Sep 11, 2012

Kashmiri Pilaf / Pulao

Kashmiri Pulao
I was watching a show on NDTV a few days back where they showed how a chef working in a heritage train in Europe had to plan a Kashmiri menu for one of the journeys. She goes to a Kashmiri restaurant in the city and the head chef there teaches her. And in the process, I learnt a bit too. Kashmiri cuisine for me has always meant Rogan josh, mutton seekh, spicy food, Masala tea and richly flavored with aromatics and spices infused rice dishes. Luckily the same night I had a craving for rice, and since it doesn’t take too long to cook, I humored myself, and happy I was! So here’s the recipe for you to enjoy. Please note there are just a couple of ‘not everyday’ ingredients, and one slightly expensive one (saffron) but when making it for a special guest or a party, please don’t omit it. Saffron is slightly pricey ingredient, but it gives this pulao that distinct color and flavor that makes it truly Kashmiri and different from that usual mutter/peas pulao we make. (The recipe might have more steps, but it’s only because I’ve explained each step in detail)

Serves: 4
Cooking Time: 30 Mins
Basmati Rice : 400 gms (More or less accordingly) or 1 big glass full
Saffron : 2 tsp/ pinch
Milk : ½ cup
Cinnamon : 1 inch stick
Cloves : 5-6
Green Cardamom : 2-3
Black cardamom : 1
Kalonji : 1 tsp
Jeera : 2 tsp
Peas : ½ Cup
Red Capsicum : ½ Finely sliced
Tomato : 1 Finely chopped
Onion: 1 big onion or 2 small, thinly sliced
Ghee: 1 tbsp
Garam Masala: 2 tsp
Red Chili powder: 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Raisins: 12-15


  • Wash the rice 2-3 times with cold water and then soak them in water for atleast 30 mins. 
  • Meanwhile, chop the tomatoes.
  • Thinly slice the onions and capsicum.
  • Warm ½ cup of milk and soak the saffron in it. Leave this cup aside till its used.
  • Heat the ghee in a big Kadhai. Preferably do not cook the rice in a pressure cooker as they tend to overcook or stick to the bottom or get too mashed up.
  • Once the ghee is hot, add Jeera, cloves, cardamoms, Cinnamon and Kalonji.
  • After a min, add the onions.
  • Toss them gently, and once they get slightly light brown, add the capsicum, tomatoes and peas.
  • Turn the heat to low. After 3-4 mins when tomatoes cooked, add the Garam Masala and chili.
  • After sautéing the mix for 2-3 mins, add the raisins and saffron milk along with 3 cups of water / Vegetable stock (or 1.5 times the quantity of the rice. Take care that water level should be 1 inch above the rice)
  • Increase the heat, and let the whole mixture come to a boil.
  • Then add the rice after straining the water and mix well with all the Masala for 1 min.
  • Add salt. Mix and turn the heat to lowest. 
  • Cover the kadhai/pan/wok only little more than half with a lid/plate. Do NOT cover it completely.
  • Check after 15 mins if all the water has dried out and rice is cooked. If it’s almost 90% cooked, uncover the lid and let it cook for 5 more mins. Turn off the gas, cover the pan and let it rest in its heat for 5 mins before serving hot with a raita or curd.
Garnishing: You can garnish it with fried onions or chopped mint leaves.


  1. Replies
    1. You should try cooking it too :) It's really easy once you set out to make it.

  2. Yeah looks yummy i will try this soon...

  3. Thank you all :) Do send me the feedback on how much your family liked it too!

  4. looks delicious :) :)

  5. sepertinya enak, izin share di fb .. thank you .. :)

    1. Sigit, you can surely share this on FB. Just click on the FB symbol at the bottom of the post in the shareaholic menu and it will be posted on your FB wall.



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