Friday, August 21, 2015

Fakibaji Pulao / Very Quick Bengali Sweet Pulao

By Pulao Bengalis understand rice dish which is sweetened with sugar, and then cooked and flavoured with the whole spices. Cashew nuts are added as an extra crunch and raisins are added for more sweetness. In this all too sweet scenario you can add some peas as well as chopped carrots. This is the very basic pulao that we Bengalis cook.

how to cook bengali style sweet pulao

This pulao is mostly known as fried rice to almost all the Kolkatans. I really have no idea that how...but this sweet rice and vegetable melange is popularly known as fried rice.  And it’s a must for any grand occasion.

simple sweet pulao recipe with step by step pictures

Today what I am sharing is a much simpler and easier version of that. It’s without onion and loaded with cashews and raisins. I went short of raisins, but it is highly recommended.  I paired this sweet pulao with pure vegetarian matar paneer and fish fry. The combo was a perfect devil, destroying our hunger within minutes.

simple pulao recipe

how to cook bengali pulao

quick pulao recipe

Also, since the pulao is kind of heavy, because of the addition of ghee, cashew and the very filling gobindobhog rice, a small amount of pulao is enough to fill the tummy. The idea of making this very simple pulao came, when we were literally famished and tired after cleaning the house. I had some matar paneer left in the fridge and some frozen fish fries were patiently waiting their turn in the refrigerator. None of them could go perfectly with plain rice. And physically I was nowhere near to cook an elaborate pulao.

how to cook simple rice pilaf indian style

So I went for this 3 step simple sweet pulao. After sautéing and flavouring I covered the pan to let the rice cook and on the side oven I deep fried the fish fries. After they were done, I patted them with tissue paper and put them into the micro oven, so that they remain hot. Then I checked again, but the rice was still not cooked.  So I waited patiently till the rice was cooked completely, and then prepared the table to have lunch. In the mean time, husband cut the salad and the moistures from the rice evaporated quickly. The rice grains in the pulao came out clean, separated and fluffy. And we almost dug in.

bengali style sweet pulao recipe with step by step pictures

Fakibaji Pulao / Very Quick Bengali Sweet Pulao
Serves 4

rice pilaf with cashew and raisins

1 and ½ cup Rice (Gobindobhog preferably. Butin case of non-availability use fine Basmati rice)
½ cup whole cashews – break them or yo can use the whole as well
¼ cup raisins – golden / brown
½ inch stick of ginger – minced
1 tsp lemon juice
1 large cinnamon stick
3-4 green cardamoms
3 cloves
1 big / 2 small bay leaves
¼ - ½ cup sugar
2 tbsp ghee / clarified butter

Wash the rice till clear water runs through. Then soak them in water for 30 minutes.
Drain the water and keep the rice in a separate bowl, before you start to cook.
Heat the ghee in a handi / dechki / heavy bottomed dutch oven.
Let the ghee melt and then add in the cinnamon stick, cloves, green cardamoms and bay leaves.
Sauté for half a minute or until the oil becomes aromatic.
Then add the kept aside washed and soaked rice.
Keep stirring with a cooking spoon / spatulla to make sure that the rice does not stick to the pan / handi. After stirring and cooking continuously for 2-3 minutes, you will see the rice grains becoming stiff and separate. They will no longer stick to the pan or each other.
Now add the broken / whole cashew nuts and raisins.
Sauté till the cashews become a little golden and raisins puff up. You can fry them in a separate pan also and then add them to the rice.
Once done, add the sugar and minced ginger.
Stir till it melts.
Then add 2 and ½ cups of water and lemon juice.
Mix everything properly and put cover.
Cook for 15-25 minutes or until the rice is cooked through and all the water is evaporated.
Once the rice is cooked, put off the flame. But do not uncover and let the rice / pulao stay like that for 10 more minutes. It will help the rice to contain all the moistures and become fluffy.
After 10 minutes put off the lid, and serve hot with any heavy and rich side dish, like matar paneer or dum aloo or kasha mangsho.

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