A quick one pot flavourful rice dish that has been cooked down with mixed spices, yogurt, chicken stock and made fragrant with a dash of rosewater.
A few months back, just when the lockdown was imposed, we ran out of onions for weeks. Cooking that time was hard because most Indian recipes have onions as a base but on the positive side, it was fun trying to create something using other available ingredients. Then came a time when onions were available but no good tomatoes at all. So I had to base all my dishes around onions only. Before you wonder…..ready tomato paste/puree isn’t really my thing.
And one thing I often cook, maybe once a fortnight is a good desi rice dish, maybe a biryani or everybody’s favorite Pakistani Chicken Rice. Now both recipes obviously require a good quantity of fresh tomatoes and I just couldn’t get myself to cook something without them. Until I called mum and expressed my concern, and she being the supercook that she is, very cooly said add onions that you usually use, add your spices, but use yogurt instead of tomatoes. I did the same, tasting as I cooked, adjusting every little thing and who would’ve thought, the result would be amazing.
The recipe is super simple to follow and can be easily adjusted according to your palate. Perfect for lazy days or if you are running out of tomatoes like I did 😛
For the Masala base:
Ghee+Oil to fry
1 Bay Leaf
1 Cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
1/2 tsp Black Pepper corns
1/2 kg Chicken (with or without bones)
2 medium-sized Onions finely sliced
6-8 Green chilies chopped
1 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
1 Chicken stock cube
1/2 tsp Pepper powder
1/2 tsp Coriander powder
1/2 cup mint leaves chopped
1/2 cup coriander leaves chopped
2 tbsp whisked yogurt/curd
1 tsp Kasuri methi
Salt to taste
For the Rice:
2 cups Basmati Rice
4+1/4 cups Hot water
2 Green chilies Slit
1 tsp Rosewater
Salt to taste
*Spices can be adjusted according to your preference.
*Basmathi rice can be substituted with Jeera rice.
*Kasuri methi is optional. However, it adds additional fragrance to the dish.
*The spicier, the better.
Heat ghee and oil in a nonstick pot, add in your spices (Bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves, cumin seeds, and peppercorns). Saute well till fragrant. Next, add sliced onions and green onions and cook well till brown. To this, add ginger garlic paste, chicken cube, pepper powder, coriander powder, and salt, saute well. Add chicken and coat with the masala and let it cook.
When the chicken is half done, add in whisked yogurt, mint and coriander leaves, Kasuri methi leaves, and combine. Let the chicken cook through. Add the washed rice and combine it well with the masala. pour in water and add the slit green chilies, rosewater, and salt.
Cover and cook till water has been absorbed and rice has been cooked well.
Serve hot with a side of raita or tomato chutney 🙂