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Morog Polao Recipe

by Shyamali Sinha

This Bengali Chicken Rice called Morog Polao is not only an incredible one-pot wonder but also a crowd pleaser!  A great inclusion on the holiday feasting table or for your weekend special lunch or dinner. The fragrance is everything in this dish, and I promise you will get all the ingredients in your local supermarket. 

What is Morog Polao?

The ultimate best known Bangladeshi chicken pilaf loaded with flavour and required slow cooking. The flavour is similar to Biryani, but It isn’t like chicken Biryani; it’s more gentle than Biryani. It is an aromatic, rich in flavour dish.

What do we need to make Morog Polao?

Morog polao is a dish hailed from Bangladesh. Excellent quality aged short-grain rice is a must to make any good polao in Bengali cuisine.

Rice-  ideally, non-starchy short-grain rice used for this pilaf, Kalijeera or  Gobindo bhog rice we often use, but if you don’t get that one, use an excellent quality Basmati rice. 

Chicken-  Bone-in & skin off chicken big-sized Chicken pieces ( you can use drumstick pieces as well)

Fat– I prefer to use  Ghee only, but you can use the combination of unflavoured white oil and Ghee. You can use unsalted butter too! 

Spices- The combination of whole and ground spices such as green cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg, Bayleaf, black pepper, red chilli make the dish flavourful.

Flavour – Other than spices, onion, ginger, garlic and  Kewra essence,  all these are the key flavour component.  If you don’t get Kewra water in your local store, use rose water or skip it.

Nuts and dry fruits-  Use any nuts and dry fruits you have in your pantry. I have used almonds and raisins. You can make a nut-free version also. Use melon seeds.
Green chillies- Don’t think that adding green chilli will make the dish spicy. The mild acidic heat of green chilli cut the sweetness of the onion.

Pieces of equipment-

  • 2-3 Mixing bowls
  • Either a small grinder to make ginger and garlic paste or Microplane grater will do the job efficiently. 
  • Wooden spatula
  • Dutch ovenI prefer to cook all my recipes in a Dutch oven, especially the recipes which call for slow cooking. Chasseur is one of my favourites cast iron Dutch Oven that I have been using for a long time.

What to serve with Morog Polao?

Serve simple Bengali garden salad, which is basically in a serving plate place sliced red onion, tomato, cucumber and drizzle lemon juice on the top. To finish it off sprinkle black salt and black pepper. And Voila! Enjoy your delicious one-pot wonder! 

Morog Polao

Hope you enjoy this recipe.

Another easy yet delicious version of Morog Pulao recipe

I always believe that depending on the availability of ingredients or kitchen setup, one can prepare a dish in many ways, but you will get the same taste. If you don’t get Kalijeera rice in your locality or Bengali Gorom Moshla is not your pantry staple, I have shared another easy yet delicious Morog Polao recipe here.

Morog Pulao, A Bengali Chicken Rice Recipe
Explore a whole new world of spices with this flavoursome Bengali Chicken Rice recipe made in the Chasseur French Oven.
Check out this recipe
Morog Pulao

Morog Polao

Author: Shyamali Sinha
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Bengali
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Marinating Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings : 6
Print Pin Jump to Video Rate this Recipe
Serves- 6Prep Time: 10 MinutesMarinating time: 30 MinutesCook Time: 45 Minutes


For the Chicken marinade

  • 1.2 kg Chicken legs and thighs - scored with a knife ( bone-in skin off)
  • ½ cup Greek yoghurt - ~ 150 gm
  • tsp Shahi Garam Masala
  • 2 tbsp Ginger paste - ~ 25 gm Ginger
  • 1 tbsp Garlic paste - ~ 15 gm Garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder

For cooking Chicken

  • 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp Ghee - or unsalted butter
  • 6-8 Almonds
  • 1 large Red Onion - or brown – thinly sliced
  • 3-4 Cinnamon Bark - ~ 2 inches long
  • 4 Green Cardamoms
  • 4 Cloves
  • 1 Bay leaf - dried
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup Boiling water - or warm water
  • 1 tsp Kewra or screwpine water

For the rice Polao/ Pulao

  • 2 cups Kalijeera Rice or Gobindobhog Rice - or Gobindobhog rice – Washed and soaked into the water at least for 30 minutes.
  • 1 large Red Onion - or Yellow Onion
  • 2-3 Green Cardamoms
  • 2-3 Cloves
  • ¼ inch Cinnamon stick
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp Ghee - or unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp Whole milk
  • 15 -20 Raisins
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Kewra water - or screwpine water ( optional )
  • 4-6 Green Chillies


