Total Time
6hrs
Prep 4 hrs
Cook 2 hrs

This is from the Food column by Anjali Vellody of the Weekend magazine. I hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 250 g basmati rice, cleaned and washed and soaked in sakted lukewarm water for 4 hours
  • 250 g chicken breasts, washed,drained and cut into medium sized pcs
  • 2 medium onions, peeled,washed and sliced
  • 14 cup oil
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 60 g raisins, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes,drained and patted dry
  • 120 g dates, pitted and halved
  • 14 teaspoon powdered saffron
  • 75 g lentils, boiled with a little salt,cumin and red chilli powder

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a skillet.
  2. Once its hot, toss in 1 onion and stir-fry till it is golden brown.
  3. Add the chicken breasts, cover and cook over low heat until done.
  4. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Mix well.
  6. In another pan, heat a tbsp.
  7. of oil and fry the second onion in it until it turns golden.
  8. Add dates and raisins.
  9. Stir-fry for 3 minutes.
  10. Mix in the saffron.
  11. Keep aside.
  12. Strain the lentils now and keep aside until you are ready to mix them with the rice later.
  13. Now start preparing the rice.
  14. To do so, bring 8 cups of water to a rapid boil in a pot.
  15. Drain out the water from the soaked rice completely.
  16. Add the drained rice to the boiling water.
  17. Bring the rice to a boil for 3 minutes.
  18. After checking whether the rice is cooked, strain the rice and rinse it with lukewarm water in a strainer.
  19. Bring 1/4 cup of water and 2 tbsps.
  20. of oil to a rapid bowl in a pot.
  21. Add layers of rice and lentils, alternately, building these layers up to a dome shape.
  22. The last layer should be of rice.
  23. Poke 5-6 holes through the rice to the bottom with the handle of a spoon.
  24. Close the lid.
  25. Heat on medium flame for 3 minutes until the rice starts steaming.
  26. In a separate pot, heat another 1/4 cup of water and 2 tbsps.
  27. of oil.
  28. Pour over the rice.
  29. Cover the saucepan with a lid.
  30. Seal the lid over the saucepan with atta dough.
  31. Lower heat and cook for 45 minutes on a simmer.
  32. Remove from heat and place the saucepan in the sink.
  33. Run cold water under it to cool it down.
  34. Remove/break the wheat flour{Atta} seal.
  35. To serve: Very carefully and gently, remove the lentil rice and sprinkle lightly in a serving dish in a dome shape.
  36. Spread the mixture of dates and raisins over the rice.
  37. Spread the chicken on top.
  38. Remove the crusty bottom and spread in a separate plate.
  39. Enjoy!