Thursday, September 15, 2016

Minced Meat Pulao, Dhaniya Chicken and Raita : An Indian style Sunday dinner.

I decided to give a treat to one of my friends, so I needed to pull something out of my sleeve. I had no ghee (clarified butter) but so what!! Pure fresh butter from Normandy can replace it. Two different continents but what matters most is the taste and it is always the pleasure to taste good food. So I went to the farmer's market of our region and got hold of fresh cream and fresh butter. Yes! You got it right, we can make great Indian dishes with French butter and cream (Cows know no national barriers, so why should humans!!!). Here is how we can do it. 

Minced meat pulao


Basmati rice (long grain) 650g

Sunflower oil 3 tablespoons

Non salted butter 55g

Cumin 1 tea spoon

Coriander seeds 1 tea spoon

Green cardamom 12 pieces

Brown cardamom 5 pieces

Cinnamon stick 2 pieces of 3 inches each

Bay leaf 3

Minced meat 700g (it contained finely chopped garlic, parsley & shallot)

Saffron 2 doses of ducros  or few strands if you are using it as a whole

Milk 10-20ml

Chopped onion 1

Chopped garlic(finely) 3 large cloves

Cumin powder 1/2 teaspoon

Red chilli powder 1 teaspoon

Hydrabadi biryani masala powder 2 teaspoon

Yogurt natural 125g

Sugar 1 teaspoon

Rose water 3 teaspoons

Salt to taste


Wash the basmati rice nicely and soak it in water for 30 minutes. Change the water every 10 minutes.when the water stops becoming white and runs clear the rice is ready to be cooked. Place a deep bottomed casserole on the burner filled with water for boiling. Add a 1/2 teaspoon of cumin and coriander seeds, 5 green cardamoms split, 2 brown cardamoms split,1 cinnamon stick,1 bay leaf, 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil and salt to the water and let it boil. Ones the water has started to boil add the basmati rice to it. Cook the rice to 75-80% done. Drain the rice nicely and add a small cube of butter to it. Shuffle the rice carefully with the help of a fork. Set it aside.

   Now is the time to prepare the meat. Place a non stick teflon coated deep bottomed casserole on the burner. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the casserole. Once the oil is lukewarm add 1/2 teaspoon of cumin and coriander seeds, 7 green cardamom split, 3 brown cardamom split, 1 cinnamon stick and 2 bay leaves to it. Cook it in medium heat. As soon as the whole spices change color and emit the beautiful smell of whole spices add the chopped garlic and saute. When the garlic has taken up the golden color add the chopped onion. Sprinkle a little bit of salt and fry. Add 10g of butter and fry the onion to golden brown. Add the minced meat and saute it nicely.  The meat will slowly change its color and become opaque. As the meat takes up a slightly golden color add all the powdered spices and saute it nicely. Fry it nicely otherwise it will leave an undesirable raw taste of spices. As the spice is done, add the beaten yogurt and stir continuously. Do this in low heat otherwise the solid particles will coagulate and separate. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar to neutralize the sour taste of yogurt. Add the desirable amount of salt and give it a good stir. Cover and cook for 5-10 minutes. Remove the lid and add a cup of water. Cover it with a lid and cook it to almost 90% done. Switch off the heat. By this time the liquid has reduced considerably.

    Now the meat and the rice has to be assembled and cooked in a sealed container in low heat. This process of cooking is known as "Dum Pukht". Layer the rice on top of the meat. Each layer shouldn't be very thick. For the amount of rice I used, I did it in two layers of rice. After making the first layer of rice add 1 and 1/2 teaspoon of rose water, few teaspoons of milk infused in saffron in a zip zap form and few small little cubes of butter. Place the second layer of rice and repeat the process. I sealed the lid and set it on dum for about 15 minutes on a low heat. After this I let it cool for 10 minutes and then I opened the seal and shuffled the meat and the rice with the help of a fork. Do this process very carefully to prevent the breakage of the long grain rice. Woalah the Minced Meat Pulao is ready to be served. I served it with Dhaniya Chicken and Raita. 

Dhaniya Chicken


Boneless chicken 600g

Non salted butter 40g

Chopped onions 2

Chopped garlic 3 cloves

Yogurt natural 125g

 Sugar 1 teaspoon

Cumin 1/2 teaspoon

Coriander 1/2 teaspoon

Green cardamom 7 split

Brown cardamom 2 split

Cinnamon stick 1 of 3 inches

Bay leaves 2

Saffron infused milk 2 teaspoon

Fresh coriander leaves 1 bunch coarsely chopped

Turmeric powder 1/2 teaspoon

Cumin powder 1 teaspoon

Garam masala powder 1&1/2 teaspoon

Red chilli powder 1 teaspoon

Crème crue Fermière (30-40% fat) 3 teaspoons

Crème crue Fermière is an unpasteurized cream to which no bacterial cultures have been added and which has not been heated. It is sourced from the Normandy region of France. The butter that I used too was from the same region.


First I marinated the chopped boneless chicken with yogurt, the four powdered spices, the saffron infused milk and a handful of coarsely chopped coriander leaves and let it rest for about 30 minutes. I placed the non stick teflon coated casserole on the burner and added about 40g of butter to it. I added the whole spices to the melted butter and let it crackle. As soon as it started to emit the smell I added the finely chopped garlic and sauted it. Cook the garlic in low heat to prevent burning. As soon as the garlic turns golden yellow in color add the the chopped onions. Saute it nicely in medium heat and ones the onions become golden in color add the marinated chicken. Saute it and cook for 5 minutes in medium heat. Then add the sugar and salt and mix it well. Saute it nicely and  when the oil separates from the spice mixture, add a cup of water and stir it well. Cover it with a lid and cook it in medium heat for about  15-20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove the lid and check the seasoning. Add salt if it's required. Add the remaining amount of coarsely chopped coriander leaves and give it a good stir. If the gravy has dried up, add a little amount of water and cook till the chicken is done. When the chicken is done reduce the heat and add the crème crue fermière  or cream fresh and stir well. Let it simmer for 5 minutes. Serve it warm with Minced Meat Pulao.

Beat well yogurt natural in a ceramic bowl. Season it with salt. Add a few coarsely chopped fresh coriander leaves and fresh mint leaves and give it a nice stir. Garnish it with mint leaves and serve it with the pulao

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