Saturday, April 30, 2022

One pot Chicken Pilaf


 Eid means Biryani. While biryani was rarely made during the earlier days, now a lot of homes make Biryani. While I love Biryani I hate the clean-up that follows. So I tried to come up with something that uses minimal pots and pans so you don't have a pile of washing up after you finish. 

For this pilaf, I used Chicken drumsticks because we all love drumsticks so I used a 900g packet of  chicken drumstick pieces.  I removed the skin and cut a few slits across the flesh so it cooks faster and absorbs more flavor.  I browned the chicken first , removed it, and then sauteed the onions, in the same pot!.

I promise you, you won't need an extra pot for this recipe.  Try to minimize the number of plates you use, I usually cut and arrange all my ingredients in one large plate or even on my chopping board just to minimize my washing up. Yes, the kids help with the wiping of the dishes but even they try to get the other to do it when they see a huge pile of dishes to wipe.

Yield: 4-6
Author: Nammi

One pot Chicken Pilaf


  • 900g packet chicken drumstick (6-7 pieces)
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 large sprig curry leaves ( about 15 leaves)
  • 8 inch pandan leaf, cut into large pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • 1” ginger grated
  • 4 green chillies, cut into half lengthwise
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick,
  • 5 cardamon pods
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 tsp roasted curry powder (hanaakuri havaadhu)
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • A handful of mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste


  1. Wash the rice several times under tap water and soak the rice for 30 minutes in water and drain.
  2. Remove the skin of the drumstick and make a few slashes across the flesh. Season with a little salt.
  3. In a large casserole pot, heat the ¼ cup oil, add half of the onions and fry until they turn golden, remove onto a kitchen towel and set aside.
  4. Into the same oil add the chicken pieces and brown them. Remove to a plate.
  5. If there is too much oil still left in the pan, remove a few tablespoons from the pan so only about 2 tbsp remains in the pot. Add the remaining onions and saute until the onions start to go translucent.
  6. Add the whole spices, curry leaves, and pandan leaves and stir fry for a minute.
  7. Add the ginger, garlic, chillies and the tomato and a few tablespoons of water. Stir and cover and cook over low heat for a few minutes. Once the tomato starts to soften, mash it up with a wooden spoon and then lower heat, add all the ground spices, 1 tsp of salt, coconut milk and water.
  8. Let it come to a boil then cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked through.
  9. Remove the chicken onto a plate. Taste the curry sauce, adjust the salt, it should be a bit salt as you are going to be adding the rice and peas into it.
  10. Stir in the rice, check if the water level is about 1 and a half inches above the rice level, then return the chicken into the pot.
  11. Cook over medium-high heat until the rice is absorbed from the top. Bring the heat down to the lowest, Sprinkle the fried onions on top along with the mint leaves and dot with ghee.
  12. Cover the lid with a clean kitchen towel and place the whole thing over the pot and cook on the lowest heat for another 8 minutes. To make sure the pilaf doesn’t catch at the bottom I like to put my crepe pan or the pan I use to cook my flatbread (roshi) underneath the pot.
  13. After 8 minutes switch off the heat. Let the rice rest for another 10 minutes before fluffing up and enjoying with some dhal curry( muguriha) and salad. Garnish with more mint leaves if you want.
Did you make this recipe?
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1 comment:

  1. I too love chicken thighs..they are so flavourful, juicy and tender. Your one pot pilaf looks absolutely irresistible, Nammi.


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