Restaurant Style Kashmiri Pulao | Rice Pilaf Recipe Easy


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Kashmir is known for is incredible scenic beauty and it’s tempting food. Kashmiri Pulao and Kashmiri Dum Aloo are one of the finest examples of Kashmiri cuisine. Kashmir is known as “Paradise of India” and the weather is mostly cold throughout the year. So, Kashmiri food is a bit richer. They vigorously eat meat and often use dry fruits in their preparations.

I just love Kashmiri food. When I was in Bengaluru, I had a Kashmiri hostel mate and she was a fab cook too. She used to prepare different tempting Kashmiri recipes with her special homemade Fennel masala. Since then, I developed my interest in Kashmiri food. Kashmiri food is rich, spicy and full of flavours which make it special always.

First time I had the Kashmiri Pulao was in a reputed restaurant in Pune. I thought to give a try to a new rice dish rather than Veg pulao or Biryani. When I took the first bite, it was like a lot of flavours and tastes were popping up inside my mouth. It was sweet and full of flavours. It got the perfect bite of dry fruits and a deadly combination of rice with fresh fruits and saffron milk. I could not stop myself to devour it.
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Then I decided to cook the recipe for Kashmiri Pulao at home. When I prepared the dish for the first time, my family got stunned by the looks of the dish and then after tasting it, they praised my cooking a lot. Now, Kashmiri Pulao has become the recipe on demand of our house.

It is a very simple and easy recipe which requires very common ingredients to prepare. The toughest part of the recipe is to cut and clean the fresh fruits assemble all of them in proper shape. Once this part is done, then nothing can be easier and more reliable than preparing Kashmiri Pulao.

Recipe for Kashmiri Pulao is sweet in taste because of the fruits, dry fruits and fried Onions. So, it tastes best with any tangy tomato-based gravy items like Karahi recipes or Dopyaza recipes. I have paired up this palatable Pulao with Karahi Chicken.

Kashmiri Pulao with step by step photos and instructions have been provided in the ‘Instructions’ section of the recipe. But before jumping into the recipe, let me share few interesting facts about Kashmiri Pulao.


Kashmiri Pulao - its popularity

  • It has occupied place in almost every reputed North Indian style restaurant.
  • In Kashmir, it is one of the most served rice items in any occasion or celebration. All in all, any Kashmiri festival or special occasion is incomplete without Kashmiri Pulao.
  • Its divine flavour and supreme taste which makes it different from other Pulao recipes.
  • It is one of the most versatile pulao which can easily hook up with any gravy-based side.


Kashmiri Pulao - Utensils used to prepare

This pilau rice recipe is prepared in many ways in different types of utensils.

  • Many people prepare it in instant pot like Electric cooker or Pressure Cooker.
  • Many people use Dekchis to prepare it.
  • Kadai or pan with lid can also be used to prepare it.

But personally, I recommend using non-stick Kadai with lid to prepare this delicious delight.
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How to make Kashmiri Pulao?

For a perfect Kashmiri Pulao, it is very important to use high quality long grain Basmati Rice for the best texture. It is always better to soak the rice in water for twenty minutes to half an hour before cooking it.

I have soaked the rice in water for half an hour and then drained away the water.

Generally, in Kashmiri pulao, Pineapples, Pomegranate, Grapes, Apples are used as fresh fruits to add sweetness and flavour into it. I have used Pineapple, Pomegranate and Red grapes for the recipe. I have cut the Pineapples into small chunks to get the perfect texture.

I have used Raisins, Almonds and Cashew nuts as dry fruits for the dish. But you can pick any dry fruit of your choice like Walnut, Hazelnut, Apricot etc. I have fried them in clarified Butter (Ghee) and kept aside.

The Pulao rice is flavoured up with mostly whole spices like Cumin seeds, Fennel seeds, Cloves, Cardamoms, Cinnamon sticks, Bay leaves and Star Anise. Other than these, I have used a bit of Cardamom powder too to enhance the flavour of the dish.

This Pulao recipe is cooked in a proportion of water and milk which makes it different from any other rice recipes. I have used 3.5:2 ration for water and milk for the recipe.
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I have taken out two tablespoons of milk from the measured quantity of milk and added Saffron into it. Then I have microwaved it for few seconds to make the milk warm and to soak the Saffron into it. If you don’t have microwave, then warm the milk in stove and then soak the saffron into it.

Other than fruits and spices, one more element that is equally important to flavour up the dish is fried Onions. I have used clarified Butter (Ghee) for frying the Onions. It gives a nice soothing flavour to it.

