Heaven on a plate- Kashmiri Pulao

For an Indian like me, who has never been to that “ heaven on earth “ piece of land called Jammu and Kashmir, a state of India, Kashmiri pulao is like the gist of Kashmir served on a plate, a heaven to relish ! This rice dish is not widely recognized as an authentic Kashmiri delicacy and perhaps never served for a Wazwaan, still no other Kashmiri dish(?) is popularized all over India as this pulao. Chances are there that your order will be happily taken for this dish even in a small town south Indian restaurant. Try ordering a true Kashmiri “Gushtaba” at the same place; you might as well be confusing everyone in there.

Each and every grain of this pulao is infused with the delicate flavor of fresh cream and mild aroma of the spices. Adorned with a blend of fruits and nuts, this one can stand on its own, a mild raita or nothing at all is all you need as an accompaniment. Just like the nuts and raisin filled Kashmiri naan which is marked by its nonexistence in traditional Kashmiri cuisine, this warm and hearty rice dish traveled wide and far and acquired immense popularity making it hard to believe that this is not a traditional Kashmiri treat. This is my float for Indian Independence Day food parade, a very refreshing event organized by Indira of Mahanandi. May freedom continue to inspire the country and peace and happiness return to the valley.

Basmati rice 2 cups
Milk 1/4 cup
Cream 1/2 cup
Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp
Cloves 3nos
Cinnamon 1 inch stick
Cardamom 4 pods
Bay leaf 1
Ghee or butter 2 1/2 tsp
Water – 1 3/4 cups
Saffron strands 1/4 tsp
Rose water 1/2 tsp
Chopped mixed fruits ( apple, raisins, apricot, peaches, candied cherries etc) 1 cup
Mixed nuts 1/4 cup ( Almonds, pecan, walnut, cashews etc.)
salt to taste

Wash rice with plenty of water and drain. Heat ghee/butter in a pressure cooker (with lids off) fry cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves, 2 pods of crushed cardamom and cumin seeds. Lower the heat, add rice and fry for a minute. Add cream, milk, a pinch of saffron strands and salt to taste. Mix gently, add water, close the cooker and cook on high heat till you hear one whistle. Remove from heat, wait 5 minutes. Release pressure, transfer the rice to a large mixing bowl, and keep it covered with a foil. Shallow fry nuts in ½ tsp ghee and drain on paper towels. Add fruits, nuts, 1 crushed pod of cardamom, remaining saffron strands and rose water to the cooked rice , gently mix using a fork. Keep it covered for the flavors to blend. Serve hot with a mild raita.

For making this pulao in a regular pan, add ½ cup more of water along with the other suggested ingredients in this recipe for cooking the rice, and cook it covered till the grains are well done yet separate. Turn off the heat. Add fruits, nuts and the remaining ingredients .Gently mix and keep it covered for 10minutes before serving.

Raita - Mix ½ cup of mixed vegetables ( finely grated carrots, cucumber, tomatoes), ¼ tsp minced green chilly skins, ¼ tsp minced onions, 2 tbsp water, 1 tbsp yogurt, pinch of sugar, a pinch of salt. Beat well and keep it covered.


Meena Kandlakuti said...

hi archana,

feeling like really in heaven.The look is delicious.Another pulao in the list.Thank you

Anonymous said...

Your sense of beauty is amazing,you excel in everything you do in this blog. I have been telling about your blog to all my friends ever since i first visited your page yesterday. I wonder why i missed it in the past three months. Finished going through the archives yesterday itself. You are steady,refined and focused from the very begining !!

Tanuja said...

Hi Archana,

U have give the right tittle for this dish having this dish one can feel the heaven,Ur an excellent photograher:))

Anonymous said...

Archana: You have made me a happy woman today! Just looking at the recipe and reading it makes me incredibly happy. Please believe me, those are no empty words and I don't usually like to gush.:)

Thanks for this wonderful float, all the way from breathtaking Kashmir. If I only could find a music piece suitable to play during this float parade.:)

Anonymous said...

Nice recipe! Looks very colourful...what all fruits did u add?


Nabeela said...

beautiful picture! And I love your selection of the dish, so unique.....my dad always reminisces about his stay in kashmir wher he got excellent home-cooked local food at a friend's place. I'll make this dish when he comes to visit me next :)

Krithika said...

