spiced chickpeas and rotisserie chicken pulao/pilaf


Nik Sharma

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spiced chickpeas and rotisserie chicken pulao/pilaf

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4.5 from 2 reviews

This fantastic and satisfying one-pot meal relies on store-bought or homemade rotisserie chicken leftovers. Canned chickpeas, aromatic spices, fried bits of ginger, lemon juice, and fresh herbs like cilantro (see notes for options) give this pulao/pilaf extra oomph. You don’t need anything else with this dish, but sometimes I will serve it with plain salted yogurt, kachumber salad, and an achaar/Indian pickle.

  • Yield: 4 to 6


3 Tbsp ghee or extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium/about 300 g onion, diced

2 Tbsp, fresh ginger root, peeled and cut into matchsticks

1 tsp ground turmeric

Two 15 oz/425 g cans of chickpeas, drained

1/2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (See Notes)

2 Tbsp chopped cilantro

1 cup/200 g basmati rice, rinsed and drained

3 bay leaves

1/2 tsp black peppercorns

2 green cardamom pods, crushed

2 cups/about 300 g shredded rotisserie chicken, bone and skin discarded

2 cups/480 ml low-sodium chicken stock

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

fine sea salt


  1. Heat, 1 Tbsp of ghee in a medium Dutch-oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until they turn translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ginger and turmeric and sauté for 1 minute, until fragrant.
  2. Stir in the chickpeas, salt, and chilli powder. Cover with a lid, and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the Dutch oven from the stove and transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Stir in 1 Tbsp of cilantro and season with salt. Keep aside.
  3. Wipe the Dutch oven clean. Heat the remaining 2 Tbsp of ghee. Add the rice, bay leaves, peppercorns, and cardamom. Sauté until the rice stops sticking and turns fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  4. Fold in the chicken and stock. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the lemon juice and 1 tsp of salt. Cover with a lid and cook until the rice is tender and liquid completely evaporated, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the stove, carefully fold in the chickpea mixture, and garnish with the remaining cilantro. Serve hot. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days.


  • Kashmiri chilli substitute: for every 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder mix 3/4 tsp ground smoked sweet paprika and 1/4 tsp ground cayenne
  • Other fresh herbs instead of cilantro include dill, parsley, mint, and oregano.
  • Use a good, flavorful rotisserie chicken. I like to use the herb-seasoned or lemon-seasoned ones in this particular dish as they add great flavor to the rice and chickpeas.
  • As always, I recommend leaving the whole spices in the rice when serving. It showcases what to expect regarding flavor and taste and makes a great garnish.

7 Responses

  1. This looks so tasty, I love pilafs like this and chickpeas with Indian flavours are my favourite.

    Fabulous photographs too. I agree about midweek meals and the ease of preparing stuff.

  2. im so with you on meal planning..i have started to do meal planning routinely and it really saves me soooo much time and $$ and the waist line. i love pot meals (i tried jamyalaya from roasted root) last night and came out wonderful. i will definitely try this pilaf because its something my boyfriend and i will absolutely enjoy.

  3. The prep is my favorite part…the part where I can be spontaneous and creative especially if I have a glass of wine on hand or a little helper of mine. I agree clean up is no fun but I don’t like cutting corners in the prep when I am using real food without any additives…it makes the clean up worth it. I wish I could also use a magic wand or the rule I cook and someone else cleans but it’s not practical in my nest so I will continue to enjoy the company before my little bears grow up and then I will complain about cooking for only two. Happy creating and feasting!

  4. Made this tonight and it was great! Next time, I’m going to add lemon at the end instead of pre-simmer. Another time I might try adding a dried fruit like figs or yellow raising for a kick of tartness.

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