This healthy aromatic one dish meal is cooked with brown basmati rice and tender boneless chicken cubes flavoured with spices. This Chicken pulao is quick and easy to make and is no less than any saffron laced biryani in spite of its simplicity. To make a healthy chicken pulao, you don’t go overboard on the spices, you certainly do not put any ghee and you may also cook it with least oil.
Ingredients: 6 chicken thigh fillets (skinless) cubed 1 1/2 cups brown Basmati rice 1/4 cup yogurt 2 inch ginger, chopped 6-8 garlic cloves, chopped 4-5tbsp olive oil or ghee (Optional) 1 tsp cumin seeds 7-8 green cardamoms 6 cloves 2-3 anise star (opt) 1 1/2 inch cinnamon stick 2 bay leaves 2 med onions sliced 2-3 med tomatoes, chopped 1 tbsp red chilli powder 1tbsp coriander powder 4 ½ cups chicken stock Saffron, pinch Salt, to taste
Method 1. Marinate the chicken in yogurt, ginger and garlic paste and salt for an hour. 2. Wash and soak the brown basmati rice for about 15 mins. 3. Heat oil in a thick-bottomed pan. Add cumin seeds and sauté till they change colour. 4. Add cloves, green cardamoms, cinnamon and bay leaves and allow sizzling for a few seconds. 5. Stir in the onions and fry till golden brown. Add tomatoes and cook until mashed, stirring continuously. 6. Gently add in the marinated chicken pieces and cook until half cooked. 7. Add in the chilli and coriander powder, stir well to mix. 8. Pour in the chicken stock and saffron and bring to a boil. 9. Stir in the drained rice and allow to boil until water level is reduced to the same level of the rice. 10. Cover with a tight lid and allow to cook on a low heat for about 20 mins until fully cooked. 11. Serve hot Serves: 4
Garnish: with chopped coriander or sprig of mint.
Tip: Gently stir the rice because basmati after soaking becomes very fragile.
Note: Difference between pulao and biryani is the preparation. In biryani, the rice and meat are cooked seperately and then layered for the finish. In pulao, you bung everything in together, like a stew, and cook it till it’s done.