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  • Writer's pictureDina Begum

Easy chicken pulao

Updated: Feb 3, 2019

Some weekends I want to cook up  a storm and create several new dishes and some weekends I just want to relax and cook something easy, without compromising on taste. Pulao is one of those classic South Asian dishes that you can modify and prepare when you need a little comfort food and fast. Unlike biryani, pulao tends to be lighter and mixed together – whereas biriyani is very rich, with layers of meat and rice which are slow cooked. It's also great for when you have a busy weekend and want to return home to something tasty and fuss-free. Especially when you're coming home to catch up on the new series of X-Factor! Don't you just love the auditions?  This pulao rice is aromatic and flavourful and the perfect one pot dish brought to you from the Lazy Person School of Cooking:) I've made this with chicken (which is my favourite), but lamb is also a popular option. The meat should be soft and tender, almost falling off the bone - it's always better on the bone, as this imparts much more flavour and acts as a ready made stock. See one less thing to worry about? It’s also very easy to make. It literally takes around 30 minutes to cook and looks like you spent ages on it. It's spicy without being hot and hits all the right spots. Forget takeaway - make this instead! 

Ingredients (serves 2-3) 

1 medium onion sliced finely

270g basmati rice 

½ baby chicken (1 leg and 1 breast piece, chopped into large pieces, approx 450g) 6tbs oil

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp black pepper

1/2 stick cinnamon

1 bay leaf

3 cardamoms

2 cloves

3 whole green chillies

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

2 tbs fresh coriander

½ tsp chilli powder

1 tsp garam masala


Wash the Basmati rice until water runs clear and soak for 30 minutes, then drain. Set aside.

Add the oil to a pan on medium-high heat and add whole spices and stir for about 30 seconds. Add the sliced onion and cook until golden, then add the dry spices and cook the spices for 1-2 minutes. Add the chicken and cook for about 5-7 minute on high heat until it releases juices , stirring regularly.

When the chicken mixture is fairly dry with a little gravy, add the Basmati rice. Lay the drained rice on top of the chicken and add boiling water, about an inch above the mixture. Bring to the boil uncovered then cover and cook on low heat for 20-25 minutes, carefully stirring once halfway - at this point you can add more salt if necessary. Rest 10 minutes with heat turned off. Stir gently before serving.

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