A much-treasured and much-enjoyed recipe shared by a Pakistani friend.
This one and various versions of it figure among our favourite family recipes.
Wash and soak 4 cups basmati rice in water, for an hour.
Make a paste out of 12 green chillies and mix it with 2 tbs ginger garlic paste.
Pour 3 tbs oil into a cooker. Fry 1 kg sliced onions well. Add 2 cardamom pods, 2 bay leaves, 2 cloves and 2 cinnamon sticks. Add the green chilli and ginger garlic paste, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp black pepper powder and salt. Sauté well. Add 1 kg chicken pieces and cook (don’t add water) until you get one whistle.
Make a green paste – 1 large bunch of coriander leaves, 1/4 cup grated coconut, 1/4 cup thick yoghurt, 15 cashews and 1/2 tsp garam masala. Add this to the chicken and cook. In another vessel, add two tbs ghee and 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 cardamom pods, 2 cloves and 2 bay leaves. Add the drained rice and fry well. Add 7 cups water, juice of one lemon, salt and cook until you get a whistle (if in a cooker) Or for 20 mins, on a low flame.
Take a large dish and dot with dollops of ghee. Add rice and then the chicken and more rice – keep layering the rice and chicken, ending with a layer of rice on top. Garnish with 2 sliced and fried onions and few fried cashews and raisins. You may add some saffron milk and fluff the rice, for added colour.
Bake or cook on a very low flame for few mins. Garnish with more fried onions, raisins, cashews and chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot.
By Anu John
Anu is a homemaker who gets needled by friends and family for not channeling her skills into a book or cookery channel. A bubbly Kuttanadan, Anu learned the basics of cooking duck and pearl spot, peeking into her mother’s kitchen. She was then encouraged by a loving mother-in-law, who asked for her Swiss rolls and other delicacies. These two older women are her greatest inspiration, along with her banker husband (now retired) , her children and their spouses. She lives in Chennai, loving good food, classical music and anything funny on TV, that makes her laugh.