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Chicken Berry Pulao by Chef Ajay Chopra: A Potluck Winner!

If you’re aiming to impress at the next potluck or family get-together, this Chicken Berry Pulao, an Iranian specialty loved by Indian palates, is the way to go. It is especially popular during Parsi New Year celebrations and promises to leave a lasting impression on your guests.


Irani Garam Masala:

  • Cinnamon: ½ inch
  • Nutmeg: ¼ pc
  • Green cardamom: 5-6 pcs
  • Saffron: 6-7 strands
  • Coriander seeds: 1 tbsp
  • Jeera: ¾ tbsp
  • Sugar: 1 tsp
  • Rose petals: 2 tbsp
  • Cloves: 4-5 pcs

Chicken preparation:

  • Oil: 2 tbsp
  • Onion (sliced): 2 cups
  • Ginger & garlic paste: 1 tbsp
  • Chicken (curry cut): 1 kg
  • Green cardamom: 3-4 pcs
  • Cinnamon: 1 inch
  • Star anise: 1 pc
  • Jeera: 1 tsp
  • Salt: ½ tbsp
  • Turmeric powder: ½ tsp
  • Red chilli powder: 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder: 1 tsp
  • Spice mix powder: 1 tbsp
  • Chopped coriander: 1 tbsp


  • Rice: 2 cups
  • Green cardamom: 2-3 pcs
  • Cloves: 3-4 pcs
  • Cinnamon: 1 inch
  • Star anise: 1 pc
  • Bay leaf: 3 pcs
  • Salt: ½ tbsp
  • Sugar: ½ tbsp
  • Saffron: 10-12 strands
  • Spice mix powder: 1 tbsp


  1. Chicken Preparation:
    • Heat oil in a pan and add cinnamon, star anise, green cardamom, and cumin seeds, letting them crackle.
    • Stir in sliced onions, green chilies, and ginger-garlic paste, frying until golden brown.
    • Add chicken cuts. Season with salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder, and coriander powder. Sauté on high for 3-4 minutes.
    • Lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
    • Add tomatoes to make a puree.
    • Return the cooked chicken to the pan, sprinkle spice mix powder, and cook until the chicken is done.
    • Mix in the chopped coriander and set aside.
  2. Pulao Preparation:
    • Soak rice for 2-3 minutes.
    • In another pan, boil water with whole spices, salt, and sugar. Add the soaked rice.
    • When the rice is 80% done, drain and set aside.
    • In a heavy-bottomed pan, melt ghee and arrange potato slices.
    • Layer with 1-inch of rice, drizzle with ghee and saffron water, sprinkle spice mix powder, and repeat with remaining rice.
    • Top with ghee, spice mix powder, and saffron. Cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes on medium-low heat.
    • Garnish with pista slivers, cranberries, and cashew nuts.
  3. Assembly:
    • In a bowl, layer rice, chicken gravy with pieces, and more rice. Press gently.
    • Turn the bowl upside down on a flat plate and serve hot.

Now, enjoy this perfect blend of Iranian and Indian flavors, sure to be the star of any gathering!

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