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Spicy chicken pulao served in grey ceramic bowl, yogurt raita and fried onions on side.
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5 from 7 votes

Chicken Pulao

One Pot Chicken Pulao - A delicious pilaf dish of chicken and basmati rice cooked with tomatoes, yogurt and basic spices. It is easy and finger licking weeknight dinner that is ready in less than 45 minutes. With Instant Pot Pressure cooker and stove top instructions.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Gluten Free, Non Vegetarian, Nut-free
Servings: 7
Calories: 664kcal
Author: Farrukh Aziz


  • 3 cups Long grain Basmati Rice (600 grams)

Whole spices to grind to a powder (Pulao masala powder)

  • 6-8 Green cardamom
  • 7-8 Cloves
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons Fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Black peppercorns
  • 2 Black cardamoms
  • 1 ½ Mace blade
  • 2 Star Anise
  • 2 inch Cinnamon stick
  • cm Piece of stone flower (dagad phool)

Other ingredients for chicken pulao

  • 5-6 tablespoons Oil or ghee or a mix of both
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Fennel seeds
  • 2-3 Bay leaves
  • ¾ cup Onions finley sliced or chopped
  • 750 grams Chicken on bone cut in medium sized pieces
  • 5-6 Green chilies Slit or chopped
  • ¾ cup Tomatoes finely chopped
  • ¾ tablespoon Ginger paste
  • ¾ tablespoon Garlic paste
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoons Coriander Powder
  • 3 tablespoons Coriander leaves finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Mint leaves finely chopped
  • ¾ cup Yogurt whisked well
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon juice (15 ml)
  • 2 Sprigs of curry leaves
  • cup Water (3 cups for Instant pot method)

For Garnish

  • Fried onions (Birista) or caramalised onions


Preparation for chicken pulao

  • Clean, wash and soak rice in large bowl for 30 minutes if you are cooking pulao in pot on stove top) or for 15 minutes if cooking it in instant pot or pressure cooker.
  • Add the mentioned whole spices into blender jar and blend it to powder, set it aside. This is pulao masala powder.

How to make chicken pulao recipe in pot on stove top

  • Heat oil or ghee or a mix of both. Once oil is hot, add cumin seeds, fennel seeds and bay leaves, allow them to crackle.
  • Add sliced onions and fry until it just starts picking up golden colour. Do not burn.
  • Add chicken and sauté on high for 2 minutes.
  • Add slit green chilies, chopped tomatoes, ginger paste and garlic paste. Sauté again for 2 minutes.
  • Then, add salt, coriander powder, ground pulao spice powder, chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves.
  • Mix well, cover and cook for 4-5 minutes on low heat.
  • Add whisked yogurt, lemon juice and curry leaves. Mix well, cover and cook for 4-5 minutes on low heat.
  • Now, add soaked and strained rice and gently give it a stir.
  • Add 5 and ¼ cup of water, cover with fitting lid.
  • Bring it to a boil and then simmer on low heat for 20 minutes or until pulao is done.
  • Allow it to rest for 5-7 minutes and then fluff up the rice gently using fork.
  • Dish out, garnish with fried onions (birista), dish out and serve with raita or kachumbar.

How to make chicken pulao in instant pot

  • Strain the rice in a colander making sure water drains out completely, set it aside.
  • Heat oil or ghee or both together in the inner pot of an IP on sauté mode.
  • Once it displays hot, add cumin seeds, fennel seeds, and bay leaf, fry for few seconds until aromatic, do not burn.
  • Add sliced onions and sauté until it just starts picking up golden colour.
  • Add chicken and sauté and sauté for 1 minute.
  • Then, add slit green chlies, chopped tomatoes, ginger paste and garlic paste. Sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add salt, coriander powder, ground spice powder, chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves. Mix well seconds and sauté for a minute.
  • Now, add well whisked yogurt, lemon juice and curry leaves, mix.
  • Add ½ cup of water, cover the pot with IP glass lid or any fitting lid and allow it simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  • Now, add strained rice and gently give a stir.
  • Add 2.5 cups of water from the side of the pot and be sure that water covers the rice from the top.
  • Seal the pot with IP lid, cancel sauté and press manual or pressure cook, and pressure cook on low for 6 minutes with pressure valve in sealing position.
  • Once the IP beeps, follow quick release and then open the pot. Sprinkle brown onions and cover the pot with glass lid and let it rest for 5-7 minutes
  • Gently fluff up the rice using fork or silicone spatula.  Dish out and serve it with raita of your choice.


  • This chicken pulao recipe was made using Instant Pot duo 6 qt. I prefer making rice recipes on low pressure as it avoids giving ‘Burn’ message when cooked on high pressure in newer IP models.
  • Low pressure rice cooking gives me perfect cooked rice with every grain separated each time. You can follow the ‘High’ or ‘Low’ pressure cooking as per the model of IP you own.
  • Use the same measuring cup to measure both, rice as well as water.
  • Modify the chilies and spice level as per to suit to your taste.
  • You can choose to dry roast the spices in pan and then powder it.
  • Black stone flower lichen gives nice aroma and flavor to the pulao. However, if it is extremely difficult to find it in your part of the world then you may skip it and proceed with the rest.



Calories: 664kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 213mg | Potassium: 463mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 357IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 3mg