Marinate The Chicken

  • Put all the spices under the spice blend section in a spice grinder or coffee grinder and grind them alternating pulsing or whizzing. You will get approximately 1 ½ tsp of the spice blend.
  • Using a sharp knife, score the chicken pieces with 1-inch slits.
  • In a mixing bowl add in yoghurt, red chilli powder, spice blend, ginger and garlic paste, chicken pieces, salt to taste and combine them. Cover with a lid and marinate for 30 minutes on the kitchen counter or overnight in the refrigerator.

Cook the Chicken ( Morog)

  • Put in Almonds in a small bowl, pour water and soak the almonds for 30 minutes.
  • Heat oil and Ghee in your dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Reduce the heat to low, add all the whole spices and give a quick stir for a few seconds to release the aroma from the whole spices.
  • Add the sliced onion, sprinkle salt and over medium heat fry the onion until developed golden brown colour. Once done, remove about 2-3 tbsp of fried onion from the dutch oven for garnishing and spread it on a kitchen tissue lined plate.
  • Next, add marinated chicken in the dutch oven and mix with the onion. Increase the heat to high, cook each side for 2 minutes, then flip the other side of the chicken pieces and cook for another 2 minutes on high heat. This way, chicken pieces will develop a golden brown colour and a crispy texture, but also chicken will release some moisture.
  • At this point, add 1 cup of boiling water, give a stir to mix everything well, then over high heat cook for a minute.
  • Once the liquid comes to a rolling boil reduce the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes, then remove the lid and give a stir so that the inner bottom doesn’t stick. Put the lid back and continue cooking or until the chicken is almost cooked through.
  • Meanwhile, remove the soaked almond skin, put them in a grinder, add a little bit of water to make a paste.
  • Once the chicken is almost cooked, add the almond paste and 1 tsp Kewra water. Mix everything well and over high heat cook for another 3-4 minutes,
  • Don’t wash the Dutch oven, start cooking rice in it.

Cook Rice ( Polao)

  • First, drain the soaked rice and place them on a fine sieve.
  • Next, add oil and Ghee in the Dutch oven, wait for a few seconds then add all the whole spices. Stir the spices over medium heat till the aroma released from them.
  • Then add sliced onion, sprinkle salt and fry over medium-high heat till the onion developed a lightly brown colour.
  • Add rice, sprinkle a little bit salt and keep stirring the rice for 3-4 minutes over medium-high heat. Don’t walk away at this point; else you may end up with burnt rice.
  • Now, add 3 ½ cups of boiling water, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Cover the cooking pot with a lid, turn off the heat and set the timer for 5 minutes.

Layer the Morog Polao

  • Uncover the pot, gently remove half of the parboiled or half-cooked rice from the dutch oven to a mixing bowl.
  • Add the cooked chicken and all the gravy in the dutch oven and spread it well.
  • Next, drizzle milk, Kewra water, raisins, sugar.
  • Add the remaining rice, garnish the top with fried onion. Put the lid on and set the dutch oven at the stovetop’s lowest possible setting for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes turn off the heat and wait for another 10 to 15 minutes before serving, serve hot with Bengali garden salad.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Marinate The Chicken
  • If you do meal prep, then you can freeze the marinated chicken. And the day before you cook the Morog Polao, transfer the chicken into the refrigerator.
Keyword: Bengali Polao recipe, Morog Polao
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Riad Mahmud 09/04/2021 - 5:33 PM

5 stars
Thanks, Shyamali for this morog polao recipe 🙂 I wish I could test it from this page. Haha just kidding. But today I have shown your recipe to my wife and she is ready to cook it tomorrow. I have to buy some ingredients to complete the recipe. I’d love to see more recipe on this blog.

Shyamali Sinha 19/04/2021 - 10:38 PM

Thank you for your encouragement! If you already prepared the dish, do let us know how you like it?

Ebong 03/09/2021 - 11:23 AM

5 stars
Nice recipe & presentation, please let me know the software in which you are doing the editing. Thanks in advance.

Shyamali Sinha 05/09/2021 - 11:10 AM

Thank you! We use Adobe Premiere Pro for our video editing.


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