Chicken Pulao/ Pickle flavoured Chicken Pulao

Chicken pulao is one of the most famous dishes of Pakistan and gets cooked in every house on main occasions especially on Eid-ul-fitr. It’s a combination of basmati rice and chicken, cooked in an exotic mixture of spices. If you don’t have time to cook biryani or find it hard then give this one a try. There are so many ways to make chicken pulao. I am sharing a very easy and delicious recipe that I learnt from my mother. It can be prepared in 30-45 minutes.


  • Chicken 700g-1kg (1 whole diced)
  • Oil 2 serving spoons
  • Cumin seeds 1 teaspoon
  • Black cardamoms whole 2
  • Green cardamoms whole 3
  • Bay leaves 2
  • 1 cinnamon stick (3 inch long)
  • Clove 5-6
  • Whole black pepper 8-10
  • Onion medium size 2
  • Ginger garlic paste ½ tablespoon 
  • Salt 
  • Coriander powder 2 teaspoons
  • Red chilli powder 1 teaspoon
  • Tomatoes 4
  • Green chilli 2 chopped, 3 whole 
  • Fresh coriander 1 bunch
  • Mint leaves 10-12
  • Water 4 1/2 cups
  • Rice 2 1/2 cups
  • Pickle 2 tablespoons (Optional)


1) First of all heat 2 serving spoons of oil in a pot. Add 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds, 1 cinnamon stick, 5 cloves, 2 black cardamoms, 3 green cardamoms, 2 bay leaves and 8-10 whole black peppers. Whole spices are very strong so leave in the hot oil for just 30-60 seconds for some flavour to release before adding 2 medium size sliced onions. 

2) Stir frequently with a wooden spatula while sautéing onions and cook until they are soft & translucent or golden brown in colour. It takes about 5 minutes and helps to bring out the natural sweetness of onions. Now mix ½ tablespoon of ginger garlic paste and stir for a minute.

3) Add chicken in the mixture along with 1 teaspoon of red chilli and 2 teaspoons of coriander powder and cook until chicken colour has started changing to golden brown. When chicken has browned then add diced 4 tomatoes, a bunch of coriander, 2 chopped green chillies and 10-12 leaves of mint. Cook for about 10-15 minutes on medium to low flames to make chicken gravy.

4) When the sauce and spices are cooked, oil separates from the sauce. It indicates that the spices are cooked properly and chicken gravy is ready. At this point add, *4 and a half cups of water and let it reach the boiling point. 

5) Now mix 2 and a half cups of rice in the amalgam. **Check the amount of salt and adjust according to your taste and add 3 whole green chillies to enhance the flavour. 

6) Cook on medium to high flames until water is 70% dried. Add two tablespoons of pickle, cover the pot and leave it on very low heat for 10-15 minutes.

Pickle is added for extra flavouring. This step can be omitted to make simple chicken pulao. There’s no doubt that it’s a game changer step as it gives you an easiest option to create a different delectable taste.

7) Turn off the stove and allow it to stand for 10 minutes. The delicious chicken pulao is best served with salad or yogurt.


*The amount of water required for cooking rice is double the amount of rice. In this recipe, half cup less water is used because rice was left in water for 20 minutes before adding in the broth. Soaking rice speeds up the cooking process as water gets absorbed into the grains and heat softens the starch.   

**You need to add sufficient amount of salt for chicken broth and rice. Therefore, broth should taste a little saltier than your normal taste so that the amount of salt can be adjusted in rice.