Chicken Pulao is one of the popular and most loved rice dish from India. Pulao also known as pilaf is a one pot rice dish similar to chicken biryani but is more mild in taste. Easy and quick to make chicken pulao recipe needs basmati rice, chicken, yogurt and whole spices. In this blog post I have shared chicken pulao recipe made stove top, in pressure cooker and using an Instant pot. Serve chicken pulao with raita, kurma. Learn how to make Hyderabadi style chicken pulao with step by step pictures and video.
Chicken Pulao is one of the simplest rice preparation you could ever make with chicken. It just needs only 45 minutes to cook. The only thing which takes time is marinating the chicken. Other than that everything is so simple. This chicken pulav is flavour packed, You could make it spicy or milder as per your wish by increasing the green chillies. If you are a vegetarian you could make it with paneer, tofu or cauliflower.
What is Pulao (Pulav & Pilaf)
Pulao is a one-pot rice dish made by cooking fragrant basmati rice with aromatic spices, herbs, and occasionally stock in a single pot. Vegetable pulao, Matar pulao, tawa pulao, Coconut milk pulao, zarda pulao, kashmiri pulao, and mutton pulao are all popular pulao recipes in India.
It’s usually served with korma, a rich meat or vegetable curry with a thick sauce. It uses a complex spice blend and requires you to layer the rice with your protein of choice before slow-cooking it. In some regions, a wheat dish whose recipe usually involves cooking in stock or broth, adding spices and other ingredients such as
vegetables or meat, and using some technique to achieve cooked grains that do not adhere.
About Chicken Pulao
Pulao is a rice or wheat dish that is cooked in stock or broth, with spices and other ingredients such as vegetables or meat, and using some technique to achieve cooked grains that do not adhere to each other. This version is much simpler, for much more elaborate dish you can check my chicken yakhni pulao.
In this blog post, I have shared two versions of chicken pulao. You get detailed recipe for stove top chicken pulao, pressure cooker chicken pulao and chicken pulao in Instant pot. I hope this recipe post will teach you how to make chicken pulao in all possible ways with step by step pictures, guide and video.
I have used coconut milk when making pressure cooker chicken pulav, coconut milk makes it more aromatic and flavourful. And the addition of freshly ground spices take it to a whole new level.
Pulao or biryani comes handy when coming to lunch box recipes. This recipe goes perfect with some raita, I served it with onion raita. You can enjoy with any raita of choice. You will need a handful of ingredients to make this pulao and it comes together in less than 40 mins.
Watch Chicken Pulao Recipe Video
Chicken Pulao Ingredients
Basmati Rice - Use high quality basmati rice which is aromatic for making pulao and biryani. Wash basmati rice at least 2 to 3 minutes, soak rice for at least 30 minutes prior cooking for longer non-sticky rice.
Chicken - it is preferred you use chicken with bone-in for maximum flavour. Bone-in chicken stays juicy and moist once cooked where as chicken breast tends to dry out. Also chicken bones impart lots of chicken flavour to the dish.
Ghee - use good quality ghee, preferably desi ghee for making biryani and pulao. Ghee adds aroma and flavour to the dish.
Whole spices - pulao doesn't have much spice powders like chilli or coriander. Instead it uses whole spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, cloves, bay leaf and star anise which adds a subtle yet distinct aroma to the pulao.
Onions - sliced onions is cooked in ghee till golden brown which adds sweet taste and flavour to your pulao.
Ginger Garlic - Ginger garlic paste is a staple in many Indian dishes, ranging from curries to biryanis and everything in between. It adds delectable, savoury notes as well as a heavenly aroma that is unique to Indian cuisine.
Coriander & Mint - these two herbs is also known as queen of flavour in biryani and pulao. Must use Indian herbs when making pulao.
Yogurt | curd - it is used in chicken as a marination. Curd tenderises the chicken as well as adds a nice tang to the chicken pulao.
Saffron - Saffron is most commonly used to enhance the flavour of dishes by adding a distinct yet subtle flavor.
How to Make Chicken Pulao (Stepwise Pictures)
In this first method. We make chicken pulao on stove top using a pot. It is the most traditional way of making chicken pulao and one of my favorite method.
1)Marinate chicken with yogurt, salt, ginger and garlic paste. You can marinate it for 30 minutes to overnight.
