One of my fondest childhood memories are, when on rainy evenings, I would quietly cuddle up to my grandmother and listen to her childhood stories. During those quite rendezvous, she would often talk about her days back in Dhaka, Bangladesh, her seven other siblings, their house, the food and mention of a special dish that her mother use to prepare during occasions and family celebrations, which was not only delicious or soul satisfying but also very comforting, the Dhakai Murg Pulao. The recipe of which, she held close to her heart, while the family decided to relocate to Calcutta. Many moons later, even today the dish tops my list of comfort foods, and is quite a regular in my kitchen, on idle monsoon afternoons, when I feel lazy getting out of bed, but my taste buds crave for something tasty yet healthy, the Dhakai Murg Pulao is my comfort food, now ready to be served from my kitchen to yours.
Soak Basmati rice in clean water for about 1hour. Chop the onions into fine slices and keep it in two equal halves to be used separately in preparing the chicken and rice.
Put a pan on the oven and heat it well, then add vegetable oil and mustard oil as per the measurement mentioned above. Once the oil is hot, add the bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and onions slices. Sauté it for a while until it turns golden. Then add the chicken pieces, the ginger & garlic paste, some salt as per taste and give it a good stir. Cover the lid, put the gas on medium flame and let it cook for 2 minutes. By now the chicken has started to release water, so add the black pepper and sugar, before giving it a second stir, now cover the lid and let it cook for 2 more minutes. Use this time to hot water in a separate pan, then remove the lid and add the well beaten yogurt and biriyani masala to the chicken and stir it well before adding the hot water. Now cover the lid and let the chicken turn tender, and reduce the gravy. Remember to keep the flame in medium heat throughout.
Next, take a separate pan, heat it well, add vegetable oil and mustard oil, once hot add the sliced onions, the soaked Basmati rice and give it a good stir. Now add the hot water as per measurement mentioned above, some salt to taste and cover the lid and leave it till half done. Remember to keep the flame in medium heat. Check the rice every 2minutes, to ensure the water has dried up, now add the chicken pieces along with its gravy, some sliced green chillies and stir it well. Now cover the lid and let it cook for 20 minutes, in medium flame.
Once done serve it hot, with Raita. Do make it at home and don’t forget to share your experience on the comment section below.
P.S– The water measurement for most Basmati rice preparations is 1:1 ½. Like in this case, for 3 cups of rice, we used 3 ½ cups of hot water.
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