Saturday, May 19, 2012

Weekend lunch with Ghee rice and Chettinad Chicken...

Let me keep this post short and sweet. I am not in a mood to stay and chat. A lot has been happening work-wise, social-life wise. Been hectic but surely fun ! Like my better half perfectly quoted yesterday- "Life is all about spending time with your loved ones doing the things you want to and to be able to do it !". We both are more or less lucky to be doing that and the coming posts will stand proof to that. 

But meanwhile, I thought I must share this recipe with all of you and keep record it for myself instantaneously before I forget it or lose the heat of the moment. I have not been cooking lunch lately as we both are trying to skip rice over the weekdays. So being Friday (our weekend), my husband insisted that I make a rice dish which would be sort of a comfort food yet something different from our usual fare. And with the unbearable heat here, I just wanted something quick,easy to get it over with. So it never occurred to me to post it, until I actually served it on the plate just before we ate and I couldn't help thinking that this is really photogenic. In the pangs of hunger, I clicked away extremely limitedly which explains the sole photograph for the post. 

Off to the recipe..


This is definitely a simple meal to put together and is great for a casual lunch or even for a party dinner. I strongly recommend you making this on weekends or holidays as you end up eating more than you actually want to ! End result which only a nice afternoon nap can resolve!

Anyways, I managed to blackmail my hubby into cleaning the chicken which expedited the process !

Recipe and description adapted largely from Shab's cuisine
Serves 3-4 people

·         2 cups Basmati rice
·         3 cups +4 cups boiling water (Refer notes)
·         ½ cup chopped onion (3/4 of a medium size onion)
·         1 cup diced carrot (1 medium size)
·         1/2 cup beans cut into small rings
·         1.5 tsp cumin seeds
·         4 cardamoms
·         5 cloves
·         2 small pieces of cinnamon sticks
·         3-4 Tbsp Vegetable 
·         1 Heaped tbsp Clarified butter/ Desi Ghee
·         Salt – as required

  • First wash the rice in running water for 2-3 times till you get clear water and soak it in the 3 cups of water for atleast 30-45 minutes.
  • After the stated time, drain the rice well for atleast 15 minutes.
  • Keep the vegetables ready.
  • Heat the ghee and oil into a nonstick pan and add the chopped onions. Saute until translucent. Do not allow the onions to brown.
  • Add the cumin and whole spices and sauté them until the aroma comes. The fragrance of the ghee, onions and the whole spices is already irresistible.
  • Tip in the vegetables and mix well so that everything is coated with the ghee mixture.
  • Now add the rice and combine well.
  • Add the 4 cups of water and allow to boil on high heat. Keep stirring intermittently so that the rice does not stick.
  • Once the water gets evaporated, cover the pan and reduce the flame to extremely low and allow to cook for another 12-15 mins or until done.
  • Serve hot !
  •  Lately, I have been having some tough luck with cooking the rice perfectly for pulaos and biriyanis. And this is a slightly different method of cooking basmati rice from what I have seen . But found this absolutely brilliant and effective. Thanks Shabs !
  •  I guess to make it even easier, you can add just the onion and do away with the other vegetables.

Serves 3-4 people
Recipe and decription fully adapted with minor changes from Tanvi and Kulsum


For marination
  • 1 kg whole fresh chicken skinned and cut into medium pieces·
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp pepper powder
  • 1 tsp salt
Spices to be Dry Roasted
  • 1.5 tsp white poppy seeds ( I did not have them)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1.5 tsp cumin seeds
  • 5 cloves
  • 10 dry red chilies
  • 4 whole green cardamom
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
  • Water for grinding (about 1/4 -1/3 cup)
  • Add in the grated ginger and garlic, curry leaves & ground spice paste and turmeric powder. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Next, reduce heat to low, add the chopped tomatoes, mix in & cook uncovered for at least 12-15 minutes with regular stirring till oil starts separating on sides of the pot.
  • Add in the marinated chicken next, mix, check the salt & adjust, increase heat to high and let cook for 3 minutes. Next, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot & let the chicken cook with the spices & its own juices for 12-15 minutes or till tender.
  • I used about 1 small and 1 medium tomato, which ended up a bit sour than I would have wanted it to be. I suggest using 2 small tomatoes or 1 medium and add lemon juice accordingly.
  • Due to the hot climate out here, I eliminated using the extra red chilli powder and green chillies which worked for us. But probably, next time I would add ½- 1 tsp of red chilli powder.
  • This is a semi-gravy kind of dish and goes best with rice/pulao/bread.


  • 1 tomato chopped roughly
  • 2 cucumbers chopped roughly
  • 2 cups of yoghurt/curds
  • 1 tsp of Fab India Organic Raita mix ( which my darling Sis-in-law sent me and is so flavourful with the dried mint,basil and curry leaves.
  • Salt to taste

 Combine everything into a bowl and chill until required.

So until next time, Au Revoir ! 


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Lavanya..looks very interesting !! will try to send my entry as well...

  2. Consistent blogging feels so good no? The food looks remarkable. Chettinad chicken, I have bookmarked.

    1. Yes it totally does ! :) Great to know you ve bookmarked it.. :)

  3. Looks delicious.

  4. Looks yummy.Hope very soon we will get a chance to taste it .

    1. Thank u so much Preetha time will make sure ! :)

  5. Hi,
    Thank you so much for trying out the recipe and linking me. The combo you made is great as well..

  6. Discovering your inner Julia Child!!! Me likes! and the pic luks absolutely scrumptious.....keep simmering and blogging :)

    1. Thank you so much VGN ! If I reach half way as much as Julia, would be an amazing feat for me..Great to connect on the blogosphere as well..

  7. who doesnt love neychoru..your lovely dish is making me salivate now, I am refraining myself from all thing ghee but maybe only this time I should sneak some into our otherwise mundane rice;_)

    1. Yes you should Jehanne...never realised that ghee rice can be such comfort food !! You know you could restrict the ghee to just 1 tbsp and use oil for the rest !

  8. Thanks for trying out the chicken & the shout out. Glad that you liked it :)

  9. That's one delicious platter, so tempting even at this hour! I love chettinad flavors, and Tanvi has killer recipes.

  10. Gayathri,
    I have a blog award waiting for you on my blog.. congrats

  11. Wonderful combination... looks delicious and flavourful...

  12. Nice combination. Looks sooo yummy.

  13. giftxoxo
    Good description about the great combination of food

  14. Thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful Ghee rice recipe with us. I tried out at home and it came out so good. I recommend this recipe to everyone thank you.

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