Making Pulao Base
2)Heat ghee in a pot. Add in whole spices, cardamom, cloves, star anise, fennel seeds and cinnamon.
3)Add in sliced onions and green chillies.
4)Fry onions till golden brown. It will take around 10 minutes.
5)Add in marinated chicken.
6)Add in chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves.
7)Saute for 5 minutes till chicken is lightly seared in the oil.
Mixing in Rice
8)Add in soaked and drained basmati rice. I washed and soaked basmati rice for at least 30 minutes before I start cooking.
9)Stir fry rice along with chicken for at least 2 minutes. Let the rice fry for few minutes along with chicken and onions.
10)Pour in water and add in salt.
11)Add in garam masala powder.
12)Bring this to a boil and let the water gets absorbed a little. It will take around 5 minutes or so. The rice will absorb most of the water.
Toppings for Pulao
13)Meanwhile when the rice is cooking, soak saffron with some warm milk. Let the saffron steep for 5 minutes in warm milk.
14)Pour saffron milk over the rice.
15)I fried some cashews and raisins in ghee.
16)Pour the fried nuts over the rice along with the ghee.
17)Cover the pot with lid. Cook on very low heat for 10 minutes.
18)Chicken pulao is done. Let it sit for 10 minutes before mixing the pulao.
19)Gently fluff the rice using a spatula and serve.
Chicken Pulao in Pressure Cooker
If you don't have much time on hand, then you can make chicken pulao in a pressure cooker in less than 30 to 40 minutes.
- 2 cups Basmati Rice
- ½ kg Chicken
- 1 cup Coconut Milk
- 2 cup Water
- Whole spices (1 piece cinnamon, 5 cardamom, 5 cloves, 1 bay leaf, 1 pandan leaf)
- 3 tbsp Oil + 3 tbsp Ghee
- 2 large Onions sliced thinly
- 8 Green Chillies chopped
- 2 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
- 1 Tomatoes chopped
- 1 Garam Masala Powder
- ½ cup Coriander Leaves & ½ cup Mint Leaves chopped
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp Fennel Seeds
- 1 tbsp Black Pepper
1)Take fennel seeds and black pepper in a blender jar. This combination of spice adds a whole level of taste to your chicken pulao.
2)Grind them to a coarse powder and set aside.
3)Heat oil and ghee in a pressure cooker. Add whole spices and let them sizzle for 1 minute.
4)Add sliced onions and green chillies.
5)Cook onions till they turn golden in colour.
6)Add in ginger garlic paste. Saute ginger garlic paste for 2 minutes till raw smell leaves from it.
7)Add in chicken pieces and saute well with the onion masala.
8)Add salt to taste. Cook chicken for 5 to 6 minutes till it is lightly seared.
9)Add in chopped tomatoes.
10)Add chopped mint and coriander leaves. Mix well.
11)Add in the crushed fennel seed and black pepper powder.
12)Add in some garam masala powder and mix well with the chicken.
13) I washed and soaked basmati rice in water for 30 minutes. strain the rice and add it into the chicken.
14)Pour in coconut milk. You can use water instead of coconut milk.
15)Pour in water.
16)This is pandan leaf. I like to add one leaf into the pulao for flavour.
17)Now bring this to a boil.
18)Once it starts to boil you can mix it once using a spoon gently. Cover the lid of the pressure cooker. Pressure cook for 1 whistle.
19)Once the pressure is released. Open the cooker and gently fluff the rice.
20)Fluff up the rice and garnish with fried cashews and raisins if needed.
Chicken Pulao in Instant Pot
This fool-proof method for making chicken pulao in Instant pot is quick and easy. Follow my instructions to the "T", you will be rewarded with the most delicious chicken pulao ever made in an instant pot.
Marinate & Soaking Rice
Marinate the chicken in the given ingredients for 1-2 hours, overnight is fine. Wash your basmati rice well and soak it for 30 mins. Drain this and Set this aside.
Preparation Masala in Instant Pot
Set instant pot to saute mode. Now heat ghee, Add in cinnamon, cardamom, cumin seeds, cashews, raisins and mix well. Add in onions and cook till they turn golden. Now add in ginger garlic paste and mix well.Add in salt as well. Pour in the marinated chicken mixture and mix well. Add in chopped coriander and mint leaves and mix well. Now add in the rice and mix well. Pour in 1 cup of water and bring it to boil.
