghurt flavoured with mango chutney. Mango chutney is such a good staple to have in the pantry/fridge. It lasts for just about forever and it adds such a lovely flavour to so many dishes (just think any that needs a sweet and spicy boost). You can add a no fat yoghurt to it for a light dip to serve with crudite or cream cheese for a nice spread for sandwiches. Such a versatile ingredient and not very expensive. I roughly calculated about 400 calories in this serving but it was huge. You could halve it again and serve with a salad for a light lunch or walk for an hour, like I did, to justify such a big serve. (I'll do anything for more food!) You could also leave out the cashews or use spray oil on the pan for a lighter version.
Fish Biryani with Cashews
- 1 fish fillet, chopped
- 2 cups basmati rice, cooked
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp garlic, crushed
- 1/2 cup stock
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- Fry onion in olive oil until just soft.
- Add spices and fry until they become aromatic. Add tomatoes.
- Add fish and fry for approx 2 minutes.
- Add stock, rice and cashews and heat through. Once completely warmed through, check that fish is cooked and serve
- Serve with fresh coriander, yoghurt and mango chutney and chopped cucumber, if desired.
- Suitable to have with any other cooked meat and/or nuts.