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Any Commments re Niloufer King's "My Bombay Kitchen"?

I haven't seen the book yet, but I was thinking of buying it, on the strength of one order of chicken biryani I tasted at Boulette's Larder at the SF Ferry Plaza. It was the best chicken biryani I've ever had, and I think they used her recipe. (Though I don't even know if that recipe is in the book.)

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  1. I found the book to be thoroughly entertaining and very comprehensive. I have tried about 10 of the recipes so far, and the only one that I was a bit disappointed with was the "Khima" - spiced minced lamb. The others were stellar !

    I plan on making the biryani next weekend !

    1. Mmm ... watching this thread and bumping. This book is on my "buy list".

      1. Oooops. I realize now that it was actually a goat biryani I had, not chicken, and the recipe seems to be the one in her book.

        Thanks for the feedback, Osho! Please post and let me know how the biryani goes. If it is a rich, fragrant, utterly fabulous biryani, then it's probably the one I tasted :-)

        6 Replies
        1. re: pilinut

          Most definitely.

          I need to locate a good butcher in SF. I think I'll try the local shop - Drewe's meats first.

          I shall report back.

          1. re: pilinut

            If you're thinking about the dish you ate at Boulette's Larder, it was Nana's Pulao. We bought the kid at the Indus Market in Berkeley though there's also a halal butcher in San Francisco on Geary. Allow lots of time for the kid/older goat to get meltingly tender. It's not a hard thing to make--actually easier than Nana's Biryani since there's no ground masala involved beyond the ginger-garlic paste.

            1. re: nuxindica

              Thank you so much for that information. It's been 6 months or more since I had that pulao, and I really must make it soon because there hasn't been another restaurant biryani that has come close. Incidentally, what is the difference between a biryani and a pulao?

              1. re: pilinut

                Biryani is supposed to be layers of rice (cooked in water) and meat in a sauce, while pilau has the rice cooked in the sauce (rice becomes red). Most Indian restaurants serve "biryani" that I would call "pilau."

                I also greatly enjoyed her book and keen sense of humor especially on matters of rice consumption and eggs.

                1. re: brittle peanut

                  I respectfully would like to expand and clarify the biryani/pulao distinction. Biryani is layers of rice and meat or vegetables with onions and spices to make a gravy. It is usually cooked in the oven after the rice is parboiled. Pulao is the Indian version of pilaf (many spellings) of similar dishes from the middle east, north africa, India, Pakistan and Nepal. In pulao vegetables or spices are usually stir fried, then the rice is added and finally liquid. Most often pulao is cooked on top of the stove with water. Chicken stock and tomato are less traditional. In fact, I've rarely ever seen red pulao.

                  1. re: TexasIndia

                    Okay, red is an exaggeration -- but the idea being that in meat pilau, the rice is cooked IN the sauce (often brown or red) and therefore gets more color than white rice from just being boiled. In many parts of the world it is perfectly authentic to cook it in a sauce other than water and therefore reddish is typical of meat pilaus, from tomato sauce (no broth required because the meat generates its own broth). I am speaking of meat pilaus not of fried onions and spices with rice type of simple pilau. My mother would be shocked at the suggestion that her pilaus aren't traditional because they are reddish!

                    Also in many parts of the world, an oven is not a traditional piece of cooking equipment so one is not required to make "authentic" biryani.

                    But pilau is a one pot dish, where the tastes of everything merge. Biryani is served in one pot but requires more to cook it, with distinct layers of different tastes.

          2. I like this book very much. The recipes are very clearly written and the ones that I have tried are delicious.