Palough!

I know I don’t do many recipe posts…this isn’t really a recipe blog. But so many of my friends have asked for the palough (rice and meat dish) recipe that my sister in law gave, so here it is 🙂 I actually measured everything out while I was cooking so I could give exact measurements and I took pictures.

It’s funny I got it from my indian sister in law when the recipe is pakistani 🙂 I’ve actually made palough before, but my chicken always came out hard and dry and the flavor was just  meh. But the way Muryum taught it, the rice is nice and tender and the chicken is too. And the flavor – yum! It’s only seasoned with three things: onions, whole garam masala and salt. But it takes time to make.

Ingredients:

  • 2 big onions, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups oil
  • 1.5 – 2 pounds chicken
  • whole garam masala (approx. 7 cloves, 15 black pepper balls, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 tsp zeera, 6 cardamoms)
  • 3 cups uncooked basmati rice
  • 4.5 cups water (the rice:water ratio is always 1:1.5)
  • 4 tsp salt or to taste

How to Make It

The thing about this recipe is the amount of onions and oil you use. I didn’t really realize how much the oil was until I measured it out before pouring. The onions were quite big as well. To give you an idea, this is how big they look beside a 2 cup measuring cup.


1. Heat oil in an oven safe pot over medium heat and add onions. You have to cook them for a long time. A very long time. You can’t tell from my pictures, but the onions reduced a lot and they were a nice and colored light brown. I actually timed it, and it took my onions 25 minutes to go from this

to this

2. Add the garam masala and stir about 2 minutes. (Don’t add the salt yet!)

3. Add the chicken and stir until brown all over. Cover and cook about 15 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 350 right about now. Remove the lid. The liquid in the pot will look watery. The oil will not have separated yet. If you’re desi, you should know what I’m talking about 🙂 Cook it on medium high heat until it “dries” as the aunties say, or until the oil becomes clear once again. This takes some time, and you have to keep stirring. If you try to multi task like I did, your chicken will start sticking to the bottom and you’ll have to change pots :/ So this is what the chicken should eventually like:

There will be a lot of oil. Don’t freak out 🙂

5. Add the water and salt to the pot now. Stir and taste the saltiness of the water. The salt flavor should be pretty strong (not disgusting, but you should be able to taste the saltiness). I added 4 tsp to my 4.5 cups water and it tasted fine. Remember, I didn’t add any salt to the chicken or onions previous to this. Put on high heat and bring to a boil.

6. When the water comes to a boil, add the rice. This is the brand of Basmati Rice I use.

Keep the heat on high and just wait until the water boils down to about the same level as the rice. It’ll still be very wet, but you should see the water bubbling around the rice.

7. Now put the lid back on and put the pot into your preheated oven for 20 minutes.

All done! 🙂 I know I should’ve plated it and made it look pretty, but I’m not really a cooking blogger… with three kids, I don’t have time for all that 😦 alhamdulillah 🙂 So here it is, straight out of the oven:

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One Response to Palough!

  1. ummibraheem says:

    Update: I tried making this with long grain white rice….never again :-/

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