This very fancy pulao, or mixed rice, is from the Northern Indian state of Kashmir. Although it is a frozen region high in the Himalayas, Kashmir lies along the ancient overland trade routes between Persia and India, and the cuisine is famous for using a huge assortment of nuts and dried fruits from all over Central and Western Asia.
- 1/2 kilogram basmati or other long-grained rice, cooked and drained
- 3 tablespoons ghee or butter, to taste.
- 5 cloves
- 4 pods green cardamom
- 1 cinnamon tree leaf (or substitute 2 bay leaves)
- 1 small onion, sliced thin
- 2 green chillies, split lengthwise
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste (1 part ginger to 1 part garlic)
- 100 grams dried dates, pitted and sliced thin
- 50 grams white raisins
- 50 grams cashew nuts
- 50 grams pistachio nuts
- 50 grams almonds, blanched and diced
- pinch of salt
- 3-4 strands saffron
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Heat ghee or butter in a large wide pan or wok.
- Add dry spices: cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon tree leaf.
- Throw in the chopped onion and fry until it just begins to turn brown.
- Add ginger-garlic paste and chillies and fry for about 1 minute before tossing in all of the dried fruits and nuts.
- Add salt to taste.
- Turn the flame down to low.
- Soak the strands of saffron in milk, mixing until the milk turns orange.
- Pour the cooked rice into the pan and sprinkle the saffron-milk on top.
- Stir very carefully so as not to break or mash up the rice grains, mixing the flavourings and saffron colour in uniformly and heating the rice.
- Add more ghee according to your preference
- optional adding panneer fried in ghee to the pulao makes it taste better. use chicidi as a sidedish
Serve with a gravy such as the basic tomato gravy. Serves 4.