Posted on | April 4, 2010 | 26 Comments |
Yeah, I know my last post was all about SBD and now here I am posting a pulao recipe, I do get the irony. I am all set to start my diet tomorrow, so we can just call this my pre-diet indulgence. In reality this was just a bi-product of extreme laziness, hunger and an ill-stocked refrigerator. All I had in the fridge when I woke up hungry this morning were a few chicken thighs and a pulao seemed like the best option for a one-pot no-fuss Sunday lunch.
I am still not very sure about the difference between a pulao and biryani, but recently I saw a couple of blogs clearing this up with the following explanation. If the rice and meat are prepared separately and then layered to finish up the cooking, it is called a biryani and if the rice is cooked along with the meat, it is called a pulao. I don’t know if this is the correct explanation, but it sounds good to me. Moreover I have posted many biryani recipes here already and not even a single pulao recipe. And now that I think about it, some of my biryani recipes might in fact be pulao. But what’s in a name right? You call call this chicken rice for all I care, but it sure is a handy recipe when you have to fix up a one-pot-dish in a jiff.
- Chicken thighs, bone-in, skin removed – ~1 lb (three thighs)
- 1.5 cups basmati rice
- 1 tbsp red chili powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- salt to taste
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1” cinnamon stick
- 2 star anise
- 3 cardamom pods
- 3 cloves
- 2 cups thinly sliced shallots
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- Fried onions and fried cashew nuts for garnish (optional)
Prep: Wash the rice thoroughly and soak for at least 30 minutes. Cut each of thighs into 4-6 pieces, depending on the size, wash and dry with paper towels.
Step 1: Add the red chili powder, pepper, turmeric powder, ginger paste, garlic paste and salt to chicken pieces and mix well to combine. Marinate for 15-30 minutes.
Step 2: Place a deep pan on the stove, pour the oil and let it heat. Now add the cinnamon, star anise, cardamom and cloves and fry for a minute.
Step 3: Add the sliced shallots to the pan and mix well.
Step 4: Sauté the shallots till they start to brown.
Step 5: Add the marinated chicken pieces to the pan and mix well.
Step 6: Cook the chicken pieces for 8-10 minutes on high heat, stirring frequently till the spices are cooked through and the mixture starts to brown.
Step 7: Add the yogurt and mix well.
Step 8: Continue cooking for 2 minutes till the yogurt is well incorporated into the mixture.
Step 9: Drain the soaked rice from the water and add to the pan.
Step 10: Fold in the rice gently taking care not to break the rice to combine the ingredients well.
Step 11: Add 3 cups of hot water along with 1 tbsp vinegar to the pan.
Step 12: Bring the liquid to a boil on high heat, cover with a tight fitting lid and reduce the heat to the lowest setting.
Step 13: Cook for 20 minutes covered. Don’t remove the lid and check on it in the middle. After 20 minutes, open the lid, all the liquid must be absorbed by now and the rice will be cooked through.
Step 14: Gently shake the pan to mix up the pulao. Keep it uncovered for 5 minutes so that the steam escapes.
Step 15: Serve hot garnished with fried onions and fried cashews.
Now, wasn’t that an easy recipe? This goes well with a side of raita or plain yogurt. If you are in the mood, fry up some papads and boil some eggs too, to make it a bit more festive.