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.

Hinterland Harvest Market – and 3 ways with ginger…and peanut butter…

As part of our quest to buy local wherever possible, we took ourselves off to Hinterland Harvest Markets at Woombye last Saturday morning. It was a drizzly morning, but the produce was fabulous – as were the stallholders…and before we knew it, we’d whiled away a couple of hours.

My key buys were:

  • Crunch from Pip’s Real Food. This is a gluten free, dairy free, no added sugar brekky granola that tastes amazing. I couldn’t decide which of her crunches that I liked best, so bought one of each. My problem is now eating it quickly enough so I have an excuse to go back and chat to Pip. I was so busy chatting that I forgot to take a pic of her stall, so here’s one I snaffled from her Facebook page.

  • Local limes, finger limes, avocados, and bananas. The finger limes have been put to good use in vodka…
  • Locally grown ginger and turmeric
  • Organic, free range eggs – beautifully sunny yellow yolks the way they’re meant to be
  • Tomatoes that taste like tomatoes taste before they’re sprayed, transported huge distances and kept in cold storage
  • Some extremely good sour dough bread
  • Cheese from Gympie Farm and Woombye Cheese company – yes, I know that I don’t tolerate dairy real well these days, but this cheese was worth it.
  • Daryl’s peanut butter – that I was assured is the best peanut butter that I’ll ever taste. I later discovered that even though the peanuts are from Kingaroy, the product itself is from Melbourne. Oh well.

What did I do with it?

First up was the peanut butter. The best I’d ever tried? Now that’s a challenge. It was pretty good, so as well as spreading it on the sourdough for brekky when we got home, I also made these peanut and choc chip cookies with it. The thing about using real peanut butter in this recipe, though, is that because it doesn’t have all the added sugar and oil that commercial peanut butter has, you need to add some extra brown sugar and butter. This makes the cookie a tad shorter, but no less tasty.

I’ve blogged the recipe before – you can find it here.

I also used the peanut butter in a satay dressing. This works perfectly on barbecued chicken thighs, or, when you’re not feeling like barbecuing chicken thighs, store-bought barbecue chicken – shredded – and tossed through some wombok, cucumber, capsicum, shredded carrot or whatever other veggie you have in the crisper.

Oh, what goes in it? About a ¼ cup of peanut butter, a couple of teaspoons of grated ginger, around 3 teaspoons of soy sauce, a pinch or so of chilli flakes, and a ½ cup of boiling water. Shake it all about and drizzle over the chicken and salad ingredients. It’s pretty easy to turn this into a satay sauce too – just by adding some chopped chilli and a small tin of coconut milk.

As well as the satay dressing, I also used the ginger and turmeric in a Kapitan chicken paste. It’s my hubby’s favourite and we’re having that tonight…you can find the recipe here.

The ginger was so young and tender – barely toddling – that I figured it needed to be used in something in which it could star – Chicken With Ginger Sauce. This is a Vietnamese dish from a book I was lucky enough to be given by the hotel where we stayed in Hoi An. If you book (directly with Maison Vy) for more than 5 nights, this is just one of the fabulous rewards on offer.

What you need…

  • 500g chicken thighs, sliced
  • 1tbsp shallots, pounded into a paste in your mortar and pestle (or is it pestle and mortar?)
  • ¼ cup ginger, sliced super fine
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 cups onion slices – I used 1 brown onion and a few shallots
  • 12 spring onion stalks – the white part only. These can be whole or chopped to a manageable length…your call.
  • ¼ teasp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil – I use rice bran oil

What you do with it…

  • Add the oil to a heated wok. Toss in the onions, spring onions, ginger, and shallot paste.
  • Stir it round for a minute or so and then add the chicken, fish sauce, salt, sugar, pepper, and chilli.
  • Stir fry for a few minutes until the chicken is cooked and serve it with steamed rice.

Super quick, super tasty.

If you want further info on the markets, you’ll find it here. The Hinterland Harvest Markets are on in Woombye every Saturday from 6-11am during the summer, and 7am- 12pm in the winter.

Pip’s super crunch can be found here – and is well worth seeking out… (I’m enjoying it with Maleny Dairies yoghurt for brekky after my sunrise walks)