Rachel Allen was brought up in Dublin and left home at eighteen to study at the world-famous Ballymaloe Cookery School. Rachel is now a busy ...
5 green cardamom pods
300 g basmati rice
salt and freshly ground
25 g butter
1 large onion (peeled and finely sliced)
4 cloves of garlic (peeled and finely chopped)
1 tblsp peeled and finely chopped root ginger
0.5 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
0.5 tsp cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
1 x 5cm cinnamon stick
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs (cut into bite-sized pieces)
75 g raisins
800 ml chicken stock
2 tblsp chopped coriander
4 tblsp flaked almonds
To extract the cardamom seeds from the pods, place the pods on a chopping board, lay the flat side of a large knife flat side over the top and press down to lightly crush. Remove the seeds and discard the pods. Lightly crush the seeds in a pestle and mortar.
Put the rice in a heatproof bowl, season with salt and cover with boiling water.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan on a medium heat and, when foaming, add the onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, bay leaf, cinnamon stick and crushed cardamom seeds. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the onion is softened and slightly browned. Add the chicken pieces and stir-fry for 3 minutes or until the chicken is opaque and cooked through.
Drain the rice and rinse under cold running water, then stir into the saucepan along with the raisins. Pour in the stock, season with salt and pepper and stir all the ingredients together. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 8–10 minutes or until the rice is cooked.
Remove from the heat, taste for seasoning, then stir in the coriander and flaked almonds.