Chicken & Chickpeas Pilaf/ Pulao

  • Prep Time : 15m
  • Cook Time : 30m
  • Ready In : 50m

Pulaos or Pilau or even Pilaf as they are popularly known as in the UK, are a way to transform the normal, boring rice into something really exotic and delicious. Rice is cooked with vegetables or  meat and is a wonderful way to lift an ordinary meal.

This unusual pulao made with a combination of chickpeas and chicken is extremely nutritious. Delightfully easy to make, it will fill your house with the aroma of Basmati rice and the wonderful fragrance of an irresistible Pulao.


Ingredients for the marination

Chicken- 1 kg ( with or without bones)
Ginger paste- 1 tbsp
Garlic paste- 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder- 1 tsp
Salt- to taste



Ingredients for the Tadka (Hot oil seasoning)

Cumin/ Jeera- 1 tsp
Black pepper- 8 peppercorns
Cinnamon- 2 sticks
Cloves- 3-4
Green cardamom- 4
Bayleaf- 2-3

Ingredients for Pilau

Basmati rice- 1 1/2 cups
Onions, finely chopped- 1 cup
Ginger paste- 1 tbsp
Garlic paste- 1 tbsp
Chickpeas- 1 cup – tinned or boiled
Turmeric powder/ Haldi- 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder- 1 tsp
Coriander powder- 1/2 tsp
Ghee (optional)- 3 tbsp
Oil- 2 tbsp
Garlic paste- 1 tsp
Potatoes, peeled and cut into 4 pieces each
Coriander- 2 tbsp
Garam masala/ Meat masala- 1 tbsp
Hot water- 3 1/2 cups


First get the chicken ready!

Marinate the chicken with all the other ingredients for marination and leave aside for at least 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator. If using boneless chicken, ideally use thigh meat as breast meat tends to get extremely tough and stringy.


Then get the rice ready!

Wash the rice gently 2-3 times, drain and keep aside till required. This process helps the rice retain its length after cooking. I used Amira Rice in this recipe.

For the actual Pilaf/ Pulao

  1.  Put a large wok on the gas and add 1 tbsp of oil. Add in the potatoes. Add a pinch of salt. Fry till slightly brown and keep aside.20141129-P1100830
  2. Add 1 tbsp oil, fry the chicken for 5 minutes and keep aside. this is to make the raw smell go away. If using chicken on the bone, you could fry for about 8 minutes.20141129-P1100831
  3. In the large sauce pan, add the ghee and add in the spices for Tadka. Notice how all the spices start swelling up as soon as they hit the oil. Do remember to take a large enough saucepan because it has to have enough space for the rice to expand- it almost doubles, as well as the chickpeas and potatoes.
  4. Now quickly add in the onions. Lower the heat and fry until light brown.
  5. Add in the ginger and garlic pastes and fry for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add in the turmeric, chilli and coriander powders.
  6. Add in the potatoes. Fry well till all the spices cover the potatoes.
  7. Add in the chickpeas. Mix well.
  8. Add in the chicken . Fry for another 5-7 minutes. Add in the salt and garam masala.
  9. Now add in the rice that has been sitting aside for so long. Fry for 2 minutes. Be careful while mixing the rice because it is quite fragile by now- you do not wanbreak the rice grain. Ideally use only a wooden spoon.
  10. Add the hot water. let it come to a rolling boil, give it a stir, put a lid on and simmer for 14-15 minutes. In this time, everything along with the rice will finish cooking.20141129-P1100851

Serve hot with raita.

I’m sure you would wow your guests with this recipe!
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