Basanti Holud Mishti Pulao (Sweet Bengali Polao, Basanti Pulao) is a mildly sweet rice preparation very popular in Bengal. It is served with Kosha Mangsho (Bengali Mutton Curry) for all the festivals and special occasions. Learn to make it in a traditional way (gluten-free).
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About This Recipe
Basanti Holud Mishti Pulao (Sweet Bengali Polao, Basanti Pulao) is a bright yellow rice preparation made using Gobindobhog rice, ground turmeric, dried fruits and nuts, sugar, and saffron strands.
It is very mildly sweet in taste with rich flavors from ghee, saffron, and fried nuts and fruits.
This Bengali-style sweet pulao is very popular in all Bengali households and is made for all special occasions and festivals.
It is best served with Kosha Mangsho (Bengali Mutton Curry).
Mishti pulao tastes even better the next day, as resting helps the flavors to mingle nicely. The extra moisture is also absorbed which gives you a more fluffy pulao. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.
Rice – Traditionally, this Bengali sweet pulao is made using a special rice variety called Gobindobhog rice which is short-grain rice with a distinct aroma and flavor, but if you can’t get hold of it, you could also substitute it with basmati rice.
Try to use aged Gobhindobhog rice, as the new rice breaks easily and the final basanti pulao might become mushy instead of light and fluffy.
Ghee – Ghee lends a rich taste and aroma to the pulao. To make the pulao vegan, replace it with coconut oil.
Whole Spices – This pulao is mildly spiced with whole spices like cloves, green cardamoms, cinnamon, and bay leaves.
Dried Fruits & Nuts – Raisins and cashew nuts give a nice crunch to the otherwise soft pulao.
Turmeric Powder (Holud) – It is traditionally added to give that bright yellow color to the polao. Turmeric is considered auspicious in Indian cooking and since this pulao is made for special occasions, it is a must-add.
Saffron – Lends a rich taste with a beautiful yellow hue to the rice.
Sugar – The pulao is mildly sweetened with sugar.
How To Make Basanti Mishti Pulao
Rinse 1 cup of Gobindobhog rice with water and soak in 3-4 cups of water for 30 minutes.
Heat 3 tablespoon ghee in a pan over medium heat.
Once the ghee is hot, add 10-12 raisins and 10-12 whole cashew nuts to the pan and fry until they turn golden brown, stirring continuously.
Add 2-3 whole green cardamoms, 2-3 cloves, 1-inch piece of cinnamon stick, and 1 bay leaf, and fry for 3-4 seconds.
Drain the water from the rice and add it to the pan and mix with the ghee gently.
Add 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoon sugar, ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, and 15-20 saffron strands to the pan and stir gently.
Reduce the heat to low.
Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 20-25 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed by the rice and the rice is cooked.
Remove the pan from the heat and let the rice rest for 5 minutes.
Fluff the pulao gently with a fork.
Garnish with slivered almonds and pistachios and saffron strands. Serve hot.
Mishti Pulao is best served with Kosha Mangsho, a popular Bengali Mutton dish. It can also be served with any Bengali dal, vegetarian curry, or chicken/mutton/fish curry.
Basanti Pulao tastes even better the next day, so you can make it a day in advance and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for a day before serving.
Leftovers will last for 3 to 4 days in the fridge. Reheat it in a pan or microwave until nice and warm.
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Basanti Holud Mishti Pulao Recipe (Sweet Bengali Polao)
- 1 cup Gobindobhog rice (If not available, use basmati rice)
- 3 tablespoons ghee
- 10-12 raisins
- 10-12 whole cashew nuts
- 2-3 whole green cardamoms
- 2-3 cloves
- 1 inch piece of cinnamon
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups water
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 15-20 saffron strands
- Rinse rice with water and soak in 3-4 cups of water for 30 minutes.
- Heat ghee in a pan over medium heat.
- Once the ghee is hot, add raisins and cashew nuts to the pan and fry until they turn golden brown, stirring continuously.
- Add green cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf and fry for 3-4 seconds.
- Drain the water from the rice and add it to the pan and mix with the ghee gently.
- Add water, sugar, turmeric powder, and saffron strands to the pan and stir gently.
- Reduce the heat to low.
- Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 20-25 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed by the rice and rice is cooked.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let the rice rest for 5 minutes.
- Fluff the pulao gently with a fork.
- Garnish with slivered almonds and pistachios and saffron strands. Serve hot.