• chicken-pulao

Hyderabadi Chicken Pulao

Chicken Pulao is an easy rice recipe made in unique Hyderabadi style. The dish is relished as main course across India and especially in Hyderabad.
A delectable combination of basmati rice and chicken pieces coupled with exotic mix of spices create a combination that is hard to resist. Mostly roadside dhabas or stalls offer this dish for lunchtime. The marinated chicken with spices is what ups the taste quotient of this dish. It tastes best with the yoghurt and made with easy stir fry technique.
If you are looking for how to make this authentic Hyderabadi Chicken Pulao dish, follow our step by step instruction guide below.


  • 2.5 cups Basmati Rice, washed and soaked. Pulao Masala
  • 1.5-2 lb chicken (bone in, mixed pieces)
  • 3 onions diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1.5 tbsp ginger paste
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp whole black pepper
  • ½ tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1-inch piece cinnamon
  • 3 black cardamoms
  • 5-6 whole red chillies
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 piece of nutmeg, break/chop into a rough quarters (optional)
  • 2 pieces javetri/mace (optional)
  • 4-5 whole green chillies


  • Heat a very generous lug of oil in a pot big enough to cook your pulao in
  • Add the onions and cook on medium heat till amber
  • Now add the chicken and saute until the pieces are all white
  • Add all the remaining pulao masala ingredients except the green chillies
  • Mix well, saute on medium high heat for two minutes
  • Let the masala come to a boil, then simmer on low until the chicken is done. The chicken releases it's own liquid so you shouldn't need to add any unless the masala seems like it will stick/burn.
  • When the masala is ready the oil will have risen to the top and the chicken will be tender. This can take anywhere between 25-35 minutes depending on your chicken.
  • Once the chicken is done add the rice, green chillies, and 3.5 cups of water to the pot along with 1.5 tsp salt
  • Mix well and taste, it should be just a little salty.
  • Bring the pulao to a boil and cook partially covered until almost all the water has evaporated then close the lid completely for 5-8 minutes until the remaining moisture has absorbed and the rice is done.
  • Gently fluff the rice from the sides and serve with your chutney/raita/achar of choice

Recipe Notes

1. Mace and nutmeg are entirely optional, but I do love the rich notes they add. If you don't have them handy don't worry. If you only have nutmeg powder add a level half tsp when the masala is done
2. There is a total of 3.5 tsp of salt in this recipe. I use table salt and in Canada it is far less salty than that in other parts of the world. Please start with less and adjust according to your tastebuds!