Kashmiri pulao is cooked in saffron milk and mild spices and garnished with lots of fresh fruits. Unlike other kinds of pulao, this one is on the sweeter side. Reason being, this pulao is garnished with both dry fruits and fresh fruits. Dry fruits give a comforting warmth in winter which is why this pulao is ideal for the cold climate of Kashmir.
I explored Kashmiri cuisine when we got posted to Srinagar, the capital of this beautiful Valley of Kashmir. When I was a kid my favourite dish was Kashmiri pulav and whenever we used to go out for dinner my father would always order Kashmiri pulav for me as it was famous and available everywhere. However, when I tasted the authentic Kashmiri pulao, nothing could beat it! So when I got married, my in-laws also got to learn from my family that this dish is on my favourites list. When we landed at Kashmir the first thing my husband ordered was Kashmiri pulav. To my surprise, they said that there is no vegetarian Kashmiri pulav! So I called the chef and asked the reason for it. He told us that the real Kashmiri pulav is much different from what we grew up eating in the name of this traditional dish.
Traditional Kashmiri pulao is made for wazwan during the wedding and mostly has mutton in it. I requested him to make a vegetarian Kashmiri pulao for me and he agreed. The Kashmiri pulao he served was so rich and flavourful and filled with dry fruits. It was so delicious that without wasting any time I asked him to share the recipe. He was so generous and shared this recipe with me!
I have tried this recipe ample of time and it never fails. The recipe has made its markable space in my party menu and never ever fail to impress my guests too.
Pro tips by the chef:
- Use the best quality long grain basmati rice to make the pulao.
- Saffron is an important ingredient never miss it. You should always soak saffron in milk before adding it in the pulao
- Fluff the rice only once it has rested for 5-10 minutes after cooking it will prevent the grains from breaking.
- Add any fruit or dry fruit of your choice the only thing to remember is that fruit has to be crunchy and sweet.
- Apple and pomegranate go best with this pulao.
- Beresta or fried onion is another important ingredient of this pulao
- Top this pulao with fried paneer and dry fruits.
It goes very well with any raita like pomegranate raita, boondi raita, fruit raita or pineapple raita.
You can easily serve it as a side dish in any of your exclusive or festive parties.
Equipment used to make Kashmiri pulao:
Strainer: The best strarainer to wash rice i found in ikea
Kadhai: deep pan or kadhai is essential equipment for the kitchen. I found this heavy good quality kadhai very helpful for my kitchen.
Rice cooker: Rice cooker is best for all those working women who want to cut short the cooking time.
Kashmiri pulaoCourse: MainCuisine: kashmiri, IndianDifficulty: Medium
Kashmiri pulao is cooked in saffron milk and mild spices and garnished with lots of fresh fruits. Unlike other kinds of pulao, this one is on the sweeter side.
- For the pulao :
2 cups basmati rice soaked in water for 30 minutes
1 tsp shah jeera/caraway seeds
1 Indian bay leaf/tej patta
2-3 green cardamoms/hari elaichi/choti elaichi
2 black cardamoms/Badi elaichi
½ tsp dry ginger powder/saunth
1 tsp fennel powder/saunf
2 pinches of saffron/Kesar
2 tbsp oil or ghee
4 cups of water
1 cup chopped vegetables of your choice
salt as required
- For garnish:
1 medium-sized onion, sliced thinly
1/4 kg paneer or cottage cheese
2 tbsp oil
- Soak 2 cups of basmati rice in 4 cups of water.
- Heat oil or ghee in a deep pan. on a low or medium flame, add all the whole spices. fry till the oil becomes fragrant.
- Lower the flame and add the ginger and fennel powder & stir.
- Add crushed saffron and saute for a minute. Add vegetables in it.
- Add soaked basmati rice with water in it and add salt to it.
- Stir and cover the pan tightly.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil/ ghee ( clarified butter ) in a frying pan. add the sliced onions.
- also, add a pinch of salt and fry the onions till they are golden or caramelized and crisp. remove and drain on paper tissues.
- In the same oil, first, fry the almonds till they become crisp. now fry the cashews and walnuts till they are crisp and lightly browned.
- Fluff the cooked rice and garnish them with fried onion, paneer and dry fruits
- serve kashmiri pulao hot.