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Easy Chicken Pulao

Easy Chicken Pulao – A chicken pulao is mildly spiced with whole and dry spices and is an alternative to a heavier, layered, more robustly spiced biryani. It is a delicious, easy to make one pot affair.

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Easy Chicken Pulao

Whole fragrant spices, moist chicken, fluffy rice and caramelised onions are what makes this chicken pulao so good. There are a variety of ways to make pulao. Some people make it with yoghurt, some like it with coconut milk, some like with tomato..I like all of them! 

One of the best things about indian cooking is the smells. The smell of the spices roasting in the pan, the smell of the onions caramelising, the spices infusing with the onions, chicken and rice… it is like a party for my saliva glands. 

My kids LOVE pulao. The biggest selling point for me is that pulao is so easy to make. I feel like the chicken being marinaded in yoghurt is enough here. You can add a little saffron to the pulao but I prefer not to. It adds a wonderful colour but I really find saffron overpowering in some recipes. I like my pulao to be more about earthy spices, subtle and slow cooked caramelised flavours. However if you like saffron, you can use it and whatever else you desire to be honest, because this recipe is so adaptable.

I make this pulao very often nowadays. Like most parents as soon as the kids like something and aren’t moaning about it, it goes into the usual cooking rotation. Which by the way, i don’t have. LOL. I usually serve this with red onion raita or cucumber raita, achaar and popadoms.

SO guys!!!!!!! Yesterday I got a comment about animal cruelty on Facebook. My insta feed is very meat (especially chicken) orientated, but these pictured are taken over MONTHS. My husband and kids eat more meat then I do. I wish I was as organised as other bloggers and put out content the week I take the pictures but I am not! Hey ho! So  I just wanna say, I wish people would stop trying to impose their opinions on people in such unfriendly ways.  Its so weird and it definitely doesn’t work. Everyone is entitled to their way of doing things. I considered becoming a vegetarian last year but it just wasn’t for me. Unani Tibb (Ancient Medicine/Naturopathy – My course) recommends eating meat in moderation and I don’t expect anyone to do things my way unless they believe in it. I just feel like if that is something that bothers you, then this is not the blog to follow. There are some amazing vegetarian and vegan bloggers out there!

Easy Chicken Pulao

Easy Chicken Pulao - A chicken pulao is mildly spiced with whole and dry spices and is an alternative to a heavier, layered, more robustly spiced biryani. It is a delicious, easy to make one pot affair.

Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 4



  • 1 kg Skinless Chicken on the bone 8 pieces
  • 1.5 tbsp Natural Yoghurt
  • 1 clove Garlic crushed
  • 1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Salt


  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tbsp Ghee
  • 1 Black Cardamom pod
  • 1 flat tbsp Cumin Seeds
  • 6 Cloves
  • 1 large Bay Leaf
  • 2 Cardamom Pods
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick roughly 2.5 inches
  • 3 Large Onions Sliced finely
  • 4 cloves Garlic crushed
  • 1 inch Ginger crushed
  • 3 Green Chillies slit
  • 1.5 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1.5 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • Salt to taste (I used 2 flat tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 250 g Rice (I use Basmati) Pre soaked for 20 mins - 1/2 hour
  • 550 ml Chicken Stock or Water
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Coriander to garnish


  1. Marinate the chicken in a large bowl in all the ingredients for the marinade. Set aside.

  2. Wash and drain rice in cold water a couple of times.

  3. In a heavy bottom pan add the whole spices and allow to sizzle for a minute over medium high heat. 

  4. Add the oil and ghee, then stir in the onions and fry on a medium heat for 10 - 12 minutes or until caramelised and a dark amber colour. You will have to occasionally stir them to ensure they don't stick to the pan. 

  5. Add the garlic, ginger and green chillies and saute for a couple of minutes.

  6. Now add the chicken and stir through. Add the Coriander, Cumin, Turmeric Powder, Salt and Pepper. Cook for for 8-10minutes over a medium/high heat. 

  7. Pour in half the stock/water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.

  8. Add the rice and the rest of the stock/water. Boil then simmer for 20 minutes.

  9. Turn the heat off. Cover the pot and allow it to steam for 10 minutes. 

  10. Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and coriander.

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