Easy Chicken Pulao | Chicken Pilaf

Chicken Pulao | Easy Chicken Pilaf

Easy Chicken Pilaf

I’m not sure about you, but I’m Very happy if I can achieve the flavors of Chicken Biryani in a Simple Chicken Pilaf!

This recipe flowered from my mother in law’s – Mutton Pilaf Recipe which is a crowd-pleaser and can be found at all family gatherings/ dinners. I have been waiting to share this recipe for a while now, but the pictures wouldn’t turn out as I would like them to be… This time around- with or without pictures… I found myself itching to share this great tasting pilaf with my buddies at Angie’s Fiesta Friday! This week’s bash is being co-hosted by Caroline@Caroline’s Cooking and Jess@ Cooking is my sport!

This recipe is a no brainer… The original Mutton Pilaf recipe requires you to par boil mutton with spices to get the flavors going, as it takes longer to cook. I decided to marinate the Chicken for the same reason. Yes, the original recipe shall follow, but for now enjoy this!

Serves 4


1.3 lb/ 600gms – Boneless skinless Chicken Breast/ Thigh or in-bone Chicken, cut into small pcs.
1 Large Onion or 2 Medium Onions, Sliced (Roughly 2 cups)
5 no. Green Cardamom
5 no. Cloves
2 no. Cinnamon Sticks (1″ each)
2 Bay Leaves
1 tbs Oil
1 1/2 cups Rice
2 1/2 cups Water (or as required) ** Check Notes

1 tbs. Ginger-Garlic paste OR 1/2 tbs each finely grated/minced
1.5 tsp Yellow Chili Powder ** Check Notes
5 oz/ 150 gms Yogurt (Use Greek Yogurt/ Hung Curd, if available)
1/2 tsp Cardamom Powder
1/2 tsp Mace, Powdered ( use a mortar-pestle to coarsely grind)
1/3 cup Mint leaves, chopped
2 Green chilies, chopped or slit
Salt to taste
Ginger Juliennes

Garnish- Crispy Fried Onions (optional)


1. Mix all the ingredients mentioned under the marinade list and set aside. Add chicken pieces to the prepared marinade and set aside for 1-2 hours. Marinating the chicken is completely optional.

2. Heat 1 tbs oil in a pan/stockpot. Once hot, add bay leaves, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon sticks. Give it a quick stir. Once the oil is fragrant, add onions and stir fry until translucent and slightly golden.

3. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the marinated chicken pieces along with the marinade and cook until the Chicken pieces are about 80-90% cooked**. The chicken pieces will give out water.

Easy Chicken Pulao

Easy Chicken Pulao

4. To this, add rice and give it a quick stir. Add water as required**. I added 2.5 cups hot water**. Bring this mixture to a rolling boil and season with salt. Check for seasoning and add more yellow chili powder**, if required.

Easy Chicken Pulao

5. Cover the vessel and lower the heat. Simmer until the rice is cooked. Let the rice sit covered for about 10 minutes and viola! you are good to go! Garnish with fried onions and serve this finger-licking Pilaf with some Onion-tomato-cucumber raita or Mint Raita.

Easy Chicken Pilaf

Oh don’t be stressed about these! These will help you achieve the perfect pulao!

1. Marination is optional. If you choose not to marinate, add the marinade ingredients to onions in this order – ginger garlic paste -> green chilies-> salt -> yellow chili powder -> chicken -> mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes -> followed by yogurt -> cardamom powder -> mace powder -> mint leaves -> ginger juliennes and cook until 80-90% done.

2. Yellow Chili powder is yellow in color, similar to turmeric and has a distinct taste. If you are unsure about the heat level- add 1 tsp at the time of marination and adjust the same once you season the water (step 4). If it’s not available, you may use 1/2 tsp turmeric and red chili powder(to taste) as a substitute.

3. The amount of water required to cook the rice varies from region to region and depends on the quality of rice used. The amount of water required to cook the Pilaf, will depend on the amount of juices left after the chicken is more than 80% cooked. This is an approximation you will need to make at the time of cooking. I always add hot water to cook the rice – it speeds up the process.

4. If using chicken with bones, cook chicken till the point, where you know the rest will be cooked, while the rice is being cooked. We definitely don’t want raw chicken 😀

Enough “Gyaan“(knowledge) for the day! Time to indulge!


Sonal 🙂

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28 thoughts on “Easy Chicken Pulao | Chicken Pilaf

  1. Pingback: Crispy Fried Onions | foodbound

  2. Easy chicken pilaf that tastes like biryani? I’m there!! 😀 Btw, Sonal, were you able to get rich pins on Pinterest? I was under the impression that can’t be done with WordPress.com. Would you mind sharing with us how you did it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! Thanks Angie 🙂

      Okay… To tell you the truth, even I wasn’t sure if I will be able to get Rich pins … and decided to try my luck. I think to start with, you need a Pinterest for Business account… Then you can get Fiestafriday.net verified with that account. You may then apply for Rich pins. The pins have to be in a certain format to be a recipe rich pin – mine weren’t so they automatically fell in the article rich pin category. They ask you to upload a link which they validate for you and approve/ deny. My first request was denied as I had some tags which I had to get rid of.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Am I making sense? So they say, rich pins will start appearing after a stipulated time period. Only if I could understand the documentation to get a recipe rich pin – would I change the format. It was too technical with the codes. At times I manage to pin rich pins at times I can’t. I wish I knew why….

        Hope this helps, Angie! Get a Pinterest for Business account for FF 🙂


      • I do get rich pins with FiestaFriday.net because it’s self-hosted. I just didn’t know you can get them with WordPress.com. In fact I asked about it in the forum before, and someone answered No. But I did hear that Pinterest is trying to make it easier for people to get rich pins. Did you have to contact them directly? Or did you use meta tags?


      • Thanks for the explanation, Sonal. I asked because I was about to post more tips about Pinterest and one of the subjects I was going to discuss was rich pins. From all the sources I’ve gathered, WP.com blogs can’t validate rich pins, but your pins prove this isn’t the case. Can I direct WP.com people to you in my discussion, if they need help? Or is that something you’re not comfortable with?

        Sorry this is so long! To be clear, I have no problems getting rich pins. I know how. I just didn’t know you can do it with WP.com blogs.


      • Angie, sure I can tell them how I went about it but I’m not sure if that is the sure shot way… Pinterest is weird because they approved my request for rich pins a month back and then sent another email 3 days back inviting me to try
        Rich pins… they had been disabled. I will help as much as I can 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • So, I think it’s just a case of good luck? Because rich pins validation needs only be done once, then all your pins from then on will be rich. Did you mean to tell me you have to validate each time?

        Liked by 1 person

      • So confusing! I’m just going to be honest and tell people I know nothing!! 😃😃 I think you’re the first WP.com blog that manages to get rich pins! You’re special! If only we knew what happened excatly when you got it, we can write a how-to post together and it will probably go viral ‘coz I’ve been told many times it can’t be done!! Thanks for spending time with me this morning and answer all my questions patiently. You’re a darling! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • Haha! Thanks Angie! I wish I could help you more on this… I wish I had the technical know-how. I would like to send you a screenshot… Where can I send that?


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