This pulav dish from Kashmir is rich in ingredients but mild in taste. It is not at all spicy and it is even somewhat sweet to taste. It goes well with spicy chicken or mutton dishes like mutton rogan josh or Chicken Dhanival Kurma. It contains fruits like apples, pineapples and cherries. It also contains dry fruits like almonds, cashews, sultanas and walnuts. And like all Kashmiri cuisine, Saffron is an integral part of this recipe.
I first tasted this dish at a hotel during my college days. I didn’t like it at all. It felt like I was having a dessert. Since that time I strictly avoided this dish whenever I was dining out. However I was introduced to it again when I was in the culinary school. That time too I didn’t like the dish since I again felt it was leaning too much to the sweet side. Meanwhile my culinary school partner had just started working in a hotel. One day he told me that he got a chance to prepare Kashmiri Pulav under the supervision of the head chef there. The recipe he narrated was slightly different from the one in our school’s recipe book. I felt that this new recipe was saffron flavored and mildly spicy (as opposed to sweet as a dessert) and so I immediately tried it out. It turned out to be perfectly flavored and it went well with non vegetarian curry dishes :).
So here is the recipe which I learnt from my friend that day. I really don’t know whether this variant is authentic Kashmiri cuisine. But try it and then form your opinions about this lightly flavored pulav. Also, if you have an authentic Kashmiri Pulav recipe then please do e-mail it to me or leave me a comment with tips or feedback that will enhance the flavor of this dish.
Equipment and Utensils
Frying pan (non-stick) with the lid
Flat wooden spoon
200 grams (¾ cup) Basmati Rice washed
100 grams (1 medium) Onion thinly sliced
50 grams Apples (cut into 1 cm cubes)
50 grams Pineapple (cut into 1 cm pieces)
20 grams (7-8) Cherries
20 ml Milk
1 teaspoon Salt
1 tablespoon Sugar
Pinch of Saffron
1 Cinnamon Sticks
2-3 Cardamom Pods
2 tablespoon Pure Ghee
Soak the saffron in warm milk and set it aside for at least 20 minutes.
Wash the rice thoroughly.
Soak rice in 3 cups of water for 20 minutes.
Keep 1½ lit. of water in saucepan and bring it to boil.
Strain the rice.
When water is boiling, add the rice and let it cook on high flame.
After 6-7 minutes keep an eye on the rice.
Cook the rice till the grains are separated but not softened.
Then strain the rice and wash it under cold running water.
Next, keep the frying pan on medium high flame.
Add 1 tablespoon ghee and let it heat.
When ghee is hot, add cardamom , cinnamon and cashews.
Stir fry for 1 minute.
Now add onions; fry them well till they become golden brown in color.
Add remaining fruits, dry fruits and sauté them for a minute.
Add cooked rice and saffron milk.
Sprinkle salt, sugar and mix gently to avoid breaking the rice grains.
Put the lid back on, lower the flame and let rice cook for 4-5 minutes.
Stir it after every 1-2 minutes.
After 5 minutes take it off the flame.
Let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
Serve hot with some spicy gravy dish.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 24 minutes
Number of Servings: 4