Chicken Malai Boti is a very popular barbeque/grilled variety of chicken, eaten commonly among us Indian/Pakistani folks. ‘Boti’ meaning boneless chicken cubes. And ‘Malai’ is an Urdu term which is basically home-made fresh cream. I just make it with store brought fresh cream ( I mean, who has time to make Malai first! amirite? Although click here if you want to know how to make fresh cream at home)
Even though the resulting chicken is almost white in color, this Chicken Malai Boti is packed with flavour and a melt-in-a-mouth kind of a texture. It is one of those standard crowd pleaser recipes!
But I took it one step further and combined the silkiness of the Malai chicken with Pulao Rice! And I have to say, it took me a few tries, but I finally have a new addition to the number of dwindling rice dishes in my house.
Honestly, the Malai chicken itself is….oh-so-good! So why did I have to go ahead and make a fusion food. Well, here’s why:
A. I was bored from the usual Indian/Pakistani rice recipes that I make on Dinners
B. I saw potential in Malai Chicken, and went for it!
C. Creating fusion food is love ok?
Also, I have to warn you before hand, the rice might LOOK all innocent dressed in white and seem very docile, but I can assure you, I’ve made sure they will be a spicy little treat! Enough blabbering! Let’s dive right into it!
INGREDIENTS AND TIPS FOR MALAI BOTI
Okay, so the recipe card at the bottom will list all the spices in the picture. I just kept it here for your visualization.
2 things of importance here.
First off, the raw papaya paste in the orange cup above is optional. It will only be needed if:
1. You don’t have time for overnight marination. In that case, you can add 1 tsp of raw papaya paste in the chicken for 20 minutes and then make it.
2. You are using desi chicken or organic chicken, which tends to take a very long time to cook. Here you should add this papaya paste to tenderize the meat.
Second off, I forgot to put lemon in the ingredients picture, so don’t be confused if you see lemons in the recipe card ok?
So we are going to just throw all the ingredients in a blender (except yogurt and papaya) and make a fine smooth paste where the green chilies have completely disintegrated.
PRO TIP: Don’t blend the yogurt with the other ingredients. Blending the yogurt in the blender will make the mixture runny and thin. Whisking the yogurt separately gives us a nice creamy marination.
So We are simply going to whisk the yogurt in a bowl so that its smooth and then add the blended cream mixture in it. Whisk till you get a consistent creamy mixture. There, you are ready with your “MALAI” mixture all set to go in the chicken cubes (Boti)
Pour half of the prepared marination in the chicken as we are going to reserve the other half for our rice. I personally like to keep my chicken for overnight marination but 2 to 3 hours is enough too. Malai Boti is usually made on a barbecue grill so it has a smoky flavor. So once your done with the marination, you can smoke the chicken right away at this point or while you grill it. (click here to see how)
When its time to grill your chicken, just take the chicken pieces and add them to skewer if you like, or grill them directly. I grill them at medium to high flame until I get a nice color for my liking. Ideally, the chicken should be grilled in a little cooking butter or ghee for flavor, but you can chose oil as well.
Grill your chicken and set it aside. Let’s move on to our rice
HOW TO PREPARE THE PULAO RICE
Next, its rice time. The rice that I use are Basmati Rice and my rice quality require 20 mins of soaking in water before cooking. You can soak your rice according to the brand that you use.
The reason I love pulao so much is because of how aromatic this rice is. This particular Chicken Malai boti Pulao has the beautiful colors from the red and green chilies. You can skip the red chilies if you dont have them, thats fine. The whole spices used in the pulao rice are the same as any other pulao, except for the addition of the star anise (baadiyan ka phool).
We are going to start making the pulao like regular pulaos.
Start off by throwing All the whole spices, cumin seeds and onion into the pot along with ghee or oil. Personally I prefer cooking butter or ghee for this recipe as it adds a very authentic flavor to the rice. We are gonna turn the onions a nice golden brown color and then remove half of it for garnishing later. Turn off the flame to avoid burning the onions.
PROTIP: Some people (including me) like to cook the onions with garlic ginger paste and water for a bit after they turn brown. Avoid doing that for this recipe, as it might give the rice a more brownish color. We want to aim for a more offwhite to white pulao color here.
Next, we add the rice to the pot, and go back to the Malai mixture that we reserved for our pulao.
We are going to add 5-6 more green chilies in the mixture and blend it. This will give our pulao that really nice spicy heat and even though it will look very innocent, it will be packed with heat. Of course, if you like your food on the milder side, you can skip this step
Now, we are going to add the revised cream mixture to the pulao.
Next up are some whole green and red chilies which quite frankly look OH-so-pretty! When you add water to the rice, just make sure that it is slightly above the rice level, about less than 1/2 an inch. This would also be a good time to check the salt level in your rice. And then we cook our rice!
Once your rice are done, plate your rice with your chicken skewers on top. And lastly, don’t forget to garnish your dish with the fried onions and a few more chilies
You can also remove the chicken from the skewers if that’s how you prefer it
Word of Advice
While you wait for your rice to cook at low flame, you can start grilling your chicken then, saves time and by the time your rice are ready, so will your chicken and you can serve them piping hot.
Paring and Serving
You can serve the chicken sticks as it is or remove it and serve it as chicken chunks in your pulao. It pairs really well with Green Mint Chutney and these sweet and sour veggie sticks go great as a side for this dish.
CHICKEN MALAI BOTI PULAO RECIPE
HOW TO SMOKE CHICKEN IN A BOWL
1. Put a piece of charcoal directly on the stove and heat in until it turns red hot.
2. Place an aluminium cupcake case (or aluminum foil shaped to form a bowl) in the chicken bowl.
3. Pick the red hot charcoal with tongs and place in on the aluminum cup. Drizzle 1 tbsp oil on top of the charcoal and cover the bowl with a lid.
4. After 4 to 6 minutes, your chicken will be smoked.
5. This process can be done after the chicken is cooked as well.