Recipes: Kashmiri Pulao

Kashmir – the very name is so evocative and exotic. The northern most state in India, this snowy region is quite devoid of vegetatation and so recipes from this region feature more meat and game than vegetables. Everyone, including the Hindu brahmins eat meat and vegetarian recipes are sparse on the ground in this state.

S loves Kashmiri Pulao which is found in the menus of most restaurants and wanted me to make it over the weekend. I checked around and found a recipe I liked, but omitted the fruits that more often than not are found in restaurant menus. This one is a slightly plain recipe, but you can always add fruits if you like.

Kashmiri Pulao


  • 1 cup Basmati rice, washed and soaked in water for 20 minutes, drained and kept aside
  • 2-3 small onions, sliced finely vertically. If you are using bigger onions, cut horizontally in half and then finely vertically
  • 1 pinch of saffron, soaked in 2 tbsp warm milk for 15-20 minutes.
  • 10-12 cashew nuts
  • 10-12 almonds
  • 3 cloves
  • 3-4 green cardamom
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-inch piece of cinnamon
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seed powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 3-4 tbsp ghee


  • Dissolve the saffron strands in the warm milk and keep aside.
  • Heat 2-3 tbsp ghee in a pan and fry the sliced onions until the onions are crisp. You can sprinkle a pinch of salt while frying them. Once the onions are crisp and brown, remove them to a plate with kitchen paper and keep aside.
  • In the same pan, add in the cashew nuts and almonds and fry until they are brown and crisp. Remove and keep aside.
  • In the same pan, add more ghee if needed and fry the cardamom, cloves, bay leaf and cinnamon and saute for around 30-40 seconds.
  • Then add the chopped green chillies, ginger and fennel powder and saute for a couple of seconds.
  • Now add the soaked and drained rice and season with salt and saute for a minute.
  • Then add the dissolved saffron with the milk and saute for a couple of seconds.
  • Transfer this to a rice cooker and add the appropriate amount of water (around 1 cup). If you are cooking on the stovetop, continue cooking covered with the lid on till the rice is almost cooked.
  • When the rice is cooked in the rice cooker, fluff the rice with a fork and add the fried onions and nuts and mix well. Let it be on warm mode for another five minutes before serving it hot with a Kashmiri Yakhni.
  • If cooking on the stovetop, when the rice is almost cooked, fluff the rice and add the onions and nuts and mix well. Cook for another 5 minutes more till the rice is completely cooked and then serve hot.
  • If you want to add fruits, you can add chopped apples, pineapple and pomegranates which you can add when you add the onions and nuts.
  • Enjoy the delicious Kashmiri Pulao and think of the frozen beauty of this state while eating it. I served this with a Potato Yakhni which I will put up very soon and link it here once I upload the recipe.

1 thought on “Recipes: Kashmiri Pulao

  1. Pingback: Recipes: Kashmiri Potato Yakhni | Memories and Such

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