Simple Chicken Pulao Recipe

Sometimes, the thought of making a Chicken Biryani seems too time consuming, daunting or difficult. Let this easy Chicken Pulao recipe come to your rescue. One of the aspects we appreciate about this style of cooking is that it’s one-pot cooking so that allows for an easy clean up and more time to enjoy yourself. For me, personally, I like the fact that the flavor of the chicken is present in every grain of rice – making it my personal favorite.
So what’s stopping you from making it and digging in? In no time, you can enjoy the taste of long grain, aromatic Basmati rice flavored with spicy chicken. Enjoy!


Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs – approx 1 lb, cut to bite size pieces
Salt – to taste
Black Pepper – to taste
Basmati Rice – 1 cup (washed, soaked for 1 hour and drained)
Ghee (Clarified Butter) – 1 Tbsp
Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
Cinnamon Stick – 1.5 inch piece
Bay Leaf – 1
Black Cardamom – 1
Green Cardamom – 2
Cloves – 4
Onions – 1 cup, chopped
Garlic – 1.5 Tbsp, minced
Ginger – 1.5 Tbsp, minced
Green Chilies – 2 to 3 or to taste, slit
Cumin Powder – 1 tsp
Coriander Powder – 2 tsp
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Red Chili Powder – optional or to taste
Yogurt – 1/4 cup
Water – 1 3/4 cup
Cilantro – 10 sprigs, chopped (divided)
Salt – to taste
Lime Juice – for garnishing


1. Sprinkle Salt and Black Pepper on Chicken pieces and mix through.
2. In a pan with a tight fitting lid, heat 1 Tbsp Ghee (Clarified Butter) on medium heat.
3. Add Cumin Seeds and allow them to sizzle.
4. Add Cinnamon Stick, Bay Leaf, Black Cardamom, Green Cardamom and Cloves. Saute for 30 seconds.
5. Add Ginger, Garlic and Green Chilies. Mix and cook for 1 minute.
6. Add Onions and a little Salt. Mix well. Cook until Onions are translucent and slightly caramelized.
7. Add all dry spice powders and mix.
8. Add Chicken and keep tossing until all pieces turn white from the outside.
9. Reduce flame to a low and add chopped Cilantro (5 sprigs) and Yogurt and mix well. Increase heat to medium and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes until chicken is white on the inside when cut.
10. Add drained Rice and mix well.
11. Add Water and a little Salt and bring to a boil.
12. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes (undisturbed).
13. Turn off stove, uncover and fluff rice gently.
14. Add chopped Cilantro and cover to allow pulao to rest for 10 minutes.
15. Serve hot with Raita or Pickle.


1. Use left-over Chicken Curry and make pulao.

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20 thoughts on “Simple Chicken Pulao Recipe

  1. Trying this tonight! I’m excited! Your recipes are great and so easy to follow; please don’t stop putting up new ones or ever take down this site! It’ll probably be useful to me for years. I always print off new recipes from here and try them as I discover them. 🙂

  2. Being an amateur in cooking, tried this pulao with a twist. Instead of chicken I used go I, carrot, beans and chicken frankfurters and it came out amazing….. Thanks guys this is my second successful dish after kheema.

  3. Hi Anuja and Hetal,
    I made your pulao today, and it tasted awesome!!! I think I added a little more water than you’ll suggested and hence it turned a little soft, but that did not make it less delicious! Thanks for posting this wonderful recipe. This was also the first time in my life that I made a pulao. My mum is going to be quite proud!
    A suggestion: When you’ll say ‘to taste’ in the written recipe, can you’ll please mention the amount you’ll used. I know salt, pepper etc. are an individual’s choice, but for novices like me it can be tricky when the instructions say ‘to taste’. So I would be happy to use the amount you’ll used.

  4. I am new to this style of cooking but just made this chicken pulao for tomorrow nights dinner and it is delicious! We are having trouble waiting as the smell is wafting thru the house. Restaurant worthy…… The other recipe we have tried is your multipurpose marinade. It is awesome as well and I make a big batch and freeze in small portions for fish and chicken grilling. Love your videos, they are so helpful. Thanks

  5. Hi Hetal and Anuja,
    I made this chicken pulao. And I am falling short of words to describe how great it was! So quick easy and delicious recipe is the perfect substitute for biryani! Thank you so much make cooking so easy and tasty.

  6. I prepares this dish at home and it tasted fabulous. this is a very simple and tasty recipe. thanks Anuja n Hetal for posting it!

  7. Yep I agree…it’s been long since we had an Indian recipe. This looks so yummy. I am going to try it out this weekend. Yummm

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