Thursday, February 20, 2014

Chicken Tahiri


"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2000 of something."
(~Mitch Hedberg)








Yes, I like rice, only it has nothing to do with 2000 of something! But come to think of it, I might be gobbling "2000 of something" or more...I never bothered to count or hazard a guess. I mean I wouldn't eat the thing if I did. Imagine what havoc it will play with my mind! So, I don't want to put a number to the grains of rice I consume, a generous serving will do!! If it's tahiri even better.

Tahiri is one rice dish that I love to make especially in the winter. It's easy and quick, it's adaptable (you can make any kind of tahiri) and a dish that warms the coldest heart on any day. So when you're in a hurry and have to scurry; no time for biryani or yakhni pulaos, just bring on a tahiri. Earlier there was more of mutton tahiri these days it's more of the vegetable and chicken ones.


Ingredients:

Basmati rice.............................2 cups or acc to your requirement
Chicken...................................4-5 drumsticks or thighs, or a combo
Onion.......................................1, sliced fine, or chopped small
Garlic......................................3-4
Ginger.....................................1" pc
Tomato...................................1, chopped into very small pcs
Saunf (aniseed).......................1/2 tsp
Pepper corns..........................1/2 tsp
Green cardamom seeds.........of 4-5 cardamoms
Coriander pwdr.....................2 1/2 tsps
Turmeric................................1/4 tsp
Red chilli pwdr.......................acc to taste
Garam masala.......................1/2 tsp
Bay leaf..................................2
Cinnamon..............................1 stick, medium sized
Star anise (optional)..............1/2 a star
Dry mint.................................1 tsp, crushed
Salt to taste
Water.....................................4 cups for the rice
Extra Virgin olive oil.............3-4 tbsps
Ghee......................................2-3 tbsps



Wash and clean the chicken. wash the rice until water is clear, soak for 20-25 minutes.
Powder the saunf, pepper corns and cardamom seeds in a mortar.
Make a paste of the garlic and ginger.
Heat the olive oil in a non stick pan. Add the bay leaves, cinnamon and star anise and follow that with the sliced onions.
When the onions turn light brown, lower heat to medium and add the ginger-garlic paste. Stir for a few seconds and add the chopped tomato. Lower heat to low and cover the pan and allow the tomato to soften a bit, keep stirring from time to time.
When the tomato has softened, add the red chilli, turmeric, coriander and salt. Mix well, raise heat to medium.
Add the chicken and mix it well into the masala. Sprinkle a wee bit of water, give it another stir. Do not add too much water, the chicken will release some too. Cover and allow to cook. Keep a check. If the chicken needs a bit more water to cook keep adding a little at a time.
When the chicken is almost done and there's still a bit of liquid left, add the saunf-pepper-cardamom powder and mix. Allow to cook in uncovered pan so that the liquid dries. 
Drain the rice and add it to the chicken. Stir gently with a lift and drop motion, so as not to break the grains. Now add  the 4 cups of water. Stir the rice and chicken to blend.
Check for salt. Now add the garam masala and crushed dry mint. Cover and cook until rice is done.
Pour the ghee over the rice.
Serve hot with a radish and carrot salad. Some raita. And mango pickle.



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