Coconut and Pumpkin Chapati.

Everyone has a go to chapati recipe. This is fast becoming one of mine.

If you have been following me for a while now, you know I am no food purist, especially when it comes to chapati. I am all about trying different ideas and flavours. Such as here.

I love pumpkin as it gives a nice flavour and colour, and I prefer it to butternut. I tried it with some coconut and omg! I am in love with the lovely flavour.

Looks, smells and tastes lovely.

So what will you need?

  • 2 cups of all purpose flour.
  • 1 cup of whole wheat (atta flour).
  • Besan flour – 1 cup. ( this is optional, I like mixing it in with my chapati though)
  • 1 small cup steamed and mashed pumpkin.(Tip: add some cinnamon when steaming and thank me later).
  • 1 tbsp desiccated coconut.
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil.
  • 1 can of coconut milk.
  • Salt to taste.

Method.

Mix your flours in a large mixing bowl, and add the desiccated coconut. and oil. Mix till crumbly.

Add the pumpkin purée then half the coconut milk.

Begin to knead well, add any liquid if needed, but knead for about 20 minutes as we do to ordinary chapati dough, till it is smooth, soft and elastic.

Cover with a damp cloth and let rest for half an hour.

After, roll out and cook the normal way we make chapati, you can use ghee or coconut oil.

This is the coconut oil I used, other times I use the parachute brand.

The chapatis’ aroma is heavenly to say the least.

Serve it up with your favorite curry or stew.

I had mine with a spinach, aubergine and chickpea curry I have already shared here.

As well as with a black bean curry recipe coming soon.

They are great to have with tea too. Or a rolex.

What would you have yours with?

Delicious Goat Meat Biriani

Let me start this off with a few disclaimers. This dish is not difficult to make but it takes time, attention, and love to make it. So bear with me on this.

Two, this is normally referred to as mutton biriani but we know mutton as the meat of a sheep here and I don’t want to confuse you all. Last but not least, as I have stated before there are over 40 versions of biriani from around the world so this is not the only way to do it. It is all about picking what works best for you, with what you have.

I usually make biriani this way for special occasions, like a special one’s birthday. I made this some time ago for a special friend’s birthday lunch and I am not out to brag but it was as close as I got to my best Indian restaurant quality but with more love and affection.LOL. So tie your headscarf and get your apron, let’s make us some Biri Martha!

In this specific biriani dish, you begin prepping the night before, to give the meat a chance to marinate and absorb all the spices perfectly. I will share other shorter biriani dishes in upcoming posts.

Ingredients : 1kg or more goat meat (with bones and some fat for more flavour) thumb size fresh ginger, 5 garlic cloves, I lemon, 2 tbsp coriander leaves and mint leaves, 3 tbsp natural yoghurt, I heaped tbsp biriani masala or garam masala, (be generous),1/4tsp turmeric and some salt.
Clean and cut your meat into not so small chunks and put in a bowl. Blend the mint and coriander leaves with the ginger garlic into a rough paste, add the yoghurt and lemon juice and spices, add to the meat and mix well. Cover with cling film or a lid and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

Next morning assemble your ingredients:-

  1. 6-8 medium onions, sliced thinly
  2. 5 grated tomatoes
  3. 3 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  4. 1 tbsp mint and coriander leaves
  5. Whole spices for the rice (bay leaf, black pepper, cardamon, cinnamon and cloves
  6. A pinch of yellow food colour or saffron if you have
  7. 1 tbsp tomato puree
  8. 1 tsp rose water
  9. cooking oil/ ghee
  10. 2 cups basmati rice (soak the rice 30 minutes before cooking)
Slice onions and squeeze them a bit on a clean kitchen towel. Heat about 1 cup of oil in a deep pan, fry the onions long and slow till they turn golden brown. Do not let them burn.
Remove the onions and place on a paper towel to cool and drain. They will crisp up as they cool. Resist the urge to snack on them, they are so tasty you will be unable to resist eating them LOL.

I also learnt a cool tip, use a sieve to drain them so you get all the oil out and they crisp fast and are less oily that way.

Toss the potatoes in a little food colour (optional) then fry them in the same pan that had fried the onions, don’t let them cook all the way trough, just a bit browned.

Now you can remove the meat from the fridge and let it come to room temperature for a few minutes as you gather the other ingredients.

Those onions are so tempting. Yum!
In the same saucepan, drain the oil till a little is left. Add the meat and it’s marinade to the pan, cover and let cook on low for about an hour.

As I said before, this version of biriani takes while to cook, this is a labor of love. So do not be in a rush.

Add the tomatoes to the meat. It is on low and will release all the water to form a thick sauce. Cover and continue cooking on low for another hour or so until the meat is really tender.
when the meat is soft, add the potatoes and some of the fried onions, mix gently and let cook for about 5-10 minutes. Remember to check your seasoning.
The sauce should now look something like this. Don’t worry about the oil, it will be absorbed by the rice once your layer the dish and cook on low. But if you feel its too much you can drain a bit and set aside for later.
Let’s get started on the rice. In another large saucepan, add 4 cups water, salt, 1 tsp of the oil from the meat sauce, one bay leaf, 2 inch cinnamon stick, one star anise, some whole black peppercorns, cloves and cardamon pods. Bring the water to a boil.
Add the rice and let it boil for maximum 7 minutes then drain immediately. You do not want to cook the rice completely as it will finish cooking once you assemble the dish. After draining, spread it out on a tray and pick out the whole spices. it is no fun biting into whole cloves or peppercorns when eating your biriani.
Now we can begin assembling our dish. In the same pan you boiled the rice or big clean HEAVY BOTTOMED pan, add a bit of the oil you had drained from the meat and using a paper towel spread it on the base and sides of the pot. If your meat wasn’t fatty, it is ok, you can use a small amount of ghee for this. Then add some of the fried onions at the bottom.
Add some of the rice, then some of the sauce at the bottom, then sprinkle the coriander and mint leaves.
Continue again with another layer same way, rice, sauce, onions, mint etc
The remaining rice should be the top layer, topped with the last of the fried onions, mint and coriander leaves. Now mix a pinch of the food colour (I didn’t have saffron), with 1 tsp of rose water in a small cup. Using a tea spoon, pour the mix on the rice mixture then cover the pot immediately.
Remember, our rice needs to finish cooking and you want the spices’ flavour and aroma of the rose water to spread well. This is where you have to improvise to ensure you cover your pot well and completely, no steam should escape at all. I used a plate then foil, then the pot lid to do so. Return the pot to very low heat for 20 minutes. Do not uncover the rice at all till ready to serve.
You can be making the sides at this time. I made a cucumber raita. Chopped cucumber, dhania, onion, chaat masala and natural yoghurt and salt. Mix well and chill till ready to serve as a refreshing side for the biriani dish.
Voila! Our rice is now ready to serve. The rice is perfectly cooked and dried on top.
Mix gently as you spoon into your serving dish. See the bottom of the pan, clean. No rice stuck to the bottom and the biriani sauce is absorbed by the rice so well.
Final presentation: Please garnish with some chopped mint leaves.

This is one of my favorite dishes to make for a loved one on a special occasion. It is worth the time and effort to enjoy this luscious meal with your family. The aroma, the taste, the vibrant colours, the meltingly tender meat; it is a feast for the senses!

Please try it and let me know what you think!

Last tip: Please cover your hair when frying the onions; thank me later 🙂