Chicken & Veggies Pilau

Servings : Serves 4-5

A small twist to my chicken pilau…this one is made with assorted veggies to give an extra health-kick to the meal!


  • 1 chicken, skin removed and divided into 8-10 pieces.
  • 500 gm basmati rice, washed 2-3 times then soaked for half an hour.
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin/coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground roasted cumin powder
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 5 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 cup peas (half boiled)
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 2 carrots, diced (half boiled)
  • 1 chopped capsicum (optional)
  • 3 tbsp sweet corn
  • water or stock, warm (for every cup of rice, you will need 1 and quarter cups of water)
  • a bit of chopped coriander

Whole Spices

  • 1 tbsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp whole pepper
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 cardamom


Marinate the chicken pieces with 1 tsp ginger, 1 tsp garlic, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper powder. Set aside.

Place a pan on the stove. Remember that the rice will double after cooking and the meat, veggies 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, stirring with a wooden spoon. Then add the chicken, garlic and ginger pastes and fry in the oil until the colour of the chicken changes/becomes white. Add all the veggies followed by the turmeric and cumin/coriander powder.

Stir together for a few minutes, then add the stock/water and some salt. Let it 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, so let the salt be enough that you can taste it to be a bit more than you would want. Not too much of course!

When the water 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!

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