Chicken Pilau

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Average: 5 (3 votes)
Serves 4-5

Quick, easy and yummy chicken pilau.

chicken, skin removed and divided into 8-10 pieces
(1 to 1.5kg)
500 gm
basmati rice, washed 2-3 times then soaked for half an hour.
onions, chopped
potatoes, peeled and cut into 4 pieces each
1/2 tsp
turmeric powder
1/2 tsp
cumin/coriander powder
1/2 tsp
freshly ground roasted cumin powder
3 tbsp
5 tbsp
1/2 tsp
garlic paste
some chopped coriander
Whole Spices
1 tbsp
whole cumin seeds
1/2 tsp
whole pepper
cinnamon sticks

Put the chicken pieces in a deep pan, add 1 tsp ginger paste, 1 tsp garlic paste, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper powder and 4 cups of water. Simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. Drain out the chicken and reserve the broth/yakhni for the pilau. The chicken will cook some more in the pilau so don't be tempted to cook it any longer than 15 minutes on low heat, otherwise it will end up being tough and stringy. In the meantime, wash and then soak your rice for about 30 minutes.

I normally use 1 and a quarter cups of yakhni/soup for every cup of rice when making pilau. Measure the broth accordingly and adjust by adding water if needed. If the rice you normally use requires more water per cup of rice, adjust accordingly.

Place a pan on the stove. Remember that the rice will double after cooking and the chicken and potatoes will go in there too so you will need to have enough space in the pan. Turn on the heat and once the pan is hot, add the oil and butter.

Then add the whole spices; cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, cloves.

Once they splutter in the oil, add your chopped onions. Fry them until they are translucent and slightly golden, stirring with a wooden spoon. Then add the potatoes followed by the turmeric and cumin/coriander powder.

Let these fry for a few minutes, then add the garlic paste and a bit of chopped coriander.

The aroma should by now be brilliant. Add in the boiled chicken and stir everything together for a few minutes so that the chicken gets coated with all the spices, then add the measured stock/soup/yakhni and some salt. Let the stock simmer and taste for the salt. You should be able to feel the saltiness. If it feels just right, it means you have too little. Remember that the rice will need some salt too once it goes in there, so let it be a tiny bit saltier than you would want. Not too much of course!

When the water/broth starts boiling, drain your rice (which should have been pre-soaked for about half an hour) and add this rice to the stock. Sprinkle a bit of coriander on this, and stir a little. Let this cook on high heat for 2-3 minutes then reduce the heat to medium and keep cooking it whilst covered until the water diminishes, giving it a stir every now and then to make sure all the rice is cooked evenly and perfectly.

Once you find there is very little water left in the rice, reduce the heat to the lowest point possible. Seal your pan by using a tight lid or wetting a kitchen towel and placing it over the pan then placing a lid on top of it.

Leave the rice to continue steaming on very low heat for a good 10 mins. Switch off, and serve! :)

Enjoy! :)



mashallah.....this is one of my sweeeeeeeeeeest pilau ever to cook!!!!!!!!!!!thanks again,may allah reward you for sharing to us.................

wat do u mean by yakhin?
i?is there any replacement for this

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Chicken soup/stock. Yakhni not yakhin. :)

Your recipes are too good, tried the pilau today and it turned out awesome...and your directions are very easy to follow, everything from measurements to ingredients and directions are very accurate....thank you so much

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture


Does this call for black or green elaichi?

I made this over the weekend for abot 18 adults. Obviously tripled the quantity.. OH mY so delicious!!!
At first when I poured all the uncooked rice in the boiling chicken stock I was a bit nervous as the water might be less or more But it turned out suprub. Just perfect. Thanks fauzia
Because of you I can invite a lot of guest and not have to worry about catering.. your recipes are never a faliure.

Fauzia dear,i often try ur receipes n it turns so yummy..its a first tym m writin to u,instead f cukin rice in a pan afta stirin chiken n all dose ingredients in yakhni can we put those mixture in rice cooker n let d rice cook der??

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Yes you can do that if you like. It will take about 2 whistles to be done.

Urgent help
will cook chicken pilao for guest 7-8 persons tomorrow 13.01.13

can u tell me the ingredientss qty i would need

btw 1 cup = how much ml????

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam soo sorry for the late reply. This meal serves 4-5 people. Double for that many people. :)

can u plz give me the recipe for mutton yakni pulao

Can we use ordinary rice or basmati rice?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Basmati works best.

Thank you fauzia ji!

Salaamz sister, tried lots of ur recipes and they're amazing! Just wanted to ask wil this pilau be spicy enough - I normally add green chilies and ground coriander to my base when I'm cooking the chicken?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, I guess spice is a matter of personal choice. You can add extra spices if you like. :)

Salam sister. I tried this recipe today and it's turned out extremely delicious. Jazakallah khairan for such a wonderful recipe.

