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07 Oct, 2022
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lamb biryani

Lamb Biryani by Chef Raphael King’ori Ndaiga, H&S Chef Of The Month

H&S Chef Of The Month

Chef Raphael King'ori Ndaiga
Chef Raphael King’ori Ndaiga

Nationality: Kenyan

Interview With H&S Magazine

Who Is Raphael King’ori Ndaiga?

I have been in the hospitality industry for about 25 years, having started at our family restaurant, where I got the initial deep dive in this industry. I took a short course at Kenya Utalii College for food service techniques and later worked at The Carnivore as a waiter where I had so much fun interacting with guests. A little later I decided to take a Food Production Course at Utalii College and after that I got an opportunity to travel to the US for an internship program where I got to interact with people from all over the world and got training on working in a multicultural environment. After that I went to the UK and worked in a 5-Star golf resort and later worked in a British run Cruise Ship where I got invaluable experience working in a high volume environment. I Later worked with Artcaffe as head chef before exiting and starting my social media presence sharing recipes and basically teaching people how to cook as a way to encourage home cooking which would make people appreciate food. When more people appreciate good food, then more people will demand good food when they eat out, which will make the industry standards grow.

Type Of Cuisine?

All/any! I believe cooking, like any art, is about skill and understanding, and if you have the basic training in cooking you can do anything with some practice. With my training and experience, I can follow a recipe and execute it.

 

What Inspired You To Become A Chef?

From the time I was young, I was interested in cooking and enjoyed well cooked meals. As a family we were also exposed to eating out and good food, as my dad worked at the Carnivore restaurant, making it a natural path for me to follow in my pursuit to follow my passion in cooking

 

What Is The Biggest Challenge You Have Faced In The Culinary Industry?

I honestly can’t think of any!

 

What’s Your Biggest Achievement In The Culinary Industry?

Over the years I have managed to work and travel all over the world, is what comes to my mind first. My biggest achievement, though, is yet to be achieved, I want to be the one that makes an impact in the industry by encouraging the young ones to get into this profession for their passion. I also want to see more people appreciating food, which means more people will demand for better and the industry will improve for the better.

 

When It comes To Cooking, What Is More Important To You, The Technique, The Ingredients Or The Creativity?

I think the technique because this forms the basics in cooking and no matter the ingredients it’s the technique that will make the meal tasty which is more important to me.

 

Recipe Of The Week: Lamb Biryani

lamb biryaniServes 4

Ingredients:

• Oil for frying onions
• 2 Tbsp curry powder
• 2 Tbsp garlic finely chopped
• 2 Tbsp ginger finely chopped
• 750g lamb pieces in Maziwa Lala (buttermilk)
• 2 cups biryani long grain rice
• 2 onions cut into slices
• Salt to taste
• Some freshly chopped dhania(coriander) for garnish
• A handful of raisins for garnish
• A handful of nuts such as cashew, almonds for garnish

 

Preparation:

In a pot add some oil just enough to cook your onions. Next add the onions and spread evenly and let it cook on medium heat, breaking any big pieces. Add in your ginger. After 3 minutes on medium heat, the onion will start browning, stir the onion to ensure even browning. After the onion and ginger brown more, add your chopped garlic. Garlic takes a short time to cook and can get burnt if added too early. Give it a good stir and allow it to cook for about 2 minutes to start browning together with the onion/ginger. Keep stirring for even cooking. As the onion gets a light golden colour, add the curry powder. You can add more or less depending on your taste. Give it a good stir and reduce the heat, to avoid the powder from burning. Cook the curry powder for about 1 minute on low heat to release all the flavours. Add the lamb in mala(buttermilk) & stir the meat into the onion, ginger, garlic. Increase the heat to high and keep stirring the meat, scraping anything that gets stuck on the pot. To get more gravy, add some more mala/yoghurt. Stir and reduce the heat to slowly cook the meat. Add your salt at this stage and stir. Cover the pot and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes on low heat, or until the meat is cooked and soft. The sauce should be thick and covering the meat. To adjust the taste, you can add a little sugar to balance any bitter taste you might taste. Meanwhile, precook 2 cups of biryani rice until it’s slightly undercooked. Scoop the rice into a separate clean pot. Add just enough to have an even layer of rice. Next, add the meat curry on top of the rice layer together with the sauce. Cover the rice with the meat and gravy. You can just add one layer of the meat if it’s not a lot. Add a second layer of the biryani rice, enough to completely cover the meat. In a separate small container, dissolve some turmeric powder in some water, which will be used to add colour to your rice. Pour this yellow liquid randomly on top of the rice. At this stage, you can cover the pot and return to low heat to completely cook the rice. Or to make the dish more interesting and colourful, add some raisins, sprinkle some roughly chopped dhania on top together with some chopped nuts. Cover the biryani dish and let it cook on low heat to steam the rice to completely cook it. If the rice is dry, add a small amount of water to enable the steam to be generated and cook the dish. Serve the biryani with a side salad and some yoghurt raita (Plain yoghurt, chopped cucumber, chopped onion, little amount of garlic and salt).

 

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