To be honest, this tastes like Indian Briyani. However, this is a recipe given by Sue who in turn got it from one of her Libyan students. No matter what it's called - briyani, pillaf, kapsa, or even just "chicken rice" - it is a beautifully flavoured dish. You may like to check out some of the Middle Eastern Cuisine I found useful here. For now, I shall name it 'Middle Eastern Chicken Rice'. It works for me rather than 'Bakpukka' which Sue told me what it is...
Middle Eastern rice recipes are very rich in flavour. With onions, garlic, apricots, saffron, dates, almonds, cilantro, parsley, tomatoes - any mix of these and they go well with lamb, beef or chicken. I could have added some lemon rinds but, did not had any, maybe next time.
Give me flavoured rice anytime over just plain white rice, really. I strongly feel that rice is meant to be flavoured, and not just cooked alone...
:: Middle Eastern Chicken and Rice ::
2 large chicken breast fillet, sliced (or 1/2 chicken, cut to desired size)
2 cups Basmati rice, soaked in water & rinse
3 tablespoon Planta margerine (or butter/olive oil)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
Mix of 4 spices (cinnamon, cloves, star anise, cardamon)
2 garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
a small handful of fresh parsley, chopped
2 bay leaves
1/2 tablespoon chicken curry powder (I used Adabi's)
1 teaspoon red chili powder
3 tablespoon tomato puree
1 cup of mixed sliced almonds and yellow raisins
salt to taste
Marinate the chicken with salt and turmeric. Fry them with the 4 spices in the planta/butter/olive oil until aromatic. Add chopped onion, garlic, tomato, parsley and bay leaf, stirring until frangrant.
Add the curry powder, chili powder and tomato puree and stir. Then add some water (about 2 cups or according to your rice instructions) and a little salt, and bring to boil.
Add rice, almonds and raisins and let the rice cook.
I just love the taste of this rice so much. It would taste great if we put a little bit of apricot jam or lemon rind as well. This Middle Eastern Chicken Rice tastes very similar to Indian Briyani, possibly due to the call of curry powder in the recipe. Similar to Briyani, this dish goes perfectly well with Cucumber Salad, Raita, and Chicken Curry.