Chicken Pulao (Festive Chicken Rice)


This recipe is inspired by (my aunt) Haleema Mami’s recipe for Chicken Pulao. She cooks the most delicious Chicken Pulao. This recipe does not have any turmeric only the brown pulao masala. This is the Fiji Indian Muslim style of cooking pulao.


1 kg chicken cut into curry pieces
6-8 Green Cardommon (Elaichi)
6-8 Cloves (Laung)
1-2 Cinnamon sticks (Dalchini)
1-2 Onions chopped finely
1-3 tablespoon Garlic and Ginger paste
1-3 teaspoon Pulao masala
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Chilli powder
3-4 tablespoon Oil or Ghee (clarified butter)
3-4 cup Basmati rice


Get all the pulao ingredients ready. Put a deep based pot on the stove and turn the stove on. Now add 3-4 tablespoon ghee to the pot, when the ghee starts to melt, add cloves, cardamon and cinnamon to it. Slowly sauté it making sure the hard spices do not get burnt. As the spices sizzle and releases it’s aroma, add the finely chopped onions and fry it gently. As the onion changes colour add the crushed garlic and ginger paste. Slowly fry everything and when everything is fried add the pulao masala and stir for few seconds and then add the chicken pieces with chilli powder and salt. Stir the chicken well so it gets coated with the pulao masala. Close the pot lid and let the chicken cook on low heat.

Meanwhile wash the basmati rice well and soak it in the cold water in a bowl. In between keep stirring the pot to ensure the spices are mixing well with the chicken and that its cooking evenly in the pot. The chicken should take approximately 20-30 mins to cook. You will know that the chicken is cooked when chicken breaks away easily from the bones. By the now the chicken should also have released enough liquid in the pot. Now drain the basmati rice and add to the pot. If you are using 3 to 4 cups of raw rice you will have to add 5 cups of water to the pot. The aim is to totally cover the curry. In this way you will ensure that the rice is fully cooked and you don’t end up with uncooked rice. Nothing is worse than eating a pulao with half cooked rice. To the raw rice now add further 1-4 tablespoon of ghee. This will make sure that your pulao gets the golden glint, it should be all shiny and glossy in look. Cook the pulao on low heat. The chicken pulao is ready when the rice is cooked. Serve your pulao with tomato chutney with a side dish of raw onion or green salad.


9 responses »

    • Hi George, do you have an Indian grocery shop near you? Most Indian grocery shop sell ready made Palau masala. This is what you need to make the meat Palau. I use Fiji Premium Palau masala or Shiu Prasad Palau masala to make the Palau. I hope this helps. If I come across an actual recipe for the Palau masala I will put that on my blog. Thank you.

  1. Thank you for sharing your recipe. I made this last weekend and the recipe was easy to follow. My new favourite rice dish, delicious and very fragrant. I will definitely cook this again.

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