Monday, 28 November 2016

Italian-Style Chicken Keema Pulao.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Surprise! It's a Monday recipe from me!
Even I am quite surprised at myself for getting my act together and planning super ahead to get this post to you by Monday morning. And, if your Monday morning is as grey as ours is here, then I think you'll be wanting something colourful, comforting and easy for dinner tonight.
Which is where my Italian-style chicken keema pulao comes in. Yep, I trashed up two of the most well-loved rice dishes and merged them into one. We're talking the classic Italian risotto and the much-loved Pakistani pulao. My mother of course, is calling this recipe somewhat of a blasphemy. That's her up there, grating cheese over the 'pulao', something she would never be caught dead doing with the traditional version.

Let's discuss, shall we? We begin by making a simple Italian seasoning. It's so easy and uses dried herbs that I bet are stuck at the back of your cupboard at home. By grinding/bashing them together, we wake them up and create the most fragrant and aromatic spice blend there ever was. If making a homemade herb blend is not on your Monday night wishlist (just me? 😀), feel free to use a ready-made version. You can get them everywhere.

Once you've figured out which route you're going down with the Italian seasoning, everything else is so easy. We'll make a simple tomato and chicken mince sauce that smelt so good cooking, I seriously considered skipping the whole rice thing and just eating it out of the pan with a spoon. But, pulao had been promised, so rice and water were thrown in before being simmered down until everything was cooked. In our house, a pulao is not a pulao unless it is served with lashings of green yoghurt chutney. So, for my risotto pulao hybrid, I whipped up an easy basil sauce which was drizzled over the hot rice. So good! It, along with plenty of grated cheese, brought this one-pot dish to life.

Pulao, previously: the laziest lamb pulao // chickpea pulao // vegetable pulao // lamb pulao // chicken pulao

A Simple List of Ingredients:

For the Italian Seasoning:
1. Dried Parsley
2. Dried Basil
3. Dried Oregano
4. Garlic Granules
5. Onion Granules
6. Dried Rosemary
7. Crushed Red Chilli Flakes

For the Italian-Style Chicken Keema Pulao:

1. Olive Oil
2. Onion
3. Red Chilli
4. Garlic 
5. Chicken Mince
6. Salt
7. Black Pepper
8. Italian Seasoning 
9. Tinned Tomatoes
10. Water
11. Basmati Rice
12. Basil Sauce
13. Cheddar
14. Fresh Basil

For the Basil Sauce:

1. Fresh Basil Leaves
2. Lemon Zest
3. Garlic
4. Salt 
5. Black Pepper
6. Olive Oil
7. Cheddar


Bismillah, let's begin!

First, let's make our Italian seasoning. You can also skip this step and use a ready-made mix like this one. For mine, I took:
2 tablespoons Dried Parsley
2 tablespoons Dried Basil
1 tablespoon Dried Oregano
1 tablespoon Garlic Granules
2 teaspoons Onion Granules
1 teaspoon Dried Rosemary
1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Chilli Flakes

Place all the herbs into a spice grinder or mini food processor and pulse a few times until well combined. You could also pound them in a pestle and mortar or simply rub the herbs between your fingertips to release the oils.

Once done, you'll see that you a rough powder on your hands. It'll smell amazing and will make more than you need in this recipe.

The seasoning is the key ingredient in this pulao but is also wonderful in any of your favourite Italian recipes. I labelled mine and stored it an airtight container.

Now, we can begin the base of our pulao. Take a large, deep pan and place over a medium heat. Add in a few tablespoons of Olive Oil.

Peel and dice 1 Onion.

Add the onion to the hot oil and fry until it's soft and golden.

Meanwhile, slice 1 Red Chilli (more, if you like things spicy) and finely chop 2 Garlic Cloves.

When the onions are ready, throw in the chilli and garlic. Stir-fry for a few minutes.

Next, it's time for the mince and spices. Take 1 pound (500g) Chicken Mince.

Add in the mince and stir-fry over a high heat.

Until the mince loses all its pink colour.

Then, throw in 2 teaspoons Salt. Sounds like a lot but we are going to be adding in rice later. And, rice needs salt.

At the same time, in goes 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper.

And of course, our homemade Italian seasoning. I love this stuff! But remember, you can use a ready-made version too.

In goes 3 teaspoons Italian Seasoning. Feel free to add more or less, depending on how seasoned you want things.

Stir-fry everything together on a medium heat until really fragrant - a few minutes will do.

Next, in goes the liquid. Starting with 1 tin (400g) Tomatoes. I used plum but chopped would be good too.

Throw in the tomatoes.

Stir and break up the tomatoes before stir-frying for a few minutes until the oil begins to rise and everything smells delicious.

Then, measure out 1 litre Water.

Pour in the water.

