Saturday, August 7, 2010

Restaurant Style Biryani/Thali "Sideish"

This was the beautiful "sideish" which went with the rava idlis in my last post. The food blogging world is such a boon to foodies like me - you think of a remembered taste, an imagined flavour, a cherished dish and you can find out how to recreate it in your home. That weekend, I didn't want to make the usual sambar to go with the idlis, nor a kurma - which is usually my favourite. I wanted something more tangy and spicy - not a tomato chutney, can't drown the idlis in it! Puli Kozhambu is too fiery to have first thing in the morning, unless it has already been made a day before and has had some time to mellow.

With father and daughter out swimming, I had all the time to ponder such earth shattering issues on a Saturday morning. I switched on my laptop and started looking at some of my favourite blogs for inspiration. And I found it on Sailu's Kitchen - a recipe for the accompaniment to biryani which is served in restaurants. Its amazing that she has gone to the trouble to recreate this dish which is served in small portions (but one can ask for refills) in biryani joints and even more amazing that she has got it spot on!

I didn't add the thick coconut milk in the original recipe because I didn't want it too creamy (and well I didn't think the joints I had eaten at, had bothered to splurge on coconut milk!). It was still a very beautiful, slightly creamy gravy with just the right amount of spice and the tangy flavour of tomatoes finishing it. Once I made it I realised that this was also the dish which is served in small quantities with "NV meals" in small Chettinad style joints in Chennai - and which we end up asking for refills. We recently had lunch for two consecutive Sundays at Gunpowder - that amazing restaurant in Delhi which serves authentic Kerala cuisine at reasonable prices, such a rarity!-and the accompaniment served with the kotthu paratha was something we ate with our appams and rice as well! I think it something about the combination of whole spices, coconut, poppy seeds and tomatoes that does the trick.

This dish is a keeper - as my husband said appreciatively - write this one down!! We couldn't get enough of it and kept slurping it up long after the idlis were done with.

Recipe for Restaurant Style Biryani/Thali "Sideish" - from Sailu's Blog. This dish goes to the latest edition of Nupur's Blog Bites event - BB6 Potluck

P.S - I have received quite a few emails asking me to post the recipe I used (without coconut milk) so I am posting this here. Also, some people were not able to check the link included above.


2 onions, sliced
3 medium tomatoes, in 4 pieces
Publish Post

Dry roast and grind:
poppy seeds (khus khus) - 1 tsp
2-3 cashewnuts
1/4 cup grated coconut

Grind to a paste: (or crush in mortar)
1 " ginger piece
3 green chillies
4 garlic cloves

1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder (dhania)
1/4 tsp turmerice powder (haldi)
1/4 tsp cumin powder (jeera)
pinch of garam masala powder

1tbsp oil
curry leaves
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
2 cardamom pods (elaichi)

1 Heat oil in a pan and add cloves, cinnamon,curry leaves and cardamom. When they change colour (about 2 minutes) add onions and fry till transparent.
2.Add the ginger, garlic and green chilli paste, fry for 2-3 minutes. Add red chilli powder, turmeric,coriander and cumin powders and mix well.
3. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry for 3 minutes.
4. Put in the coconut-cashew paste and fry for 5 minutes on a low flame, stirring from time to time.
5. Add salt, 2 cups of water and bring to boil; lower flame and simmer for 10-15 minutes and turns creamy. Remove from flame and serve warm.


Sayantani said...

never had this but looks very creamy and tasty. here the restaurants serve a mixed vegetable gravy with rawa idli. and I sometime try to recreate that with some changes.

sra said...

Miri, yours looks so beautiful, so much nicer than the oily, muddy creation we get in these restaurants that I'm wondering if you and I are talking about the same thing!

Earlier in the day, we went to a new, downmarket restaurant for dinner - it was such a pleasant surprise that everything we ate there was tasty - and they didn't even have sour curds in the raita, but fresh curds!

Miri said...

Sra - I know what you mean.....Amravati used to serve complete rubbish, but I remember some of the Anjappar types as well as Kaaraikudi had some decent preparations..

Arch said...

We get this gravy with the biryani from 'Nandini', a chain of Andhra food restaurants in Bangalore..I never thought of it with idlis, must be a great combination...And yes, its amazing, how you can find just about anything you wan to eat from the blogging world !

Nupur said...

Your description is so alluring that I am scrambling to bookmark this recipe myself! Thanks very much for [participating in BB6.

Bong Mom said...

You know this kind of gravy was never served with Biryani in Calcutta. I don't know if it is a Hyderabadi thing because the Andhra Joints(even a Chettinad one) here serves this kind of gravy with Biryani but not the Pakistani ones.

At first we didn't know what to do with it, 'coz we didn't expect a gravy with nothing in it :-) Now I kind of like it especially it it is the Chettinad one.

Yours looks really gorgeous, the color is beautiful

And am going to try your rawa Idli soon

evolvingtastes said...

I have never had biryani/gravy like this, but it looks good! I was thinking this would be a good base for egg curry too!

C. said...

It looks so nice I would love to try it but I don't seem to be able to follow the link to the recipe. I get "the link is broken" error message.

Miri said...

Hello C - I have now posted the recipe I used, in the post itself.