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
- 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
- Rinse and soak rice for 30 mins. Drain and set aside.
- 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.
- Add the cashew nuts and raisins, cook for 1 min.
- Add all the vegetables, cilantro and mint, sauté for another 2-3 mins.
- 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.
- Add water, sugar, salt and lemon juice. Stir slightly.
- 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.
- Using a fork, fluff up the rice a little. Serve with your favorite side dish or with just Raita.