Chicken Pilau or Pilaf is the delicious lesser known cousin of the ubiquitous chicken biryani – an equally loved and well-cherished recipe. Some say it originated in Iran. Others argue that the term Pilaf comes from the Sanskrit verb that means “to stand on end”, hence its definitely an Indian dish where the rice is cooked into distinctly separate grains.
This one-pot rice and chicken dish is easy to make, especially if you have unexpected guests. Or save some marinated chicken in the refrigerator for cooking up a sumptuous weekend meal.
Marinate 1 kg chicken for 4 hours or overnight – in a mixture made of 2 cups yoghurt, 2 chopped onions, 5 tbs ginger paste, 2 tbs garlic paste, 2 tbs red chilli powder, 6 cardamoms, 3 large cinnamon sticks, 10 cloves, 1 star anise, 2 tbs cumin, salt.
Pressure cook chicken with 1 cup water. Simmer until the gravy thickens.
Heat 5tbs ghee/melted butter in a large pot. Fry 2 pieces cinnamon, 5 cloves, 3 cardamoms, 1 piece mace and 1 bay leaf.
Add 4 cups washed, cleaned and soaked basmati rice, 8 cups water, ½ cup chopped coriander leaves, ½ cup chopped mint leaves and 4 chicken stock cubes.
Seal and cook on slow fire. Stir well and serve with cucumber raita, poppadoms and pickle.
One-pot supper – you can even serve it in the same casserole.
By Christ & Co.