Pakistani Chicken Pilau
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
5servings 10minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
5servings 10minutes
Cook Time
  • 1kg chicken, bone in
  • 2tbsp cordiander seeds (sabat dhaniya)
  • 2tbsp black pepper corns (sabat kali mirch)
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 2 bayleaf (tez patta)
  • 1medium stick cinnamon (dalchini)
  • 2 black cardamoms
  • 5 green cardamoms
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 onions
  • 4tbsp ghee
  • 3cups basmati rice, soaked for half a hour
  • 4tsp salt
  • 2tsp cumin seeds (zeera)
  • water or chicken broth
  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!

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