India is a diverse country. It is rich in culture and cuisines. There is a famous Hindi saying – ‘Kos kos pe paddle baani, chaar kos pe paani’ which literally translates into ‘taste of water changes at every corner and people’s dialect changes at every 4 corners’. That is so true about India.
Talking about cuisines, every state has its own cooking style. Sometimes, there are so many variations within a state’s boundaries. Cuisines of a state have arisen from what’s grown locally and suit the weather of that place.
Kashmiris, for example, experience cool to cold weather and eat a variety of rich food. I love a lot of things about their food and my favorite ones are Kashmiri Dum Aloo and Kashmiri Pulao.
Kashmiri Pulao is made in ghee and gets a lot of richness from a lot of roasted dry fruits. In addition to that, the addition of locally available fruits gives it a sweet flavor. Here is my version, hope you like it.
PREPARATION TIME: 15 minutes
COOKING TIME: 15-20 minutes
DIFFICULTY SCALE: Low
- Basmati Rice – 1 bowl
- Clarified Butter/Ghee – 3-4 tablespoons
- Caraway seeds/Shahi jeera – 1 teaspoon
- Bay leaf/Tej Patta – 2
- Cloves/Laung – 3-4
- Cinnamon/Dalchini – 1 stick
- Black Cardamom/Badi elaichi – 1
- Green Cardamom/Choti elaichi – 2-3
- Star Anise – 1
- Onion – 1 large
- Cashews/kaju – 10-12
- Almonds/Badam – 10
- Raisins – Kishmish – 10-12
- Pomegranate/Anar – ½ cup
- Apple – ½
- Saffron/Kesar – few strands
- Milk – 3-4 tablespoons
- Salt – to taste
- Pressure Cooker
- Small frying pan
- Nicely wash the rice and keep them soaked in water for 10-15 minutes.
- In a pressure cooker, add 2 tablespoons of ghee and allow it to get hot.
- Crush the cardamoms with a pestle and add it to the ghee.
- Add the bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon stick, and caraway seeds as well.
- Once the spices get nice and fragrant, add in the soaked rice and salt.
- Add in the same quantity of water as the rice and close the lid of the cooker.
- Place it on high heat till one whistle comes and then on low heat for another minute or so.
- Chop the onion into thin and long strands.
- Take a small frying pan and add 2 tablespoons of ghee into it.
- Add in the onions and fry them till they are golden brown.
- Then shallow fry the cashews, almonds, and raisins too till turn crisp.
- Take a few strands of saffron in a small bowl and mix them with lukewarm milk.
- Once the steam from the pressure cooker is released, sprinkle the saffron-infused milk.
- Cut an apple into small pieces and place them on the rice.
- Add a few pomegranate seeds and the fried dry fruits and onion.
- Serve this fragrant rice with a pomegranate or cucumber raita.