It’s that time of the year, the month of October when the Bengali hearts across the world start to beat in excitement . Yes, our long wait for one year is over, it’s now the time to celebrate Durga Puja. From the very first day of October I can feel the festive mood in the air, smell the flowers of the season even though sitting far away from the land of Durgoutsav. Since we can’t wake up in the early morning and tune to radio any more, played the “Agamoni” song so many times in YouTube. The sound of “Dhak” is still so fresh and can bring back the childhood joy to our minds.
Like every year, San Diego Bengali community started its preparation to celebrate Durga Puja from the beginning of the month. Last couple of weeks we were so busy preparing for kids drama. In the midst of this busy schedule, I got to manage some time to share this recipe that you can try in this festive month. Before introduction of the recipe, wish you all my Bengali readers a very Happy Durja Puja.
Chicken Yakhni Pulao is my today's recipe. It’s a simple rice based preparation, a classic and popular North Indian dish. Yakhni means broth or stock , the particular type of pulao is cooked in meat stock so it gets the name. Originally Yakhni Pulao is made with mutton broth, but here I am making this dish with chicken. Preparing this dish is not as complex as it sounds. Not only simple, it takes only 30 minutes to complete. People would love to have Yakhni Pulao with just salad or raita but you can add a curry dish too with it, if you wish.
Chicken : 2 lbs ( around 1 kg ), cut into medium-big pieces
Yogurt half cup
Garlic paste : 2 tablespoons
Ginger paste : 1 and half tablespoons
Ghee or white oil : 4 to 6 tablespoons
Cloves : 3-4
Cinnamon stick : 2 inch
Green Cardamom : 3-4
Black peppercorns : 2-3
Bay leaf : 1
Caraway seeds ( sahi jeera ) : 1 teaspoon
Green chilies : 3 , slit in half
Turmeric powder : 1/2 teaspoon
Basmati rice : 2 cups
water : 4 cups
Red onion : one big, thinly sliced
Cashew nuts : halved , a handful
1. Take a bowl, add chicken pieces. Add ginger paste,garlic paste and yogurt. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest for 1 to 2 hrs.
2. Soak the rice in water for half an hour. Drain and set it aside.
3. Take a big pan, add oil / ghee and heat it up. Add onion to the hot oil / ghee and stir it util it is crispy fried. Once it is done, take it off from the oil and keep it aside.
4. In the same oil, add the cashew nuts. Fry it until they are golden in color. Remove it from oil and set it aside.
5. Add one or two tablespoons oil or ghee in the pan and again heat it up. Add green cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon stick, black pepper corns, bay leaf and caraway seeds.
6. Once it sizzles, lower the flame add the chicken and marinade. Add the turmeric and green chilies. Saute the chicken for 5 to 6 minutes. Add salt and stir it again until oil separates from the spices.
7. Add four cups of water. Once it starts boiling add the drained rice, mix it well. Cover the pan with lid.
8. Reduce the heat and let it cook until both chicken and rice are done.
9. Garnish the Pulao fried onion and fired cashew nuts and serve hot.