Unlike a biryani where the meat and rice are cooked separately, in a pulao dish the rice and meat or vegetables are cooked together in one pot.
Preparation time 35 minutes
Cooking time 1 hour
6 garlic cloves
2.5cm piece ginger
2 tablespoons natural yoghurt
½ large onion, thinly sliced
1kg skinless chicken on the bone, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander
5cm piece cassia or cinnamon stick
4 bay leaves
2 black cardamom pods
6–8 green cardamom pods
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground cumin, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
450ml vegetable or chicken stock or water
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
3 tablespoons oil
250g basmati rice, thoroughly washed
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 Using a mortar and pestle, make a fine paste with the garlic and ginger. Set aside.
2 In a small bowl, mix together the yoghurt and stock or water. Set aside.
3 Heat the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over a low heat. Add the whole spices and fry for 20 seconds, then add the onion and fry for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Turn up the heat, then add the ginger and garlic paste and fry for 1–2 minutes.
4 Add the chicken, ground spices and salt and mix together well. Cover with a lid and cook for 8–10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5 Add half the yoghurt stock, stir through, bring to the boil, cover and cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6 Now add the rice and coriander and the remaining yoghurt stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover with a lid and cook for 16–18 minutes, or until the rice liquid has evaporated and the chicken and rice are tender. Remove from the heat and leave to rest for 5–7 minutes with the lid on. Sprinkle with ground cumin and serve immediately with lime wedges.
Recipes and Images from Indian Made Easy by Amandip Uppal (Murdoch Books) $39.99. Photography by Lisa Linder available now in all good bookstores and online