Stir it in and bring to the boil.

Before covering with a lid and turning the heat right down. Leave to cook for 10 minutes.

Uncover and taste the liquid for seasoning. The liquid should be saltier and have more flavour than normal. Add more salt, pepper and Italian seasoning, if needed.

It's rice time! Measure out 250g Basmati Rice, wash and drain it.

Add in the rice.

Gently stir in the rice and bring to the boil. Let the rice boil for 3 minutes until bubbles appear on the surface.

Cover the pan with a tight lid and turn the heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked.

And, we're done! Let the rice sit for 5 minutes while we whip up a quick basil sauce.


All you do is blend together:
A handful of Fresh Basil Leaves
Zest of 1/2 Lemon
1 Garlic Clove, peeled
60ml Olive Oil


Once smooth, stir in:
Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
Finely grated Cheddar, to taste

Before serving the rice, it's time to fluff it up!


Like so!

It's time to eat!


I like to spoon the rice into bowls.

And, drizzle over the basil sauce.


Time for cheese!


Finely grate over Cheddar, to taste.

All we need now is Fresh Basil Leaves.


I love this pulao because it's one-pot and as you saw, so easy to make. The Italian seasoning makes all the difference and the flavour is something different from the usual pulao. Whether you call this a pulao or a super-lazy risotto, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

Full Written Recipe:

Italian-Style Chicken Keema Pulao.

Prep Time: About 10 minutes.
Cook Time: About 1 hour.
Serves: About 4-5 people.

Ingredients

For the Italian Seasoning 
2 tablespoons Dried Parsley
2 tablespoons Dried Basil
1 tablespoon Dried Oregano
1 tablespoon Garlic Granules
2 teaspoons Onion Granules
1 teaspoon Dried Rosemary
1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Chilli Flakes

For the Italian-Style Chicken Keema Pulao
Few tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Onion, peeled and diced
1 Red Chilli, sliced
2 Garlic Cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 pound (500g) Chicken Mince
2 teaspoons Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
3 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
1 tin (400g) Tomatoes
1 litre Water
250g Basmati Rice, washed and drained

For the Basil Sauce
Handful of Fresh Basil Leaves
Zest of 1/2 Lemon
1 Garlic Clove, peeled
60ml Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Grated Cheddar, finely grated and to taste

To Serve
Basil Sauce
Cheddar, grated
Fresh Basil

To make the Italian Seasoning:

Super easy! Place all the ingredients into a spice grinder or mini food processor and pulse a few times until well combined. You may also pound them in a pestle and mortar or simply rub the herbs between your fingertips to release the oils. This recipe makes more than needed in the pulao recipe. Use it in all your favourite Italian recipes. Store in an airtight container.

To make the Italian-Style Chicken Keema Pulao:

Get the base going! Heat the olive oil in a large, deep pan over a medium heat. Add in the diced onion and fry until soft and golden. Then, throw in the red chilli and garlic. Stir-fry for a few minutes.

Time for the mince and spices! Add in the chicken mince and stir-fry until it loses all its pink colour. Then, add in the salt, black pepper and Italian seasoning. Stir-fry them for a few minutes until everything is really fragrant.

In goes the liquid! Crack open the tomato tin and add in the tomatoes. Stir and break up all the tomatoes. Stir-fry until the oil begins to rise and everything smells delicious. Then, pour in the water. Stir and bring to the boil. Cover the pan with a lid and turn the heat down to the lowest. Leave for 10 minutes.

Let's make this a pulao! Uncover and taste the liquid. Add more salt and Italian seasoning, if needed. Add in the washed rice. Bring to the boil. Let the rice boil for 3 minutes then cover with a tight lid. Turn the heat down to low and cook for 20 minutes until the rice is fully cooked.

How I make my basil sauce: simply blend together the basil leaves, garlic, lemon zest and olive oil. Stir in the salt, pepper and finely grated Cheddar.

To serve, let the rice sit for 5 minutes before fluffing it up. Serve drizzled with basil sauce. Grate on Cheddar and tear over a few basil leaves. Enjoy!

{adapted from laura in the kitchen}

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Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your pulao!

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

4 comments

  1. SIS I AM DOUBLING ALL THE QUANTITIES IN YOUR RECIPE AS IM MAKING IT FOR 8-10 PEOPLE. WAS WONDERING YOU PUT IN 4 CUPS OF WATER SO WILL I NEED TO MAKE 8 CUPS AS I WILL BE USING 2 CUPS OF RICE. PLEASE CALRIFY

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would use 4 cups rice for 8 cups water. :)

      Delete
  2. I made this for a midweek dinner,it was absolutely lovely, i am such a big fan of yours always trying out your recipes!!jazakallah sister

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you enjoyed the rice! Jazakallah khair for all your kind words! :)

      Delete

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