Bangali Style Pulao

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This is one of my all time favorite! Long grained basmati cooked with cashew nuts and raisins with a hint of sweetness that tastes heavenly with spicy Kosha Manghso (Slow cooked mutton) or Deemer Dalna (egg curry) or just by itself. I call it Best Friender Pulao, since growing up this was a staple made by my favorite aunt, Monju Kakima (who I refer to as my best friend). Even today, whenever I visit India I make my demand for this pulao.

Over the years, this has become one of my go-to recipe for whenever I am entertaining and a big hit among my friends, a recipe I share often. A few posts back I wrote about how food to me is about re-living and/or creating new memories. This dish is rich with a lot of memories, some of the best memories of my childhood and a whole bunch as an adult. Hoping it does the same for you as well!

I like adding a lot of fresh vegetables because they add favor, make the dish look beautiful with all that color and then there is also the healthy aspect. You can use a bag of frozen mixed vegetable as well and it will taste just as good.

Time for Prep: 45 mins     Time to Cook: 20 mins     Yield: 6-8 Servings     Level: Medium

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of Basmati rice
  • Chopped mixed vegetables:
    • 1/2 cup carrots
    • 1/2 cup green beans
    • 1/2 cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
    • 1/4 cup green pepper
    • 1/4 cup red pepper
    • 1/4 cup yellow pepper
    • 1/2 cup sweet corn
  • 1 tbsp cashew nuts
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • 1 inch stick of cinnamon
  • 4-5 green cardamom
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 7-8 cloves
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbsp mint, chopped
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp ghee or oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3.5 cup water or broth.
  • Salt to taste

Process:

  1. Rinse and soak rice for 30 mins. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a heavy bottom pan heat the ghee and add caraway seeds, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaf, cloves, black peppercorns. Sauté for till you begin getting the spice aroma around 2-3 mins.
  3. Add the cashew nuts and raisins, cook for 1 min.
  4. Add all the vegetables, cilantro and mint, sauté for another 2-3 mins.
  5. Add the drain rice, which should’ve gotten a little dry by now. Mix and sauté for around 2 mins or until the rice is well coated and starts to glisten.
  6. Add water, sugar, salt and lemon juice. Stir slightly.
  7. Cover and let cook for around 12-15 mins, when the rice is almost done and there is still a little bit of moisture remaining. Turn off the heat and let it sit for 20-30 mins.
  8. Using a fork, fluff up the rice a little. Serve with your favorite side dish or with just Raita.

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