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    Anjum Anand's Easy chicken pilaf

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    Anjum Anand's Easy chicken pilaf

    Sometimes, you just want everything thrown into one pot. This is that kind of recipe and perfect for a midweek family meal. I prefer chicken thighs as they have more flavour and succulence, but use breasts if you prefer. Lovely just as it is, with some yogurt on the side.

    Serves: 4


    300g basmati rice, washed well (see below)
    2 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
    2 tsp cumin seeds
    2 smallish onions, sliced
    10g root ginger, peeled weight, grated
    3 garlic cloves, grated
    200g plain yogurt
    12 tsp chilli powder, or to taste (optional)
    12 tsp turmeric
    1 rounded tsp garam masala
    salt and a good grinding of
    freshly ground black pepper
    400g skinless boneless chicken
    thighs, cut into large pieces
    500ml chicken stock
    12 lemon
    2 spring onions, finely sliced
    handful of coriander leaves, to serve (optional)


    1 Wash the rice, then leave it to soak while you cook.

    2 Heat the ghee or oil in a non-stick saucepan and add the cumin seeds. Once these have darkened, add the onions and fry over a medium heat until turning golden at the edges. Add the ginger and garlic, reduce the heat and cook for one minute, adding a splash of water if the garlic sticks.

    3 Add the yogurt, chilli, turmeric, garam masala, some salt and black pepper. Cook over a high heat, stirring constantly, until it comes to a boil. Continue to cook, still stirring, for another three minutes, then add the chicken and cook until most of the yogurt has been absorbed and the masala releases oil back into the pan.

    4 Drain the rice and stir it in with the stock. Taste the water and adjust the seasoning (see below). Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to as low as it goes. Cook undisturbed for eight minutes, then check a grain of rice: it should be cooked. If not, cook for another minute or so. Turn off the heat and leave to steam for five minutes, with the lid on, or until you are ready to eat. Fork in a good squeeze of lemon juice and the spring onions and coriander (if using), fluffing up the rice as you do so, then serve.

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    ANJUM’S QUICK & EASY INDIAN by ANJUM ANAND, published by Quadrille (£18.99)

    Photos ©LISA LINDER


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