chicken pulao recipe in pakistan

Best Chicken Pulao Recipe in Pakistan: The Fragrant Harmony of Rice and Spices

In the colorful tapestry of Pakistan and South Asian cuisine, there exists a dish that embodies simplicity, yet never fails to delight the senses. Chicken Pulao recipe in Pakistan, a fragrant one-pot wonder, brings together tender chicken, aromatic rice, and a medley of spices to create a harmonious and satisfying meal. In this article, we’ll embark on a culinary journey through the history, ingredients, preparation, and cultural significance of Chicken Pulao, a dish that evokes the comfort of home-cooked goodness.

A Taste of South Asian Tradition

Chicken Pulao is a cherished part of South Asian culinary heritage, known for its approachable preparation and delightful flavors. This dish reflects the diverse regions and cultures of the subcontinent, each adding its unique twist to the recipe.

It’s full of flavor with chicken, basmati rice, and fragrant spices to create the perfect rice dish! It’s the perfect one-pot comfort food. Serve with this cucumber raita or a kachumber salad. It’s easy to follow, requires simple ingredients, and gives you something to enjoy for lunch or dinner. You can even save your leftovers, store them, and heat them up when you’re in the mood for another delicious meal!

Ingredients of Chicken Pulao Recipe in Pakistan

  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 kg chicken curry cut
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons of coriander powder
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tomatoes cut into large pieces
  • 1-2 green chili peppers cut lengthwise
  • 2 cups of basmati rice
  • 1 spoonful of lemon juice
  • Chopped coriander and mint for decoration


  1. Start by rinsing the rice 2-3 times or until the water runs clear. Soak in water for 45 minutes while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot and add the onion.
  3. Fry until the onion is light golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Cover with a little water and let the onion, cook until soft, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add whole spices; bay leaves, green cardamom, and cumin seeds. Fry for another 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  5. Now add the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes until the color changes.
  6. Add the ginger garlic paste and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly.
  7. Now add yogurt, mix well, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  8. Then add the powdered spices; salt, cumin powder, and coriander powder. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, for 3-4 minutes.
  9. Add the mint and coriander leaves along with the tomatoes and green chilies.
  10. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium flame.
  11. Now add about 2.5 cups of water and mix well. Cover and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.
  12. Remove the lid, add the rice, and increase the heat to medium-high.
  13. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated.
  14. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting, cover, and let the rice steam for another 10 minutes.
  15. Remove from heat, fluff the rice gently and your chicken pulao is ready to serve.


  • Oil: Pulao tastes best when there is plenty of oil, so don’t skimp on the quantity.
  • Onions: I used chopped onions, but you can also chop them in a food processor or food processor.
  • Whole Spices: Most recipes call for more whole spices like cinnamon and black pepper. You can add them if you wish, along with the other whole spices listed.
  • Chicken: Bone-in chicken is best for this recipe because it gives the best flavor and doesn’t dry out easily. However, you can also use boneless chicken thighs or chicken breasts. The cooking time will be reduced.
  • Basmati rice: Use high-quality, long-grain Basmati rice. This recipe is not suitable for brown rice or short-grain rice such as jasmine.

Serving Chicken Pulao

Chicken Pulao is typically served hot, garnished with fresh herbs and fried onions. It is often accompanied by Raita (yogurt-based sauce), salad, or a simple pickle. This humble yet flavorful dish is a mainstay at family gatherings, celebrations, and everyday meals throughout South Asia.

Cultural Significance

Chicken Pulao embodies the spirit of hospitality and togetherness in South Asian culture. It’s a dish that brings people together over a shared meal, evoking feelings of warmth and connection. Whether enjoyed in the comfort of one’s home, at a festive occasion, or in a bustling street-side eatery, Chicken Pulao is a symbol of nourishment and the joy of simple yet delicious cooking.

Chicken Pulao, with its aromatic rice, tender chicken, and fragrant spices, is a true embodiment of South Asian cuisine. It’s a dish that transcends borders, offering a taste of tradition and the comfort of home-cooked goodness. Whether you savor it at a family gathering in Karachi, a festive occasion in Delhi, or recreate it in your kitchen, Chicken Pulao is a flavorful journey that leaves an indelible mark—an homage to the diverse and delightful flavors of South Asia and the joy of sharing a delicious meal with loved ones.

Scroll to Top