This is for all those people who love biryani, but don’t have time for the elaborate process involved in making it. Sometimes we might just wish, how nice it would be to have biryani, but feel lazy to make it and end up buying it from a restaurant and would say…oohhhh this is not the biryani I wished for! So this recipe is dedicated to all those people, for this is the next best alternative to chicken biriyani. This pulav uses almost the same ingredients as a biriyani, only the method is entirely different. So be prepared to taste the difference!
- Chicken – 2.5 chicken breasts or around 1/2 kg (You can also use chicken thighs or whole chicken)
- Basmati rice – 2 cups
- Water – 4.5 cup
- Onion – 1 medium, thinly sliced
- Tomato – 1, chopped fine
- Mint leaves – 1/2cup, chopped
- Cilantro – 1/4 cup, chopped
- Ginger – garlic paste – 1 tsp
- Ginger – 1 inch, roughly chopped
- Garlic – 2 – 3, crushed
- Green chillies – 3 – 4 slit
- Chilli powder – 1 tsp
- Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
- Shahi jeera/ black cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp (optional)
- Whole spices – Cinnamon stick – 2, cloves – 5 -6, cardamom – 3-4, bay leaves – 2-3, whole pepper corns- 5-6
- Cashews – 2 tbsp, to garnish
- Raisins – 2 tbsp, to garnish
- Oil / ghee – 3 tbsp
- Salt – To taste
1. Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes. Drain water and keep aside.
2. Clean and cut the chicken to small pieces. Marinate them with around 1/2 tsp salt for at least 30 minutes. This step is optional.
3. Boil 4.5 cups of water in a vessel adding enough salt, roughly chopped ginger, crushed garlic and half of the whole spices mentioned under the ingredients. Add the chicken pieces and cook until just tender (for around 8 – 10 minutes). Take out the chicken pieces with a slotted spoon. Keep aside. Reserve the stock for cooking rice. Discard the whole spices along with the chopped ginger and garlic. You can pass the stock through a fine-meshed sieve if you want.
4. Heat ghee / oil ( 2 – 3 tbsp) in a pan at medium heat. Fry cashews until golden brown. Drain on to a paper towel. Now fry the raisins until they get plump. Drain on to a paper towel. Finally fry sliced onion until golden brown. Drain 2 tbsp of fried onion onto a paper towel. Keep aside for garnishing. Now add the remaining whole spices to the pan. Mix well and saute for a few seconds. Add ginger-garlic paste, green chillies. Saute until their raw smell is gone. Now add the chopped tomato pieces. Saute for 2 minutes and add chilly powder, shaji jeera, little salt and garam masala powder. Mix well and add the chicken pieces, chopped cilantro and mint. Saute until the chicken pieces are lightly browned or for around 8 – 10 minutes. Add the strained rice and mix well. Saute for another 2-3 minutes.
5. Now add 4.25 cups of chicken stock to the pan. Give it a mix. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook at medium flame until the liquid gets absorbed. I prefer cooking it in a pressure cooker. Pressure cooker procedure – Transfer the whole mixture to a pressure cooker after step 4 and add 4.25 cups of the chicken stock to it. Give it a mix. Let the mixture come to a boil. Close the pressure cooker with its lid and cook at medium heat. When steam starts coming out continuously and profusely from the vent, put the pressure cooker weight and switch off the stove. Open the pressure cooker when the pressure releases or after 12 – 15 minutes. The rice will be perfectly cooked. Fluff the rice with a fork and transfer immediately to a wide serving bowl. Garnish with fried onion, cashews, raisins, 1 – 2 tbsp chopped cilantro and mint leaves. Serve hot along with raita.