Chicken Pilau (My Dad's Recipe)

18. Feb, 2016

Here it is! My Dad's famous Chicken Pilau. He always told us it tastes so good because of his secret ingredient. Turns out that secret ingredient is "Love"!


1 large chicken (1.5kg), 3 teaspoons ginger and garlic paste, 1 teaspoon salt, curry leaves, 100g butter, 2 star anise, 3 cardamom pods, 3 cinnamon sticks, 1 bayleaf, 1 teaspoon each fennel and cumin seeds, 1/4 teaspoon methi seeds, 2 onions sliced, 4 teaspoons chilli powder, 1 teaspoon coriander powder, 1 teaspoon fennel powder, 2 teaspoons cumin powder, 3 teaspoons garam masala, 1 mug brown basmati rice(uncooked), 5 potatoes.

Cut up the chicken and remove the skin. Add the ginger and garlic paste, salt and curry leaves and set aside. Dry roast the fennel and cumin seeds for a few minutes. When cool grind the seeds. Place the butter in a pot on medium heat. Add the ground cumin and fennel seeds. Add the star anise, cardamom, cinnamon sticks, bayleaf, and the methi seeds. Fry for two minutes. Then add the sliced onions. In a little bowl mix together the chilli, coriander, fennel, cumin, and garam powders. When the onions are nice and browned remove some for later and add the spice mixture to the pot with a little water. Stir through and fry for a minute. Add the chicken pieces and mix thoroughly. Cover the pot and cook for 30 minutes on low heat. Only add little bits of water if the chicken sticks to the pot. Do not flood the pot with water. While the chicken cooks boil the rice with salt and turmeric powder. Cook the rice until cooked but firm. Peel and cut the potatoes in half. Toss the potatoes in a teaspoon each of salt and chilli powder, poke them all over with a knife, and fry in oil. (If the idea of fried potatoes do not appeal to you then add the potatoes with the chicken). When the chicken is cooked (there should be no water in the pot) add the cooked rice and stir through. Place the potatoes over the top and sprinkle over the saved fried onions. Cover the pot tightly and place in the oven at 120deg celsius for 30 minutes or leave on the stove top on very low heat for 30 minutes. Serve with a yoghurt salad made with thick yoghurt, chopped onion, tomato and coriander.