Arroz which means rice in portuguese is a staple in Goa but the confusing fact is that when a Goan says they made arroz it means they made pulao. I had arroz con pollo only a couple of times but each one had a variation and as a home cook I wanted to make a recipe based on my taste. I do know that the Peruvian version uses cilantro and not all south american countries have the same recipe. Though the argument is that it first originated in Spain. To an Indian it’s more like a biryani pulao recipe. I have found that my kids enjoy my food experiment. Every time I come with something new they get excited and willing be my taste testers, while my husband on the other hand is more cautious and has a refined tongue not everything is a hit 😉
Goan’s make arroz de camarao (shrimp/prawns), arroz de verdura(vegetables) or Clam Pulao (arroz de mexilhão). The basic ingredients for making Pulao/Arroz is turmeric, cloves, cinnamon, onions, tomatoes, chicken or vegetable bouillon, bay leaf is optional. My recipe of arroz con pollo had a strong flavor of ginger, garlic, mint and cilantro. You can also use the same spice recipe to make a very aromatic curry for chicken, fish or meats.
Serving Size: 8-10
2-3 lbs of chicken thighs/ drumsticks
3 cups basmati rice
4 cups water or stock
2-3 chicken bouillon (according to preference)
4 tbsp of lemon or lime juice
salt to taste
Grind into paste
1 medium onion
1 medium tomato
5-7 cloves of garlic
1 bunch of cilantro
8-12 leaves of mint
Dry Whole Spices
3″ cinnamon stick
8 whole cardamom
8 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
2 whole star anise
Wash the chicken, apply salt and lemon juice and keep aside. Grind the wet ingredients and apply to the chicken. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Next heat oil add whole spices and till the oil is aromatic about 2-3 minutes while watching carefully on medium heat. Next add the marinated meat and saute for a couple of minutes. Check for seasoning. Cover and cook on medium heat for 25 minutes. Check occasionally.
In most cases there should be a gravy about 1.5 to 2 cups approx. Now add the washed rice, water or stock and season the liquid with bouillon. Bring it to a boil, cover and cook on medium low heat for 15 minutes. Turn of heat and let stand for another 20 minutes.
Open the cover and fluff the rice with a fork.
You can use any meat of choice, shrimps or if you want to make a vegetarian version use soya nuggets.
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