Friday, March 11, 2016

Mughlai Chicken Pulao

Hypothetically my enthusiasm for food grew after my marriage or more specifically after I came to Abidjan. But when I think of my days in Kolkata, my eating habit, my nature...everything indicates that I was a foodie for a long time. It’s nothing special. I just realized it’s in our blood. We are Bengali...and there is no escape from the fact that as much as we love football we do love mish, mustard oil and anything you can cook into that. Our day starts with shopping the fish and vegetables. We love to shop that we can eat fresh fishes three times a day. We greet our guests with sweets and don’t let them go without stuffing them with foods. And even when we go to someone’s house the most important thing to go with us is not the present but the sweet. Sundays are special for us...not for being a holiday but Sundays are special for their elaborate breakfast menus and their special chicken curries. We love you know why? Because we get Hilsas!! Durga Puja is very synonymous to us as Pet Puja. Now don’t get me started...because it’s a very long list and then the post will not be completed.

aromatic Mughlai Chicken Pulao recipe with step by step pictures

how to cook Mughlai Chicken Pulao

 So I guess you get it!! My food narcotism comes from my very pure Bengali blood. I love the sight of them...I loved smelling them...and of course I devoured eating them. Even I had a diary in which I used to write all the recipes from Sanjeev Kapoors Sunday’s Khana Khazana episodes. I used to ask the momo vendors about their secret of making their spicy garlic sauce. I used to have a very intriguing eye when the chat seller made the papri chat for us.  And I loved eating Kachoris in my breakfast. I nagged mother many times to buy Tadka – roti from the nearby Punjabi Dhaba. I used to search for the best roll in Kolkata...and I always...always...whenever I came across Monjinis I used to buy Chocolate Mousse.

Mughlai Chicken Pulao recipe with step by step pictures
Temper the ghee with whole spices and add the chopped onions to them.
Mughlai Chicken Pulao recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
Cook the onions until golden and add the chilli - ginger - garlic paste. Cook until the onions become golden brown.
Mughlai Chicken Pulao recipe with step by step pictures
Add the tomatoes and cook till the oil separates.
Mughlai Chicken Pulao recipe with step by step pictures
Add the powdered spices, half of the prepared garam masala powder, mint and coriander leaves. Cook for another 2 minutes to ward off the raw smell of the spices,
Mughlai Chicken Pulao recipe with step by step pictures
Add the yogurt and chicken pieces.
Mughlai Chicken Pulao recipe with step by step pictures
Add salt, mix and cover to cook.
KFC was my favourite corner whenever I had the urge to eat some crispy chicken. Lassis from Shyambazar, Biryani from Arsalan, Mutton Cutlet from Mitra Cafe, Mutton Kosha from Golbari, Poached eggs from the small stalls in front of the Ganga Ghat, Jhalmuri, Phuchka, Chats....I didn’t miss any of them. I have rattled the streets of North Kolkata with my sister and friends to get the perfect pantharas and pyaji and of course Biryani. I loved eating even then also. Not just for the sake of eating...I ate because I loved those flavours. I loved the way they were presented. I loved the galore of Bengal’s street food in every way and in every style. The only downside was I never tried to click them or replicate them in my home.

easy Mughlai Chicken Pulao recipe with step by step pictures
The chicken and yogurt will ooze out a lot of water.
authentic Mughlai Chicken Pulao recipe with step by step pictures
Cook the chicken until they are almost done and all the excess water has been evaporated. Check the chicken and if its not cooked yet then add water and continue cooking.
Mughlai Chicken Pulao recipe with step by step pictures
Add the washed and soaked rice and mix.
Mughlai Chicken Pulao recipe with step by step pictures
Add water, rest of the garam masala powder, saffron and lemon juice.
Mughlai Chicken Pulao recipe with step by step pictures
Cook till the rice is cooked through.
Even home cooked meal had their own charisma to me. I knew exactly who cooks what best. Like my Mami’s excuisite Mutton Kasha, chicken and mutton biryani, my grandmother’s sutki maach or dried fish curry, muri ghonto, my aunt’s mutton rezala, mu youngest aunt’s dum aloo. I can’t even just count and say I love this and this. They are so many. And each of them is special in just their own way!! Bengalis sure do love their food and they take it so sooo seriously.

