Tuesday, 1 April 2014

My Mum's Chicken Pulao

Lets start this new month from a family recipe. No one can make it the way my mum makes it (I guess every daughter would say that. Did I say, I am missing her :( ). This one pot meal is my all time comfort food. It was at least once a week dinner during my childhood. These nutty basmati rice cooked in aromatic chicken broth spiced with cloves, cardamom and warmth of black pepper bring back all those wonderful childhood memories. Its so easy to make yet so satisfying. This is a family recipe passed down from last three generations. All you need beside is some salad and yogurt.


Basmati rice                    2 cups
Chicken                          1 whole 2-3 lbs (cut into 14 pcs)
Onion                             1 thinly slices
Tomato                           1 chopped
Green chili                      3-5 (optional)
Ginger                            1/2 inch piece cut in julienne
Garlic                             1 head
Salt                                2 tsp or to taste
Garam Masala                1 tsp
Coriander seeds              1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds                   1.5 tsp
Black pepper                  8-10
Cinnamon                       2 inch stick
Cloves                            6-8
Green cardamom            3-4 cracked
Water                             4.5 cups
Oil                                  1/4 cup


  1. Wash and soak the rice for at least 1 hour.
  2. Heat the oil in a large enough pot to hold  everything. Add in the sliced onions and fry till the edges start browning.
  3. Add tomatoes, chicken and all the spices. Fry the meat until it is browned on all sides ad tomato is completely disappeared. You may need to add a few spoons of water to prevent it from sticking to the bottom.
  4. Add water, head of garlic and bring it to a boil. Cover and let simmer for around 15 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
  5. Take the garlic out and increase the flame.
  6. Add the drained rice to the pot and stir very gently to mix every thing together. Check for the salt at this stage. Salt should be on higher side as rice will absorb the salt during cooking.
  7. Once you see all the water has evaporated, sprinkle the ginger on top and lower the heat to the lowest setting. cover with a tight fitting lid and let the rice steam for at least 15-20 minutes. 
  8. Once you see steam escaping from the edges of the lid, turn the heat off. Let sit for 10 mins before removing the lid.  Using very gentle hands fluff the rice with a fork.


In step 3, you can add the whole spices tied in a muslin cloth for easy removal. I like to see my whole spices in the rice so I did not use the muslin cloth. or
In step 6 before adding the rice, you can strain the broth to remove the whole spices.


  1. Looks like a great dish that is full of amazing flavors, YUM!!

  2. Thanks a lot Tara for dropping by. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do :)