This shahi pulao is royal and rich having a myriad of textures and flavors in each bite. Addition of dry fruits and nuts, saffron, ghee make this Hyderabadi pulao rich and festive.
Course: Main Course
Author: Dassana Amit
for soaking rice
1.5cupsriceor 275 grams rice
1pinch of saffron
½ tablespoonwarm waterfor soaking saffron
dry fruits and nuts
12 to 15cashews
½ teaspooncaraway seeds(shahi jeera)
1tej patta(indian bay leaf)
2 to 3strands of mace
1.5cupscups thinly sliced onionsor 135 grams onion or 1 large onion
½ tablespoonginger-garlic paste
1green chilli- chopped
¼ cupchopped coriander leaves
1tablespoonchopped mint leaves
½ cupchopped tomatoesor 1 medium sized tomato
¼ teaspoonturmeric powder
½ teaspoonkashmiri red chilli powder
½ teaspoonbiryani or pulao masala powderor ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
1.5 to 2cups chopped mix vegetables - carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, french beans, broccoli, mushrooms
⅓ cup green peas (fresh and frozen)
2.5 to 2.75cupswater
salt as required
some mint leaves or coriander leavesfor garnishing
Rinse basmati rice very well in water till the water runs clear of starch.
Then soak rice in enough water for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes drain all the water and keep rice aside.
In a small bowl mix ½ tablespoon warm water and 1 pinch of saffron (kesar). Also chop all the veggies and slice the onions.
frying nuts and dry fruits
Heat ghee in a heavy pot or a pan. Keep flame to low or medium-low.
Add almonds. fry almonds till they change color and become a shade darker. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside.
Next add cashews and fry them till the cashews become golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside.
Then add pistachios and fry for some seconds. Remove and keep aside.
Next add 1 tablespoon raisins and fry till the raisins become plump and swell. remove and keep aside.
making shahi pulao
Keep the flame to a low and add the following whole spices – ½ teaspoon shah jeera (caraway seeds), 2 inch cinnamon (dalchini), 1 tej patta (indian bay leaf), 4 green cardamoms (hari elaichi), 1 black cardamom (badi elaichi), 4 cloves (lavang) and 2 to 3 strands of mace (javitri).
Fry the spices for a few seconds till they become aromatic and splutter.
Then add thinly sliced onions. mix well and begin to sauté onions on a medium-low flame.
Stirring often sautéing onions till the become golden.
When the onions become golden, switch off the flame and remove about ¼ to ⅓ cup onions. Keep aside.
Switch on the flame and add ½ tablespoon ginger-garlic paste. Sauté till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.
Then add chopped tomatoes and mix.
Add the chopped green chilli, chopped coriander leaves and chopped mint leaves. mix well.
Add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi), ½ teaspoon kashmiri red chilli powder, ½ teaspoon biryani or pulao masala powder or ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder.
Mix and sauté till tomatoes soften.
Keep flame to a low and then add 3 tablespoons fresh curd (dahi or yogurt).
As soon as you add curd, mix quickly so that it does not split. Mix very well.
Now add 1.5 to 2 cups chopped veggies like carrots, french beans, cauliflower, mushrooms, potatoes. Also add ⅓ cup green peas.
Mix and sauté veggies for a minute.
Add 2.5 to 2.75 cups water. Depending on the quality of rice, you can add less or more water. mix well.
Season with salt as per taste. Mix again. Check the taste of water and it should taste slightly salty.
cooking shahi pulao
Cover pan with lid and cook on medium flame till the entire mixture come to a boil on medium flame.
Then add the rice.
Add the saffron solution. Saffron can be skipped and 1 teaspoon rose water or kewra water can also be added. mix again.
Cover the pan with lid and simmer on a low to medium-low flame till rice grains are tender and cooked. Do check a couple of times and if required you can add some hot water if the pulao mixture looks dry.
When done, gently fluff the pulao.
Serve shahi pulao garnished with the fried dry fruits, nuts and onions. You can even garnish with a few mint sprigs or coriander leaves.