Across centuries of evolution, the culinary art of Kashmir has reached a heightened level of elegance and splendour. Using the rich array of ingredients available in the region, the chefs of Kashmir can turn even simple everyday fare into royal repasts… as is evident from this recipe for Kashmiri Pulao.
The ingredients that you will require are:
Basmati Rice: 500 grams
Mustard Oil: 2 tablespoon
Bay Leaves (Tej Patta): 5
Cinnamon (Dalchini): 1 one-inch stick
Cloves (Laung): 8
Cardamom (Elaichi): 5
Cumin (Jeera) Seeds: 1 teaspoon
Salt: to taste
Almonds, cut in half: 30 grams – for garnishing
Walnuts, halved: 30 grams – for garnishing
In Kashmir, people consume copious quantities of rice; the ingredients shown above are for eight servings. Adjust the quantities proportionately if you require less.
Wash the rice; soak it in cold water for around 30 minutes and then drain completely.
Heat the Mustard Oil in a large pan till it reaches its smoking point. Quickly sauté the cardamoms, cinnamon, cloves, cumin seeds and bay leaves. When the aroma of the spices wafts up, add the rice and cook till the grains of rice take on a transparent texture. Keep stirring to ensure that the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
Add one litre of water to the pan along with salt. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the flame to Low. Cover the pan and let the contents simmer till all the water is absorbed and the rice is properly cooked and dry.
Transfer the rice to a serving dish and garnish with almonds and walnuts.
Your traditional Kashmiri Pulao is now ready for your guests to relish – a simple rice preparation elevated to new heights… the Kashmiri way!