29
Jan

THE FLAVOURS AND ESSENCE OF PAKISTANI FOOD

Chaat Magazine 0 comment

Something for the weekend ahead. A cuisine in its own right, food writer Sumayya Jamil explores Pakistan’s rich culinary history.

CHICKEN YAKHNI PULLAO

This is a rice dish that was always cooked on Sundays in my home. It’s warm, comforting and a complete meal on its own. The whole garam masala is added to the chicken with water create a stock – ‘yakhni’ which the rice and chicken both cook in. It’s best enjoyed with a simple raita made yoghurt, with salt, sugar, red chilli powder and fresh coriander and cucumber.
Serves 1
Ingredients
3-4 tbsp vegetable oil
2-4 medium onions, chopped into half rings
1 inch ginger, grated
1 tbsp fresh garlic paste
1 tsp sea salt, or to taste
1 green chilli (optional)
500 g whole skinless chicken, with bone, cut into 12 pieces
400 g whipped natural yogurt
500 g basmati rice, washed and rinsed then soaked for 30 minutes before cooking
Whole garam masalas:
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp black peppercorn
1 medium cinnamon stick
1 tsp aniseed
1 tsp cloves
1 black large cardamom
3-4 green cardamom
How to cook
 Heat about 2-3 tbsp of oil in a saucepan over medium heat and once the oil is hot pop in the garam masalas and allow to fry until you can smell their aroma (do not allow to burn!).
 Now add the onion half rings and fry on medium-low heat until caramelized and brown – this is important as these add sweetness to the rice and create the flavour for the yakhni (stock for the rice to cook in).
 Once the onions are brown add the ginger and garlic paste and cook until the raw garlic smell escapes. Now add the yoghurt and fry until the yoghurt dries up a bit.
 Add the chicken and fry until sealed, then drain rice and fry for a couple of minutes. Pop in the green chilli now (if desired). Add enough water to just about cover the rice and chicken and turn the heat low.
 Cover and cook in “dam”, under steam for about 10-15 minutes until the rice and just cooked. The liquid should be completely absorbed. Fluff up the rice in between cooking to avoid the rice from sticking to the pan. Use a fork! Finally, Serve with a cool raita.

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