Chicken Pulao Cooking Time in Instant Pot
Cover it with the lid and cook on high pressure for 5 mins. Let the pressure release naturally for 11 minutes, then quick release till all the pressure is released and instant pot is safe to open. Now Open the instant pot and gently then fluff it with a fork and serve hot with raita.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is difference between biryani and pulao?
Biryani is prepared using the draining method of cooking, which entails par-boiling the rice in water, then draining, drying, and layering it. Pulao is made using the absorption method, which means that the rice and vegetables absorb all of the water or stock.
Does pilau rice contain saffron?
Saffron rice is a seasoned Indian rice pilaf with saffron, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, orange zest, pistachios, and almonds. Also known as parsi pulao.
Which state is famous for pulao?
Kashmiri Pulao is a hearty Pulao recipe from the lovely state of Kashmir (India). Cooked rice is tossed with nuts/dry fruits and fresh fruits in this flavorful rice preparation. For flavour and colour, the dish is also infused with saffron milk. Kashmir is well-known for its natural beauty.
More Pulao Recipes to try
📖 Recipe Card
Chicken Pulao (Pressure Cooker, Stove Top & Instant Pot)
- 2 cups Basmati Rice
- 1 kg Chicken
- 1 cup Yogurt | Curd
- 2+2 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
- Salt to taste
- 6 piece Cardamom
- 5 piece Cloves
- 1 stick Cinnamon
- 1 piece Star anise
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
For Pulao Masala Base
- ½ cup Oil or Ghee
- 3 large Onions sliced thinly
- 10 slit Green Chillies
- ½ cup Mint Leaves chopped
- ½ cup Coriander Leaves chopped
- 1 tsp Garam Masala Powder
- 3 cups Water
- ⅛ tsp Saffron
- 2 tbsp Warm Milk
- ½ tsp Rose Essence
- ½ tsp Kewra essence
- 4 tbsp Ghee
- 3 tbsp Cashews
- 3 tbsp Kishmish
- Wash basmati rice two to three times. Soak basmati rice in water for 30 minutes. Soak saffron in warm milk and set aside.
- Marinate chicken with yogurt, salt and ginger garlic paste. Let it marinate for 30 minutes to overnight.
- Heat oil in a large pot. Add whole spices and let them sizzle in oil for a minute.
- Add in onions and green chillies and cook till golden brown. It will take around 8 to 10 minutes. Add in ginger garlic paste and saute for a minute till raw smell leaves from it.
- Add in chicken along with the marination and stir fry for 8 to 10 minutes till chicken is seared. Add in mint and coriander leaves and mix well.
- Add in strained basmati rice and mix well with the chicken and masala. Add water, salt, garam masala powder and bring it to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes by which time most of the water will be absorbed by the rice.
- Now pour in saffron milk over the rice. Fry nuts and kishmish in ghee and pour that over rice. Add kewra and rose essence over the rice. These are the toppings for the pulao.
- Cover this and cook on low heat as possible for 5 to 8 minutess. Turn off the heat and let it stay covered for another 10 mins.
- Gently Fluff up the rice and serve.
How to Make Chicken Pulao in Instant Pot
Marinate & Soaking RiceMarinate the chicken in the given ingredients for 1-2 hours, overnight is fine. Wash your basmati rice well and soak it for 30 mins. Drain this and Set this aside.
Preparation Masala in Instant PotSet instant pot to saute mode. Now heat ghee, Add in cinnamon, cardamom, cumin seeds, cashews, raisins and mix well. Add in onions and cook till they turn golden. Now add in ginger garlic paste and mix well.Add in salt as well. Pour in the marinated chicken mixture and mix well. Add in chopped coriander and mint leaves and mix well. Now add in the rice and mix well. Pour in 1 cup of water and bring it to boil.
Chicken Pulao Cooking Time in Instant PotCover it with the lid and cook on high pressure for 5 mins. Let the pressure release naturally for 11 minutes, then quick release till all the pressure is released and instant pot is safe to open. Now Open the instant pot and gently then fluff it with a fork and serve hot with raita.
If you have any questions not covered in this post and if you need help, leave me a comment or mail me @[email protected] and I’ll help as soon as I can.