Basmati chicken pilaf

    40 min

    This colourful one-pot dish is very simple to make and ideal for a tasty and nutritious mid-week meal. Coconut milk, gentle spices and fresh coriander add an exotically fragrant note. Serve with a mixed green salad.

    47 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1 garlic clove, crushed
    • 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
    • 340 g (12 oz) skinless boneless chicken breasts (fillets), cut into thin strips
    • 170 g (6 oz) button mushrooms, halved
    • 2 courgettes, sliced
    • 300 g (10½ oz) basmati rice, rinsed
    • 1 tsp ground coriander
    • 1 tsp ground cumin
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 150 ml (5 fl oz) coconut milk
    • 400 ml (14 fl oz) hot chicken or vegetable stock
    • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
    • salt and pepper
    • sprigs of fresh coriander to garnish

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Ready in:40min 

    1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onion, garlic, red pepper and chicken. Cook, stirring, over a fairly high heat for 4–5 minutes or until the chicken has lost its raw look.
    2. Add the mushrooms, courgettes, rice, ground coriander, cumin and cinnamon. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
    3. Pour in the coconut milk and hot stock, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil, then cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 10–15 minutes or until the rice is tender and has absorbed the liquid.
    4. Remove from the heat. Stir in the chopped coriander, then cover again and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Serve hot, garnished with coriander sprigs.

    Some more ideas

    Use chestnut or portabellini mushrooms instead of button mushrooms. * Make a ginger turkey pilaf, using turkey breast steak instead of the chicken. Fry in the oil with 2 sliced leeks, 1 crushed garlic clove, a 2.5 cm (1 in) piece of fresh root ginger, finely chopped, and 1 seeded and finely chopped fresh red chilli. Add the basmati rice with 250 g (8½ oz) sliced baby corn and 170 g (6 oz) frozen peas. In step 3, replace the coconut milk with dry white wine or additional stock, then cook as in the main recipe. In step 4, stir in chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley instead of coriander plus 30 g (1 oz) butter, and leave to stand for 5 minutes before serving.

    Plus points

    Basmati rice scores lower on the Glycaemic Index than any other variety of rice. This means that it is digested more slowly and so provides long-term energy. * Chicken provides excellent amounts of protein as well as B vitamins, particularly niacin. Eaten without the skin, chicken is healthily low in fat. * Mushrooms are a good source of copper, a mineral that is important for healthy bones. Copper also helps the body to absorb iron from food.

    Each serving provides

    A, C, niacin * B6, copper * B1, B2, folate, iron, potassium, selenium, zinc

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    Reviews in English (4)


    Altered ingredient amounts. halved the spices so daughter wouldn't complain, but too weak so next time will use full amount  -  04 Aug 2009


    mmm it was nice, it slightly reminded me of green thai curry.  -  12 Aug 2012


    A good recipe for those who like their food very mild, but I personally prefer a little more spice. I added some turmeric, more cumin, and some soy sauce to bring out the flavours a bit more, it was quite nice.  -  21 Feb 2012