Fiji Style Chicken Pulao Recipe | How to make Chicken Pulao Fiji Style


  • 1 (4-5 lb) chicken cut into pieces 
  • 3 cups basmati rice
  • 1 cup onions, sliced
  • 1 head of garlic, crushed
  • 2 inch ginger, grated/crushed
  • handful of cilantro leaves (plus some more for garnishing) 
  • 5-8 chili peppers crushed/grated (or to taste)
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • 2 Indian bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 star anise 
  • 2.5 tablespoons + 1 tablespoon pulao masala
  • 1 tablespoon hot Fiji masala or garam masala
  • 1/4 cup ghee
  • 3 tablespoons oil (or additional ghee)
  • salt to taste (start with 1 teaspoon and adjust to your liking)
  • 4.5 cups room temperature/cold water 

  1. Thoroughly wash your chicken pieces after cutting. Marinate your chicken pieces with 1 tablespoon of pulao masala either overnight or 1-2 hours before cooking. The longer you marinate it, the better!
  2. Grind your garlic, ginger, hot peppers, and cilantro to a fine paste. 
  3. Wash and soak your rice right before you start cooking -- approximately 30 minutes
  4. In a big, heavy bottom pot, add ghee and oil on medium high heat. Once hot, add onions and fry until brown, about 5-8 minutes. 
  5. Add in the whole spices - cinnamon, bay leaves, star anise, and cumin seeds. Sauté for a couple of minutes. 
  6. Add the curry leaves, ginger-garlic-pepper-cilantro paste, and cook for a few minutes or until ghee/oil separates from the paste. Be sure not to burn the garlic. 
  7. Add in 2.5 pulao masala and/or hot Fiji masala and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the ghee/oil separates from the spice mix. 
  8. Add chicken pieces, salt to taste, and stir until all of the spices have coated the chicken. Scrape all the spice mix throughly. Cover your pot, lower your heat to medium/medium-low and cook for 10-12 minutes or until the chicken juices/water/liquid dries up. Be sure to stir frequently to make sure the spices don't stick to the bottom of the pan. 
  9. Once the liquid has dried up, add the water and stir well. Make sure all of the rice is submerged under the rice. Let water come to a boil. 
  10. Once water boils, cover with a lid, lower your heat to simmer or the lowest setting on your stove and cook for 20-25 minutes undisturbed! Do not uncover and peak, just let it cook. 
  11. After 25 minutes, turn off the stove and stir your pulao carefully to ensure rice pieces don't break. 
  12. Cover again for 10-15 minutes and let sit. Keep the stove off! 
  13. After 10-15 minutes, you can garnish with chopped cilantro and lemon wedges and serve hot! 
  14. Enjoy! 

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