There is absolute no points for guessing that coming from a Rajasthani family, we devour sweets in almost every possible thing. No meal (and I must specify this includes breakfast too) is complete without desi desserts loaded with ghee, saffron and dry fruits. And when I say sweets, its gotta be rich, fragrant and indulgent. This Dry Fruit Pulao ticks everything I just described. I love how satisfying this pulao is. The aroma of the spices, the crunch from the different dry fruits, the beautiful color from the saffron and the freshness from the pomegranate arils, all amalgamate into a bowl of gorgeous pulao.
My mum loves making pulao. I never remember having the same kind of rice repeated in a week. I remember how my friends loved my school lunch which had corn rice… Oh! I am salivating. This recipe is definitely is dedicated to her and I hope she is happy to see how much she has been influencing my daily cooking journey.
INGREDIENTS: (For 2 – 3 people)
- 1 3/4 cup long grain basmati rice, soaked in water for 2 hours
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and julineed
- 1/4 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup cashew nuts, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup black raisins, roughly chopped
- 10 – 12 strands of saffron, soaked in 1 tbsp water
- 4 tbsp ghee
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp caraway seeds (or you can use normal cumin seeds)
- 2 whole cardamom
- 6 – 7 whole black pepper
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 bay leaf
- 2 cloves
- 1 tsp orange zest/ peels
- 1/2 cup fresh pomegranate arils
- 1 tbsp dried rose petals, to garnish
- In a pan take 1 1/2 tbsp ghee and roast all the nuts – almonds, pistachios, cashew nuts and apricots. Once they are light brown, add the raisins and toss for 30 seconds and take the pan off the stove and keep aside
- Now in a pan take water and bring it to a rolling boil. Add half the saffron strands to it. Once its boiled, but the soaked (and drained) rice to it and let it cook until its par boiled. This will take around 7 – 8 minutes.
- Once done, drain the water and keep aside.
- Now in a big kadai, take ghee. Once its hot add caraway seeds and fennel seeds and let it crackle. Now add black peppercorns, bay leaf, crushed cardamom, cinnamon stick and cloves and saute it for 30 – 40 seconds until they are fragrant.
- Now add sliced onions and let it cook until light golden brown.
- To this add the julienne carrots and saute for 1 minute. Add salt and saute for another minute.
- Now add the par boiled rice, all the roasted dry fruits, orange zest, cranberries and the remaining soaked saffron and saute everything for 1 minute or so.
- Now add more water, cover the lid of the kadai tightly and let it cook for 20 -22 minutes on low heat. Once done switch off the stove and let it rest (with the lid covered)
- Open the lid, serve the rice and garnish with rose petals and pomegranate arils along with fresh raita.