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Post your San Francisco Chowing with the Hounds Picnic 2006 Recipes Here!

susancinsf Oct 8, 2006 01:13 AM

We just had a wonderful picnic with the hounds in Golden Gate Park, and I will start a thread on the SF Board, but in the meantime, we encourage you all to post your recipes, or requests for recipes, here!

I'd love the recipe for the fig tapenade, just as a starter. Actually, I'd love more recipes but have to sober up from the wine to remember what else to ask about...

My recipe was easy: leave the house before dawn (well, that part wasn't easy, but the rest was), drive 5 minutes from house to Alemeny Farmer's Market by the light of the full moon (Which was quite a sight coming over the hill on my way home, and worth the early start!), buy two dozen tamales from the All Star Tamale stand, bring camp stove and steamer to the park, and heat them up! I liked the red salsa and pork variety, but there was too much of a crowd to try them all! :-)

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  1. m
    maus1 RE: susancinsf Oct 8, 2006 04:07 PM

    PicNic Mole

    Ingredients:

    Chiles:Chilhuacle (black and red), mulato, pasilla, ancho. (take your pick)
    Tomatoes
    Tomatillo
    Onion
    Garlic
    Banana very ripe or plantain
    Dry Bread (like Jewish halla works great!)
    Toasted sesame
    Nuts Pecans or walnuts
    Almonds
    Peanuts
    Pepitas
    Raisins
    1 burnt tortilla
    Nutmeg
    Mexican cinnamon
    Oregano
    Thyme
    Marjoram
    Anis seeds
    Cumin seed
    Allspice (pimiento gorda)
    Mexican chocolate (La Soledad, Mayordomo or Ibarra are great) couple rounds
    Sugar
    Avocado leaves dry and toasted (sold in Mexican stores in spice section)
    Peppercorns
    Coriander seeds

    1. Most of the amounts are logical...same amount of each chili (1/2 cup?) About 1/3 cup of nuts and raisins and small amounts of spices. I actually used a pre-ground base paste and added all the other ingredients. You can use even some of the bottled ones (such as Mayordomo brand)

    2. Cook the chicken or turkey in water with onion, carrots, celery, bay leaves, peppercorns and garlic. Do not overcook! Take out and skim broth. Throw out veges.
    Take out chili seeds and only keep enough seeds depending on how hot you want the mole. Toast the chilies (all are dry). I use just a bit so it is not too hot.

    Last time I made the Mole I took the chilies, nuts and all dry ingredients to a grinding place when I was in Oaxaca (It is actually the chocolate factory la Soledad next to the Marketplace in Oaxaca city where they grind people's moles. Every family has its own recipe and they have it made to order!) Once I got my Mole paste I froze it when I returned to the States. I know you can probably grind the chilies in a food processor or blender after soaking the chilies for an hour (include the tortilla). The harder spices, nuts, chili seeds, raisins, etc need a spice or coffee grinder...after toasting them on a skillet.

    3. Fry onion, garlic, bread, banana, all nuts and raisins. Reserve. (I fry in oil, they recommend lard)
    Blanch tomatoes, tomatillo. Blend with a little water.

    4. Fry the chili paste, add the blended tomatoes, and add the fried ingredients above (also blended). Add the broth so that it is not too watery. Maybe 7-8 cups? Cook for 20 minutes. Add chocolate so it melts (I use a microwave to soften...) and the avocado leaves.
    Make sure it does not burn! Use medium/low heat so it is gently bubbling. After it thickens and the oil rises to the top (20-30 minutes), add the chicken pieces for a short while. Remove avocado leaves.
    Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.

    4 Replies
    1. re: maus1
      free sample addict aka Tracy L RE: maus1 Oct 8, 2006 08:00 PM

      Thanks for posting the recipe, I look forward to making it this winter.

      1. re: maus1
        Peter Yee RE: maus1 Oct 8, 2006 08:59 PM

        I in awe. That looks like a lot of work. It certainly tasted like it with the complex layers of flavor. The mole was incredibly indulgent. I might make it if I'm feeling really daring and energized. Otherwise I'll just have to relive the picnic in my mind. :-)

        1. re: Peter Yee
          Melanie Wong RE: Peter Yee Oct 8, 2006 09:04 PM

          Peter, your pear and fig strudel was one of many highlights of the picnic for me. The pears had perfect texture, retaining some fo their firmness and I loved the extra depth of flavor from the figs. Even more impressive is that you made this from what you happened to have in the pantry.

