Pulao is a great “alternative” to a traditional biryani, because it allows you to obtain similar flavors from a regular biryani, but accomplish it in half the time. And in our current state of busyness and life, cooking a meal for your family or even yourself should NOT be another stress on your mind.
I’m sharing my recipe for a great Chicken Pulao that I make for my family. You can mix everything in one pot and let it cook away till ready to devour! And you can use any store bought Biryani masala blend OR make your own at home. Don’t worry – I’ve also included my personal favorite blend of Biryani spices that I like to use all the time.
You can substitute the chicken for any other protein or vegetable. BUT – I recommend that if you decide to use shrimp or fish, add that into the last 15-20 minutes of your cooking process to ensure it remains moist. We all know how bad dry seafood tastes – right!?
Okay! That’s it! Now go check out the recipe below and then make it at home! And if you think you can’t do this – think again! Take that chance to surprise yourself! (Haha)
- 2 to 2.5lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (cut into medium size chunks)
- 3 to 3.5 cups of long grain basmati rice (rinsed)
- 2 large tomatoes
- 2 medium onions + 2 large onions (cut into thin slivers and fried)
- 1 jalapeno (add more if extra heat desired)
- 1 full bunch of fresh mint (removes leaves from stems)
- 4 whole lemons (cut in half and remove seeds)
- 1.5 cups of oil
- 1.5 Tbsp. salt (add more if desired)
- 1 pack of SHAN brand Sindhi Biryani Spice Pack OR use homemade biryani spice mix (*see NOTES)
- 5-7 dried prunes (with pits)
- 6-7 cups of rice (basic 2:1 ratio plus a little more to add moisture to pulao)
- ½ cup of freshly chopped cilantro (as garnish)
- **NOTE: (Directions for homemade biryani spice mix: Take 1 tsp each of following spices and ground up into fine powder (red chili, paprika, coriander seed, turmeric, cumin seed, cinnamon powder, clove, black pepper seeds, ginger powder, nutmeg, brown cardamom, dried papaya powder, sugar, cardamom, anise) )
- You may also make a larger batch by using 8Tbsp (1/2 cup) of each item, blending and storing in cool, airtight container. (Shelf Life: 3-4mths)
- OPTIONAL: Blend your homemade biryani mix in spice or coffee grinder. Set Aside.
- Cut 2 large onions into thin slivers and fry in hot oil till golden brown and crispy. Remove from oil and sprinkle a few pinches of salt on top while hot. Set Aside.
- In a food processor or blender, add tomatoes, 2 medium onions, jalapeno, mint, lemons, salt. Blend all together till it become a thick, semi-chunky consistency.
- In a large skillet, add oil. When hot, add chicken, veggie mix and either the SHAN Biryani Spice Mix OR the homemade blend you made. (add all of it). Add dried prunes. Mix everything together till chicken is fully coated. Cover and allow all of it to cook on medium heat for about 10-12 minutes or until chicken is mostly cooked.
- Lower heat to medium-low setting, add rice on top, then pour water on top. Cover and let it cook for about 40-45 minutes on low heat. (Check a few times for preferred consistency of rice. (It should be fully cooked but not mushy.)
- Remove from heat, add fried onions on top and cilantro. Cover pot again for 5 minutes and let it steam. The oils from the onion and cilantro will go into rice.
- Serve hot. May also be eaten with raita (yogurt sauce)
What do you think? Or, actually…WHEN are you going to make this?
Let me know your thoughts and definitely share your pics on my IG @cmspiceculture, FB at “Spice Culture Cooking” or comment below!