Pulao rice

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Pulao rice
Pulao rice
Servings:Serves 4
Calories per serving:345
Ready in:40 minutes
Prep. time:15 minutes
Cook time:25 minutes
Difficulty:Average difficulty
Recipe author:JuliaBalbilla
First published:31st January 2013
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Pilaf, also called polao, pilau or pulao, is a dish in which a grain, such as rice or cracked wheat, is browned in oil, and then cooked in a seasoned stock. Depending on the local cuisine it may also contain a variety of meat and vegetables. Pilaf and similar dishes are common to Middle Eastern, Central, South Asian, Latin American and Caribbean cuisine.

This version of pulao rice is a bit of a fiddle but worth making it if you have the time.


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  • 2 Cups Basmati rice (well rinsed under cold water)
  • 1 Knorr chicken cube (dissolved in 4 cups of hot water)
  • 2 oz ghee or oil
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 6 black or green cardamom pods (slightly crushed under a flat knife)
  • 1 5cm (2") rolled cinnamon stick
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • pinch of saffron strands
  • 1 oz flaked almonds
  • 1 oz seedless sultanas
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (1 for garnish, 1 for the rice)


  1. In a large heavy pan melt the ghee and fry both of the chopped onions until browned
  2. remove half of the onions and reserve, leaving most of the oil in the pan
  3. Add dry spices and fry for 2 minutes
  4. Add the rice and coat with the oil and spices
  5. Add water and bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Don't lift the lid
  6. Remove from heat and leave undisturbed for a further 10 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, reheat the reserved onions for a garnish.
  8. Add the sultanas and the almonds and fry for the last minute or so.
  9. Place rice on a serving dish and fork in the onions and almonds
  10. Leave the woody spices in for authenticity, but don't eat them!


At the last minute, stir in cooked frozen peas, chopped sweet peppers, sweetcorn or any vegetables of your choosing.

Switch sultanas raisins or dried apricots.

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