One pot flavored Chicken and Rice Pilaf cooked in mild spices doesn’t get easier. Pulao is a dish that is made with basmati rice, meat or veggies, herbs and spices cooked in stock/broth. This dish is aromatic and mildly flavored and very easy to make. There are many different variations across the region resulting in some amazing flavor combinations. I am excited to share how I make this for my family.
RICE-make sure you are using basmatic rice for this dish. Basmati rice is a variety of long-grained rice and is traditionally used in South Asian cuisines. This rice has aroma and in consistency is very light and fluffy. Rinse the rice to get rid of excess starches from the surface of the rice. Follow the instructions on the pack if soaking is recommended. For this recipe I used 1 1/2 cups of rice, if you would like more rice you can use up to 2 cups of rice.
CHICKEN-I have used chicken tenders, breast and thighs for this dish before. But the most flavor you will get by using bone in chicken. But many times I do use tenders when making it for kids. I used 1 whole small chicken. Always let the chicken come to room temperature before cooking. Cooking cold meat can result in meat that is tough.
STOCK/BROTH- If you have chicken stock/broth on had you can add in place of water, just make sure to adjust the salt. How I have showed in this recipe is when I don’t have any chicken stock on hand. You can make a quick stock with the chicken, spices, herbs. Than sear the boiled chicken in the whole spices, onion masala and continue with the recipe.
Try to use fresh ginger and garlic, the dish will come out so flavorful.
I also make this dish with tomatoes instead of yogurt.
I added a green chili and some red chili powder. That gives a slight mild spice to the dish. You can completely omit.
If you are missing any ingredients don’t let that keep you from trying out recipe. You can even top with raisin and sliced almonds.
youtube video for the recipe
- 1 whole chicken cut into small pieces, about 2.5lb
- 1½ cups Basmati rice, rinsed and soaked ( see notes for soaking rice)
- 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup neutral oil
- 1 green chili, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic & 1 inch fresh ginger, finely minced or crushed to paste
- Whole spices-2 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1-2 small cinnamon sticks
- 4 large brown cardamom
- ½ tsp. black peppercorns
- 4 cloves
- Powder Spices-2 tsp. cumin powder
- 1 tsp. coriander powder
- 1 tsp. garam masala
- 1 tsp. red chili powder
- 2 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- ½ cup full fat yogurt, whisked
- Water as needed
- Make sure to have all your ingredients ready before you start cooking. This will make your cooking go smoothly.
- Use a heavy bottom pot. Heat oil on medium heat. Add all the whole spices, let the whole spices infuse flavor in the hot oil for about 1 minute. Make sure they don't burn.
- Add the sliced onions and green chili. Let these onions cook till they turn a medium brown color. This can take about 10 minutes. Add ginger/garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds just to cook it's rawness out.
- Add the chicken and sear it for about 3 minutes. Than add powder spices let those sear with the chicken for another minute. Now turn the stove down and add the yogurt so it does not split, mix well with the chicken, turn heat back to medium and let the yogurt cook for 3 minutes. You should notice the water has cooked off from the yogurt and it's a thick sauce.
- Add 1½ cups of water and let the chicken cook for about 20 minutes on medium. Once the chicken is cooked there will still be water left, drain the rice add to chicken and 1¼ cups of water. Let it boil uncovered till most of water has evaporated about 3 minutes.
- Now cover the lid with clean kitchen towel or foil, cover pot, turn heat to the lowest setting and let the rice cook for 20 minutes. Covering the lid will help keep the steam in pot. Always check on rice towards end of cooking time. Uncover and fluff the rice with fork.