Chicken Pulao

8 oz Basmati rice
1 lb boneless chicken pieces - cut into 1" bites
2 medium onions - sliced
2 green chillies - chopped and seeded
4 cardamoms
4 cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon ground coriander (roasted)
1 teaspoon ground cumin (roasted)
1 teaspoon ground fennel (roasted)
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon garlic paste
2 tablespoons corn oil
2 oz butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon saffron OR yellow food colouring
  1. Heat butter and oil in pan. Add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and onions, frying gently until lightly golden (not brown). Remove onions for decoration.
  2. Mix chicken pieces in coriander, cumin, fennel and salt.
  3. Add chillies, ginger, garlic and chicken to onions and cook for approx. 10 minutes, until about 1 tablespoon of liquid is left in the pan.
  4. Soak rice in plenty of water for at least 10 minutes.
  5. Cook rice with food colouring (if used) for 3 minutes until "gritty", then strain.
  6. Add rice to chicken (with saffron steeped in 1 tablespoon hot water, if used). Mix thoroughly, then garnish with remaining onions. Serve with vegetable curry.