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Chicken Pilaf



  • 400 g Chicken Use Soy Chunks or Mushroom or Paneer/Indian Cheese for a Vegetarian Version
  • 1/2 of a large Potato
  • 1/2 Cup Plain Yogurt
  • 1 Very Large Onion sliced
  • 3 tsp Ginger Garlic paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 2 tsp chilli pdr
  • 3 green chillies
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Mint leaves
  • 1/2 Cup Coriander leaves
  • 2 ″ Stick of Cinnamon
  • 3 –4 Green Cardamom pods
  • 3-4 Cloves
  • Few Saffron threads
  • 2 Tablespoons Milk
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric pdr
  • 1/3 cup Ghee
  • 2 Cups Basmati rice
  • 1/2 Cup Almonds Soaked overnight & peeled or Pistachios
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 3 Cups Water
  • I chicken stock cube



  • Marinate the chicken pieces in the yogurt, lemon, salt, ginger paste & garlic paste, chilli pdr for about an hour.
  • Soak the saffron threads in warm milk.
  • Wash the Basmati rice till the water runs clear. Keep it soaked in water for 45 minutes to an hour. Drain & set aside.
  • Melt the ghee in a pan. Over medium heat, add in the Cinnamon, Cardamom & Cloves and sauté till fragrant.
  • Add the sliced onions & sauté till the onions start to brown. Add green chillies.
  • Separate as much marinade from the chicken as possible. Save the marinade & add the chicken pieces to the pan; Toss well along with the spices & onions & close the lid and cook for 5 mins.
  • Add the potatoes (if you are using them) and close lid and cook for 10 minutes. Add the turmeric pdr, pepper, and coriander leaves. Add in the nuts and the left over marinade. Add the soaked rice stirring so the ghee/fat coats the rice, until glossy, for about 3-4 minutes.
  • Pour in the saffron milk and add mint leaves.
  • Boil 3 cups water and mix in the stock cube. Check for salt. Pour this mixture into the pan and stir everything together and bring it to a boil, then close the pan with a heavy lid and turn the heat down to very low. Cook like this for about 12-15 minutes, by which time the rice should have absorbed the liquid and be cooked through. Don’t peek.
  • After about 12 minutes open the lid, & check to see if the rice is cooked. It is okay if the rice is slightly stiff, cover it back & switch off the heat. The heat & the steam will cook the rice & the chicken.


✔️If you want more aroma to the rice, While the rice is cooking, in a skillet heat 2 tbsp of oil & add half of a sliced onion & sugar & fry the onions till they are brown & caramelized. Add the caramelized onions to the pan, gently stir them in taking care not to mush up the rice. Cover it back & let it sit for at least 15 minutes for the flavors to infuse. (The caramelized onions will imparts a fabulous aroma to the pilaf). I didn’t do this part.
✔️ Be careful while adding salt to the rice as there is salt in the marinade as well as the chicken stock cube. Just check and add accordingly.