How to Make the Perfect Chicken Pulao in Under 30 Minutes

A step-by-step guide to make delicious tomato chicken pulao at home

Priya Prakasan

The fussiest of eaters will be salivating at the thought of ‘chicken pulao’, such is the attraction..  Often considered as the cousin (and unfairly so) to biryani,  the main difference between a biryani and is that the former comprises of distinct two or more layers of rice and meat, which is then slow-cooked on a low heat, whereas pulao uses fairly simple method of sauteing the ingredients together and then adding the rice to be cooked together.

Biryani is loaded with flavourful marinated chicken,
caramelised onion, saffron and spice infused rice and is prepared in different layers which makes cooking it lot more time-consuming process, whereas chicken pulao is comparatively an easy yet simple dish made with mild aromatic spices, chicken and rice.

Pulao, unlike biryani, can be cooked with a handful of ingredients and served in under 30 minutes. Don’t believe us? Here’s a recipe Chef Ranveer Brar swears by, "All chefs realise that while there is so much to cooking—so many ingredients, so many methods; but the cornerstone of a dish is never its complexity but its simplicity. I have learned this with my experiences in my life. While it's as easy as said but simplicity is the most complex to achieve and it takes time to understand and appreciate." 

This recipe is easy-to-follow and so scrumptious that you won’t even think of a biryani. You will need chicken, ghee, green chillies, onions, coriander powder, turmeric powder, ginger-garlic paste, rice (washed and soaked for an hour), tomatoes and coriander to make this pulao.

  1. Start by placing a large handi over medium flame. Pour two tablespoons of ghee and let it heat. Then add two big sliced onions, one and a half teaspoon of ginger-garlic paste, one teaspoon of coriander powder and half a teaspoon of turmeric powder. Saute this for about four minutes or till the onions start softening.

  2. Follow it up by adding two chopped green chillies, five medium tomatoes, finely chopped, and salt to taste. Continue to cook all the ingredients for another three to four minutes.

  3. Now add 400 grams of chicken to the handi, stir it so the masala coats the chicken. Cover and cook for about seven minutes. Remove the lid and add two cups of the soaked rice with four cups of water, give everything a quick stir. Cover the handi again and cook on low flame till done.

  4. When the rice and chicken are done, garnish with finely chopped fresh coriander leaves and serve hot. You can serve it with onion raita and papad or a chilled glass of buttermilk.


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