Everyone has their favorite dish that they love and never get tired of having. But this one dish that is unanimously loved by everyone is Biryani. With it’s different regional variations, one is spoilt for options when it comes to savoring this classic dish full of flavors. My mother makes the Best-est Biryani (I’m sure your mother does too!) she doesn’t use any spice mixes and makes it with her own spices – maybe that’s why it has a distinct flavor.
For people like me who are full-time employed and don’t have much time to prepare the maslas (spices), the ready-to-use Spice Mixes have been a saviour. Giving you the same rich taste in much less time and with much less effort. I’ve been using Shan Masala powders from quite sometime now and have been really satisfied with the taste of the food prepared, every time! These masala powders have already eased cooking so much that Biryani once known as a festive food has now become an everyday dish in homes, which in itself is a celebration of bringing a traditional dish to every home.
Shan Foods has now taken it to another level by introducing their ready-to-use Curry Pastes & Sauces. Which means no more waiting for the onions to caramelize or for tomatoes to soften. No more spice mixes (masala powders) needed, just one cooking paste and your Biryani is ready in no time at all! Now isn’t that great?
At first I was a bit skeptical about using the Biryani Paste because was so unsure how it will be like. The taste, the amount of spices and what all it contains. But after reading the ingredients list on the back of the jar and the instructions, I was like let’s do this! After all it’s Shan’s bottle and I can trust them with their products.
In a few simple steps and with so less ingredients: Chicken, Yogurt, Biryani Paste and Rice – we had a delicious, aromatic and flavorful Biryani. Although the chicken curry was a bit darker in color compared to what we usually make but the taste was Ahhh-mazing!
These Curry Pastes are available at select store in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad. Get one today and trust me you’ll love it too.
Chicken Biryani with Shan Biryani Paste
by Hirra Pervaiz January-01-2017
Quick Fix Chicken Biryani with Shan Biryani Paste – aromatic,rich in flavor,delicious Biryani in just 45 mins!
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: serves 6
500 grams Rice
2 1/2 liter Water
For Chicken Curry
1 Whole Chicken
1 Cup Yogurt
1 Jar Shan Biryani Paste (I used half Jar)
Ghee or Oil for Cooking
Yellow food color for layering
Chicken Curry: In a pan heat the ghee or oil add chicken and let it cook. It will release its own water, let it cook while stirring occasionally until the water dries completely. Now add yogurt and continue cooking on medium heat, when mixed well add half the jar of Shan Biryani Paste and let cook for 25 minutes till the chicken is tender and the gravy is reduced but not liquid
Rice: Wash and soak rice in water for 15-20 minutes and drain. Boil 2 1/2 liters of water with a little salt. Once the water starts to boil add rice and cook for 5-7 minutes until they are half cooked. Drain the water
Layering: Oil a heavy bottomed pan, place two-thirds of rice on the base, followed by gravy. Keep alternating layers of rice and gravy making rice as the top layer as well. Sprinkle some yellow food color. Cover the pan tightly with the lid and cook on low flame for 10-15 minutes till the rice is done and steaming
I love pasta in all shapes and sizes and with all kinds of sauces and cheeses (umm..ok not all kinds but yes most of it). I mean, you can never go wrong with a pasta dish and it’s such a quick fix. Just throw in a few ingredients add any type of pasta (available at hand) and there you have it a delicious meal.
This time around, I made Rotini pasta with a rich and flavorful, full of spices meat sauce. It had loads and loads of cheese so when you dig in it, those stretchy Mozzarella cheese threads tickles those tastebuds. And guess what? It was an instant hit my place and was gone in a jiffy. So now you know how amazingly delicious this easy pasta dish is, let’s get cooking!
But before that let me tell you that the best thing about this dish is that you can use any type of pasta you have on hand or the one you love. For this dish I liked using Rotini, and ofcourse you can use spaghetti, elbow macaroni, penne or any other type that will hold the sauce well.
As for me, it’s Rotini
While this pasta is amazingly delicious and really quick and easy, there’s another secret to it. This pasta recipe makes a wonderful make-ahead meal. Now isn’t that cool? Prepare it on the weekend and refrigerate it and use whenever you want around the week. I’m sure it’ll be a rescue meal for those busy days and you’ll thank me for it!
For my vegan friends, don’t be disappointed I’ve got you covered too. You can enjoy the very same recipe with your favorite veggies. Please read the notes below.