        2. re: maus1
          Carb Lover RE: maus1 Oct 10, 2006 06:47 AM

          Impressive! I've only made mole once many years ago but need to try again. I need clarification though--do you strain your mole at any point? I remember doing that before, which was a big PIA!

          The recipes so far sound delicious; I really missed out. Hope to see some photos soon...

        3. free sample addict aka Tracy L RE: susancinsf Oct 8, 2006 07:59 PM

          The tamales were great, we often drive down the coast to go camping so a tamale stop is definitely in order. Steaming them as you did on a camp stove was very clever, definitely something to add to the camp cook repetoire. Here is the link to the tapenade recipe:

          http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

          The changes I made were that I substituted pomegranate paste for the balsamic vinegar and added about a tbs of red wine vinegar as I prefer the app to be more tangy than sweet. This is definitely a taste as you go project in order to get the right balance of flavor. It's best to make it a couple of days before serving. I hand chopped all the ingredients on Thursday and then gave about 2/3 of the dish a couple of long pulses in the food processor on Friday. You can make it into a paste and smear it on grilled fish or use the paste to stuff some chicken thighs or breasts. I didn't use the walnuts or the goat cheese for the picnic but, have used goat cheese and pinenuts in the past.

          I am looking foward to reading all the other recipes as all the other dishes were amazing!

          5 Replies
          1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L
            oakjoan RE: free sample addict aka Tracy L Oct 8, 2006 10:26 PM

            I don't know where you are Tracy, but I think the same tamales are available at the Old Oakland Farmers' Market on Fridays. They're right at the beginning of the Market (at Broadway) usually across from the Roli Roti truck. I get them and bring them to work and we all heat them in the microwave and gobble them down.

            1. re: oakjoan
              free sample addict aka Tracy L RE: oakjoan Oct 9, 2006 07:42 PM

              Thanks, I live in Sacramento but like to come to the Bay Area as often as I can. I'll keep this in mind as I have wanted to try the FM there.

            2. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L
              susancinsf RE: free sample addict aka Tracy L Oct 9, 2006 04:57 AM

              Thanks for the tapenade recipe! and, I am glad you liked the tamales...btw, you don't have to get there at crack of dawn (though I guess it does help to get the best selection): I've seen the All Star Stand going full guns at noon, for you late risers out there!

              1. re: susancinsf
                free sample addict aka Tracy L RE: susancinsf Oct 9, 2006 07:46 PM

                Thanks Susan, it's good to know they still have tamales later in the morning. My fellow campers and I are not exactly early risers. Can you purchase them cold or warm or both? It might be the perfect lunch stop.

                1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L
                  susancinsf RE: free sample addict aka Tracy L Oct 11, 2006 03:09 AM

                  you can get them cold or hot, and if you get them hot, they have tables and their salsa selection all set up!

            3. Peter Yee RE: susancinsf Oct 8, 2006 09:05 PM

              The recipe for the pear fig strudel can also be found on Epicurious:

              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...
              (Don't forget to click on the ginger cream link as well.

              )

              Making that recipe came down to have a lot of fresh figs and pears (from a friend's trees). Most of the recipes I found used Calmyrna or dried figs.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Peter Yee
                free sample addict aka Tracy L RE: Peter Yee Oct 9, 2006 07:51 PM

                I really enjoyed the strudel, you really inspired me to try baking one. Do you think it would freeze well? My fig tree is very prolific, I'd love to make several strudels as you did and freeze them to bring to parties later on.

                1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L
                  Peter Yee RE: free sample addict aka Tracy L Oct 10, 2006 02:04 AM

                  Allegedly it should freeze well prior to baking. I've not tried that, but that's what other strudel recipes have shown.

              2. Peter Yee RE: susancinsf Oct 8, 2006 09:06 PM

                Thanks for the pointers on the tamales. Hadn't know about those being at the Alemany market. Hmmm. Got to find a free Saturday to go shopping.

