This is a princely dish and I have made it into an easy, tasty and nourishing dish for the family. It may seem daunting, but once you’ve made it, you will find it easy and it will be a go-to recipe for family and guests. Read through the recipe and pick the spices and herbs that you have on hand. This recipe works best with bone-in chicken pieces, like thighs.
Wash and soak 180g of rice. I prefer Old Age Basmati, but you can use any rice you like except for sticky rice which is usually for sweet dishes.
Remove the skin from the chicken.
Make the Marinade with 31g plain yoghurt, 25g tablespoon ginger and garlic paste (or finely mince fresh garlic and grate in one inch of fresh ginger), 0.5g turmeric, 1.5g of red chili powder, 1.5g of garam masala and a squeeze of lemon juice. If you don’t have all the above ingredients, use whatever herbs you have in your larder. Spices that go well with chicken are paprika, rosemary, dried parsley and oregano. The yoghurt is to keep the chicken moist.
Marinate the chicken for an hour. If you prefer it spicy, add a sliced green or red chili.
Heat some oil and briefly fry one big sliced onion, 1 bay leaf, 4 cardamom seeds, 4-6 whole cloves, a stick of cinnamon, 1 star anise and (if you have it) 1 strand of mace and 2g of black cumin.
Add the chicken and cook on medium heat with a cover until soft. Taste the sauce and, if needed, add a bit of chicken stock, salt and pepper. Take the cover off and cook until all liquid is absorbed.
Place the chicken at the bottom of a deep pot in an even layer.
Add 31g of yoghurt.
Mix 475ml of water, 10ml coconut milk and a pinch of salt together in a small bowl.
Layer the washed and rinsed rice evenly on top of the chicken and slowly pour in the water with the coconut milk and salt around the edges.
Place the cover on and cook for 10 to 15 mins, depending on the type of rice. If the rice is still not cooked, sprinkle on or add some warm water around the edges.
Scatter dried onions on the top of rice as it cooks and any herbs you have i.e. mint or coriander leaves or frozen green peas.
Let it cool for 5 minutes or so when it’s done and fluff with a fork.
Sprinkle on cashew nuts and dried onions.
Jessy D Silva Family Recipe