Wonderful, simple and satisfying, chicken pulao never fails to impress at a casual lunch with friends or a family dinner. Unlike a biryani where the meat and rice are cooked separately, in a pulao dish the rice and meat or vegetables are cooked together in one pot.
Serves 4 | Preparation time: 35 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour
- 6 garlic cloves
- 2.5cm piece ginger
- 2 tablespoons natural yoghurt (sub plain coconut yoghurt instead)
- ½ large onion, thinly sliced
- 1kg skinless chicken on the bone, cut into pieces
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander
- 6 cloves
- 5cm piece cassia or cinnamon stick
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 black cardamom pods
- 6–8 green cardamom pods
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 450ml vegetable or chicken stock or water
- 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 250g basmati rice, thoroughly washed
- Serve with 1 lime, cut into wedges
Note: Chicken on the bone releases a more intense flavour to the dish.
1. Using a mortar and pestle, make a fine paste with the garlic and ginger. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the yoghurt and stock or water. Set aside.
3. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over a low heat. Add the whole spices and fry for 20 seconds, then add the onion and fry for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Turn up the heat, then add the ginger and garlic paste and fry for 1–2 minutes.
4. Add the chicken, ground spices and salt and mix together well. Cover with a lid and cook for 8–10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Add half the yoghurt stock, stir through, bring to the boil, cover and cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Now add the rice and coriander and the remaining yoghurt stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover with a lid and cook for 16–18 minutes, or until the rice liquid has evaporated and the chicken and rice are tender. Remove from the heat and leave to rest for 5–7 minutes with the lid on. Sprinkle with ground cumin and serve immediately with lime wedges.
Images and recipes from Indian made Easy by Amandip Uppal (Murdoch Books) RRP $39.99 available now in all good bookstores and online