Kodi Pulao (Andhra-style Chicken Pulao)

There’s a hundred different kinds of chicken biryanis and pulao’s in India and one of my favorites is this Andhra-style Kodi Pulao (Kodi – meaning Chicken). Andhra Pradesh, a state on the eastern coast of south India, is well known for its spicy cuisine. This pulao from the region, tastes a lot like biryani, but packs much more of a punch spice-wise. If you’ve ever eaten Chicken Biryani at a Nagarjuna restaurant in Bangalore, this pulao comes pretty close to it! I missed Nagarjuna biryani, (and green-chili chicken, but that’s a dish for another post), intensely when I left Bangalore! It used to be my go-to biryani order after a super stressful work week and in my opinion, Bangalore’s best Biryani 😀. Had to find a way to make something that came close, and this Kodi Pulao recipe did not disappoint!

Kodi pulao relies heavily on green-chilies for heat, as well as a little bit of black pepper. Other ingredients that set it apart are: khus khus (poppy seeds) -that give the pulao an almost nutty, almond like richness, coconut – which adds creaminess to the masala and curry leaves! This pulao is best made with fragrant, long grained basmati rice and enjoyed with a simple onion-yogurt raita along-side.

Recipe: Kodi Pulao (Andhra-style Chicken Pulao)

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Andhra-Cusine, South-India


  • a Food Processor / Mixer / Grinder
  • a large, heavy-bottomed Pot with a well fitting Lid
  • a Tava / flat frying pan that's got a larger base than the cooking pot


For the Ground Spice Paste

  • 5 tsps Poppy Seeds
  • 2 tsps Coriander Seeds
  • 9 Black Pepper Corns
  • 4 Elaichi (Green Cardamom)
  • 2 inch-long-pieces Cinnamon
  • 9 Cloves
  • ½ tsp Saunf (Fennel Seeds)
  • 1 cup fresh Coconut pieces
  • ½ cup Water

For the Chicken Marinade

  • 1 kg Chicken [preferably bone-in thigh and drumstick pieces
  • 1½ tsp Ginger & Garlic Paste
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 cup Mint [finely chopped]
  • 20 Curry Leaves [finely chopped]
  • Salt [to taste]
  • 2 tsps Yogurt

For the Pulao

  • 3 – 4 tbs Ghee
  • 4 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 10 – 12 Cloves
  • 1 Badi Elaichi (Black Cardamom)
  • 2 inch-long-pieces Cinnamon
  • 1 piece Javitri (Mace)
  • 3 Elaichi (Green Cardamom)
  • Shahi Jeera (Caraway Seeds)
  • 4 medium-sized Onions [sliced fine]
  • 2 tsps Ginger & Garlic Paste
  • 15 Green Chilies [slit]
  • 20 Curry Leaves [finely chopped]
  • ¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 2 cups Long-grained Basmati Rice [washed, soaked for 30 minutes and then drained]
  • 1 cup Mint Leaves [roughly chopped]
  • 2 cups Coriander Leaves [roughly chopped]
  • Salt [to taste]
  • 2.5 cups Warm Water


  • Wash and drain the chicken well. Mariante with salt, turmeric, chili powder, ginger-garlic paste and finely chopped curry leaves. Set aside for at least 10 minutes.
  • Add 2 tsps of yogurt / curd to the chicken, stir well and place in the fridge to marinate for at least an hour.
  • Dry roast all of the ingredients list under 'For the Ground Spice Paste', except for the coconut, for 3 – 4 minutes or until fragrant. Make sure to do this on low heat so that the spices don't burn. Set aside to cool.
  • Once the roasted spices have cooled, grind them to as fine a powder as possible. Use a pinch of salt to act as an abrasive and help grind them down.
  • Next add the fresh coconut and water to the ground spices and blitz until you have a smooth paste.
  • Heat ghee in a large pot and add all the aromatics listed under 'For the Pulao' and sauté for a minute or until fragrant.
  • Add the onions and sauté for 1 – 2 minutes. Next, add a 2 tsps of ginger & garlic paste and continue to sauté until the raw smell dissipates.
  • Slit green chilies and chopped curry leaves go in next; sauté for just about a minute and then add a ¼ tsp of turmeric powder. Stir well!
  • Add the ground spice paste and sauté on medium-low heat for 5 – 7 minutes until the ghee begins to separate from the spice paste.
  • Now add the marinated chicken to the pot and stir gently till well combined.
  • Add ½ a cup of water at this stage and stir well. Lower the heat, pop a lid on and allow the chicken to cook for 7 – 8 minutes. You will see that the chicken begins to release moisture and forms a gravy.
  • Gently spoon the washed and drained basmati rice onto the gravy, cover and allow to simmer for 5 mins. This helps infuse the rice grains with the aroma of all the ground spices and chicken.
  • Add 2 cups of recently boiled water, chopped mint and chopped coriander to the pot. Cover again and allow to steam on low heat. Also taste check and add more salt if needed at this point!
  • About 5 mins later, check to see if the grains of rice are at least 70% cooked. If they are, place a tava (flat frying pan) below the pot like you see in the picture below. This helps with more even and gentle heat distribution in the cooking of the pulao so that it doesn't burn at the bottom. Cover and allow to cook for a final 7 – 10 mins or until the grains are perfectly cooked and fluffy.
  • Once cooked, gently mix the masala, meat and rice until well combined. It's easier to do this if you spoon about a third of the rice out into a separate mixing bowl, along with some masala from the bottom and mix it batches. This will prevent the grains from getting smushed!
Keyword Andhra-style Chicken Pulav, Chicken Pulao, Chicken Pulav, Kodi Pulao, Kodi Pulav, Spicy Chicken Pulao

Let me know in the comments below if you give this recipe a shot, or tag @allaboutthattasteinsta if you happen to post a pic on instagram✌

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