Tomato Pilau with Bbq’d Chicken Skewers

Servings : Serves 3-4

Tasty, simple and light on the stomach, tomato pilau can be served on it’s own or with an accompaniment of meat or kababs or bbq’d chicken as I have served it here. Goes beautifully with raita and kachumbar and a big glass of icy cold fruit juice. :))

Ingredients for Tomato Pilau

  • 300 gm basmati rice (1 and a half cups), washed 2-3 times then soaked for half an hour.
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin/coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground roasted cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic paste
  • a bit of chopped coriander
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped with the peel on
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and liquidized
  • 1 tbsp yoghurt
  • water or stock, warm (for every cup of rice, you will need 1 and quarter cups of water)
  • 1 tbsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp whole pepper
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 cardamom

Ingredients for BBQ Chicken Skewers

  • 500 gm boneless chicken breast, cut into even sized cubes
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp tandoori masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • half a lemon's juice
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp yoghurt
  • pinch of red or orange colouring (optional)
  • salt to taste (about 1 tsp.)


Tomato Pilau.

Heat the oil and butter, then add the whole spices; cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, cloves.

Once they splutter in the oil, add your chopped onions. Fry them until they are translucent, stirring with a wooden spoon. Then add the turmeric and cumin/coriander powder.

Let these fry for a few minutes, then add the garlic paste and chopped tomato. Fry together for a couple of minutes, then add in the liquidized tomatoes and the yoghurt. Cook until the mixture thickens then add the stock/water and some salt. Let the stock simmer and taste for the salt. You should be able to feel the saltiness. If it feels just right, it means you have too little. Remember that the rice will need some salt too, so let the salt be enough that you can taste it to be a bit more than you would want. Not too much of course!

As soon as the the water starts boiling, drain your rice (which should have been pre-soaked for about half an hour) and add this rice to the stock. Sprinkle a bit of coriander on this, and stir a little. Let this cook on high heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring now and then, then reduce the heat to medium and keep cooking it whilst covered until the water diminishes, giving it a stir every now and then to make sure all the rice is cooked evenly and perfectly.

When you find there is very little water left in the rice, reduce the heat to the lowest point possible. Seal your pan by using a tight lid or wetting a kitchen towel and placing it over the pan then placing a lid on top of it.

Leave the rice to continue steaming on very low heat for a good 10 mins. Switch off, and serve with accompaniments of your choice! 🙂

BBQ Chicken Skewers

Marinate the chicken cubes in all the ingredients preferably overnight or for at least 4 hours. Skewer them and grill until tender. You can dab a bit of oil on the pieces as they grill. Do not over-cook them, they should be ready within 10-15minutes. Make sure you turn the skewers several times during the grilling. Serve hot!!

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