Its almost weekend and I cant wait for it. Along the middle of the week, I get these food cravings.And a few weeks back, it was this craving for Pulao. Not just any Pulao. Chicken Pulao to be specific. Not Biriyani, but Pulao.

Before we roll on to the Pulao trail, let me share something with all of you. My last Food post, was a Maacher Jhol recipe. All thanks to all of you, it generated good traffic. I had shared it in various places, including a few foodie groups on Facebook. And in one of those groups(which prides itself for being an authority of Kolkattan Food), someone reported my Post as Spam, and I was notified by Facebook. Jealousy can surely take vile forms, I tell you.

Lets come back to our Pulao story, now that I have finished my rant.

Pulao, also known as Pilaf, is an easy rice and meat casserole. It cooks pretty fast and you can really use any protein of your choice, if you want to make it an non vegetarian entree. Or you could even skip the protein, if you wanted. Its fragrant, its wholesome and it packs a punch. I love it, as its a one pot meal. Pretty easy to whip up too, if I might add that.

And as I am not much a fan of the Indian restaurants and their Curry Leaf infused cooking of North Indian classics, I knew , that we had to make it ourselves. Here comes the speed bump though , neither me nor my husband, are great with rice dishes. Its not our forte as with many other food related things. Give us a Kebab challenge and we will deliver . But when it comes to matters of rice, I always send a prayer, hoping it turns out well. If yo have a struggle like mine, then you would understand where we stand.
But cravings are real, and they need to be tended to. The week has to roll by, we need our fuel. Leaving a craving unsatisfied is only going to mess up the foodie dynamics of the week. So I  decided to don my apron and get cooking. And mind you, I have my classes on Wednesday nights, so cooking was done in the afternoon. That actually gave me that window, in case I messed up, I could always get a take out.

I always proteins in my freezer. I pick up these packs of skinless, boneless chicken thighs from Costco, and they are so useful. So two packs of chicken were defrosted and prepped. I cubed them in inch long pieces and marinated them in a simple marinade of yogurt and ginger garlic paste. Marinated for a couple of hours,as I didn't have more time. Feel free to marinate overnight, if you have the time. Then onwards to the stove and let the magic begin. Can I tell you a secret ? I cook my Pulao in Chicken Stock, rather than normal water. I tell you, that it adds so much of flavor.

It came out perfect and was polished off , till plates were squeaky clean. My Pulao prayers had been answered by the Rice Goddess ! I had served it with some Dim Kosha(Dry Egg Curry) .


Chicken : 1 lb : Boneless, Skinless, Thighs- Cubed
Rice: 2 cups. Basmati
Ginger-Garlic Paste : 2tbsp
Onion: I large : Sliced finely
Yogurt : 1/2 cup
Salt : To taste
Whole Garam Masala
Bay Leaves : 2 to 3
Chicken Stock or Plain Water
Canola Oil
Garam Masala Powder :1/2 to  1tsp
Cumin Powder : 1tsp
Coriander Powder : 1tsp

Procedure : 
Marinate the chicken pieces with hald the ginger-garlic paste and the yogurt.

Wash the rice twice and drain the water. Keep aside.

I cook my Pulao in a Le Creuset dutch oven. Feel free to use any deep bottom Casserole. Remember its a one pot meal.

Fire up the stove, and add oil to your pan. When the oil is hot, add in your bay leaves and your whole garam masala(your aromatics). Once it crackles, add in the sliced onion. Caramelize it, but don't let it get burnt. Onion goes from perfectly caramelized to burnt in less than half a second, I feel.

Add in the marinated chicken, and the rest of the ginger-garlic paste, the dry spices(except the garam masala powder) and salt. Stir well, and cook it , till the chicken is cooked. Make sure it doesn't get burnt.

Once you feel that the chicken is cooked, add in the washed rice,and the garam masala powder. Mix well. Now you can add in hot water, or you can add in Chicken Stock. Check the salt earlier, if you are using Chicken Stock. The ratio for 2 cups of Rice is 3 3/4 cups of hot water or hot stock. Add in the liquid, and cover the pan. Reduce the heat to low and cook for around 10 to 12 minutes. Check, as different varieties of Basmati cook differently. You could also do the last part of cooking the rice with the meat in the microwave. In that case, transfer the contents to a microwave safe bowl and cover with cling film, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes.

Voila, your Pulao is ready.

Bon Appetit !

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