In memoriam : Rummana Zaman

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Murag Polao (Chicken Polao)

Serves three to four people.

  • Medium sized chicken - 2
  • Polao rice - 4 cups
  • Sliced onions - ½ cup
  • Chopped onions - ½ cup
  • Ginger paste - 2 tablespoons
  • Garlic paste - 2 teaspoons
  • Jaiphal (nutmeg) powder or paste
  • Jaitri (mace) powder or paste
  • Cinnamon - 2 to 3 pieces
  • Cardamom - 4 to 5
  • Cloves - 3 to 4
  • Green chili - 5 to 6
  • Sugar - 1 teaspoon
  • Lime juice - 1 tablespoon
  • Yogurt - 3 tablespoons
  • Kewra - 1 tablespoon
  • Milk - 4 tablespoons
  • Pistachio powder - 1 tablespoon
  • Food coloring (optional) - 1 teaspoon
  • Salt - 1 tablespoon
  • Ghee/Oil - 1 cup
  • Clean the rice a few times, rinse and keep aside.
  • Clean the chickens and cut each into 4 pieces. Dry and marinate with ginger, garlic, yogurt, jaiphal, jaitri, and a little bit of salt for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Heat about ½ cup of oil in a pan and fry the chopped onions until they are crispy. Keep them aside.
  • Now add the sliced onions in the oil and heat until they are brown.
  • Add in the cinnamon, cardamom and cloves, and stir for a minute.
  • Add the marinated chicken pieces and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes over medium heat.
  • Pour in 2 to 3 cups of water and cover.
  • After 10 to 12 minutes of cooking, add the lime juice, sugar and green chili. Mix well with the chicken and cover.
  • When there is about a cup of water left in the pan and the chicken looks cooked, turn off the heat.
  • While the chicken is being cooked, mix the milk with kewra, and any food coloring if used. Stir in the pistachio powder with this mix as well. Keep aside.
  • Heat the rest of the oil in a separate pan, and fry the rice until its crisp.
  • Pour 5 to 6 cups of hot water over the rice and add in the salt.
  • Once the water starts boiling, cover the pan and keep over medium heat.
  • Stir the boiling rice after 3 to 4 minutes, and keep it covered again.
  • Finally turn off the heat once the water dries up.
  • Take out approximately half of the cooked rice and pour in all the chicken pieces and the gravy.
  • Add in half of the milk-kewra mix and some fried onions.
  • Now cover the chicken with the other half of the rice and add in the rest of the milk-kewra mix and fried onions.
  • Cook over low heat for 15 to 20 more minutes, and stir whenever necessary to avoid burning the rice at the bottom.
  • Turn off the heat completely when the mixture looks cooked, giving off a distinct aroma.
  • Serve hot.

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