Zafrani Pulao

By DK on Dec 28, 2008
Zafrani Pulao

The influence of Brobdingnagian cultures can be seen in Indian Cuisine. Each part of India signifies the amalgamation of the various footholds of 'foreigners' who ever stepped into Indian soil and wanted to make it their home. Awadhi Cuisine is such. It has an essence of Persian, middle eastern - in short a Mughalai touch to it. Born in Lucknow, it boasts of Nawabi touch, of kebabs and pulao's, of korma's and kulchas and also of the bounty of rich spices that goes into making these utterly delicious foods - trumpeting both in sensory as well as luscious variety.

Among such variety is this one called Zafrani Pulao - Basmati rice cooked in a sweet and rich blend of spices and nuts.The preparation calls for minimal ingredients yet the ones chosen to play ornamental are among the pinnacles of Indian cuisine. Saffron - King of Spices, Almonds - King of nuts, Basmati - King of Rice teamed and cooked with ghee play the key role and with such prominent figures, how can a dish go wrong??

Basic Information
Prep Time: Under 15 min
Cook Time: Under 15 min
Serves: 2 people
  • 1-1/2 cup Basmati Rice
  • 1/2 cup mixed nuts ( Almonds + Cashew - sliced/chopped)
  • generous pinch of saffron dissolved in 1/2 cup of warm milk
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • salt to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp of sugar ( you can use upto 1/2 cup. I like it minimal)
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
  • some mint leaves for garnish
In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp of ghee and saute rice until fragrant.
Zafrani Pulao
Along with saffron milk add 2 cups of water and salt, stir and cook
Zafrani Pulao
until the rice is cooked. You can add the cardamom and nutmeg towards the end of cooking rice. Or add it along with the onions when it caramelizes.
Zafrani Pulao
Meanwhile in another pan, add 1 tbsp of ghee and add the sliced onions. Cook for 1-2 min until soft.
Zafrani Pulao
Add the sugar, let it caramelize for some time, till the onions turn dark reddish brown. Make sure not to burn the Onions though. Remove with slotted spoon and set it aside.
Zafrani Pulao
In the same pan, toast the nuts till golden.
Zafrani Pulao
Mix these with the rice - serve warm garnished with mint.
Zafrani Pulao
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11 Responses to “Zafrani Pulao”
  1. Gaurav

    Would like to add that in case user doesn’t find saffron at home, hen can replace it with turmeric (albeit in small dosage here I used less than a tsp) along with milk. The texture changed to be pale yet pleasant yellow. Had I added more turmeric I’m sure the taste of turmeric would have been overpowering.

  2. Gaurav

    Hey , I tried making this recipe on my own. The name caught my attention from the famous movie “Chini Kum” . I must tell you that it came out so well that I am making this again and before just finding time to write this comment. Would really like to thank you for sharing such pleasures with everyone,

  3. Divya

    When do we add the nutmeg and cardamom powder?

    Sorry for the slip in the post Divya. Thanks for pointing it out. Just add them towards the end of either cooking the rice or you can add to the caramelized onions towards the end before mixing with the rice. Either way works.

  4. Curry Leaf

    This is perfect.The step by step pic makes it easy for me.Bookmarked and perfect entry.

  5. Namratha

    Mmmm that platter looks so inviting, can’t stop drooling….yummmmy D!

  6. delhibelle

    Great pictorial, and I too love the paneer tikka sitting pretty on the pulao

  7. Gita's Kitchen

    This is my favorite pulav. The picture looks so tempting, nice click :)

  8. Gita's Kitchen

    This is my favorite pulav. The picture looks so tempting, nice click :)

  9. Madhu

    Wow..its mouth watering..Can’t wait to try..Love the first picture with the kebabs..Great job..

  10. Sunshinemom

    Looks delicious! I love the paneer kebabs you have placed on top – gives it the royal touch!

  11. Pavani

    Yumm.. thats a great pictorial for Zafrani pulao. Reminds me of the movie “Cheeni Kum”– Amitabh and Tabu are introduced to each other by Zafrani pulao.. Delicious dish.. Thanks for the recipe.

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