did a 10pax indian food homecooked dinner for my friends this evening…
the same friends were game to be my food guinea pigs…we got PL, D, S & SK(LS’s husband) to join dinner..
D brought red & white wine for the occasion.
& LS added the woman’s touch – white carnations…
I did 7 dishes –
- chicken briyani
- veg briyani
- butter chicken
- fish curry masala
- prawn curry masala
- mutton curry masala
- bharta (grilled egg plant) &
- V did the garlic & plain naans
I used house brand ready gravy for briyani & masala & dancing chef for butter chicken..so not too difficult..
LS brought 2 loaves of homebaked bread, just like cedele’s, both the look & also the taste. excellent bread!
V was a great help, brought ghee & naans (garlic & plain naan) during lunch time & came early at 5pm-ish…
& made the naans in my oven for the dinner…
AG brought papadum, and achar…really shiok!
mutton & veg briyani were the 2 most popular dishes this evening. ^^
my friends found the vegetarian briyani very flavourful, and just the right texture.
D said chicken briyani was tasty too, only that the texture was just slightly over.
it was the same house brand ready gravy & same amount (1.5cups) of bismati rice as the vegetarian briyani. chicken briyani had additional 1/2 deboned chicken, so perhaps it was less intense flavour-wise & a bit more liquids to cook in the rice cooker..
the mutton masala was hands down the best dishes by my friends!
a strange turn of events! when V brought ghee & naans during lunch hour, i was deciding whether to replace the mutton by pork….
i had wanted to use the slow braising technique to produce a tender mutton. the theory is 90degC is the optimal temperature to break down collagen (tough connective tissues) to gelatine, making it both tender as well as flavourful at the same time.
i had done that before for lamb shoulders successfully in 90degC oven for 6hrs. i was a bit uncertain this time so reduced to 4hrs. but the mutton was tough. i did another 4hrs to no much effect (i think a continuous 6hrs would be the correct preparation).
one way to tenderise was to put in the steam oven for 1.5hrs. i was not confident i could rescue the mutton, so thought of replacing with pork.
everyone was glad i did not! AG & LS told me it sounded like a horror story when i suggested that.
anyhow the mutton turned out beautifully. i had said in the whatsapp chat that i was confident of the taste, as it was just the reliable house brand ready gravy. only uncertainty was the texture.
but it turned out perfectly. the connective tissues were tender & tasty, and in fact CL said he specially liked that part.
so the potential failure became the best dish!
butter chicken i guess was ok, but evidently the least “lakku” dish!
LS said that i had too much chicken (i used 1/2 chicken for this evening when in my very successful first attempt here i used 1/4 chicken), so the gravy was kind of diluted & not as intense. probably so!
the fish masala was my first attempt.
i was not entirely sure which fish to use. i had angkorli & seabass as back up but decided to go to chinatown complex this morning, and i managed to get a good cut of batang fish (ikan tenggiri or spanish mackerel).
i fried the fish in oil to brown it & made it firmer in the masala.
i fried chopped onions in ghee, then added the house brand ready gravy & intense chicken stock & reduced. (very important to reduce correctly to make a tasty gravy, not diluted flavorus).
then i added the fish, covered & cooked for short while.
the texture was firm, fish was fresh & tasty, & the gravy was excellent!
this another dish many of my friends liked a lot.. 🙂
likewise the prawn masala.
the key is to ensure the prawns not overcooked, is plump, bouncy-texture, tasty & fresh.
bharta was another unrehearsed first attempt for me. literally watching & rewatching the “Baingan Bartha – By Vahchef @ Vahrehvah.com” video & reproducing it.
like i told my friends – didn’t know what it was before cooking & didn’t know what it was after cooking.
anyhow the amazing thing is that for the most part these tries turn out quite perfectly, and it did this evening.
the bharta was a favourite dish & S who is vegetarian and arrive later nearer 9pm (we kept the vegetarian briyani & lots of bharta for him) liked it a lot too.
my friends of course brought their wonderful company👍
they also brought all the naans, ghee, bread, achar, papadum, wine;
and for dessert, the grapes, magnum, lanka…
& S brought the eggless blackforest cake from chinese swimming club..
D entertained us with his many daring escapades…. of the helicopter kind…
we had very fun enjoyable jolly good evening together 👍😎