Zafrani Pulao with Murgh Dahi Curry

I absolutely relish a good pulao made with basmati rice served with a curry on the side. The key to an absolutely smashing Indian curry is using the right amount of spices. The aroma of sautéed whole spices is something that cannot be described. These flavors form the base and are quintessential for any Indian gravy or curry dish.

Weekends call for something special and here is one such recipe which sounds highly complex. But trust me, this is one of the most easiest of all rice and curry dishes.

The dish literally translates to Saffron Rice and Chicken Yogurt Curry. It contains two components – 1. Rice 2. Curry. Apart from whole spices, the rice is also flavored with a pinch of zafran or saffron and cumin.  It gives out a lovely, subtle orange hue and has a delicate floral flavor.

saffron rice

The curry complements the fluffy, fragrant basmati rice well. The chicken is first marinated in yogurt and different spices. Once marinated well for at least an hour, the base of the curry is prepared by cooking onions, tomatoes, ginger and garlic. Once done, the marinated chicken is added along with some water and simmered until the chicken is nice and tender. See, easy-peasy!

saffron rice3.JPG

For someone who is new to spices, this dish would be ideal to start with. Please do not be intimidated by the long list of spices. 🙂 It is very simple to make and this would be a great dish to cook for family, friends and guests.

So, here is my recipe. Happy cooking !

Also, do like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel to show some support. 🙂


Total PREP TIME : 1.30 Hours 



For the Chicken Curry:

  • Chicken Marinade                         Marination PREP TIME : 1 Hour
  1. Diced boneless chicken – 400 grams
  2. Yogurt – 1 Cup
  3. Turmeric Powder – 1 Tsp
  4. Coriander Powder – 1 Tsp
  5. Garam Masala – 1 Tsp
  6. Red Chilli Powder – 1 Tsp
  7. Salt – 1 Tsp
  • Curry/Gravy                                      Cooking PREP TIME : 20 – 30 Mins
  1. Two small red onions, finely sliced
  2. Two medium sized tomatoes, diced
  3. Ginger garlic paste – 1 Tbsp
  4. Turmeric Powder – 1/4 Tsp
  5. Garam Masala – 1 Tsp
  6. Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 Tsp
  7. Salt to taste
  8. A small piece of cinnamon
  9. Green and black Cardamom Pods – 4 and 2 respectively
  10. Cloves – 4
  11. Dried bay leaves – 2
  12. Oil – 3 Tbsp

For the Saffron Rice

Cooking PREP TIME : 30 Mins

  1. Basmati Rice – 2 Cups (Washed and strained)
  2. Green Cardamom Pods – 3
  3. Cloves – 3
  4. Cumin Seeds – 1/2 Tsp
  5. A small piece of cinnamon
  6. Oil – 2 Tbsp
  7. Ghee or Butter – 1 Tbsp
  8. A pinch of saffron strands
  9. Hot Milk – 2 Tbsp
  10. Water – 3 Cups


Marination: In a bowl, add in chicken, yogurt, spices mentioned under the chicken marinade ingredient list and salt. Mix well, cover and refrigerate it for at least an hour. While the chicken marinates, move on to making the saffron rice.

Saffron Rice:

  1. Add a pinch of saffron into hot milk and let it infuse.
  2. In a sauce pan, add ghee/butter and oil. Once warm, add whole spices like green cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon, cumin seeds and bay leaves. Let them fry for a 2-3 minutes on low to medium heat.
  3. Add the washed and well strained basmati rice and coat every rice grain well with ghee. Make sure not to stir too hard. We need the rice grains to be intact.
  4. Add water, salt to taste and saffron infused milk. Bring the water to a boil and lower the heat completely. Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook for at least 17-18 minutes.
  5. Once the rice is cooked, gently fluffy it up with a fork. Serve it hot with the curry on the side.

Chicken Curry:

  1. In a saucepan, add oil. Once warm, add cinnamon, green and black cardamom pods, cloves, bay leaves and sauté. Once aromatic, add onions and ginger garlic paste. Fry until the onions turn slightly brown.
  2. Next, add in the diced tomatoes and cook them well until they are soft. Mash them with the back of the spoon. Next add turmeric, red chilli powder, garam masala, a little salt and fry for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the marinated chicken, a cup of water and stir. Cook the chicken on a low flame until tender. Serve it hot.


chicken curry1

11 Comments Add yours

  1. jyo says:

    Love the pleasing colour of zafrani pulao…. very inviting meal ✌✌

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Saffron indeed emits a lovely colour. Thanks a lot 😊


  2. mistimaan says:

    Nice recipe

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Loved the recipe and amazing pics. The combination must be wonderful

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. 😊 Tastes delicious too.. 😋

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Crackling Mustard Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s