Sunday, March 26, 2017

Quick-fix simple chicken pulao

Pulao is a rice dish that has been an integral part of the Indian and other South Asian cuisine since the ancient era. The word "pulao" or "pallao" in Sanskrit meant cooking rice and meat together. The dish of course has same roots as the Pilaf, more common in Central Asia and Middle East. There are numerous ways of cooking Pulao, and no particular traditional form, neither is there any particular ingredient for the pulao. My recipe, keeping some basic methods intact, is a quick way to prepare meat and rice together resulting in a tasty, filling dinner. 

A few posts ago I shared the recipe of a typical kebab (grilled marinated meat) from Calcutta, India. The recipe of the kebab can be found here. This present dish is a form of left-over reinvented, in the sense that I have used the left over marinated meat, from that Kebab preparation in this dish. You can prepare this quick meat-rice dish with any leftover marinated meat (of course the marinade should be a mixture of Indian spices). 


For the Marinade

Red Onion : 1
Yellow bell pepper : 1
Chicken (boneless) : 380 grams
Yogurt : 125 grams

Dried Spices
Dried mango powder : 1 tablespoon
Cumin powder : 1 tablespoon
Coriander powder : 1 tablespoon
Garam masala : 1 table spoon
Red chili powder : 1 tablespoon
Turmeric powder : 1 tablespoon
Nutmeg powder : 1/2 teaspoon
Cinnamon powder : 1/2 teaspoon
Green cardamom : 1/2 teaspoon
The above is in the same proportion as for the kebab recipe (Click here). 

For the Pulao
Rice : 400 gram
Tomato Puree : 200 ml
Whole Cumin seeds : 1 teaspoon
Brown Cardamom : 2
Cloves : 7
Sunflower Oil : 3+2 teaspoon
Cinnamon (rolled) : 1 
Star anise : 1
Salt : to taste.
Rose water : 1 teaspoon

Chop the onions and bell peppers in cubes. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. Take the chicken, onion and peppers in a bowl. Add the yogurt and the dried spices. (one after another on the yogurt). Add the salt. Pour 5 tablespoon of oil on the spice mix. Mix the yogurt and spices well with the chicken so that each piece is well coated with yogurt and spice mix. Marinate in a refrigerator overnight.

Take 3 teaspoon of sunflower oil in a deep bottomed pan. Add the cinnamon and star anise. Turn the heat to medium.

As soon as the rolled cinnamon opens up and emits the smell, add the marinated chicken.

Saute nicely.

As soon as the oil separates from the spice mixture, add the tomato puree and salt. Stir nicely.

The oil should separate nicely.

When the oil separates, add enough water to cover the meat. Put a lid on the pan and cook for 20-25 minutes (till the chicken is about 85% done).

Place the rice in a deep bottomed pan and wash nicely till the water runs almost clear. Place it at medium heat, add a teaspoon of salt. 

Add the cumin seeds, brown cardamom and cloves to the rice.

Add the sunflower oil. Stir and cook until the rice is 70% done (generally 10 minutes on a halogen plate). 

Strain the rice nicely.

Add the strained rice to the chicken gravy (the chicken is 85% done).

Now level the rice so that it forms a smooth surface. Add the rose water.

Shuffle the rice along with the meat so that each rice grain is well coated with the gravy.

Add 1/2 cup of water and stir. Cover and cook for around 10 minutes in medium heat.

Remove the pan from the heat and keep it for 10 minutes. This helps the rice to absorb any extra gravy. Do not shuffle the rice because it is soft. 

After resting the rice, now shuffle it carefully with the spatula and serve. 

I served it on a bed of young spinach leaves.

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