CHICKEN PILAU / PILAF

CHICKEN PILAU / PILAF

Beautifully fragrant rice, tender flavoursome chicken and soft fluffy potatoes all of which have been perfectly spiced and cooked to create a stunningly aromatic, but simple traditional Pakistani / Indian home food.

 

I think most of us have a special dish in our hearts that our mothers (or fathers) would make which felt like home. For me it is this pilau, my mum’s pilau. Now my mum is a very talented cook, and can cook a wide range of different cuisines, from Pakistani, Indian, to Chinese, East African, Arabic, the list goes on. But for me eating this is the equivalent of getting a big hug from my mum, it really is that special.

 

 

When I was away from home for University, every time I would come back home, and my mum would ask what I wanted to eat, my answer would always be this pilau. Sometimes it would be with chicken, other times, meat, but at all times it was just beautiful simple home comfort food.

 

 

The minute I used to enter my home, after  my long train journey back, I would smell the beautiful aromas of the whole spices that make this pilau, and I knew I was home. With some yogurt and chilli pickle, this traditional Pakistani / Indian home food is taken to another level. There are many variations of pilau, this is my mum’s and for me it is like a big hug of flavours and delicious aromas and just simple deliciousness.

 

CHICKEN PILAU / PILAF

November 5, 2018
: 4 - 5
: 15 min
: 50 min

Beautifully fragrant rice, tender flavoursome chicken and soft fluffy potatoes all of which have been perfectly spiced and cooked to create a stunningly aromatic, but simple traditional Pakistani / Indian home food.

By:

Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp ghee
  • 2 cups (2 large) onions, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon bark
  • 5 green cardamoms
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 500g chicken breast, cut into pieces (my family prefers boneless, but you can use chicken on the bone cuts or even lamb)
  • 1 tbsp ginger, grated
  • 1 ½ tbsp garlic, crushed
  • 2 large potatoes, each cut into big chunks and soaked in water till needed
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp corriander powder
  • 2-3 green birds eye chillies
  • 3 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 ½ cups (440g) sella or basmati rice, rinsed at least twice and left to soak in luke warm water for at least 30 minutes
  • 3-4 cups (750ml -1 litre) boiling water
Directions
  • Step 1 In a large pan, heat the ghee over medium and add the onions, stirring frequently until onions become light brown.
  • Step 2 Add all the whole spices: cumin seeds, peppercorns, cinnamon bark, green and black cardamom. Cook for a few minutes, until you can smell the aromatics.
  • Step 3 Stir in the chicken, cook for a 2-3 minutes, stirring to coat the chicken with the onions and whole spices.
  • Step 4 Add in the ginger and garlic and cook for further 2 – 3 minutes, stirring regularly, until the chicken has browned.
  • Step 5 Add in the potatoes, stirring to coat in the spices and onions.
  • Step 6 Mix in the stock cube, ground spice (garam masala, cumin powder and corriander powder), salt, green chillies and bay leaves. Stir and cook until the raw spice smell has gone, approximately 2 minutes.
  • Step 7 Drain the rice and add to the pan. Stir well to ensure all the grains are coated in all the spices and flavourings.
  • Step 8 Pour in boiling water, enough to just cover the rice. Increase the heat and bring to boil. Cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat to medium low and cook the pilau for approximately 20 minutes, or until rice is fully cooked and each grain is separated.
  • Step 9 Enjoy x


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