                1. pitu RE: susancinsf Oct 8, 2006 10:33 PM

                  There are VERY few times I wished I lived in the Bay Area instead of NYC, but the SF 'hound picnic always makes me jealous.
                  Thanks for posting your recipes!

                  1. oakjoan RE: susancinsf Oct 8, 2006 11:03 PM

                    I'd love the recipe for the cauliflower and gorgonzola soup. I practically grabbed the pan off the stove and ran off with it. Delicious and rich.

                    I also loved the oatmeal cookies with sea salt and would like that recipe as well.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: oakjoan
                      Ruth Lafler RE: oakjoan Oct 9, 2006 04:30 AM

                      Thanks! It's very easy, which just proves you don't have to slave to make something delicious if you're willing to be lavish with the butterfat. In return, I want the recipe for the apricot cake with the yogurt sauce (soooo good!).

                      Stilton Cauliflower Soup (adapted from a recipe on epicurious.com)

                      2 medium onions, finely chopped
                      1 lb cauliflower florets, cut into 1-inch pieces
                      6 tablespoons butter
                      2 cups chicken broth
                      2 cups beef broth
                      2 1/4 cups whole milk
                      2 tsp. cornstarch
                      1/4 pound Stilton, crumbled
                      1 cup light cream or half-and-half
                      1/2 tsp. white pepper
                      1/4 tsp. salt

                      Cook onion and cauliflower in butter in a heavy stockpot over medium heat, stirring occasionally until onions are softened (8-10 minutes). Add broth and 2 cups milk, bring to a simmer, cover and cook until cauliflower is very tender (about 25 minutes).

                      Puree cauliflower mixture until very smooth. Return to pot and bring to simmer. Whisk together cornstarch with remaining 1/4 cup milk, then add to soup and whisk until soup is slightly thickened, 1-2 minutes. Add Stilton, cream, pepper and salt and whisk over heat until Stilton is melted and soup is smooth.

                      Makes 6-8 servings.

                      I think it is better made the day before and reheated.

                    2. susancinsf RE: susancinsf Oct 9, 2006 05:01 AM

                      Another find I wanted to mention, that was new to me, was the gelato from Sweet Booth. This place is in the mall in Chinatown, I think off 8th between Franklin and Webster (?), Anyway, I never even realized there was a gelato place there, (and I call myself a Chowhound....) but the black sesame was quite good....almost a rival for Marco Polo! and just enough of a walk from my office to justify the calories. Can the hound who brought this tell us more, and maybe give us other hints on good flavors to try? (Others liked the avocado, but I found it a bit subtle after all the other tastes I had just had)..

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: susancinsf
                        oakjoan RE: susancinsf Oct 9, 2006 06:09 AM

                        Aieee! You read my mind. I just logged on to ask for info on where to purchase that black sesame ice cream. Lucious! I also agree about the avocado, too bland or something for my crude tastes. Off 9th maybe? DOn't think there's anything but one or two story shops/restaurants on 8th btwn Frank and Web.

                        To Ruth - I'll post the apricot pistachio orange cake recipe tomorrow.

                        1. re: oakjoan
                          Dave MP RE: oakjoan Oct 10, 2006 05:55 AM

                          I didn't really like the avocado ice cream either, didn't think it tasted like much at all. The black sesame on the other hand was awesome.

                          One recipe that hasn't been mentioned yet is the corn soup with the avocado cream. Tam, even though it's a super secret family recipe, maybe you can still post it. ;)

                          Thanks everyone for a great picnic. I'm already looking forward to next year,

                          Dave MP

                          1. re: Dave MP
                            s
                            Shreesh Taskar RE: Dave MP Oct 10, 2006 04:33 PM

                            That ice cream was awesome!! I liked both - the black sesame for its taste and the avocado for its unctuous and rich mouth feel.

                            1. re: Dave MP
                              susancinsf RE: Dave MP Oct 11, 2006 03:16 AM

                              I would like to second the request for the corn soup. Delicious! Also, I only got a bite of the biriyani, but would love that one as well: the spices were amazing...

                              and Marlon: had some mole poblano today in Guadalajara: yours is better, bananas or no! :-)

                              1. re: susancinsf
                                Dave MP RE: susancinsf Oct 11, 2006 04:33 AM

                                Do you mean Guadalajara, Mexico? Or a place here called Guadalajara?

