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Chicken Tikka Rice

by Anisa Karolia from The Ramadan Family Cookbook

Feed a hungry crowd with this simple one-pot recipe for chicken tikka rice, packed with aromatic whole spices and tender chunks of chicken.

Introduction

This is my go-to one-pot meal, ideal for those days when you are rushing around and have no time to spare. Everything cooks together in a single pot, saving you time and effort. This mouth-watering dish brings together tender pieces of chicken cooked with authentic Indian spices and aromatic basmati rice, making it a delicious homemade feast.

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Ingredients

350g basmati rice
4 tbsp oil
2 large onions, finely diced
500g chicken breast, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
2 tbsp chicken tikka masala paste
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
200g tomato passata
700ml water
5g fresh coriander, finely chopped
1 fresh lemon, cut into wedges
salt, to taste
Whole spices:
½ tsp cumin seeds
2 cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
3 cardamom pods
3 cloves
3 black peppercorns
2 star anise

Method

Wash the rice in a sieve under cold running water until the water runs clear. Then soak in a bowl of cold water for 30 minutes. This will reduce the cooking time and help the rice cook evenly.

Heat a large pot on medium heat and pour in the oil. Add all the whole spices and fry for 30–40 seconds until they start to sizzle. Add the onions and fry gently until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Add the chicken pieces, ginger and garlic paste, tikka masala paste, turmeric, cumin, coriander, the chilli powder and the Kashmiri chilli powder and cook for 20 minutes until no moisture is left from the chicken.

Stir in the tomato passata and cook for 8–10 minutes, until the sauce is reduced. Add the rice, pour in the water, season with salt, and stir. Partially cover the pan with a lid (not completely or the water may boil over) and cook for 15 minutes until the water has been absorbed, then give it a stir once without disturbing the rice too much. Cover with the lid fully and cook for another 15 minutes on a low heat – the build-up of steam will cook and fluff up the rice.

Serve on a large platter, garnished with chopped coriander and lemon wedges, with a glass of sweet yogurt lassi.

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