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 - 1½ 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 2½ 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.
Easy weeknight meal ideas is what I am forever scouting for. It saves my time and makes the man happy. Except for Tuesdays, for every single meal the man needs to eat non veg.There are times when I am totally out of ideas or the patience to produce something new. But thanks to the neighbourhood supermarkets , you are spoilt for choice. While I would mostly stick to buying fresh fish from my regular fish monger, once in a while something frozen comes in handy too. A pack of frozen Basa fillet is what caught my fancy on my last trip to the supermarket and scores of recipes started flodding my head!So I promptly grabbed the pack with the intention of cooking it up with some jazz. With winter just about to say goodbye, I wanted to use up the last batch of spinach from my kitchen garden. Teaming it up with the fish seemed like a fabulous option. So here’s my recipe of Grilled Fish with Spinach.
I used Basa but any white fish fillet like bhetki would do just fine. Just keep an eye while cooking the fish so that u don’t overcook. It takes very little time.
I kept the sauce chunky in texture but you can puree it into a smooth sauce as per your taste. Just grind the sauce in a handblender and strain
All the meat lovers are going to gorge on this recipe. The versatility of this recipe is that it pairs up beautifully with rice as well as breads. Again the use of everyday spices and a winner of a dish.Growing up in a Bengali household it is natural to add some potatoes to our meat dishes. The Sunday Mutton curry is incomplete with the soft potatoes to be mashed along with the rice and balanced with a squirt of lime. But when I posted this dish on a popular foodie group I found a lot of people were not used to the idea of potatoes in a meat dish. I am glad to be sharing this recipe with my readers.
Keema Aloo - Minced mutton with potatoes in a rich gravy
Recipe type: Maincourse
Indian minced mutton dish
Mutton mince/keema - 500 gms
Potatoes - 2 medium - cut into small cubes
Onion paste - 5 tbsp.
Garlic- ginger paste - 2 tbsp.
Tomato puree - 3 tbsp.
Kashmiri red chilii powder - 2 tsp
Salt - to taste
sugar - a pinch
Mustard oil - 2 tbsp.
Garam masala - 1 tbsp.
To be dry roasted and grounded to a coarse powder :
Coriander seeds/dhania - 1 tbsp.
Cumin/jeera seeds - 1 tbsp.
Dried red chillies - 2-3
In a pressure cooker, add the mustard oil. Once it reaches smoking point reduce the flame and add the onion , ginger garlic paste. Fry on low flame till browned. This will take a while but make sure this paste is very well cooked and there is no pungent smell.
Tip in the mutton mince. Increase the heat and cook the mince till it turns lightly brown in color. Now add the tomato puree, red chilli powder, the coriander-cumin dry roasted powder, salt and sugar. Mix everything well.Add a little warm water and let it cook.
Roast the masala well along with the mince. Add some more warm water and let the masalas cook well. At this point add the cubed potatoes.
Add a cup of warm water, put in the garam masala powder and pressure cook for 1 whistle.
Remove from heat and serve hot topped with some onion rings and a squirt of lime.