                                1. re: Dave MP
                                  Melanie Wong RE: Dave MP Oct 11, 2006 06:31 AM

                                  She's in Mexico.

                                  1. re: Melanie Wong
                                    susancinsf RE: Melanie Wong Oct 11, 2006 03:32 PM

                                    The wonders of hotel wireless....indeed, while I haven't gone that far there are many more Blackberries since my last trip just two or so years ago! :-)

                                    but thanks for the clarification. There is another thread going on the SF board about places to find good mole....

                                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                          2. re: susancinsf
                            d
                            David Farris RE: susancinsf Oct 9, 2006 07:10 AM

                            That was me. It seems to not have a substantial post on the board, so I just wrote one:
                            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                          3. j
                            jhinky RE: susancinsf Oct 10, 2006 05:01 PM

                            Oh my - a great time was had by all! I had to run off early but it was so exciting meeting all the hounds at registration!

                            I made the moong dal and recipe follows. Its a very simple Bengali homestyle roasted moong dal .

                            Ingredients:
                            Moong Dal (the yellow peeled ones and not the whole green ones) - 500 gms (1 lb)
                            Turmeric 1 - 1.5 tsp (it should look right)
                            Salt, to taste
                            Sugar, about half of the salt or more
                            Ground garam masala (I used 10 cardamoms, 2 x 1.5" cinnamon and 10 cloves)
                            Whole garam masala (about the same as the ground again)
                            Whole cumin (2 tsp)
                            Dried chili - 2
                            Peas - optional (I used a bag of *gasp* frozen peas)

                            Mix of ghee and vegetable oil (any neutral flavored) - half a cup

                            The spices are very approximate and feel free to increase but maybe not decrease as you see fit.

                            Pan-roast and grind the garam masala to be ground(I use a coffee grinder just for spices).

                            Dry-roast the moong dal in a large flat pan or wok. You should keep stirring it back and forth until it is fragrant and turning red but not burnt or black!

                            Wash the roasted dal of at least the first couple of runs of foamy water. Use a large pot to boil the dal (med-high - turn it down if it looks like it will boil over) along with turmeric in 1.5 x water until the dal is almost cooked. Add water if it looks too dry. Add the salt and sugar - err on the side of less than you think it needs as you can taste and add more salt/sugar later. If using peas add it as you see fit - so that it is cooked but not mushy - just before adding the salt and sugar and about 5 minutes before adding the spices if using frozen)

                            In a separate frying pan or wok (I used the same 12" non stick frying pan for roasting the dal and doing the "phoron" or the spices at this stage) heat the mix of ghee and vegetable oil. Add all the whole spices (Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves and Cumin) and the dried chilli into the hot oil. Be careful as this will splutter furiously. You should be able to smell the spices and the chilli and the cardamoms will be puffed up and the cumin will be dancing in the hot oil. Now add the ground garam masala and fry it for a few seconds - the oil will turn brown and the spices' smell should be very strong.

                            Traditionally you now add the almost cooked dal into the oil but I prefer to pour the hot oil and spices into the large pot with the boiling dal as that feels safer to me. Keep stirring and tasting and adjust salt and sugar to taste. Add water as needed or boil off excess.

                            Pour into a serving pan and finish with a final sprinkling of the ground garam masala on the hot dal so that it lets off that lovely fragrance.

                            Serve with rice and fritters and various fried vegetables or a dry vegetable dish like alu gobi. Alternately add small cubed vegetables like potatoes, cauliflowers, green beans while boiling the daal for a soupy lentil dish.

                            1. r
                              Ruby Louise RE: susancinsf Oct 10, 2006 06:41 PM

                              Dukkah Mix
                              (Toasted Nut & Spice Mixture for dipping)

                              I found this recipe while researching for my stepdaughter's graduation party in June, which had an around-the-world food theme. It can be made ahead of time, and keeps well without refrigeration. Apparently this is a snack served in Middle Eastern markets and is known as the poor man's dinner, and perfect travel food. You can serve it with toasted pita, balls of soft cheese, sliced tomatoes or sliced cucumbers.

