Recipe – Bangladeshi Jhal Polau (Spicy Chicken Rice)

Jhal Polau – A spicy rice dish from my dada bari (grandparent’s house in Bangladesh) 🇧🇩

My dada (grandfather) made this for us when we visited him for Eid. He’d invite all the neighbours, and there would be house full of people, eagerly waiting to eat. He’d then bring out the big pot of jhal polau, his laughter lighting up the room. We sat on the floor with our cousins, plates in front of us, eating, laughing and basking in the innocence of childhood.

Who knew back then, that those little moments would make such bittersweet memories. Miss you so much Dada, thank you for the memories.


1 whole chicken – cut into small curry pieces

4 cups kalijeera rice OR basmati rice

1 onion, chopped

1 tbsp ginger and garlic paste

Green chilies 2-3 (adjust to taste)

Mustard oil

Salt – 2 tsp (adjust to taste)

Sugar – 1/2 tsp

Raisins – 1/2 cup

Whole Spices:

Bay leaves (4), dry chili (5-6 or adjust to taste), black cardamom (2-3), green cardamom (8-10), cumin seeds (1/2 tsp), cinnamon sticks (2, break into pieces), cloves (8-10), black peppercorn (10-12)

Ground Spices:

Turmeric powder (1/2 tsp), chili powder (1/2 tsp), cumin powder (1/2 tsp), coriander powder (1 tsp)


  1. Wash and soak rice for 30 minutes.
  2. In a hot pan, add 1/2 cup mustard oil. When oil is hot, add the whole spices to the oil and fry for 1 minute.
  3. Add one chopped onion, and fry until light brown. Add ginger garlic paste and fry. Add green chili and fry everything for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add a little bit of water to the pan before adding in ground spices (so they don’t burn). Add all the ground spices and mix, until water evaporates.
  5. Add your chicken and salt, mix it in with the spices. Cook for 5-7 minutes, mixing everything together.
  6. Cover the chicken for 10 minutes, uncover and stir. Do this until the chicken cooks thoroughly.
  7. Add your soaked and drained rice to the pot. Add raisins and sugar. Mix everything together.
  8. Add 8 cups of hot water to the pot. Cover and keep on low heat until rice cooks.
  9. Once rice is cooked, garnish with fried onions.

Watch the video recipe here.

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