I have attempted different versions of biryani before and I still have some more left in my kitty to make. I honestly didn’t feel like putting the effort I usually do for a biryani today so I decided to try a pulav.
Now I thought this is going to be easy but honestly it was a bit of an effort. First to create the stock then add flavour and strain and finally cooking the rice in stock. The flavours reminded me of the mutton yakhni pulao I used to eat at Taj Jaisalmer. My husband and I worked for the Taj and would often visit Jaisalmer. I would call Chef Rakesh and ask him to prepare pathar ke ghosht and yakhni pulav for us. He was a wonderful cook. This dish took me back to those days a decade ago.
Bouquet garni – 3 tbsp fennel/saunf, 1 tbsp cumin/jeera, 2 sticks cinnamon/dalchini, 7 cloves/laung, 4 black cardamom/moti elaichi, 5 black pepper/Kali mirch
7 garlic flakes
2 cups basmati rice soaked
5 tbsp ghee
4 onions sliced
10 flakes garlic made into a coarse paste with 3 green chillies
1 cup mint/pudina leaves
1 cup coriander/dhania leaves
2 bay leaves/tej pata
1 tsp black cumin/Shah jeera
4 green cardamoms/choti elaichi
- Prepare the bouquet garni by tying all the masalas in a cloth
- In a pressure cooker add to the chicken, 4.5 cups of water, garlic, salt and the bouquet garni.
- Close the lid, give 1 whistle and keep on slow for 1 min. Shut the gas and drop pressure by placing the cooker under the tap, open lid only when pressure drops.
- Strain, keep the stock and chicken pcs sep.
- Use some of the stock and grind all the masalas in the bouquet garni to a paste
- Mix this paste in the stock and stir well. No need to put on heat.
- Strain this stock using a cloth and discard residue.
- Heat oil in a pan, add jeera, tej pata and choti elaichi.
- Add onion slices and fry till golden brown.
- Add the chicken pcs, chopped garlic, mint and coriander and stir for 2 mins
- Add 4 cups of stock, enough salt and bring it to a boil.
- Now drain the rice and add it to the stock. Check seasoning and if you need it spicier add some split green chillies
- Bring to a boil and then lower gas and cook for 16 mins.
- Shut the gas and leave it covered for 5-10 mins.
- Serve hot with some raita on the side.
Recipe courtesy – Neeta Mehta (with some changes)