Faith to each, festival to all and feast for your appetite! On the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, the largely celebrated Islamic festival marking the end of the fasting month, it is time to unleash your gourmand self. The dish that can very well be your flagship on the dining table can be the Murg Pulao which is an easy rice recipe made with chicken and aromatic spices.
The dish is relished as main course across the Indian sub-continent. A delectable combination of aromatic rice and chicken pieces coupled with exotic mix of spices create a combination that is hard to resist. The marinated chicken with spices is what ups the taste quotient of this dish. If you are looking for how to make this authentic chicken rice dish which hailed from Indian sub-continent, follow my step by step instructions below. The pictures are shown to make things even easier for you.
Ingredients I Used:
500gm – Chinigura Rice ( You can use Basmati rice)
1/2 kg – Chicken cut into medium pieces
1.5 inch piece of Ginger
6-7 flakes – Garlic
3 medium sized onion, thinly chopped
2-3 Bay Leaves
1/2 tsp Saffron, soaked in warm milk
1/2 tsp Black Cumin Seeds
1/2 tsp Mace
3-4 – Green chillies
1/2 tsp Garam Masala powder
1 tbsp Red Chilli powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Cumin Powder
1/2 tsp Coriander powder
2 tsp yogurt
200gm Desi Ghee (Butter, available in Indian stores)
Salt to taste
Lets cook now
Step one: Take the ginger and garlic and make into a fine paste. Mix all the spices together in a bowl.
Step two: Marinate the chicken pieces with the mixed spices, 1 tbsp vegetable oil, salt, half the paste of ginger-garlic and yoghurt. Keep it aside.
Note: To get the best Murg Pulau, keep the chicken marinated overnight in the fridge. It is important to keep it marinated for at least 3 hours.
Step three: Take Ghee in a deep pan. When it is hot, add onions and fry till the onions are golden. Keep half aside.
Step four: Now add the marinated chicken pieces and stir them for some time. Cook till the chicken is half cooked.
Step five: In a deep pan, boil water, add black cumin seeds, 1 tsp butter and salt to taste. Add rice and keep boiling till the rice gets 70% cooked. Remove it from the heat, drain the water and keep it aside.
Step six: In the same pan you cooked chicken, layer the chicken with the partially boiled rice. Layer with the other half of fried onions, raisins(optional), saffron and ghee on top.
Step seven: Make a small dough, seal the lid of the pan with the dough and leave it on low heat for 30 minutes.
Note: Although cooking rice and chicken ”in steam” technique is usually used for cooking Biryani, but I prefer to use it for Murg Pulau as well, as it makes the chicken succulent and each grain of rice fluffy and nicely cooked.
Step eight: Remove the pan from the heat, place a flat fry pan on heat and now keep the pan with chicken and rice on top. Let it steam cooking for another 20 minutes in low heat.
Note: The objective of placing a flat fry pan under the cooking pan is to avoid giving too much heat during cooking ”in steam”. We want our Murg Pulau to be slowly steam cooked, too much heat may burn it on the bottom. Hence, this step.
Step Nine: Remove it from the heat and keep it aside for another 10 minutes before opening the lid.
Step ten: Open the lid and use a small plate (from tea set) to take out Murg Pulau from the pan, this way your rice or chicken pieces will remain as it is. No one wants to have broken grains of rice and chicken pieces.
Voila! Your Murg Pulau is ready! Serve it in a large silver tray garnished with fresh edible flowers, mint leaves, lemon slices and parsley.