Beautiful picture. So apt for the event. Nice use of veg. steamer.

Anonymous said...

Just great. I am not looking for any fancy words this time. Believe me this comes from my heart. Great choice representing Independence Day. What other state better than Kashmir to represent this great day.

Chandrika said...

Archana, your photos are breathtaking...!! A feast to the eyes..! Wonderful job!!

Shammi said...

Your pulao should be called "rainbow on a plate" - it looks so colourful!

Just like the nuts and raisin filled Kashmiri naan which is marked by its nonexistence in traditional Kashmiri cuisine,> - LOVE that description! :)

starry said...

looks heavenly and I am sure it tastes heavenly too.Thanks for sharing. never had Kashmiri pulao before.

Maneka Nirmal said...

hey archana..
good recipes..better photos and the very best blog...by the way,how did u put the name on the photos??

Roopa said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Roopa said...

Archana, WOW. The pictures that you take are unbelievable. Its a feast to the eyes, not to my tummy unless I cook it..... Now if the there was some technology where I could taste this........WOW, this one looks delllllllicious!!!!!!!!thats all I can say.

Thanks for leaving such nice comments on my blog. I am sure you will like the Rava Idlis.

Anonymous said...

Hi Archana,
Firstly thanx for ur warm welcome to Blogland!I surfed thro' ur blog.I think ur cakes are excellent.especially the one with the daisies is mindboggling!!!gr8t work.

wheresmymind said...

That safron looks incredible and delicate!

Sudha said...

Archan as amazing as always.Itlooks so nice...i have helped my self with some of it.. thanks for sharing such wonderful and unique recipes...

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous Pictures ! Looks as beautiful as Kashmir !

Unknown said...

Simply beautiful!!!!

Vineela said...

Hi Archana,
Yummy dish i love the photos.
So ,neat and bright presentation.
I feel eating it.

indosungod said...

Archana, Kashmiri Pulao looks absolutely gorgeous and I am sure tastes even better.

Mandira said...

archana - your pulao looks delicate and yummy. Each element - saffron, fruits, nuts, rice - seems to stand out in this mix.

Anonymous said...

Lovely colors, like those in the flag! A rich recipe for a very culturally rich part of our country. Beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Ahem...So you took a flight from Kerala to Kashmir? :-)

Let me tell you, that was a nice choice! To celebrate Kashmir! Very Very nice choice! Hats off to you!

Anonymous said...

Archana, my heart missed a beat when I saw your delicious-looking Kashmiri pulao, and that this was going to be your entry for the Independence Day Parade...but I read on and saw that you have made the savory pulao! Whew! A relief! Great pics too.

You see, it was going to be more than just an entry for me...I saw Indira's announcement and decided this was the best time to jump into the fray with the Pulao recipe from my state...! I have enjoyed the sharing of recipes from all of you for some time now.

Thanks for the visit and the encouraging words.

Anonymous said...

hi archana
Your kashmiri pulao looks yummy, i would love to try this out , so just wanted to ask you this - is it sweet or can it be paired with chicken dishes?

Mamatha said...

The Kashmiri pulao looks so "pretty" - I bet it tastes awesome.

We used to frequent a Kerala restaurant while growing up - they served the best Biriyani in the city. Made with pineapple (and nuts, I think)among other ingredients, it was very different from other Biriyanis I've tasted. I was wondering if you would consider posting the recipe for Kerala-style Biriyani.

Anonymous said...

hii archana...pulao looks greatt...very colorful..and very appetizing!!!

Nupur said...

A gorgeous dish to accompany your wonderful sentiments for peace and harmony! This one is a must-try as a festive centerpiece to any buffet.

Anonymous said...

You always amazes me Archana and this one is again a perfect and nice choice..And nice photos too..:)

indianadoc said...

Excellent,amazing,wonderful,gorgeous,great,...I'm running short of superlatives dear, the way u make each dish look heavenly on u'r blog!!I just feel like being silent and just admire them with all the awe!!

Anonymous said...

Ente Karthave!! What a gorgeous entry.
I dont think I have ever seen such a gorgeous pulao. I must say your Mr.T is a very lucky guy.

archana said...

