Recipe of the Week # 4
Tandoori-style chicken with vegetable pullao rice
This dish is traditionally cooked in a tandoor (clay oven) popular in northern India and Pakistan. In case you haven't got around to installing one yet, the oven will do. I used this recipe from Madhur Jaffrey, the Delia Smith of Indian cooking. I really like her and find her comforting - she reminds me of my Mum. Sometimes you'll find tandoori chicken has a bright red colour which often comes from artificial food colouring. The chicken is marinated in yogurt and various spices. This recipe tells you to marinate it for 8 - 24 hours but a couple of hours is fine if you haven't got the time. It's so simple to make and perfect if you've got some chicken in the fridge and fancy something a bit different.
We've been cooking a lot more Indian food lately and it's surprisingly not as complicated as people think. Once you have all the spices in stock, it's fairly straight forward.
The pullao rice I made to accompany it is traditionally from Northern India and can also be spelt pulao, pilaf or pillaf. The great thing about this rice is you can use any vegetables you want.
Potato and Mushroom Pullao
One cup of basmati rice
1/2 tsp brown mustard seed
1 medium finely chopped potato
7 medium finely chopped mushrooms
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp very finely grated fresh root ginger
1/2 pint water
Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. As soon as they begin to pop add the onion and fry until translucent, then add the potato, mushrooms, turmeric, garam masala and ginger and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the rice and the salt. Cook the rice, stirring for 2 minutes. Add the water and bring to the boil. Cover the pan with a lid then turn the heat to very low and cook for 25 minutes.
Serve with the tandoori chicken and naan bread.