Bengal’s Basanti Pulao – a sweet yellow aromatic pulao

After a long wait I finally tried my hands on this bengali delicacy called Basanti Pulao. Basanti Pulao is a very common part in a typical bengali celebration like rice ceremony, marriage parties or birthday parties. In some households it’s a regular Sunday lunch affair along with mutton kosha, chicken kosha, butter chicken, paneer makhani, egg makhni and other rich gravy items!

I cooked Basanti Pulao today and served it with kadai paneer though. Today being Saturday, it’s a vegetarian day for most of us. Basanti Pulao is originally made with gobindobhog rice a small grained aromatic delicate rice. But I made it with pulao rice which tasted equally good. But the aroma of the gobindobhog rice was surely a miss in this case though! Basanti Pulao is a sweet in taste pulao,  unlike other savoury pulaos like corn and peas pulaos, chicken pulaos etc. The speciality of this Basanti Pulao also lies in the fact that it’s yellow (hence the name Basanti) in colour. The yellow colour is attributed by turmeric powder. I use kesar or saffron along with it though.

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Time required to cook Basanti Pulao for 3 people: 20 minutes

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Ingredients required to make Basanti Pulao:

  • 2 cups of pulao rice ( gobindobhog rice is though the first choice )
  • 1  tbsp refined vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of whole  cashew nuts
  • 1/2 cup of raisins – soaked in water
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar – 1/3 – 1/2  cup or as per your taste
  • Whole spices – 1 bay leaf, 3 green cardamoms, 2 cinnamon sticks, 4 – 5 cloves, 5 – 7 black peppercorns
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 10 strands of saffron soaked in 1 cup of hot water
  • 1 tbsp ghee or clarified butter

I use Sundrop heart for my cooking needs (To see the product you may click here). Sundrop heart is enriched with the goodness of oryzanol and is made up of 80% Rice bran oil and 20% refined sunflower oil and is marked as a low absorb healthy choice for oil

Basanti Pulao recipe:

  • Soak rice in water for 30 minutes. Drain off water and let it dry
  • Heat oil in a rice pot. Add whole spices and let the aroma be released
  • Add rice, turmeric powder and stir for sometime
  • Add little salt, cashew nuts, raisins. Stir
  • Add a cup of saffron water. Add 3 cups of water more. Add sugar. Let it cook now until rice is cooked
  • Switch off flame. Cover and rest it for sometime
  • Add a dollop of ghee on top!

Basanti Pulao is ready to serve!

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