Saturday, 6 October 2012

Chicken Pulao

After a request to try this out, I went on the hunt to find a recipe that is clear...and in in english!! Recipe was found, but a few on the ingredients I had never heard of, so I added what I could and chicken pulao became Nosaiba style (probably very unauthentic!) 

So the recipe I am sharing with you now is as simple as I possibly can make it, with ingredients you should have already in your kitchen (the only thing I specifically went out to buy was the garlic paste! :) and it turned out it needed garlic AND ginger paste, so I just had to make do with what I bought!)

What you will need

The easiest way to describe this is to divide it under sub-headings:

Main ingredients

1 baby chicken (skin off, quartered at the butcher, then I cut each quarter in half)
2 cups basmati rice, washed and strained
2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 green chillis, slit
1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste (like I said I only had garlic paste)
1 tomato, finely chopped
1 tbsp coriander, finely chopped (I substituted with dry coriander, but fresh is better)
10 mint leaves
2 + 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 + 1/2 tbsp oil (recipe called for the same amount as ghee too, but tried to keep it healthy!)


1/2 cup of yoghurt
3 green chillis, slit
1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt

- Aromatic mix

7 cloves
1 cinnamon stick (I substituted for a tsp of cinnamon powder!)
3 cardamom
1 star anise (I bought these ages ago not knowing why, I knew one day they would come in handy :) )
pinch of nutmeg powder
2 bay leaves

Directions to make

1) Place the ingredients from the 'marinade' heading in a bowl with the chicken, and leave for around 10 minutes (or until you prepare the next steps)

2) Heat the oil in a pot, and add all the ingredients under the 'aromatic mix'. Leave for a few seconds then...

3) Add the onions and chills to the pot and cook for 5 minutes, or until the onions change in colour

4) Add the ginger garlic paste and mix for another 2-3 minutes

5) Add the tomato, mint and coriander and cook for another 4 minutes

6) Add the chicken (with the marinade) and combine them well. Leave on a high heat for around 2 minutes, then reduce to medium heat, cover the pot and leave to cook for 20 minutes (or until the chicken is nearly fully cooked with little gravy left)

7) Add the water and coconut milk and bring to the boil. Check the taste to see if more salt is needed, if all is well, reduce the heat to medium and add the basmati rice, alongside 5 mint leaves and 1/2 tbsp coriander leaves. Cover the pot and leave on a low heat for around 20 minutes (or until the rice and chicken are cooked)

8) Once cooked, turn off the heat and leave for a further 10 minutes with the lid on

This does not look as appetising as it tasted! Apologies...
(credit goes to my sis for the shot though)
It wasn't hard to make, so do give it a go. I would appreciate any tips/suggestions on how to make this more authentic (if not already the case), as I might have eliminated key ingredients whilst simplifying this recipe. Enjoy with yoghurt and a salad :)


  1. Well done for skimping on the ghee. One day I'll get you those mystery ingredients.

    1. Lool thank you! Please do reveal yourself to me so i will be sure to remind you of this promise! :)

  2. woohoo :) looks good nosaiba. Somehow i cant seem to post a coment thrpught my phone so i came on laptop and mashallah this looks great :)
    MY grandmoher always used to mae chicken or meat pulao. YOur recipe is a bit different. i can share my recipe with u:)


    1. Awww im not sure why it doesn't work on your phone, because i am replying by my phone right now. JazakiAllah khair for actually making the effort! Yes i would love to take your grandmothers recipe...will ask you when i see you inshAllah :)
      Thanks so much

  3. Well done! This is actually verrry close to how my mum makes it. Authentic Pakistani style :)

    1. Realllly? Alhamdulilah! I was actually going to delete it, as I wasn't sure if it was correct or not. So thank you :)

  4. I am Pakistani. Followinh is the traditional method...

    Take onions, fry them til veryyy dark. Add ginger..add chicken, cumin seeds(v.important) salt and chicken stock cubes. Let chicjen cook. Once almost cooked, add water, let water come to boil. Use just enough water for ur quantity of rice...

    Let cook til water is gone from rice. Then put on damm or steaming method (no heat or low heat and let rive cook 10 mins)

    Serve. We dnt use coconut in pakistani cooking for anything. Xx

  5. The dark colour comes from the fact thst we briwn the onion lots

    1. Do you have a cook book by any chance? :D would love to get more tips from you! Thank you so much! :)