Sunday 29 January 2017

Chicken na Rus Chawal

Chicken na Rus Chawal

Chicken, potatoes and caramelised brown rice.

Chicken rus chawal is a great comfort food. It is simple and quick to prepare and can easily be tweaked and twisted around to suit everyone's palate. A one-pot delight traditionally served with vugharela chawal—caramelised rice. A hearty family meal from the Parsi food repertoire.
The little bit of tang from the tamarind or lemon juice added to it will complete this dish.

Serves 4 to 6 people

1 kg / 2.2 lb or 8 pieces skinless and bone in
1 tbsp oil
1 1/2 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 heaped tsp cumin powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 cup of crushed fried onions
2 whole green chillies slit
6-9 pieces cloves
1 long cinnamon stick
6-9 black peppercorns
1 cardamom pod a little bruised
1 tsp tamarind paste
6-8 pcs of potatoes
3 cups water

2 small fresh crushed tomatoes

In a pan, heat a tsp of oil and add the chicken pieces. Brown all over and add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, red chillie powder and salt. Give it a stir and add the fried onion, green chillies, cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns, and cardamom. Allow it to cook for a minute to bring all of the aromas back to life. Now add the tamarind paste, potatoes and water. Bring it to a boil, lower the heat, cover, and cook for 30–45 minutes until the chicken and potatoes are cooked through. 
Serve with Caramelised Brown Rice, kuchumbar, a salsa-like salad, lemon wedges, pickled beetroot, and gajar mewa nu achar (carrot and dry fruit chutney), from The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders. 


I prefer not to add tomatoes to my chicken rus chawal. However, try it out with someone to see the difference and your choice of preference. 
Add the tomatoes while adding the water and potatoes. 

The chicken must be washed and patted dry before starting to avoid splattering, which may prevent you from burning and cleaning up. 

If tamarind paste is unavailable, substitute the juice of fresh lime or lemon at the very end just before you serve it.

For a twist, add a teaspoonful of finely chopped fresh mint, three curry leaf sprigs, and a handful of freshly chopped coriander leaves to the dish. They are wonderful! Even a small amount of desiccated coconut will enhance the flavour. 
However, not everyone enjoys pieces of vegetables floating in their rus chawal. If your family prefers smooth gravy, the last option is not recommended.

My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.

Photo courtesy Kainaaz Patell.

Readers Comments

 22nd July 2017
Shermeen K
Hi tried your chicken rus chawal recipe, it was delish. I accidentally stumbled upon it and was so happy to find something that I love eating & couldn't ever get the recipe right. Thank you

Pat Diane I have tried ras chawal before but not with the curry leaves...must say...the curry leaves give a beautiful twist to the dish...loved it!!!!

29th March 2018.
Thank you Niloufer Mavalvala for the yummy Chicken Ras Chawal recipe and thank you Sandra  for the inspiration for me to make it ! So good that I think I will have to enjoy eating it the good old fashioned way - with my fingers, even though I know F hates that lol !!

Arbez Shroff Patel
Another tried tested and loved recipe!!!  June 13, 2022. Arbez Shroff Patel
This is my go to recipe!!! Love it!


  1. It is indeed a great recipe. Just lacked mention of when to add red chili powder, tamarind paste and how many tomatoes to add exactly?

    1. Thank you for pointing this out. I have updated the recipe to specify.