Portuguese pullao


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook: 300 Classic Recipes from the Great Regions of India

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook

By Mridula Baljekar

Published 2017

  • About

This delicious Portuguese favourite, Arroz Refogado, is packed with colourful ingredients. Refogado refers to the technique of sautéing onions and spices, which brings out their flavour.


  • 275 g/10 oz/ cups basmati rice
  • 3 spicy sausages, sliced diagonally
  • 50 g/2 oz/¼ cup ghee or unsalted butter
  • 2.5 cm/1 in piece cinnamon stick
  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • 4 cloves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 2 fresh green chillies, finely chopped (deseeded if preferred)
  • 2.5 cm/1 in fresh root ginger, grated, or 10ml/2 tsp ginger purée
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed, or 10ml/2 tsp garlic purée
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 75 g/3 oz cooked chicken, sliced
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp salt, or to taste
  • 600 ml/1 pint/2 ½ cups boiling chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
  • sprigs of fresh coriander (cilantro), to garnish


  1. Wash the rice in a sieve (strainer) under cold running water until the water runs clear. Transfer to a bowl, cover with cold water and leave to soak 20–25 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

  2. Meanwhile, heat a heavy pan, preferably non-stick, and fry the sausages in their own fat until they are just beginning to brown. Remove with a slotted spoon, leaving the fat behind, and set aside.

  3. Melt the ghee or butter in the pan, then add the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, peppercorns and bay leaf. Let them sizzle gently for 20–25 seconds, then add the onion and green chillies.

  4. Fry until the onion is just beginning to brown, stirring frequently, then add the ginger and garlic and continue to fry until the onion is well browned.

  5. Stir in the turmeric and add the cooked chicken, salt, drained rice, fried sausages and stock. Bring to the boil, and simmer, uncovered, for 2–3 minutes.

  6. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan tightly. Cook for 9–10 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave the pan to stand undisturbed for 10–15 minutes.

  7. Fluff up the rice with a fork and transfer half to a serving dish. Arrange the eggs on top, reserving a few slices for garnishing and cover with the remaining rice.

  8. Garnish with the remaining eggs and sprigs of fresh coriander before serving.


If you are unable to find Indian- or Portuguese-style spiced sausages, Spanish chorizo will also work well in this recipe.

Per portion Energy 580kcal/2435kJ; Protein 22g; Carbohydrate 66g, of which sugars 5g; Fat 28g, of which saturates 13g; Cholesterol 147mg; Calcium 81mg; Fibre 1.2g; Sodium 798mg.