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Meatballs with Pilau Rice (Kofta Pulao)

Meatballs with Pilau Rice (Kofta Pulao)

Sentinel Digital Desk

Meatballs with Pilau Rice (Kofta Pulao)

Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus soaking

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

Each serving contains: Kcals: 415; g fat: 6; g saturated fat: 1.5


4g (1lb) minced chicken or turkey

2-3 garlIc cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped (bareek kate hue chhile hue lahsun)

2.5cm (In) cube of fresh root ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped (bareek kate hue chhile hue adrak)

1-2 green chillies, seeded and chopped (beej nikalke bareek kate hue hari mirch)

15g (½oz) chopped fresh coriander leaves, including the tender stalks (bareek kate hue dhania patte aur dandi)

2 teaspoons ground coriander (peese hue dhaniye ke beej)

1 teaspoons Garam Masala

55g (2oz) low-fat plain yogurt (plain dahi)

1½ teaspoons salt to taste (namak swaad anusaar)

I small onion, coarsely chopped (bareek kate hue pyaaz)

600 mI (1 pint) hot water (garam paani)

4 green cardamom pods (elaichi)

2 x 2.5 cm places of cinnamon stick (dalchini ki dandi)

4 whole cloves (laung)

10-12 black peppercorns (kaali mirch)

2 bay leaves, crumpled (tej patta)

½ teaspoon ground turmeric (peesi hui haldi)

280g (10 oz) Basmati rice, washed and soaked for 30 minutes

15g (½ oz) flaked almonds, toasted, to garnish (bhune hue badaam)


Put the chicken in a food processor with the garlic, ginger, chillies, coriander leaves, ground colander, garam masala, half the yogurt and half the salt. Blend until smooth, then add the onion and process until the onion is tine, but no, pureed. Shape the mixture into walnut-sized balls (koftas) – you should have about 21 meatballs

Pour the water into a heavy-based saucepan, place over high heat and add the remaining Yogurt. Beat with a wire beater until blended, then add the cardamoms, cinnamon, cloves, Peppercons, bay leaves and turmeric

Bring to the boil and add the meatballs a few at a time so that the wiitcr is kept t boiling point until they are all added. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes. Stir once or twice alter the first 7-8 minutes' cooking by which time the meatballs will be finn and will not fall apart

Use a draining spoon to remove the meatballs; set aside and keep hot. Drain the rice and add it to the meat stock with the remaining salt. Increase the heat to high, bring to the boil and boil for 2-3 minutes, then reduce the heat to very low (use a heat diffuser, if necessary, for gentle cooking), cover tightly and cook for 8 minutes

Pile the koftas on top of the cooked rice and cover the pan. Cook for 2 minutes then remove from the heat. Leave the pan undisturbed for 8-10 minutes

Using a flat metal or plastic Spoon (a wooden spoon will squash the grains), gently stir the pilau to distribute the koftas. Turn out on to a serving dish and garnish with the toasted almonds. Serve with Spinach Raita and grilled pappadums

Chicken Pilao (Murgh Pulao)

Preparation time: 20-25 minutes, plus soaking

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Serves: 4

Each serving contains: Kcals: 445; g fat: 9; g saturated fat: 2


280g (10 oz) basmati rice

Pinch of saffron threads, pounded (kesar)

2 tablespoons rose water (gulab jal)

2 teaspoons white poppy seeds (kaddu ke beej)

1 tablespoon sunflower seeds (surajmukhi ke beej)

1-3 dried red chillies, chopped (bareek kate hue lal mirch)

15-20 black peppercorns (kaali mirch)

4.50g (1 lb) boneless chicken thighs, skinned and halved

75g low-tat plain yogurt (plain dahi)

2 teaspoons Ginger Purée (adrak ki puree)

2 teaspoons Garlic Purée (lahsun ki puree)

1 onion, finely sliced (patle kate hue pyaaz)

1 tablespoon Ground Roasted Coriander (peesa aur bhuna hua dhania)

1 teaspoon Ground Roasted Cumin (peesa aur bhuna hua jeera)

5cm (2in) piece of cinnamon stick, halved (dalchini)

6 green cardamom pods, (elaichi)

6 cloves (laung)

1½ teaspoons salt to taste (namak swaad anusaar)

525 ml Aromatic Stock or hot water (stock ya garam paani)

1 tablespoon flaked almonds, toasted (chhile hue aur bhune hue badaam)


Wash the rice in several changes of watch and soak it for 30 minutes, then leave it in a colander to drain

Mix the pounded saffron with the water and set aside

Using a coffee or spice mill, finely grind the poppy seeds, sunflower seeds, chilies and peppercorns. Set aside

In a nonstick saucepan, at least 30cm (12in) in diameter, mix the chicken with the remaining ingredients except the salt, stock or water and flaked almonds. Place the saucepan over high heat and stir until the chicken begins to sizzle. Cook for 6 -7 minutes, stirring frequently

When the chicken begins to brown, add the ground ingredients, and the salt, then reduce the heat to medium. Continue to cook for a further 2-3 minutes, then stir in the drained rice

Pour in the stock or water and bring to the boil, then cover the pan with a piece of aluminum foil and place the lid on top. Reduce the heat to low and cook, without lifting the lid, for 10 minutes

Remove the lid and foil, and sprinkle the saffron and rose water mexture randomly on the rice. Discard the foil and cover the pan with the lid, then leave it undisturbed for 8-10 minutes

Carefully transfer the pilau to a serving dish and garnish with the toasted almonds

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