                              2/3 cup sesame seeds
                              1/2 cup hazelnuts
                              1/2 cup cashews
                              1/2 cup dry, uncooked chickpeas
                              1/2 whole coriander seeds
                              3 tablespoons whole cumin seed
                              1 teaspoon dried thyme
                              2 teaspoons fine sea salt
                              1 teaspoon crushed black pepper
                              2 tablespoons hot Hungarian paprika
                              1 bag of pita, olive oil and whatever else you want for dipping

                              Toasted Pita:
                              Place pitas on baking sheets and bake in a 350 oven for 10-20 minutes until barely browned and crispy. Turn pitas once or twice during baking.

                              Dukkah Mix:
                              Toast sesame seeds in a dry skillet until golden. Remove from skillet and set aside.

                              Toast cashews briefly in a dry skillet until golden. Remove from skillet and set aside.

                              Individually toast hazelnuts and chickpeas and cook 4-5 minutes until aromatic and just beginning to show color. Remove from skillet and set aside.

                              Toast coriander seeds, thyme, and cumin together in a dry skillet until they darken and become aromatic. Remove and set aside to cool.

                              Finely chop or crush the hazelnuts, cashews and chickpeas by individually running through a coffee grinder or cuisnart. Don't chop them too much or they will start to turn into nut butters.

                              Combine the nuts & spices, stirring in the paprika, salt & pepper.

                              Serve with toasted pita and a separate bowl of olive oil. To eat, dip the pita in the olive oil and then into the dukkah.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Ruby Louise
                                s
                                sfpizzalover RE: Ruby Louise Oct 11, 2006 01:00 AM

                                Thanks for sharing this unique recipe. I loved it! What else can you serve it with?

                                1. re: Ruby Louise
                                  d
                                  dordogne RE: Ruby Louise Oct 11, 2006 01:14 AM

                                  Thanks, Ruby Louise. The combination of flavors and textures did a wonderful dance on the tongue. I found several recipes online, but they had fewer ingredients and looked less interesting. Look forward to making a stash to keep on hand.

                                  1. re: Ruby Louise
                                    Melanie Wong RE: Ruby Louise Oct 11, 2006 06:36 AM

                                    This was super. I especially liked spearing the bocconcini with a toothpick and coating them with the crunchy mix. The contrast of the soft cheese and the crackly bits was great.

                                  2. n
                                    nja RE: susancinsf Oct 10, 2006 07:25 PM

                                    Man, I am really bummed that I got sick and had to back out at the last minute. I had even started making my dish on Friday night, but when I woke up on Saturday morning I just didn't feel up to it. I was going to cook on-site again, since I had so much fun doing it with the deep fried quesadillas a few years ago. Anyway, in case anyone is interested in what they missed, I was going to bring an assortment of Mediterranean dips and make fresh pita. Here's the pita recipe:

                                    Whole Wheat Pita
                                    Makes about 20 8" pita

                                    1.5 cups water at 100 degrees F.
                                    1 tbsp dry active yeast
                                    1 tsp sugar
                                    2 cups all purpose flour
                                    2 cups whole wheat bread flour, plus more if necessary
                                    1 tsp salt
                                    1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for brushing rolled pitas
                                    salt and dried oregano or other herbs

                                    Proof the yeast by combining the water, sugar, and dry yeast and let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the flours and salt in a large bowl. Add the water with yeast and olive oil to the flours and mix. Add more whole wheat dough if necessary until the dough is no longer sticky to the touch. Knead for 10 minutes. (If you've got a stand mixer with a dough hook, make the dough with the same ingredients per manufacturer's directions.) Coat with more olive oil, place in a clean bowl, and let rise for a few hours or up to a day. This can even be kept tightly covered in the fridge for up to 3 days with good results.