chicken pulao recipe easy chicken pulao recipe

However the worst part of being a foodie is I either I am eating or I am thinking about food. And being a food blogger has made it all worse...I am thinking about food now all the time. Either I am going through cookbooks or scrolling a webpage to get a suitable recipe or making my list for the ingredients to buy a certain one. I am a foodaholic, after much speculation that’s the best I can think of my situation ... yes that’s what I am!!

how to cook Mughlai Chicken Pulao recipe with step by step pictures

If you love chicken biryani, then you are sure going to love this Mughlai Chicken Pulao.  The rich and aromatic rice dish from the kitchen of the Mughals. I will say this is more like the younger brother of Biryani...and it’s much hassle free. The mint leaves and the garam masala sure give this Chicken Pulao a much needed difference and at the same time despite being so tasty and aromatic it is very easy to cook. In my opinion, do give this pulao a sure will make your day.

simple Mughlai Chicken Pulao recipe with step by step pictures

Mughlai Chicken Pulao
Serves 5-6

authentic Mughlai Chicken Pulao recipe with step by step pictures

2 cups of fine Basmati rice
6 chicken legs / 6 medium solid pieces of chicken
3 medium onions –sliced
2 medium tomatoes – chopped
8 fat cloves of garlic – minced
1 tbsp ginger paste
A handful of fresh coriander leaves – chopped
A handful of fresh mint leaves – chopped
2 tbsp of thick curd – whisked
2 tsp turmeric powder
3-4 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp of garam masala (recipe follows)
10-12 saffron strands
½ cup ghee
2 medium cinnamon sticks
4-5 green cardamoms
4 cloves
2 large bay leaves

Garam Masala for Pulao:
1 small cinnamon stick
2 green cardamoms
2 cloves
1 bay leaf
4-6 black peppercorns
4 white peppercorns
1 blade of mace
A little nutmeg
½ tsp caraway seeds
1 petal of star anise

Dry roast the whole spices listed under garam masala for 2 minutes or you start to get their rich aroma. Grind them to a fine powder and keep aside.
Wash the rice well and soak them in water for 30-45 minutes.
Heat ½ cup of ghee and temper it with cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamoms and bay leaves.
Sauté them for half a minute and then add the sliced onions to them.
Add some salt and fry the onions till they are golden.
Now add the ginger – garlic paste and cook fry the onions till they become golden brown.
Next add the chopped tomatoes, chopped coriander, mint leaves, half of the garam masala powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder and coriander powder. Mix them well and cook the tomatoes till they start to ooze out oil from them.
When the curry is ready add the chicken pieces and whisked curd to them. Sprinkle some more salt to season the meat and mix them well so that they get nicely covered with the curry.
Put a cover and let the chicken cook. Stir every 2 minutes to prevent any kind of burning or sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cook until all the water that ooze out of the yogurt and chicken pieces is evaporated and the oil starts to float on top of the curry.
Check whether the chicken is cooked. If not add a little water and keep cooking until the chicken is almost cooked and soft from inside. Do not cook the chicken completely as we will add rice later and cook them further together.
Drain the water from the rice and add them to the chicken.
Mix well. Add 1 and ½ cup of water, the lime juice, saffron strands, rest of the garam masala powder and give a good stir. We already have a lot of water in the curry so the lesser we add the fluffier the rice will be.
Put cover and cook till the rice is cooked. It will take 10 – 15 minutes of time.
Once the rice is cooked, let the rice sit covered for another 15 minutes so all the moistures can be evaporated.
Serve hot with the raita of your choice.

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