I have tempered the whole spices in clarified Butter (Ghee) and then added water-milk mixture into it. After this, I have added the Saffron milk and Cardamom powder into it to flavour up.

I have added the soaked rice when the milk and water mixture started simmering. It is always better to add the rice at this point of time. Then cover the pan and cook it in medium flame initially and not in high unlike other pulao recipes because the water mixture contains milk and milk has the tendency to flow out during the time of boiling. Then put the flame in lowest and cook the final stage of the dish with cover.

When the rice is done, don’t add the fresh fruits, dry fruits and fried onions into it immediately. At this point of time, the rice is too soft, and it may break. It is always better to add them after 15-20 minutes and mix it very delicately.

Many Rice Recipes have already been shared in my previous posts. You can check few of them like


..And Many more…
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Ingredients:
  • 3 cups of Basmati rice
  • 1 large Onion, thin sliced
  • ½ cup Red grapes
  • ¼ cup Pomegranate
  • ½ cup Pineapple
  • 4 tablespoons Raisins
  • 1/3 cup Cashew nuts
  • 1/3 cup Almond
  • 4-5 Cardamoms
  • 8 Cloves
  • 1-2 Bay leaves
  • 4 Cinnamon Stick, 2 inches
  • 1 Star Anise
  • ½ teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Fennel seeds
  • 3 pinches of Saffron
  • ½ teaspoon Cardamom powder
  • 5 teaspoons Sugar
  • 3 teaspoons Salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons Ghee (Clarified Butter) for cooking
  • 3½ cups of Water for cooking
  • 2 cups of Milk


Instructions:
  1. Wash the Basmati rice and soak it in water for 30 minutes.
  2. Strain the water and keep it aside.
  3. On the other hand, measure 2 cups of milk and pour it into a saucepan.
  4. Take 2 tablespoons of milk into a separate microwavable bowl from the measured milk (Step 3).
  5. Add Saffron into the bowl and microwave it for few seconds for the milk to become warm.
  6. Keep the bowl aside to soak the Saffron into it.
  7. Add 3 ½ cups of water into the same saucepan (Step 3) and mix both milk and water nicely. Keep it aside.
  8. Add 2 tablespoons of Ghee into the pan and let it melt.
  9. Add Cashew nuts, Almonds into the pan and fry them in medium flame for a minute until the nutty smell comes out. Keep them aside on a plate.
  10. Add Raisins and fry them for few seconds. Keep them aside on a plate.

  11. Add another tablespoon of Ghee into the same pan and let it melt.
  12. Add the sliced Onions and give a nice mix.
  13. Fry them in medium flame until they become golden brown. Stir frequently.
  14. Transfer the fried Onions on a plate.
  15. Add one more tablespoon of Ghee into the pan and let it melt.
  16. Add Cumin seeds, Fennel seeds, Cloves, Cardamoms, Cinnamon sticks, Bay leaf, Star Anise and let them crackle.
  17. Pour the milk-Water mixture (Step 7) into the pan and mix it well.
  18. Put the flame in high until the mixture simmers.
  19. Add sugar and salt into the pan and give a nice stir.
  20. Add the Saffron milk into it and mix it nicely.
  21. Add Cardamom powder and mix it.


    Note: Do not put on the lid of the pan because the milk may flow out.
  22. When the mixture starts simmering put the flame in low.
  23. Add soaked rice (Step 2) into the pan and give a nice stir.


    Tip: Basmati rice is very delicate. Over mixing can break the rice. Always handle the rice with light hands.
  24. Put on the lid of the pan and put the flame in medium for 5 minutes.
  25. Stir the rice very gently once or twice and cover the pan again.
  26. Cook them in lowest flame for 8-10 minutes.

    Note: The duration of cooking may vary due to quantity, quality of rice and temperature of the hob. Always check the rice before switching off the flame.
  27. Switch off the flame and put the pan down.
  28. After 15-20 minutes take off the lid and fluff the rice delicately with the help of a fork.
  29. Add the Pineapple, Pomegranate, red Grapes, fried dry fruits, fried Onions (Step 14) into it and mix it well.




Serving Instruction
Transfer the portions of Kashmiri Pulao on serving plate or in a serving bowl. Serve hot or warm for the best taste. You can microwave it too, to heat up. Pair up the salivating dish with Chicken Curry or any of your favourite curry and enjoy the taste of Kashmir.

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