                                    Later, roll out small balls of pita on a floured board to desired size. Dough should be about 1/8" thick, or up to 1/4" if you want really fat pita. Brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and dried herbs. Cook on a hot surface (cast iron or other griddle, skillet, even a BBQ grill) for about 2 to 3 minutes per side, until pitas puff slightly and are golden brown. Transfer cooked pita to a bowl covered with a damp towel until they are all finished. Then serve while still warm.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: nja
                                      susancinsf RE: nja Oct 11, 2006 03:12 AM

                                      Next year, Nick! Maybe we can talk you into pita AND quesadillas! :-)

                                    2. m
                                      misst RE: susancinsf Oct 11, 2006 07:48 AM

                                      sweet corn soup with avocado cream
                                      (adapted from Sunday Suppers at Lucques)

                                      4 tbsp butter (I've substituted olive oil cooking for a vegan friend, and it turned out fine.)
                                      1 cup diced peeled Yukon Gold potato
                                      1 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
                                      1/2 chile arbol
                                      1 tbsp thyme
                                      4 cups fresh corn (about 6 ears)
                                      1/2 jalapeno, seeded
                                      1/2 avocado
                                      1/3 cup creme fraiche
                                      lime juice
                                      cilantro
                                      salt
                                      pepper

                                      Heat butter over medium heat until foamy. Add potato, onion, chile, thyme, and cook over low heat for about 10 min until onions are translucent and potatoes are creamy.
                                      Over high heat, stir in corn, 6 sprigs cilantro, jalapeno, salt, and pepper. Add 10 cups water and boil, stirring occasionally. Turn heat low and simmer 30 minutes, until corn/potatoes are tender.
                                      Meanwhile, puree avocado and creme fraiche. Add lime juice, salt, pepper to taste.
                                      Strain soup, reserving liquid. Discard chile. Put half corn mix in blender with 1/2 cup liquid. Puree, adding more liquid, until consistency is like heavy cream. Will need to do this in batches. Add salt, pepper to taste.
                                      Garnish with avocado cream and cilantro leaves.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: misst
                                        susancinsf RE: misst Oct 11, 2006 03:36 PM

                                        Thanks, Tam!

                                        at the picnic it was served cool (which I liked). Is that what you normally do at home too, or just a picnic adaptation?

                                        1. re: susancinsf
                                          m
                                          misst RE: susancinsf Oct 11, 2006 05:44 PM

                                          I've had it both warm and cool at home. Warm right after making, b/c I'm impatient and hungry. Cool for leftovers, b/c I'm impatient and hungry =)

                                      2. ntaskar RE: susancinsf Oct 22, 2006 06:23 PM

                                        Below is the recipe for lamb biryani:

                                        LAMB BIRYANI
                                        From “Savoring the spice coast of India” – Maya Kaimal

                                        Biryani, a rice and meat casserole, came to India from Central Asia by way of the Mughals, who ruled much of

                                        India from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. To this day it is considered one of India’s most elegant

                                        dishes, and is particularly popular in NorthIndia. This version, with South Indian touches like

                                        coconut and curry leaves, is the pride of the Mappila (Kerala Muslim) community and a mainstay at Muslim weddings.

                                        Masala
                                        3⁄4 cup unsweetened coconut
                                        2 teaspoons white poppy seeds (optional)
                                        10-12 fresh curry leaves (optional)
                                        1 to teaspoons chopped fresh green chili (Serrano or Thai), according to taste
                                        3 tbsp vegetable oil
                                        3 tablespoons Ghee
                                        3 cups thinly sliced onions
                                        1 tablespoon minced garlic
                                        1 tablespoon minced ginger
                                        Ground masala
                                        2 teaspoons coriander
                                        1 teaspoon cumin
                                        1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
                                        1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne
                                        1 1⁄2 teaspoon Garam Masala (see below)
                                        2 teaspoons salt
                                        1⁄4 cup plain yogurt
                                        2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
                                        2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
                                        1⁄2 cup chopped fresh mint
                                        2 lbs boned leg of Lamb, cut into 3⁄4” cubes (about 4 cups)

                                        Rice
                                        3 cups basmati rice
                                        2 teaspoons salt

                                        Garnish
                                        2 tablespoons vegetable oil
                                        2 tablespoons Ghee
                                        2 cups thinly sliced onions
                                        1⁄2 cup broken cashew pieces
                                        1⁄2 cup golden raisins
                                        4 large hard-boiled eggs, halved

                                        1. In a blender or mini food processor combine the coconut,
                                        poppy seeds, curry leaves, green chili, and 1⁄2 cup water (or
                                        more) to make a paste like thick pesto. Set aside.

