Serves 4 adults or makes 8 – 16 children’s portions, depending on the age and appetite of your child


4 chicken legs (skin on during cooking, otherwise they will dry out. Remove skin just before serving)
1tbsp olive oil
2 cups basmati rice (well rinsed)
Salt and pepper (optional, depending on age of child. It will taste a little better with a little seasoning, however, it is still flavourful without due to the numerous aromatics)
2 medium onions sliced thinly into half moons
6 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 heaped tbsp grated fresh ginger (grate on microplane or very fine side of grater)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 small or 1 large sticks of cinnamon (these are much much cheaper to buy from the Indian aisle in your local supermarket or your local Asian shop)
4 cardamom pods bruised (bashed with flattened knife)
4 whole cloves
2 teaspoons of turmeric
2 cups cold water


1) In a large casserole dish, which is suitable for use both on the hob and in the oven (I use a cast iron dish), sauté the onions in the oil for 2-3 minutes. (You may think that the quantity of oil is insufficient, but it is not. Any increase will make the dish unnecessarily greasy)

2) Add the rinsed and drained rice, turmeric, cardamom pods and cloves and fry for a further minute.

3) Add tomatoes, ginger and garlic, salt and pepper (only a little, if using)

4) Stir and cook for a few minutes.

5) Add the chicken pieces on top of the rice. Try and make sure that the chicken pieces are just submerged in rice mixture. Cover with a tight lid and cook at 160 degrees Celsius for 1 hour 45 minutes.

6) Before serving, remove chicken skin and whole spices. Mash, if required, to suitable consistency, depending on age of child.


To cook in a slow cooker, follow steps 1-4, but use a large saucepan and then pour the contents of the pan into the slow cooker. Add the chicken pieces as directed in step 5 and cover. Set the slow cooker to its “low” setting and leave all day. You and your family will come home to a house smelling divine and to a dinner which will taste as good as it smells.

You will have a lot of ginger left if you have bought a whole root. Peel the remaining root and store whole in your freezer. It stores for months if well wrapped and can be brought out at any time to use, just grate whilst frozen and replace in freezer until next needed.

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