Hi.... I tried ur reciepe.....i used yakhni as u say 1 n 1/4 per glass of rice but it seems it wasn't enough....rice got all plasticy n not fully cooked so i later put them on wet dumm n all n managed to make them edible........taste was gud.....i want to make it again tomorow for a much yakhni should i use per glass of rice ....plz reply

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi, different brands of rice require different amounts of liquid. Mine needs just 1 and a quarter, but there are some that can take up to 2 cups of water for every cup of rice. You will need to try with a bit more water and see for yourself so as to know how much liquid works for the type of rice you are using.

Thanks alot......making again......will update u about the results soon ;) jazakallah

Assalam fauzia tried chicken pilau today came out very delicious want to thank you a lot
Also it is not only a nice dish but is done very quickly if u have all ingredients at hand thks again n keep posting new such recipes

Aswk.sis ur ingredient list says half tsp garlic in instruction s j hav used more paste lik
While cooking chicken n den fr
If we hsv to double d qty fr more ppl.which wty
Shud b doubled? Half tsp or 2 tsp.
Plz reply

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

The half tsp mentioned in the instructions is for when you actually cook the pilau itself. What is used for boiling the chicken is mentioned in the instructions, those boiling ingredients are SEPARATE from the ones in the list. Hope that clarifies it. If you double the quantity you have to double EVERYTHING else. :)

Aswk.sister 2dsy I tried ur method of cookng ricd
Lik 1 measure of rice wid 1 n half measure
Of it didnt turn out d way it shud b
Lik each grain separetly..plz guide me as
To wht shud b d measurement of rice wid
Water.even if it is simply steam rice

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, my recipe is for 1 and a QUARTER cups of liquid to one cup of rice, not one and a half. :) Different brands of rice require different amounts of liquid, you will need to practice with yours until you find the right amount to cook the rice perfectly.

I agree tht diff brands hav diff wty of liquid. Bt
Wht is general rule fr cooking basmati
Becoz I read somwhere tht it shud b 3x more thn
Rice .is it a true.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Like I said, for me 1 and a quarter cups is enough.

Salaam! I tried this recipe, everything was fine until the rice started to stick, i lowered the heat and added a little more water but its still stuck, the dish tasted delicious but the rice was too soft and broken, i even kept the lid on the whole time ive tried so many different way, i have a electric cooker which doesnt help, my rice never comes out perfecf

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, did you soak the rice before using it? How much was the liquid to rice ratio used? What brand of rice did you use?

Yes i soaked it for about 40 mins, and i used 1 and quarter cups yakhni for 1 cup rice, i used laila basmati rice the rice started to stick quickly even when i lowered the heat.. So i added a little more water but it kept sticking and became broken and a little too soft :( im 18 years and i started cooking a year ago for a family of 7, but my rice never comes how it should

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Adding water is what must have made the rice over-soft. As for sticking, that has to do with either the pan being too thin, the flame being too high or the heat being too direct. You could try using a heavier pan or place a flat pan or tawa under the cooking pan to prevent the rice from sticking.

Okay thankyou i will definetly try these different ways, inshallah they will help me!

awww i tried 2day was gr8 experience but i dnt knw how my salt becomes less in taste however i checked it after adding the salt portion for rice

What do you mean by the freshly ground roasted cumin powder? Is it sold roasted or am I supposed to put some cumin powder on a frying pan first? I couldn't figure it out.

Saum Maqbul :)

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Hi, it means not the ready made packed ground cumin powder. I just place some cumin on a pan and warm it up slightly until aromatic, then grind to a powder and store in a jar to use as needed. :)

Salam. I want to try this recipe but I want it to be a bit spicy. Is is going to be spicy? Or can u tell me what changes I can make to have spicier?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, you can add chopped green much as you need. I normally make this dish mild but serve it with a chutney or green chillies.

Thanks for the reply going to make it for my family tomorrow as a surprise. Is it ok to add yogurt when adding chicken to the onions?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

For this recipe it is not necessary.

Does anyone know 1 cup= hw many ml?? Pls reply asap

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

200 ml.

I'm making it on electric stove and after 15 mins on low heat for yakhni the chicken is still red.. How do i know its done??

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

The chicken should turn white after boiling and it should be slightly tender.

Assalamalaikum. Hope your are doing well. Just a quick question. you've mentioned cumin/coriander powder in your list of ingredients. Do you mix these powders together and add or add either one of them? Thankyou in advance.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, yes I like to roast, grind and mix the two then store the mixture for some dishes.

Salaam Fauzia, I am trying this i a few hours, please could you tell me if its 1 cup cooked rice we measure to or one cup uncooked rice? Thank you

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, this recipe requires 500g uncooked rice as mentioned in the ingredients list.