                                        2. Heat 3 tablespoons oil and 3 tablespoons ghee in a wide
                                        frying pan over medium high heat. Add 3 cups onions and sauté
                                        until the edges are lightly browned. Put in the garlic and ginger
                                        and continue frying about 3 minutes, until you smell the aroma
                                        and the onions are brown. Stir in the ground masala, garam
                                        masala, salt, and coconut paste and fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Add
                                        the yogurt. lime juice, cilantro, and mint. Stir over medium
                                        high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Now put in the lamb pieces and
                                        stir. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat, cover,
                                        and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until the meat is tender. Stir
                                        occasionally.

                                        3. In a large bowl, wash the rice in many changes of water until
                                        the water no longer appears cloudy. Drain thoroughly.

                                        4. Prepare the garnish by heating 2 tablespoons oil and 2
                                        tablespoons ghee in a frying pan. Add the 2 cups onions and fry
                                        over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until they turn deep
                                        reddish brown and crisp (10 to 15 minutes). Remove the onions
                                        to a plate with a slotted spoon. Fry the cashews in the
                                        remaining oil until brown. Remove the nuts with a slotted
                                        spoon and repeat with the raisins. Set aside.

                                        5. Prepare the rice by combining the 2 teaspoons salt, the
                                        drained rice, and 5 cups water in a large heavy pan with a tight-
                                        fitting lid. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer 20 minutes on low
                                        heat. Remove from the heat.

                                        6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

                                        7. Fluff the rice and spread one third of it in the bottom of a
                                        casserole or Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid. Sprinkle one
                                        third of the fried onions, cashews, and raisins on top of rice,
                                        then add half the lamb mixture. Continue to layer with one
                                        third of the rice, one third of the garnish, all the remaining
                                        lamb, and finally the last third of rice. Reserve the last third of
                                        the garnish for later. Seal the top with foil, then place the lid
                                        over the foil. Bake for 30 minutes.

                                        8. Spoon onto a large platter and garnish with the remaining
                                        fried onions, cashews, and raisins. Place the halved boiled eggs,
                                        yolk up, around the edges of the platter. Serve immediately.

                                        RECIPE MAY BE PREPARED IN ADVANCE THROUGH STEP 4.
                                        PREPARATION TIME: 1’/2 HOURS
                                        BAKING TIME: 30 MINUTES
                                        SERVES: 8 TO 10

                                        GARAM MASALA
                                        4 whole pieces star anise
                                        2 teaspoons fennel seeds
                                        2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
                                        2 teaspoons ground
                                        2 teaspoons ground cardamom
                                        1 teaspoon ground nutmeg.

                                        1.Place the star anise in a coffee grinder and grind to a fine
                                        powder. Measure out 2 teaspoonfuls, reserving the rest for
                                        another use.
                                        2.Grind the fennel seeds in the coffee grinder to form a fine
                                        powder.
                                        3.Combine all the ingredients and store in an airtight jar away
                                        from the light. It will keep for 6 months.

                                        YEILD: 1⁄4 cup

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: ntaskar
                                          Peter Yee RE: ntaskar Oct 24, 2006 08:49 PM

                                          Thank you for posting the biryani recipe. The number of ingredients and the amount of work it takes was apparent in the eating. Much better than so many restaurant preparations I've had.

                                          A question. Is there any reason the rice could not be prepared in a rice cooker? I'm trying to save some time.

                                          1. re: ntaskar
                                            r
                                            Ruby Louise RE: ntaskar Oct 24, 2006 11:14 PM

                                            Thank you so much for posting this recipe! It was simply amazing. Stumbling upon it today has made an upsetting day much brighter.

                                          2. Melanie Wong RE: susancinsf Oct 22, 2006 06:30 PM

                                            I'm glad Neena revived this thread with the recipe for her excellent lamb biryani...of which I scraped the last tablespoonful from two pots to taste it.

                                            I meant to ask about the focaccia someone brought. It was on a baking sheet, I think, so I assume it was homemade. Great texture, not so tender and cakelike but light and chewy, and deliciously oily. Recipe, please?

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Melanie Wong
                                              Peter Yee RE: Melanie Wong Oct 24, 2006 08:51 PM

                                              Was that the pear and blue cheese (gorgonzola?) focaccia or am I confused?

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