Hyderabadi Saffron Pulao

  • 450 gm (2 cups) basmati rice
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 inch stick cinnamon
  • 1-2 cardamoms (elaichi)
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1"(25mm) ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic (optional)
  • pinch of saffron strands
  • 10 tsp milk
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp sour curd
  • 50 gm (1/2 cup) slivered almonds
  • 25 gm green raisins or sultanas
  • 4 cups water1 teaspoon salt


Soak saffron in 2 tablespoon of warm milk for few minutes. Meanwhile rinse rice and soak in fresh water for 30 minutes in a pan. Heat ghee in a heavy saucepan. Add cumin seeds when they crackle, add onion and all the spices(cloves, bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon), ginger and garlic except saffron to the hot ghee. Stir-fry until the onion turns golden brown. Add almonds, raisins and well-drained rice, chilli powder, milk and sour curd, stir-fry for a further 5 minutes. Pour water into the rice, It should be just the right quantity - one inch above the rice level. Add the salt and saffron, stir well and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover the pan tightly and cook on slow fire for about 20 minutes until the rice is tender and fluffy and the water is absorbed. Fluff up the rice with a fork and serve immediately.

Note: Rice and water ratio is 1:2 so use accordingly.

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