Basanti Pulao, also known as Bengali Sweet Pulao or Mishti Pulao, is a savory rice dish originating from the culinary treasure of West Bengal, India. This delectable recipe is a beautiful blend of aromatic basmati rice, aromatic spices and sweetness that makes it an absolute delight for the taste buds. Whether served on festive occasions or as a part of a special meal, Basanti Pulao never fails to impress with its vibrant colors and delicious flavours. Let’s get into the kitchen and learn how to make this delicious dish!
To prepare Basanti Pulao for four servings, you will need the following ingredients:
Basmati rice – 1 cup
Ghee (clarified butter) – 3 tbsp
Vegetable oil – 2 tbsp
Whole garam masala (cinnamon stick, clove, cardamom pod) – 3-4 each
Bay leaves – 2
Cashew – 1/4 cup
Raisins – 1/4 cup
Onion – 1 big, thinly sliced
Carrot – 1 medium, thinly sliced
Green peas – 1/4 cup (fresh or frozen)
Saffron threads – a pinch (soaked in hot milk)
Sugar – 2 tbsp
Water – 2 cups
salt to taste
Wash basmati rice thoroughly in cold water till the water runs clear. Soak the rice in water for about 30 minutes and then strain it.
In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat 2 tbsp ghee and 1 tbsp vegetable oil over medium heat. Add cashews and raisins and roast them till the cashews turn golden brown and the raisins swell. They can be removed from the pan and set aside.
In the same pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon ghee and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Add all the garam masala (cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom pods) and bay leaves. Fry for a minute till the aroma goes out.
Add thinly sliced onions to it and cook them till they turn translucent and golden brown.
Now add chopped carrots and green peas to the pan. Fry them for a few minutes, just until they start to brown.
Add the soaked and drained basmati rice to the pan. Gently stir the rice with the roasted vegetables and spices, making sure the rice grains are well coated.
Salt to taste and 2 cups of water should be added. Stir everything together, and bring the water to a boil.
Once the water starts boiling, lower the flame, cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid, and let the rice cook for about 12-15 minutes or till it is completely cooked and puffed up .
While the rice is cooking, take a small cup and soak a pinch of saffron threads in hot milk.
Finally, sprinkle sugar over the pulao and mix it gently, allowing the sweetness to mix with the other flavours.
Garnish Basanti Pulao with roasted cashews and plump raisins, which will add an extra layer of richness and sweetness to the dish.
Serve Basanti Pulao hot with raita, chutney or any favorite side dish. Its mesmerizing aroma and mesmerizing blend of flavors will surely win the hearts of everyone present at the table. Enjoy this traditional Bengali dish with your loved ones, celebrating the richness of Indian cuisine and the joy of cooking. Happy dinner!