Diet is all about making food look and taste delicious even when there are limitations with the ingredients .
One needs mental as well as physiological satiety to be happy following a diet regime . A tiny imaginary chef hat and dishes look and taste out of the world .
I call this dish PIRYANI as its a poor cousin of the royal Biryani .
250 grams chicken
¾ tsp ginger garlic paste
¼ to ½ tsp red chili powder
Generous pinch of turmeric
Salt as needed
1 tsp butter (makes the chicken soft)
1 tsp garam masala (optional)
1 ½ to 2 tbsp. Curd / yogurt (if using coconut milk skip this)
1 bay leaf
1 Star anise
½ tsp shahi jeera
2 cinnamon sticks/ dalchini
1 black cardamom/ badi elaichi
4 green cardamoms / choti elaichi
¾ tsp. saunf powder
1 strand mace
1 ½ to 2 tbsp. oil
1 large onion thinly slices
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 medium tomato chopped
Salt as needed
Pinch of Turmeric
Handful of chopped mint/ pudina
Few coriander leaves chopped
1 ½ cups rice (prefer basmati)
2 ½ to 2 ¾ cups water or stock or thin coconut milk (refer notes)
How to make the recipe
Wash rice and soak for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Marinate chicken with ingredients mentioned under to marinate. Set this aside till we use it. If using coconut milk do not use yogurt to marinate.
Heat a pot or cooker with butter, add spices along with saunf and saute till it begins to smell nice.
Add onions, green chili and fry till lightly golden. Fry ginger garlic paste and fry until the raw smell disappears.
Add marinated chicken and fry until it turns pale and white. This takes around 3 to 4 minutes. Take care not to burn.
Add tomatoes, salt and turmeric. Fry until the tomatoes turn mushy, pulp and looks completely cooked. Add mint and coriander leaves and fry until it smells good for a minute or two.
Make sure tomatoes are cooked, blended well with the mixture, then pour stock or water or thin coconut milk. If your coconut milk is creamy or thick, dilute it with water and measure.
When it comes to a boil, add salt and rice.
cook until the rice is done completely. Towards the end. Simmer the flame and cover the pot. Cook on a low flame for 3 to 5 minutes. Fluff up after 5 minutes
If cooking in a pressure cooker.
When there is very little water left in the cooker, close the lid. Cook on a low flame for 3 to 4 minutes. Off the stove. Do not allow the cooker to whistle. Once the pressure goes off fluff up the rice. Garnish with some fried onions and some dry fruits .
Serve chicken pulao with onion raita.
For the chicken pulao recipe, if using thin coconut milk, do not use yogurt for marination.
Recipe Contributed by - Nitu Malladi