How To Make Chicken Pilau Rice Pakistani Style

I remember before I got married, I asked my then-fiance now-husband what his favourite food was. He responded, quite sheepishly, ‘I like Pilau and Biryani’.

A little voice inside of me sniggered ‘Oh great. Those are like the most complicated Pakistani recipes ever. You don’t know what you’re getting yourself into, Fatima.’

I had to pep-talk myself into not breaking it off.

I exaggerate.

Kind of.

Chicken Pilau Pakistani Style

 Well, it turns out Pilau isn’t really that difficult. It’s actually quite simple. I can probably name 5 other Pakistani dishes I find more difficult than Pilau. Which is a relief, because A. my husband likes my Pilau, B. I do not like Biryani and C. I don’t plan on cooking Biryani in the near future. I probably would have regretted cancelling the marriage because of the whole Pilau business.

Pakistani Chicken Pilau - served!

I’ve experimented with different spices in this recipe and I’ve finally found the one. This is now officially my go-to Pilau recipe that I will now make with my eyes closed. My husband really enjoyed this one. The game changer in this is the ghee. Legitimately, using ghee will transform your Pilau. Every grain of rice was moist and buttery… just what I like in my rice. If you don’t have ghee, you can use oil but I can’t vouch for the same delicious results the ghee-version will produce. The ghee gives it a rich, melt-in-your-mouth taste and the most enticing aroma. Butter is also another option, but I personally have never used it so I can’t guarantee how it will turn out.

Also, I used this chicken broth recipe as the base for the Pilau instead of water. It definitely adds a deeper dimension of flavour and richness to the Pilau. If you have the time, I highly recommend going through the extra effort of making the broth the day before, especially since the ‘extra effort’ is just letting the broth simmer on the stovetop without as much as a peep.

I’ve included some pictures of the cooking process as I understand this isn’t an easy dish, especially since it isn’t just a matter of dumping everything into one pot and having it magically transform into a meal. Due to the time of day when I cooked, some of the pictures aren’t very clear and some were so bad I couldn’t post them! But if you have any more questions, do ask.

Serve with raita (cucumber and yogurt), salad and shami kebabs!

Enjoy

Pakistani Chicken Pilau Rice - Aromatic, comforting, delicious and flavoursome @ fatimacooks.net


My new book, ‘The Clueless Pakistani Cook’, is now available to purchase! ‘The Clueless Pakistani Cook’ is a guidebook written for people who want to get started in the kitchen and learn how to cook Pakistani food, but aren’t quite sure where to begin. It includes information about what you should have in the kitchen, spices, cooking a masala, rice, desserts, common Q&As and 5 recipes to get you started! It is a must-read for anyone who wants to learn Pakistani cooking! Click here for more information about ‘The Clueless Pakistani Cook’ and here to purchase it from Amazon!

 

Pakistani Chicken Pilau
Print Recipe
This is a classic Pakistani dish that is often served at dinner parties. It is a delicious meal which uses no chilli, making this a great dish to serve at dinners where you aren't sure of how much spice your guests can take! The lack of chilli also makes it a good option to serve kids. People will just keep coming back for more with this delectable recipe!
Servings Prep Time
5 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
5 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Pakistani Chicken Pilau
Print Recipe
This is a classic Pakistani dish that is often served at dinner parties. It is a delicious meal which uses no chilli, making this a great dish to serve at dinners where you aren't sure of how much spice your guests can take! The lack of chilli also makes it a good option to serve kids. People will just keep coming back for more with this delectable recipe!
Servings Prep Time
5 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
5 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Ingredients
  • 750 grams chicken, bone in
  • 2 tbsp cordiander seeds (sabat dhaniya)
  • 2 tbsp black pepper corns (sabat kali mirch)
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 2 bayleaf (tez patta)
  • 1 medium stick cinnamon (dalchini)
  • 2 black cardamoms
  • 5 green cardamoms
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 onions
  • 4 tbsp ghee
  • 3 cups basmati rice, soaked for half a hour
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds (zeera)
  • water or chicken broth
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. First, we make the stock. In a pot, add the chicken, coriander seeds, black pepper corns, garlic cloves, bayleaf, cinnamon, cardamoms, star anise, salt and 1 onion (it doens't have to be chopped). Cover with enough broth/water to cover. I strongly recommend using chicken bone broth, but if not then water will do.
  2. Bring to a boil, then cover and allow to simmer on medium-low heat for 20 minutes
  3. Now, we need to strain the stock. Drain out the stock and keep to one side and take out the chicken pieces, keeping them to one side too. Throw away the whole spices. Don't worry if there are some spices sticking to the chicken.
  4. In the same pan, heat the ghee on medium heat. Once hot, add the cumin seeds and onions. Saute till they are brown, but do not let them burn. The browner the onions are, the darker the colour of the rice will be
  5. Now, add the chicken, rice and 6 cups of stock. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low till the water dries up and the rice is soft, about 10 minutes (give or take).
  6. Turn the heat off and allow the rice to rest covered for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Your Chicken Pilau is ready! Serve with raita, salad and shami kebabs!
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

16 thoughts on “How To Make Chicken Pilau Rice Pakistani Style

  1. Hi I would like to make this dish but don’t understand the rice measurement. How many millilitres is a cup of rice ?

  2. Asalamualaykum sister. I would like to make this dish but I wanted to know if you use the same chicken that you used t make the broth? do you add that chicken to the pilau or do use a another one??

    1. Thank you! You can make the pilau without star anise. The star anisa just adds extra flavour and depth but isn’t an essential ingredient 🙂

  3. Fatima, what is star anise? And Is there an alternative for stock? Can we use maggi chicken cubes to make stock?

  4. I am very excited to try this recipe. I just did my grocery shopping, but can’t wait buy these ingredients. Thank you for the recipe and easy instructions, Fatima.

  5. Fatima, that is one special dish. thank you.

    just thinking of a quick cheats mod.
    I suppose if there is leftover chicken in the fridge, it could be used at last minute after a (gasp) chicken stock cube for the for the pan with stock items.!?!?!?!

    1. Indeed – thats a definite cheat you could use! I would have to say the stock cube idea is something that could definitely be a good one, but I would have to say it would be really good if you let the chicken cook with the stock for optimal flavour. But of course, for a cheat anything goes!

Leave a Reply