A delicious one-pot chicken pulao recipe that’s super easy to make with just a few ingredients. The perfect weeknight meal!
Out of ideas for weeknight dinners? Make this one-pot chicken pulao recipe. With just a few ingredients including the chicken and rice, it is ready in 40 minutes flat!
If you’ve been elsewhere on this blog, you know it’s all about making Indian cooking more approachable. I love sharing easy, beginner-friendly Indian recipes that are big on taste. This chicken dinner is right in line with that philosophy. It doesn’t have the flamboyance of its sister, the stylish chicken biryani, but where this simple and unassuming dish scores is the almost ridiculous ease with which it is made.
By the way, since chicken biryani did get a mention here, do check it out if you’re in the mood. It’s a queen of a dish that everyone who likes Indian food must try. Here it is –
Which brings us to a question that’s very commonly asked:
What is the difference between chicken pulao and chicken biryani?
The major difference between pulao and biryani lies in the technique of cooking. For making any kind of biryani (chicken or lamb), the meat and rice are cooked separately, then brought together in another pot. Pulao, however, is made by cooking the meat and rice together in one pot.
Another difference between the two is the number of ingredients used. In addition to the ingredients in pulao, biryani has more spices (powdered and whole), saffron or food colour, and sometimes, even nuts.
Needless to say, biryani is a more involved recipe. Pulao, in comparison, is made easily.
What goes into chicken pulao?
There is no long list of ingredients here, so you don’t have to worry about assembling a gazillion things before you start cooking. All you need is:
- boneless chicken strips
- rice (basmati is preferable)
- ginger-garlic paste
- garam masala (an Indian spice blend that’s found literally everywhere)
- chilli flakes
Plus cooking oil and salt, of course. That’s it.
How do you make chicken pulao?
Step 1: Fry onions until golden brown.
To do this even faster, I sometimes put pre-fried onions in hot oil. These are available in any Indian grocery and even supermarkets like Walmart.
Step 2: Add the rest of the ingredients except chicken and rice.
When the onions caramelize, add ginger-garlic paste, garam masala (again, available in any market), yoghurt, chilli flakes and salt. Stir fry this masala for 5 minutes.
Step 3: Add chicken strips and one cup water.
Saute the chicken for 5 minutes.
Step 4: Add rice along with the water in which it was soaked.
Leave the pulao to cook for 15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed by the rice.
Delicious chicken pulao is ready to be served!
Who said Indian cooking is intimidating;)
What do you serve with chicken pulao?
Simple! Make a quick raita (whisked yoghurt with salt and dry roasted and ground cumin). Raita goes very well with pulao and biryani both.
Or have it with a fresh salad of your choice. Anything goes: sliced cucumber, onions and tomatoes.
Other rice dishes you might like
Easy Chicken Pulao
A quick and easy chicken pulao that’s made with a few ingredients only!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Cuisine: Indian
- 2 chicken breasts, cut into strips
- 2 cups rice, washed and soaked in 4 cups water
- 1 big onion, sliced
- 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
- 2 tablespoons yoghurt
- 1 tsp red chilli flakes
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/3 cup cooking oil
- salt, to taste
Prep (10 minutes):
- Wash and soak the rice in water.
- Slice the onion
- Cut the chicken into strips
Cook (30 minutes):
- Heat the oil in a dutch oven or deep cooking vessel and add the onions. Saute until the onions are caramelized and turn a golden brown colour. (5 minutes)
- Add ginger-garlic paste, yoghurt, red chilli flakes, garam masala and salt. Cook this masala on medium heat until the oil separates. Add splashes of water to prevent it from burning. (5 minutes)
- Add the chicken strips and one cup water. Saute. (5 minutes)
- Add the rice along with the water in which it was soaked. Cook on a medium heat until the liquid starts boiling; then, lower the heat and cook until all the water has been absorbed by the rice. Cover the pot and let it rest for a few minutes more. (10-15 minutes)
- Calories: 217.6
- Sugar: 2.5 g
- Sodium: 860.1 mg
- Fat: 12 g
- Saturated Fat: 1 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 9.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 17.8 g
- Fiber: 1.5 g
- Protein: 8.7 g
- Cholesterol: 17.3 mg
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