Thank you so much

Welcome to Spicyana, thank you so much for your kind words, I am touched!

Thank you friend.

You have a knack to bring the best out of everything, so thank you. I just can’t wait to watch the parade.

Thank you. I used apples, apricot, peaches, candied cherries ( in three different colors), and golden raisins this time.

Thank you dear. Your father is indeed very lucky. I hope one day we all will be able to see that beautiful valley.

Thank you. I was looking for a steel plate with a textured end and didn’t find any. So finally had to go with the steamer basket!!

Thank you, I feel the same way too.

Thanks a bunch.

Thank you. Oh! Thank you, Thank you, I am plainly delighted!!!

Where’s that little girl?? I love the taste of this pulao, somewhere in between sweet and savory. Thank you so much

Welcome to Spicyana, and the wide food blogosphere. Thank you, I am glad that you liked it. I use Photoshop to overlay the text on to the photos.

Welcome to Spicyana Roopa, have a seat please, and help yourself to that steamer basketful of Pulao. Thank you for your kind words. Thank you for your Rave idli recipe, I will be trying that out soon.

Thank you for visiting Spicyana, thanks a bunch for these kind words.

Thank you

Thank you dear, help yourself to whatever you like in this blog. All yours!!

Priya, Pushpa
Thank you so much friends.

Monisha , Vineela, ISG
Thanks a bunch friends.

Mandira, Manisha

Thank you so much.


Welcome to Spicyana, thank you.

Inji Pennu
Oh,yes !!! Thank you dear.

Thank you for visiting Spicyana. I am sure you can still post the authentic version of KP. In food blog events many people do the same dish, and of course the personal touches give each and every one its unique personality. So it should be just fine. I don’t usually add sugar to the recipe as I use plenty of candied cherry in it.
Thank you. It is somewhere in between sweet and savory. But overall, I would say it is more aligned to the sweet side as it has plenty of fruits in it. You can still pair it with some mildly spiced curry.

Thank you Faffer. That is one of my favorite rice preparations too, will blog about it soon.

Thank you very much

Thank you. Yes, I totally agree, a plate of KP looks like a colorful fruit basket!

Thank you so much dear!

Thanks a bunch dear, Oh… no… please don’t be silent.

Thank you friend, I think I must show your comment to T, and try to work on some sort of a reward!! Thank you..

Anonymous said...

Hi Archana,

Your 'float' looks and sounds heavenly indeed :)

Menu Today said...

Hi Archana,
It looks soooo colourful. Nice pictures. Thanx for sharing.

indianadoc said...

'Gurukale,I'm going to bake something...u have been tempting me too much with all those yummy creamy cakes...so as a first step, I'm going to bake some muffins...So vethila veykkattey?!!

Prema Sundar said...

colourful lovely pictures!!!!.A great choice for Indepence Day.

Rushina said...


As always, your blog is a visual treat! I'm just sorry I took so LONG to stop by again, but then there was so much more to see!

Always a pleasure!


RP said...

Why am I too late here? Is there any pulao left?

Priya said...

Archana: Its a gift to be creative. I can't eat that beautiful piece from that plate. But feel like watching it yummmyyyy.

I am gonna turn off my tntblog for sometime and just added ur site to my main blog You are welcome to share your thoughts ther.

Rajesh &Shankari said...

looks and feels like heaven..what a talent

Anonymous said...


Piegirl said...

This is the most beautiful pulao I've ever seen! Thank you for sharing. I've just created links to your blog from mine at http://piegirl.blogspot.com/2006/09/heaven-on-plate-kashmiri-pulao.html.

Anonymous said...

Hi Archana,

Just made this wonderful pulao today.It's my mom's b'day and wanted to make something special. Mom loved it and I feel like I'm in heaven after eating this!!! Excellent!!!!!!!!

Unknown said...

tried this yesterday for our xmas party..considering the fact that we are a wild bunch of saavy not-yet-weds, it turned out to be rather excellent. Thanx a mill for sharing :)

Anonymous said...

HI archana,
U r great i like the dish u gave here.... i felt hungry after seeing the pic

Anonymous said...

What a delicious dish is this? Really superb. Great recipe! Thanks for your great work.

areapal said...

i like to tast this kashmiri pulov


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