2 cups basmati rice, washed
4 cups water for soaking
1/2 tsp salt
6 cloves of garlic, cut into halves
2 inches fresh ginger, cut into thick slices
6 green cardamom pods
2 sticks of cinnamon, 1" long
1 black cardamom pod
3 or 4 medium bay leaves
2 heaping tbsp fennel seeds (saunf)
2 level tsp whole coriander seeds
1 kg (about 2 lbs) skinless chicken thighs or legs
2 medium yellow onions, finely sliced
2 tbsp Greek yogurt
2 or 3 fresh green chilies (optional)
6 tbsp oil, for the onions and chicken
1 tsp oil, for the yogurt
2 tsp salt
1. Wash the basmati rice and leave it in water to soak for a half hour with the salt.
2. Add the oil to a preheated pan. Fry the sliced onions in the oil until they are caramelized and golden brown. Remove the onions from the oil to prevent them from burning and spread them on a plate, and keep the oil for use later. Half of the onions will return to the stock, and the other half will be used for the garnish.
3. Prepare the spice bag by collecting all of the ingredients in a cloth. Tie the cloth securely so that it does not open during the cooking process.
4. With a spoon, transfer some of the oil used to fry the onions to a new saucepan. Add the chicken to the heated saucepan and seal it in the warm oil. Return half of the onions to the pan and add the spice bag.
5. Add enough water to cover the chicken and add the salt. Once the water is boiling, cover the pan with a lid and allow it to simmer for 20 minutes.
6. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it gently with a slotted spoon and put it on a plate in a single layer, to prevent the meat from coming off the bone.
7. The boiled chicken should yield 4 cups of stock (yakhni). Reduce the stock or add water if needed, and then remove the spice bag. Collect all of the broth in a separate container, to be added back into the pan later.
8. In a separate pan, heat 1 tsp of oil. Stir fry the yogurt until it is reduced to a dry paste. Optionally, green chilies can be added at this stage.
9. Add the yakhni to the pan with the yogurt in it. Scoop handfuls of rice, one at a time, into the pan. Add the chicken and bring everything to a boil.
10. Once the stock is boiling, lower the flame, cover the pot with a lid and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. Check the rice often to see when the
stock has been absorbed.
11. Serve on a plate and garnish with caramelized onions and mint, if desired.