Chicken Pulao or Chicken Pilaf is a quick one pot meal prepared with marinated chicken, basmati rice and mild Indian spices. This flavorful rice is a perfect main course dish for your home parties. Quick and Easy Chicken Pulao is also a very good lunchbox recipe for chicken lovers.
We love chicken in any form, whether it's as an appetizer, main course, or side dish. If you are a chicken lover too, don't forget to check Goan Chicken Vindaloo, Restaurant style Butter Chicken, etc.
Kolkata Style Chicken Biryani is also a family favorite. However, whenever I have less time or prefer to have some mildly spiced chicken and rice kind of meal, I prepare this easy chicken pulao.
What is the difference between Biryani and Pulao?
This is common question I often get from readers. I will explain here the difference between biryani and pulao.
Let's start with the method of cooking. Typically, biryani is made using the draining process, whereas pulao is made using the absorption method.
Pulao is made with a specific amount of water that is sufficient to cook both the meat or vegetables and the rice at the same time. The water is totally absorbed by the rice grains.
Biryani rice is cooked in a excess amount of water, allowing the rice grains to become elongated. After the salty water is boiled, the presoaked rice grains are added into it. Then excess water is drained and the rice is parboiled and dried.
Another major difference between biryani and pulao is layering. Biryani is always prepared in layers. It contains layers of rice, fried onions, meat (or substitute ingredient like paneer, vegetables, etc.). In pulao rice and all other ingredients sautéed and cooked together.
Pulao always uses mild spices whereas in biryani variety of spices are used.
Most of the biryani recipes calls for slow cooking, however, pulao is cooked faster under medium to high flame.
What are the ingredients required to prepare Easy Chicken Pulao?
I am listing the ingredients which require to cook this tasty chicken pulao:
Chicken: Chicken is the key ingredient of this recipe. I prefer to take the leg, thigh and wing pieces to cook this pulao. However, you can cook with boneless pieces too.
Rice: I use basmati rice for the chicken pulao. Fragrance of basmati rice makes the pulao more flavorful.
Whole Spices: I use certain whole spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, clove, bay leaf while making the pulao. This individual spices makes the pulao aromatic.
Spice Powders: Turmeric, red chilli and coriander powder is used while cooking this pulao. Many people prefer garam masala powder too. However, I have avoided it.
Yogurt: I have used yogurt to marinate the chicken pieces. This allows to cook the chicken quickly and masalas easily penetrate inside the chicken pieces. If you want to avoid yogurt, you can use lime juice instead of yogurt.
Other ingredients I have used to prepare this pulao are onion, tomato, ginger and garlic paste, green chilli, ghee, oil, salt and sugar. You can also add chopped coriander for garnishing. Some people also use mint leaves in chicken pulao. However, I have avoided them as per our family's preference.
Marinade for the Chicken Pulao
Clean the chicken pieces and keep aside. In a bowl take yogurt, salt, ginger and garlic paste together and combine well. Now add this to the chicken pieces and marinate them. Allow to marinate for an hour. This will help to penetrate the spices and allow the chicken pieces to cook quickly.
If you want to avoid yogurt, you can use lime juice instead. Also, you can add more spices like chilli powder or garam masala powder as per your choice.
Can I use Pressure Cooker to prepare Chicken Pulao?
Yes, you can use pressure cooker to cook chicken pulao. Ratio of rice and water will be changed in this process. Rice: Water ration should be 1: 1.25 in case of pressure cooker whereas it should be 1:1.5 in an open pot. You can also cook it in Instant Pot or electric rice cooker.
Quantity of water also depends on the rice as well. If the rice is old then absorbs more water. So adjust quantity of water as per your requirement.
How to serve Chicken Pulao?
Chicken Pulao is a main course rice dish. You can serve this as a whole meal along with raita (curd dip) or salads. You can also have it with some starter or side dish. Sometimes I have this rice dish without any accompaniment as this is really delicious and flavorful.
Easy Chicken Pulao
- 1½ cup Basmati Rice
- 500 gms Chicken Pieces, Medium Size
- ½ cup Yogurt
- 2 tablespoon Ginger Paste
- 2 tablespoon Garlic Paste
- 2 nos Green Chilli
- 1 no Tomato, medium chopped
- 2 nos Onion, medium sliced
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
- 1 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
- 1 no Bay Leaf
- 2 inch Cinnamon
- 3-4 nos Clove
- 2 nos Green Cardamom
- ½ teaspoon Sugar
- Salt to taste
- 3 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 2 teaspoon Ghee
- Wash and soak the rice for 20 minutes.
- Clean the chicken pieces and marinate them with yogurt, salt, ginger and garlic paste for 1 hour.
- Heat the oil along with ghee in a pressure cooker. Add bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon and cardamoms. Sauté again for about few minutes.
- Now add sliced onions and sauté until they are translucent. Next add tomato and cook until the raw smell is gone.
- Add sugar, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, green chilli and mix well.
- Next add marinated chicken and cook it for 5 to 8 minutes.
- Add little water and finally add soaked rice after draining the water from it. Mix them well.
- Now add required water to cook the rice. Check the salt and add if required.
- Cover the pan with a lid and allow it to cook. When the rice is cooked and water is absorbed completely. Switch off the gas and allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
- Fluff up the rice using a fork and allow to rest it for some more time.
- Serve it hot with raita or salad.
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