Kashmiri Pulao

When occasions like Eid approaches, the first people you start to miss is your family. This is not the first Eid I am without my parents, but this time we are all fragmented. We are here, my parents are home, my sister is back to the US and B is travelling to Europe with his friends - yes, going to have fun! Somehow, it feels sad, yet I remind myself that the loneliest Eid I had and console myself that Alhamdulillah, all is much better now. When I was carrying Azza, that was five years ago, D and umma got their chance to go for Hajj. Naturally, umma was excited as well as worried from one side. I would be towards the fag end of my pregnancy when they would be travelling. On top of that, HD had check-ups back home which he could just not avoid. While sending off them at the airport, I put up a strong face. And then in another week, HD was gone, so it was just me and Rasha. I gave myself consolation by booking HD's return ticket on the Eid day, so that I didn't miss it all completely. Two days before Eid, I was only sobbing myself to sleep along with Rasha, hehe... The day before Eid, I drove all the way to my friend's house (I never drove when I was nine months carrying with Rasha) to put henna on my hands so that I would feel nice. When I think of those days, a tinge of sadness comes in but the thought that my parents performed Hajj, Alhamdulillah, after wishing for the same for long and HD was back in good healthy was good enough reason to feel content that it was not that bad. :)

Since this Eid, we slaughter a goat in reminiscence of the great sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and because of this practice, it is more of a meaty celebration. I have already shared a few interesting mutton recipes - you could refer to the Thalassery Mutton Biriyani recipe, or pair some special neychoru with Green Mutton Masala. So this time, I decided that I would share a vegetarian recipe this time, though when paired with a spicy non-vegetarian dish, this platter of rice is awesome. Kashmiri cuisine is known for it's mix of sweet and spicy and this pulao is no different. In fact, I loved eating it as it is without any sides! The first time I made it, it vanished and I didn't get enough to click a picture. The second time I made it, I made sure I clicked it before serving it... Hehe... Off to the recipe...

Kashmiri Pulao
Serves 4


2 tbsp ghee
2 tbsp oil
1 large onion, sliced thinly
3 tbsp cashew-nuts
3 tbsp pistachio kernels
3 tbsp raisins
1 tsp cumin seeds
4 cloves
1 pc cinnamon
1 bay leaf
2 cardamoms, crushed
1 star anise
2 cups basmati rice, washed, soaked for 30 minutes and drained
1/2 cup milk
8-10 strands saffron
3 cup boiling water
Salt to taste
4 slices pineapple, quartered
1/2 pomegranate, seeds separated


Warm the milk. Add the saffron and let it seep.

Heat ghee and oil in a wide saucepan. Fry the onions till crisp. Drain and set aside. Fry the cashew-nuts and pistachios. Drain and keep along with the fried onions. Add the raisins, and let it puff. Immediately drain and keep along with the other ingredients.

In the same oil-ghee, splutter cumin seeds. Add the whole spices - cloves to star anise and fry it briefly. Add the drained rice and saute till crisp. Add the milk and cook for a minute. Now add the boiling water and sufficient salt and allow it to boil on high flame. Reduce to the lowest possible and cook on closed lid till water evaporates and the rice is cooked.

Add the fried ingredients (onions, nuts, raisins) and the fruits and toss altogether. Switch off immediately.

Serve warm with a spicy curry - it is good as it is!

Labels: , ,