29 Oct 2009

Patak's - Oven Bake Easy Biryani

Patak's - Oven Bake Easy Biryani

I was asked to try Patak's new oven bake range and I was very excited at testing it, I quickly scanned the instructions and skipped off to Tesco to buy some chicken and rice.

Now if you ever meet me in the flesh you will see that I enjoy my food ;) I especially like tasty food that is full of flavour without being too spicy. With the jar stating 'Medium and Aromatic' I knew I was onto a winner with the whole family as even Emma likes a good curry now and again.

So there I was in my kitchen looking like a contestant on Ready Steady Cook, I even wore an apron to look authentic and away I chopped .... 2 chicken breasts thinly sliced (chopping board and knife straight into the sink to avoid contamination - hands washed).

I found my largest oven ready pan with lid and put it onto the hob ... splashed in a little olive oil and gently browned the chicken for a few minutes.

All was going well, I read the instructions clearly printed on the side of the jar as I cooked and followed them exactly (which is odd for me as I normally pretend to be a great cook, throw in some extras and generally muck it all up!).

Next step was to add in the jar of Patak's Biryani Sauce, "easy-peasy-biryani" I did that added a drop of water to the empty jar gave it a shake and made sure every single drop of sauce was in my oven dish.

Then horror of horrors struck .. the recipe on the jar states 'Basmati Rice' and I had brought 'Long Grain' !! What could I do? surely you don't have to use the exact products do you? So I weighed 150g of long grain rice and tipped it 'uncooked' into my chicken and sauce. You have to add in 4tbsp of water so I measured it with my tablespoon set (that only gets used on special occasions) bunged it in ... gave it all a big stir and put it back onto the heat.

After a minute the mixture began to bubble, after stirring well I put the lid on and popped it into the oven to cook through (35 minutes as stated on the jar).

Now I have a fan oven so I set the temperature a little lower and checked my fabulous smelling Indian meal after 20 minutes, good job I did as I needed to add a little more water (and give it a good stir). As I used Long Grain I cannot comment as to whether the amount of water stated on the jar is correct for Basmati Rice, so if you do substitute ingredients please do so at your own families taste-bud risk and check cooking regularly.

Well well well after 30 minutes (fan ovens cook quicker) it was ready! The rice was fluffy, the chicken fell apart it was so thoroughly cooked and the whole dish smelt divine.

We served our medium aromatic biryani dish with Patak's Mini Nan Bread (grilled for a few minutes to warm through). Everyone loved it - even Emma (age 8).
My Dad had come round for his dinner and he tucked into it, the jar states 'serves 2-3' but we easily got 3 adult portions and 1 child from the jar ... with added nan bread we all had a good sized portion.

Great for busy mums as you just throw it all in the pan and put it in the oven - no mucking about!

Patak's also have different levels of spice available: Mild & Fruity and Hot & Spicy. A level of spice to suit all tastes.


Family rating: 9/10 .. but next time I will buy the correct rice ;)

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