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Foxtail Millet Chicken Pulao / Thinai Chicken Pulao

The worst part of dieting is sacrificing our favorite Pulao or Biryani because of the key ingredient "RICE". I agree that Brown rice is an excellent replacement for regular rice but the recent awareness of millets made me to include all type of millets in our regular menu. Apart from regular style of cooking using millet, I wanted to try it with chicken to satisfy our chicken Biryani/Pulao craving. So, started cooking with an easy method which I follow at times for basmati rice. Thank god ! It worked out perfect and finally my experiment ended up with an mouthwatering aroma all over my home.
Foxtail millet chicken pulao is an easy one pot meal with a minimal ingredients and the best part is no chopping required ;) I can assure that, there is no compromise in taste and flavor, it tasted exactly like chicken pulao or chicken biryani. This goes excellent with an Onion raita and Chicken gravy.

The above picture is a Foxtail millet which was widely used in olden days. Foxtail millet is known as Thinai in tamil, Korra in Telugu and Navanne akki in kannada. According to wikipedia, this millet had been a staple food in south India for a long time during sangam period. This is also commonly associated with Lord Muruga and his consort valli. The nutrient value is high as it is gluten free and also this has low glycemic index than rice.

Ingredients :

1 Cup Foxtail Millet
2-3 Tbsp Oil
3 Dry red Chillies ( Adjust according to spicy level )
2 Onions, chopped
8- 10 Garlic pods
Small piece of ginger ( approx. 1 inch )
1 Elachi
1 Lavang
1/2 inch Cinnamon
1 Tsp Saunf 
1 Bay leaf
1/4 Turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Fresh Mint / Pudina leaves 
Half of lemon, juice
2 - 2 1/4 Cups of Water

To Marinate :

250 gms Chicken, Boneless, chopped into small pieces
Less than 1/4 Tsp Turmeric powder 
1 Tbsp Curd
1 Tsp Ginger garlic paste

Method :

Wash chicken pieces and marinate with the above "To Marinate" ingredients.

Keep aside for 15- 20 mins.

Meanwhile, add the chopped onions along with Red chillies, Ginger, Garlic, Saunf, Cinnamon, Elachi and Lavang in a mixer grinder.

Grind into fine paste by adding little water and keep aside.

Heat oil in a thick bottom pan and add bay leaf.

Add the ground paste and saute till the raw smell goes off.

Add Mint leaves followed by Turmeric powder, marinated chicken and salt.

Simmer the flame, cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes.

Add 2 - 2 1/4 cups of water along with lemon juice and let it boil in a simmer flame.

Wash millet and drain the water completely.

Now add the millets, close the lid and cook it for 10-15 minutes or till the millet gets cooked.
( Cook only in low flame )

Once done, switch off the flame and garnish with mint leaves.

Serve hot.

Serving Options :

Serve hot with Onion Raita.

Note :

1. I have used Guntur chilli (spicy) in this recipe. And that is the reason for  adding only 3 dry red chillies. So adjust, red chillies according to variety and spicy level.

2. Be careful with the water measurement or else it might turn soggy.

3. Always cook in a simmer flame to get the correct texture of rice.


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