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Pakistani Chicken Pilau Rice
Pilau Rice is rice cooked in spiced stock, and there are different types of Pilau depending on what you make the stock with. Vegetable pilau rice, lamb pilau, beef pilau and chicken pilau are among the choices.
And the recipe I’m sharing with you here is the one with chicken. It is based on what I learned from my extended family. So it’s kind of a secret family recipe that will no longer be a secret.
Chicken Pilau Rice that I always have is the brown pilau rice. You can tell from the colour of the rice grains that is slightly brownish. And the way to make the colour brown is by frying the onions longer until they light golden brown.
My recipe is rooted in Pakistani style of cooking that I have learned from my sisters-in-law. But just like any other food recipes, one develops one’s own way of cooking according to one’s taste bud.
And when it comes to cooking Pakistani rice dishes, the spices and the flavour are not the only keys. It is when you can cook the rice without making it mushy or break the shape of the grains that is an equally important key. In fact, when I cooked Pilau Rice for the first time, my extended family approved it just by looking at the rice. Just because all the rice grains looked intact in their shapes and the colour of rice was nicely brown but not too dark. And also it was not greasy and oily. I was happy and a bit proud.
So I’m sharing with you the recipe which is a kind of secret family recipe that will no longer be a secret. And you can even learn a trick or two from me so that you get the perfect pilau right from the start.
How to Make
It is pretty straightforward to make pilau rice. In essence, you just need to make the stock, then cook the rice in that stock.
So first, you prepare the rice by washing, rinsing and soaking in plenty of water. Then, fry the onions and spices until the onion turns light golden brown.
Secondly, you add in the chicken pieces and the whole onion. Continue to fry until the poultry become firm and opaque in colour.
Thirdly, you put in the hot boiling water (from the kettle), then let it boil and simmer. It takes me about an hour to simmer at low heat.
Lastly, once the stock is ready, sieve and pour it into another cooking pan. Then sieve the rice and put it into the broth. Cook it until all the liquid evaporates. Put the pan lid that is wrapped with a tea towel on and cook further at a lower heat until it steams.
Now, I think the secret of a good pilau with delicious taste lies in the proportion of each spice and the amount of stock that cooks the rice. As I mentioned above, your cooked rice should be fluffy but not broken and mushy. So make sure you put the right amount of stock. And stir the rice carefully so you will not break it.
Top tip: to cook Basmati rice, you need 1 ½ cup of water for every 1 cup of Basmati rice. This can be basic guidelines for you to cook pilau rice as well. When you finish boiling and making the chicken stock, you can sieve it and measure it to know how much stock you get.
For this recipe, we need about 3 ¾ cups of stock. So you can add or take away the chicken stock you make if it is less or more than what you need, which is 3 ¾ cups.
Another way to make this chicken pilau rice is by using a rice cooker. You can prepare the chicken stock and soak the rice. Then you put the rice and the chicken stock in the rice cooker and set the rice cooker according to its manual for Basmati rice.
Main and side dishes to enjoy with Chicken Pilau
Traditionally, the rice dish is served at happy occasions such as weddings, religious festivities, birthdays, family gatherings, etc. It is also a dish among the menu you spread for your guests.
You can enjoy the chicken pilau as it is without any side dish as my kids often do. But, there are typical main and side dishes that usually spread among the menu. And they are:
- Aloo Gosht – potato and meat curry.
- Aloo Palak – spinach and potato curry.
- Chicken Shorba – chicken curry with runny curry sauce.
- Lamb kofta curry – lamb meatballs curry.
- Chicken tikka.
- Chicken kebabs or lamb kebabs.
- Lamb chops.
- Kachumber – diced cucumber, tomatoes, and onion salad.
- Dahi Boondi – yoghurt with fried gram flour.
- Dahi Baray – lentil dumplings soaked in spiced yoghurt.
I hope you are now thinking of trying the recipe. If you do so, it will be great if you could share what you think about this Chicken Pilau Rice in the comments below.
Before you go, don’t forget to check out my other rice dish recipes that you may love.
- An easy and simple Chicken Biryani recipe.
- Vegetable pilau rice: easy and tasty rice dish.
- Indonesian tuna fried rice: Nasi Goreng Tuna.
- Nasi Uduk Jakarta: rice cooked in fragrant coconut milk.
Thank you and all the best.