Here’s the Rotini with Spicy Meat Sauce recipe, hope you love it as much as I do (or even more maybe)
Rotini with Spicy Meat Sauce
by Hirra Pervaiz July-13-2015
Rotini Pasta with Italian seasoned spicy meat sauce topped with cheese. A fast track recipe bursting with flavors and ready to eat in just 30 minutes!
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: serves 6
For Spicy Meat Sauce
2 Cups Minced Meat, Chicken, Mutton or Beef
1 Medium Onion, chopped finely
4-6 Garlic Cloves, chopped finely (I used about 8)
2 Tbsp Tomato Puree
1 Cup Pizza Sauce
1/4 tsp Mixed Italian Herbs
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Chilies
1 tsp Salt, or to taste
1 tsp Black pepper powder, or to taste
1/4 tsp White pepper powder
For Rest of the Pasta
2 Cups Rotini Pasta, or any pasta of choice
1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese, grated
1/2 Cup Cheddar Cheese, grated
For Spicy Meat Sauce: In a heavy bottom pan, add minced meat over medium heat. Stir it around until the meat is all cooked and browned. Add to it chopped onions and garlic, give it a nice stir and let onions turn a bit translucent. Now add salt,black pepper powder and crushed red chilies along with 1/4 cup of water to cook the onions. Stir this around for a few minutes over medium heat until onions become soft. Then add in mixed Italian herbs,tomato puree and white pepper. Mix it all together Now add to it Pizza Sauce,mix it around for a moment and bring to a light boil.Lower the heat to simmer while you do the rest of the preps!
Prepare Pasta: Get a pot of water boiling, add 1 tsp salt and pasta and let cook until it’s done. Drain it and add a tsp of oil, give it a mix. While the pasta is boiling, grate the cheese
By this point the sauce should be done, so turn off the heat. Do a taste check and adjust seasonings according to taste. Add pasta to the prepared meat sauce and mix well so that its all well coated
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take out the pasta in an oven-proof dish and top it with grated cheese. Bake till the cheese melts. Serve hot to enjoy stretchy Mozzarella Cheese threads
Veggie Lovers can skip minced meat and add their choice of vegetables, capsicum, carrots etc.
This can be made with any type of pasta and can also be made-ahead.
Mushrooms, pepperoni, olives can be included too.
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As the monsoon season begins and the temperature starts to drop, the rain is pouring an instant craving for something warm and sweet begins. In times like those Semolina (Suji/Sooji) halwa is one dish you need to know.
Out of all the Halwa desserts that I know, this is one of my favorite halwa recipe. Just imagine, rain is pouring down, the weather is cool, and you get this warm Semolina Halwa with its sweetness tempered with the spiciness of cardamoms and those chunky bits of almond and pistachios.. aah..mazing! It sure is very comforting and takes less time too.
Besides being a dessert, it can be served as a festive dessert, or even a breakfast delicacy with puris. The tricky thing here is the ratio of Semolins (Suji):Water:Sugar and the ratio I use is 1:2:1 where water is divided as (1 part water and 1 part milk). For more tips & tricks see the end of the recipe
In a heavy bottomed pan add ghee and let it melt over medium heat. When it melts add Semolina (Sooji/Suji) and mix.
Roast the semolina on low to medium heat, stirring occasionally until it turns light golden in color and gives off a faint aroma
While semolina is being roasted, in a separate pan bring mixture of milk, water, sugar and cardamom to a boil, stirring often
While the Semolina has been roasted, and you’ve achieved your desired color (not too dark) gradually add the milk-water mixture into the pan stirring constantly so that lumps are not formed and the mixture is absorbed
Keep stirring on low heat until the mixture is thick, semolina swells and the mixture pulls away from the walls of the pan
Turn off the heat, add the drops of Kewra water (essence) mix the mixture and partially cover the pan for about 10 minutes.
Let it cool to a warm temperature, serve warm garnished with sliced almonds and pistachios.
Tips & Tricks
If you want that very soft consistency to go with puris increase the amount either milk or water in the recipe according to your desired consistency
You can be creative with your serving by using different shaped molds to serve your halwa
Garnish it with cashew nuts, raisins or coconut
This simple halwa can be made flavorsome as Pineapple Semolina Halwa or Orange Semolina halwa too (will post these recipes soon)