Warming comfort food from Pakistan sounded just the ticket on a grey, distinctly chilly day, so earlier in the week, I plucked the recipe for Chicken Yakhni Pullao out of this month's Kitchen Nomad box.
The recipe required lots of whole spices from the box - cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander seeds and cumin seeds (that I told you about in the Raita recipe). It also needed black peppercorns (which I had) and fennel seeds (which I didn't).
Reading through the recipe (which you can find on the Kitchen Nomad website), it actually sounded very similar to risotto, just with the addition of spices and yogurt. The Kitchen Nomad box contained a pack of Tilda Basmati Rice to use, which tasted lovely but didn't seem as exotic and authentic as many of the other ingredients in previous boxes. It looked like it had come from the local supermarket rather than some far-flung corner of the globe, but it did do the job just fine !
First it was time to heat the whole spices in oil to release their fragrance. I didn't know that these were called garam masalas - I was only aware of the ground garam masala curry powder. That's what I love about Kitchen Nomad boxes - it's as much a voyage of learning as it is of culinary discoveries.
Next you need to caramelise onions.
Then stir in yogurt. (I used fat free Quark again.)
Finally add the chicken. I was dubious about how well it would cook in the yogurt but it did and the result was soft, mellow chicken without the tough outer surface that browning it can sometimes give. Add the rice and water, cover and leave to simmer.
I found that I needed to rectify the seasoning slightly (well, quite a lot actually !) because it tasted a bit bland for my tastes, so I added extra ginger and garlic paste, garlic salt, smoked paprika and chat masala (which was also in the box) which gave it a nice lift. To serve, I sprinkled chopped fresh parsley and coriander leaves over the top and put a big dollop of raita on the side. It's quite a dry dish, with a similar consistency to an Indian biryani, so it does need raita or something wet to add some moisture. If you usually shy away from Indian/Pakistani food because you don't like spicy dishes, this is a great mild option.
Disclosure : I received a Kitchen Nomad box in order to write an honest review.
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