Monday, 5 December 2011

Lazy Mans Saag Panner and Vegetable Biryani

Let me explain how we come up with recipes here at Hef's Kitchen. I wake up, feel hungry and start thinking about what to eat that day. My mind wonders through various foods, I settle on one and then see if it exists on the Internet, if it does I look at how it's made, totally disregard the recipe and decide to do it how I want (mostly because the best part of cooking is the experimenting!). I go shopping, forget some ingredients, get home, make the food, then worry the whole time I'm making it that it's not going to work. I write down the recipe at the same time as cooking so I don't forget. Then I spend about 10 minutes trying to take a good photo with my silly camera (I'm getting a new lens from father Christmas, woo) then I eat it quick before it goes cold! This was no exception to my blogging methods.

I've called this lazy mans food because it didn't take long and I used two things that I don't use that often, the microwave and freezer. Basically I forgot to buy rice and spinach (possibly the two most important ingredients?) but luckily we had microwave rice and frozen spinach, which actually worked out great as there was no lengthy rice cooking times. I'm a bit scared of ready made rice because my previous manager told me that when it cools down it grows some kind of shell that makes you ill or kills you or something. This lead to me having a strange dream about giant rice wearing amour. Any way, I decided to stop being silly and use it because there was no time for rice buying due to my accidental nap that didn't end till 6.30 pm (another reason it's for lazy people like me). This is my FAVOURITE ever meal from our local Indian takeaway and being able to make it at home in under an hour makes me very, very happy :) 

For 2 you'll need: 

For the biryani:
A small selection of vegetables (I used 1/2 an onion, 1/2 a red pepper and a handful of chopped butternut squash)
Olive oil
1/2 tsp turmeric 
tsp Madras powder
100ml vegetable stock
1 pack microwave rice (you could also use precooked rice)

For the saag paneer:
1/2 onion 
1 garlic clove minced
4 frozen spinach cubes (defrosted)
A glug of olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
Pinch of turmeric 
100g paneer (you can get it from Asda)
50 ml vegetable stock
2 tbsp double cream
Some fresh coriander to top it all off 
  1. Chop your vegetables in to small pieces, then place in a frying pan with a little oil, the turmeric and madras powder and cook on a low heat for around 10 minutes. 
  2. Cook the microwave rice as it tells you on the pack, then pour it in to the vegetables and cover with the vegetable stock, keeping it on a low heat. 
  3. While the rice is cooking, add the onion and garlic to another pan with some oil, the cumin seeds and turmeric and cook for 5 minutes until the onions are translucent. 
  4. Add the spinach, paneer and vegetable stock and cook for a further few minutes. 
  5. Take it off the heat and add the cream, then serve it up with the biryani. 
  6. Enjoy! 


Sometimes I also get into lazy persons's cooking, you know balancing work and preparing a meal for the family can be a crisis. Thats quite an adventure you went through before preparing this dish but sure I am drooling. Though panner is like once a while, I think adding into the briyani and the vegetable version is wonderful.

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