Pulao (pilaf) is an Indian rice preparation, classically known for its royal ingredients and irresistible aroma of the whole hot spices.
Inspite of the richness and distinct character of Pulao, its simplicity makes it servable with any Indian curry. As a result, you will find Pulao as a core menu dish in any grand Indian lunch or dinner.
Polka dots pilaf is a cranberry rice recipe modified from my childhood food memories…
I remember as a kid, I had an earnest drive to learn cooking. I tried convincing my mom to let me into her kitchen and take my cooking baby steps. Finally, when she did allow me, Pulao (pilaf) was the one of the first things I wanted to learn. At that age, I did not really understood the culinary complexity behind this dish. I just loved the fact that it had peas, cashews, raisins and butter. Basically, all food joys in one plate for a kid. Certainly, pulao was my favorite lunch kid’s meal.
As I learned cooking pulao in a great Indian mom’s kitchen, I realized it wasn’t all that easy to master it. It was almost a science to understand the right duration of soaking rice, right proportion of rice and water, right mix of whole spices and the right richness of nuts to add. Getting each of these techniques right made the real difference to that sprinkling and fragrant plate of pulao. The only thing easy about making pulao, was adding ghee (clarified butter) – the more the better ; )
Finally, now in life as I am a home chef (well taught by mom), I have mastered the science of cooking Pulao. Hereon, with this cranberry rice recipe I have modified one of my favorite childhood foods by making it more fruity, flowery and contemporary. At the same time i have tried keeping the real Indian character of pulao alive. Check out the recipe for my Cranberry Polka Dots Pulao.
Recipe by Shikha Singh