Chicken Masala Rice from Cooking and Cooking
Yield: Serves 4

Soak the red kidney bean in cold water overnight or 5-6 hours and drain. Place the beans in a small pot and pour 3 cups water over them. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add salt and cook until beans are just tender (do not overcook). Drain and set aside.

Place the rice in a large bowl; pour lukewarm water, stir and pour off the water. Repeat four times until water runs clear. Then soak rice in salted (with 1-2 tablespoons salt) lukewarm water for an hour.

Meanwhile, heat 5 tablespoons oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion and fry until golden. Increase heat to medium-high. Add the chicken and cook until no longer pink, stirring occasionally.

Add the turmeric powder and stir gently. Add 1 cup warm water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cook covered for 15 minutes. Add cumin, chilli powder, curry powder, garam masala and salt. Cover the pot and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 20-25 minutes (add a little warm water during cooking, if necessary), stirring occasionally. Add the beans and cook covered for 10 more minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Set aside.

Drain the soaked rice and set aside. Pour water in a large non-stick pot (until it is 3/4-full), add 1 tablespoon salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Add rice to the boiling water and cook uncovered until rice is a little tender (not quite tender) about 4 minutes, stirring once or twice. Remove from the stove; drain the rice in a colander.

Pour 3 tablespoons oil in the non-stick pot. Place a layer of thin bread in pot; it should cover the bottom of the pot.

Place a layer of the rice over the bread. Then place a layer of the chicken-bean mixture on the rice.

Keep layering until all the rice and mixture is used. Mix a little and try to make a nice mound in the middle. Using handle of a wooden spoon, make deep holes in rice. Pour 1/2 cup water and 6 tablespoons oil over the rice. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon saffron.

Put the lid on and cook over medium-high heat until it begins to steam (about 4-5 minutes). Then wrap a kitchen towel around underside of the pot lid, making sure it is secured on top and away from heat.

Reduce the heat to low and cook for approximately 35-45 minutes. Don't overcook, you don't want the rice to become too mushy.

When rice is ready, remove the pot from the heat. Wet a towel with cold water and place the pot on the wet towel for a few moments (it helps to release Tah-deeg (crispy bread) from the bottom of pot). Transfer the mixed rice to a serving dish (optional: pour the melted butter over the rice).

For Tah-deeg (crispy bread); carefully remove the crusty bottom with a spatula in one whole piece.