Biriyani

One of my favourite cookbooks is Indian Cooking by Lalita Ahmed. Every recipe that I have tried from it is excellent and authentic tasting, rivaling anything I’ve had in the best Indian restaurants I’ve been to.

The book was published in the UK only but ended up here in a stack at the wonderful old Coles bookstore that used to be at Yonge and Charles in Toronto. It has been through many editions, which is always an indication of an excellent book. The cover here is for the book that I personally own, but there are different covers on the other editions.

Indian Cooking by Lalita Ahmed
Indian Cooking by Lalita Ahmed

Mine is from Coombe books. Out of print for many years, copies of this book are shown on Amazon for as much as £50, (or $100CAD, more or less).

Lalita Ahmed Bio (from IMDB.com)
Lalita Ahmed (maiden name Chatterjee) was born in Lucknow, India on November 25th 1939. She worked for All India Radio before moving to London in the 1950s, where she joined the Hindi language department of BBC World Service Radio. She worked as a presenter on Asian programs for BBC television and presented Indian cookery on BBC Pebble Mill. She has also written a number of cookery books. As well as her film roles Lalita has appeared in a number of British television shows.

This Biriyani recipe below is one of my very favourites from this book.

Ricotta/Paneer

This is really easy to make and only one step separates the ricotta from being paneer…pressing out the excess moisture and compacting the cheese into a more solid mass. This recipe is also in our cookbook Easy Date Oven (available as a free download for signing up for our mailing list).

Use the paneer in Palak Paneer.

Fresh warm ricotta is a great homey thing to present unexpected guests with, especially if you have fresh bread on  hand, or make biscuits as well.

You could easily start the process while making tea, and then complete it while drinking it with your guests during a 30 second departure from the table. 🙂

While you don’t want to overboil the milk, you do need to bring it to a full froth…do not allow yourself to be distracted at this point….milk is highly volatile when being heated and can boil over before you know what’s happening if you wander off.

Do not skimp on the souring agent (we use lemon juice, but you can also use any kind of vinegar you wish to. Each will affect the flavour differently however, so use something that makes sense for your purpose.