we’re always going to add annatto to biriyani!

summary: the addition of annatto seed makes the biriyani smell exactly right!

Really? I’ve never posted about biriyani?! How can this be?

I have recently been given permission to add a little cheese and butter back into my diet. You have no idea what sort of celebration this has caused!

We hadn’t had palak paneer or Rogan Josh for months. Last Sunday, we remedied the situation. I mixed and kneaded naan dough. We baked the naan on the barbecue. T made bindi too and there was relatively freshly picked corn on the cob to start. And we feasted!

It was glorious.

Last night, we planned to simply have a repeat of Sunday. But sometime in the early afternoon, the skies got dark green, a wind came up and suddenly there was a flash and a crash and it began to rain. And rain. And rain. More flashing and crashing! More rain!

So we quickly changed direction and T made Biriyani with the leftover Rogan Josh. But this time, he added ground annatto to the rice.

The aroma was unbelievable!

me That smells fantastic! Did you add rose water?

he No! I added annatto! Isn’t it amazing?

me Yes! Really? There’s no rose water at all?

he No! Isn’t it great?

The rain stopped and we feasted once more, drinking in the fresh earth scented air, as water dripped from the trees. We had more corn on the cob, steamed green beans, Mr. Patak’s Lime pickle (sorry, no photos – we were busy stuffing our faces) and the best biriyani. Yes, it was brilliant!

Remind me to take a photo next time. And while you’re reminding me, don’t leave out that I must revise our biriyani recipe to include annatto in the ingredients list.

Over the years, we’ve experimented with various rose waters, each time thinking that the latest one would be the right one. Now that we’ve discovered annatto’s secret properties, there is need to try yet another brand of rose water!


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