I love technology...whether it's in the form of a new web browser, a new handset, a new TV set, a new camera, domestic appliances..whatever it is, the moment I get it, I get this urge to get to the bottom of it, into each and every nook and corner, find out how it works, what it can do for me, how it can make my life better and easier; in short, I like to milk it to its maximum potential! Even when I started this blog, I couldn't help staying up late at night, tweaking the template, trying out new color schemes, changing the fonts, researching gadgets and widgets, adding and removing elements and changing layouts....you get the idea!
So it was when I got a new microwave oven - I have used it in whichever way it could be used, all the options that came with it, tried out most of the recipes in the cookery book that came with it, and also the cookery books that came with my friends' microwave ovens! After all, if a piece of technology is there for your use, why not use it to the maximum for your own benefit? So I will be adding a new category here-Microwave recipes.
This recipe, simply called "Murg Pulao" is from the Nita Mehta microwave cookbook that came with my friend Lakshmi's oven. I've made it a couple of times and I think it's a great recipe to have in your repertoire. For those times when you have unexpected guests (as a certain friend of mine seems to be having trouble with!)....you might want to give them great food, but not feel like slogging away in the kitchen while everyone else seems to be having a fun time in the living room! Or you just might want to give your family a delicious Sunday lunch, but feel like taking a rest from the kitchen yourself. Or you might just be lazy to cook. Or you might have a toddler who wants all your attention and you just can't spend too much time in the kitchen without a major toddler nuclear meltdown! Or you're a bachelor/bachelorette, wanting to impress that special someone or just your friends, but don't know much of cooking. This recipe is perfect for all these scenarios.
Serves 2 (according to the recipe in the book-increase the quantities if you want more)
The measurements for the spices are my own approximate measurements
1 cup (185 g) Basmati rice, washed and soaked in 2 cups water for 20 to 30 minutes
250 gm chicken, cut small (or 2 chicken breasts, cut into chunks)
To be ground to a fine paste:
- 2 onions, large
- 1-inch ginger
- A handful of garlic flakes
- 3 red chillies
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- 1 teaspoon saunf (perinjeera)
- 1-inch cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon cloves
- 1 teaspoon cardamom pods
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Wash the chicken and keep in a strainer to drain off all the water.
- Mix the ground paste with the chicken pieces (no need to keep for marination).
- Transfer to a FLAT and DEEP microwaveable dish. Microwave, covered, on high power for 3 minutes.
- When the 3 minutes is up, add the rice with its water, salt to taste, and a pinch of turmeric powder. Stir to combine everything well.
- Cover again and microwave on high power for 13 minutes (open and stir again at around 6 minutes).
- Serve after 5 minutes with papad, raitha, and pickle....
Because most of the whole spices in the Indian garam masala repertoire is included in this list, the aroma that wafts out of the oven and when you open the lid of the dish is incredibly aromatic....just a friendly warning, in advance :-)
Make sure to drain all the water from the chicken pieces after you wash them.
Resist the temptation to rinse out the mixie jar with water to get out all the spice paste to pour into the chicken. If you stick to just the water that's with the rice, you'll get a better result.
Garnish with cilantro if you like.