Pulao or Pulav or Pilav, is a rice based dish made usually with Basmati rice mixing with aromatic spices and herbs. There are numerous variants of pulao, such as tava pulao, matar pulao, veg pulao, etc. The one am sharing recipe here is Navratan Pulao, this has generous usage of dry fruits and vegetables.
Some of the other names of Pulao are Pela, Pilav, Pallao, Pilau, Pelau, Pulao, Pulaav, Palaw, Palavu, Plov, Palov, Polov, Polo, Polu, Kurysh, Fulao, Fulaaw, Fulav, Fulab and varies from region to region. This is common to central asian, east african, middle east, south asian, balkan, latin american cuisine.
As the name says, “Navratan” meaning nine gems, this pulao consists of 9 vegetables and dry fruits (I have used more), and is a royal dish to be made at special occasions. Because this has raisins added to it, it gives bit of sweet taste to the rice, if you do not like that taste, you can ignore adding raisins.
Difference between Pulao and Biryani
Biryani is usually a dish where the rice and meat/ chicken or vegetable is first partially cooked separately them layered and cooked/matured on low flame with other ingredients.
Pulao on other hand is made by sautéing the ingredients (rice and vegetables / meat) and then cooking in water.
Pulao Serving Suggestions
Pulao is normally served with raita but can also be served with lentils / dal or mix gravy.
Below is the step by step recipe to make Navratan Pulao at home.
Wash and soak rice for 20 minutes. After that boil 4 cup of water in a big pot and add half teaspoon salt and rice to it. Once they are 80 percent cooked, strain them in a colander and keep aside.
Heat 2 tablespoon of ghee in a big pan and fry cashews, almonds and raisins till they are golden brown. Take them out and keep aside.
To the same pan, add rest 2 tablespoon ghee. Keep the heat to medium. Add bay leaves, green and black cardamom, cumin seeds, peppercorns, Cloves and cinnamon stick. Sauté for a minute and then add onions to it.
Once the onion are golden add grated ginger, potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, beans and asparagus. Sauté for a minute and cover the pan for 3-4 minutes. Now add capsicum, tomatoes, chillies, green peas and sauté these vegetables till they are soft and tender.
Add paneer, sweetcorn, fried cashews, almonds, raisins and salt and mix. Now add cooked rice to the pan and mix gently so that rice don’t break. Pour saffron milk and cover the pan with lid. Cook it over low heat for 7-8 minutes and switch off the heat.
Transfer the navratan pulao on a serving plate and enjoy it hot.
You can also use any easy cooking vegetable of your choice in this recipe like broccoli etc.
I have used Desi Ghee/Clarified butter in my recipe however you can alternate it with olive oil/ refined Oil.
Don’t overcook the vegetables while sautéing as we want them to be soft and crunchy together.
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Amount Per Serving
Calories 411Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 5g25%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Total Carbohydrates 67g22%
Dietary Fiber 6g24%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.