I am a stickler for recipes that are easy to cook but doesn't compromise on the taste factor. And of late I have also become a lover of one pot meals. In such hurried lives that we all live, its a boon to be able to cook up nutritious tasty food without slogging it out too much in the kitchen. This is one such recipe - Murgh Pulao. It is not as heavy as your typical biryani but packs in a lot of flavours nevertheless. Similar to yakhni pulao but not really that. This particular recipe is heavily inspired by the Bangladeshi Morogh Polao - a very traditional chicken rice dish which is not too spicy but is extremely flavourful. The orginal recipe would include marinating the chicken in poppy seeds paste and also use a lot of nuts - cashews and raisins. I have however made a simpler version that I learnt from my mother which works well for a regular weeknight meal. And the fact that it uses very little oil is an added bonus.
Gobindo bhog rice/ or any kind of short grained rice - 1 1/2 cup
Chicken - 500 gms - cut into medium sized pieces
Ginger paste - 1 tbsp.
Garlic paste - 1 tbsp.
Mace - a few strands
Nutmeg - 1 tsp- grated
Fennel - 1 tsp
Cardamom - 4 nos
Cinnamon - a small stick
Cloves - 4-5 nos
Bay leaves - 2 nos
Onion - 1 large - finely chopped
Ghee - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Sugar - a pinch
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp + a pinch
Green chillies - 4-5 - slit at the top
Water - 3 cups
Mint leaves and green chillies - for garnish
Wash the rice well, mix in 1 tsp of turmeric, drain well and let it dry on a flat surface.
Now we need to prepare a broth in which we cook the rice.
In a pressure cooker , add the chicken pieces, ginger-garlic paste, mace,nutmeg,fennel,cardamom,cloves, cinnamon, salt and 3 cups water. Put the cooker on heat and let it get a couple of whistles.
Remove from heat take out the chicken pieces,strain and keep the broth aside.
In a bowl take the par boiled chicken pieces and smear with a little turmeric and keep aside.
Heat the ghee in a non stick pan or kadahi. Ensure its non stick and deep bottomed so that the rice cooks well.
Add the chicken pieces and sauté till they turn light brown in colour. Remove from pan and keep aside.
In the same pan, add the bay leaves and the finely chopped onions. Fry till they turn golden brown. Keep the heat low or else the onions burn. Now add the washed and dried rice. Fry the rice for 5-7 mins or till it starts to leave oil on the sides. Now place the sautéed chicken pieces on top of the rice and add 2 1/2 cups of the broth. Give it a good mix, cover the pan tightly and let it cook. Keep the flame low.
The rice doesn't take too long to cook so keep a watch.It would take around 10 mins for the water to dry up. Remove the cover, fluff up the rice with a fork. Add a pinch of sugar, the green chillies, give a gentle mix and put the lid again for 2 mins. Your murgh pulao will be ready to serve by now.
- Short grain rice is preferred but basmati rice can be used too.
- The left over broth - if any can be used for cooking curries and gravys and lends a great flavour.
- Be cautious while cooking the rice. Don't open the lid often as that could make the pulao soggy. always keep the flame low.
- You could also add cashews and raisins at the last stage to add to the richness of the dish.