Market update…and how to make chicken biryani

So yesterday we took ourselves off to Yandina Markets. I’d heard (and read) great things about this market and am sure we would have enjoyed it more if we were there to buy plants or look at bric-a-brac…but we weren’t. We were there for fresh produce.

I ended up buying some lovely young ginger and a bulb of garlic, and Miss T indulged in a donut, but we all voted to head back to Hinterland Harvest for our veggies.

Anyways, I’ll tell you more about Yandina next time.

dumplings…for breakfast…as you do.

Aside from dumplings for breakfast (yum), my star ingredient this week was a premixed Biryani spice mix from Di 4 Spice. You can find her on Facebook here.

Biryani is something we all enjoy – and that I especially love the next morning for brekky. With a fried egg on top, it’s a little like kedgeree, but with chicken.

Anyways, this spice mix was a great short-cut – I can’t wait to try some of the other mixes. Oh, if you want the original recipe, you’ll find it here.

What you need

300g (1 ½ cups) long grain rice. We use basmati as it’s lower GI

2 tbsp olive oil or rice bran oil. You can also use coconut oil if you like.

1 onion, finely sliced.

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tsp grated fresh ginger

Diced chicken thighs- say 600-650g.

1 chopped birdseye chilli. We like it hot & left the seeds in. You might find the spice mix has enough heat for you.

1 ½ – 2 tablespoons biryani spice mix

200ml thick plain yoghurt

1 tsp sugar (I’m sugar free, so leave this out)

a handful of toasted slivered almonds…or cashews… to serve

1/3 cup roughly chopped coriander leaves to serve

What you do with it

  • Cook the rice in boiling salted water for 8 minutes, then drain and set aside. The rice will continue to cook later…
  • Heat the onion in a large frypan over medium heat, add the onion and cook for a few minutes until they soften.
  • Add the garlic, ginger and the spice mix and stir it all through.
  • Add the chicken and cook for about 3 minutes
  • Spoon in the yoghurt, stir it all through, then reduce the heat to very low.

  • Carefully spoon the rice on top of the sauce. Cover it with a (clean) tea towel, then place the lid on top. This sounds strange, but it keeps it all steaming nicely.

  • Cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it sit for a further 10 minutes. Refrain from the temptation to take the lid off and have a peek- and smack his knuckles (softly, of course- we don’t tolerate violence of any sort here) when your husband tries to do that.
  • Remove the lid, add the nuts and half the coriander and stir well to combine.

  • Garnish with the remaining coriander.

Kawana Waters Farmer’s Market

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Queenslanders, well, perhaps just Sunny Coasters, tend to be early risers – especially when the rest of us are on daylight savings. I suppose it has something to do with the fact that the sun comes streaming in just after 5am at this time of the year. (As an aside, they tend to dine earlier too – the waitress in one of the Italian restaurants in Mooloolaba apologised for not having a table available before 6.30pm…)

img_0395It’s why, when hubster asked if I’d got the time right for the farmer’s market we were going to for breakfast (‘7am? Are you sure?’) I was sure. I didn’t like to tell him that Woombye Farmers’ Market is underway by 6am. He’ll find out about that soon enough.

‘Nothing will be open that early,’ he said, with the confidence of always being right. ‘It won’t get going until 8.’

Not only was it under full steam at 8am, but people had already bought their veggies (and their brekky) and were starting to leave.img_0394

It’s when you visit farmer’s markets like these – especially in places like this – that you realise there is a growing number of people (it was particularly pleasing to see so many young families) who want to eat fresh food sourced locally. And why wouldn’t you? All the produce from these markets is both of those things.

img_0409Sure, there were some stalls selling raw treats and fermented foods, but mostly it was produce – locally grown vegetables, fruit, cheese, and meats – that was the star attraction. Not everything is organic, but much of it is – or at least chemical free. Real food – with the dirt still on it, sweetie.

I was especially happy to see baskets of locally grown tumeric, ginger and garlic – for most of the year at home we can only get the imported stuff. This looked young and fresh – the way it does in the markets in Ubud…the way it rarely is in supermarkets.

img_0410For brekky we grabbed a plate of home-made pork and prawn dumplings to share, and split a brekky bacon and halloumi roll with home-made pesto. Perfect.

Kawana Waters Farmers’ Market is on every Saturday from 7am- noon at Kawana Waters State College, Sportsman Parade, Bokarina. Don’t forget your market bags.

This post was originally published in October 2016 on andanyways…