Drrooool. I can’t help it. It’s the chicken green pulao, you see! You’ll know what I’m talking about after you’ve eaten this marvellous one pot rice and chicken dish. The spices and herbs are balanced perfectly with the coconutty flavour, and the rich aroma tantalises you so! I’ve been searching for a cracking chicken and rice dish, and I’ve found it in the chicken green pulao.
I found this treasure in a treasure trove (hahaa!) called annapurni, by Sabita Radhakrishna. I’ve only ever made biryanis — the art of perfectly cooking a basmati rice so each grain is separate from the other has eluded me for a long time — so chicken green pulao caught my attention immediately.
As I read the recipe, however, I realised that it was actually a biryani. The author asks us to layer the the rice and chicken alternatively, and ensure that the rice is soft. A pulao on the other hand is cooked along with the stock of the meat, and each rice grain is separate. While I haven’t changed the ingredients, I changed the method of cooking towards the end so it does turn out like a pulao.
Don’t let the instructions bear down on you. If you persist, you will be left with a worthy dish. This one-pot meal can be eaten as is, or you can eat is with curd pachadi — it makes for a great salad-cum-accompaniment and can be made quickly while the rice and chicken cook.. It tastes better when eaten the next day.
Chicken Green Pulao
- 500 gm chicken
- 2 and 1/2 cups basmati rice or jeera rice
- 1 and 1/2 cups grated coconut or half a large coconut
- 1/3 cup oil or ghee
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup curds
- 2 teaspoons turmeric powder
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 lime
- 4 cloves, divided
- 2 cardamoms
- 4 x 1” pieces cinnamon, divided
- 3 large onions, 1 to grind and the other two sliced
- 40 gm ginger
- 40 gm garlic
- 4 green chillies
- 1 cups chopped coriander leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
- 5 almonds or cashew nuts
- Wash the rice and let it soak for about half an hour in water. (You can slice and grind away meanwhile.)
- Wash and clean the chicken, and cut it into medium pieces.
- Extract coconut milk — aim for 1 and 1/2 cups thick milk and 1 cup thin milk.
- Grind 2 cloves, 2 pieces of cinnamon, the cardamoms, 1 onion, the ginger, garlic, chillies, coriander leaves, mint leaves and the nuts.
- Heat the oil or ghee in a heavy-bottomed vessel and temper with the bay leaf, and remaining spices.
- After about 45 seconds, add the onion and sauté until it is transparent. Then add the chicken along with the ground masala, salt and turmeric powder. Give it all a good stir and let it fry until the oil rises to the top.
- Add the thin coconut milk and let it all cook under a lid for 5 minutes.
- Add the rice, stirring it into the vessel slowly and let it cook for 10 minutes under the lid.
- Now add the thick coconut milk and cook it on low heat until done.
- Check the pulao now and then to ensure that that enough water for the chicken and rice to cook in. If it seems dry to you then add a little hot water at a time (I added about two tablespoons a few times. Cook until the rice if soft and the chicken firm. Ensure that each rice grain is separate though and not mushy!
Serving: Let the chicken green pulao rest for 15-20 minutes before you serve it. Serve it hot with cold curd pachadi.
What is The Difference Between Pulao (Pilaf) and Biryani? (food.ndtv.com)