Pakistani Chicken and Rice


As Savita Nooreen from Gilgit, Pakistan, taught Lindsay Sterling in Freeport, Maine.

Makes: 4-6 Servings
Cooking Time: 40 minutes


  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 + 1/2 tsp salt (preferably Himalayan!)
  • 14 oz. chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 2 cups rice
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp green cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1" ginger root, peeled and chopped, then mashed in a mortar and pestle
  • 1/4 + 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, rough chopped
  • raita
  • 6 pieces flatbread or homemade roti (optional)


  • cuttingboard
  • chef knife
  • small pot with lid
  • large, deep sauté pan
  • measuring spoons (or just eyeball it)
  • can opener if using canned tomatoes
  • mortar and pestle
  • medium mixing bowl



1. In  large, deep saute pan on medium heat, fry onions and garlic in 2 Tbsp oil until soft. Mix in chicken, chili powder, turmeric, and 1/2 tsp salt. When chicken is cooked on the outside, add chopped tomatoes and 1 Tbsp water and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes.

2. While that is cooking, cook rice in another pot. (Bring rice and 4 cups water to a boil. Add 1 tsp salt. Once boiling, turn heat to simmer and cover. Turn off heat after 20 minutes.)

3. After chicken has cooked for 15 minutes, remove lid. Let juices evaporate for a couple minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Mix in butter, cardamom, cumin, ginger and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro. Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

4. Add remaining 1/4 cup cilantro. Serve rice and chicken with raita and flatbread if you like. Garnish plates with cilantro.