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Main Dishes

Fijian Chicken Palau

December 1, 2020
Fijian Chicken Palau

As the weather gets colder in New England, it’s the perfect season to make this rich, warm dish. The aromas that fill our home while making palau are nostalgic. No matter where I’ve lived or traveled, there is a certain scent that will always make me feel like I’m home. For me it is the homemade Fiji masala that is sautéed with onions and garlic. There really is no describing it. You have to LIVE it to understand.  My husband on the other hand is always looking for the incense and a lighter after I’m done cooking, along with opening windows.  He doesn’t embrace the aromas as well as I do. Ha ha!

Palau is pretty much a universal dish originating from the middle east. Palau can be found in many regions of the world; from Persian Sheep and Goat Pulao to East African Pilaf Rice or Spanish Seafood Paella, to Indian Biriyani. There are hundreds of recipes for Palau, even in my own family Palau is made many ways.

Our family makes lamb, goat and chicken palau My all time favorite is lamb palau, however without fresh meat on hand, we tend to make chicken palau more often. This is one version of chicken palau, I truly believe that my dad has several ways he makes palau so I’ll just chase him until I have ALL of them!

Living on the East Coast of the US, the Fijian community is small. There are no Fijian shops like you would see on the West Coast. The only way our family would have Fijian Masalas would be if we visited our family in California. This is the reason why my dad primarily makes his Chicken Palau with curry powder and not palau masala. Luckily when I started this blog I was able to get my hands on Punjas Masalas which we sell here on the blog. If you don’t have palau masala for this recipe you can choose to use curry powder.

Fiji Palau Masala that can be purchased here: https://www.savoringfiji.com/product/palau-masala/
If Curry Powder is preferred you can also purchase here: https://www.savoringfiji.com/product/curry-powder/

I would love to hear your variation of this dish, leave it in the comments! Put on this 90’s Bollywood Youtube Mix, and let’s get cooking!

Print Recipe
Fijian Chicken Palau
This rich aromatic chicken and rice dish will heat you up and keep you warm.
Fijian Chicken Palau
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Indo-Fijian
Keyword Chicken, Revy
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1.5 hours
Servings
people
Ingredients
Wet mixture
Rice
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Indo-Fijian
Keyword Chicken, Revy
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1.5 hours
Servings
people
Ingredients
Wet mixture
Rice
Fijian Chicken Palau
Instructions
Wet Mixture
  1. Blend together cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick (break into pieces before adding to blender), star anise, ginger, garlic, dry peppers and 1/2 cup of water. Blend until smooth, you may need to add a little more water if needed.
Palau
  1. In a deep pot, heat oil in pot for about two minutes. Add a pinch of the cumin, mustard seed and fenugreek mixture. Once you start to hear the sizzle and the popping of the seeds, this indicates your oil is hot enough to add the onions.
  2. Next, add the onions, mix and let sauté. Cover for a minute.
  3. Next, add garlic, dry palau masala and cover. Let this mixture fry for one to two minutes, then add the wet blended masala mixture and let fry for 2-3 minutes, you will start to see little bubbles form.
  4. After about five minutes add in chicken and salt, give a thorough mix to combine spices and chicken. Cover and let cook on low to medium heat.
  5. Continue to stir pot throughout cook time to prevent any sticking to the bottom of the pot. After 5-7 minutes add in curry leaves.
  6. In another, smaller pot, start by adding 2 tablespoons of ghee.
  7. Add washed and drained rice to the pot and let the ghee and rice fry together for five minutes. Rice should look golden. Then add water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat for 6-7 minutes. (rice to water ratio should be followed for the type of rice you are using.)
  8. When rice is half way cooked, add rice to the deep pot of chicken.
  9. Mix thoroughly. Add in 1/2 stick of butter, mix and cover pot for 7 minutes.
  10. Check rice texture. Rice should not be not be raw or hard at this point. If it is add 1/2 cup of water more or less and mix in and cover for 15 more minutes on low heat. Rice should not be crunchy in this recipe. When the rice is cooked, your palau is done.
  11. Use a fork to fluff up the rice. Serve with a side of tomato chutney, raita or raw onions.

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