Shahi Pulao

5 from 1 vote

Made using nuts, whole spices, yogurt, and onions, this Shahi Pulao is a perfect addition to your festive or special meals. Here is how to make it.

Here are some more pulao recipes that you may like: Gucchi Pulao, Peas Pulao, Paneer Pulao, Brown Rice Pulao, Tawa Pulao, and Veg Pulao.

Shahi pulao served in a bowl.
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About Shahi Pulao

As I write this post, I am drooling and want to make this Shahi Pulao again; it was so good. Fragrant rice, fried nuts, ghee, and saffron—what’s not to love about the flavors in this rice dish?

I was scrolling through my recipe diary when I came across this recipe. Something inside me told me the recipe looked like a success, and I am glad I listened to my inner self.

Shahi Pulao is a North Indian-style rice preparation in which long-grain basmati rice is cooked with whole spices, nuts, fried onions, mint, coriander, and yogurt.

It is a rich and flavourful recipe that is easy to make and comes together quickly.

You can serve it with a raita or as a side dish with your festive or special meals. It is also a great dish to pack in a school or office lunch box.

Ingredients

Rice – Use aged long-grain basmati rice to make this pulao for the best texture.

Whole Spices – This pulao is subtly spiced with cloves (laung), star anise (chakri phool), green cardamom (hari elaichi), bay leaf (tejpatta), and cinnamon (dalchini).

Nuts – Adding almonds, cashews, and raisins makes this pulao rich. You can add other nuts of your choice.

Onion – This recipe uses raw and Crispy Fried Onions (birista). You can prepare birista beforehand, so it comes in handy while cooking.

Veggies – I have used carrots and green peas, but you can add more vegetables, such as cauliflower, green beans, bell peppers, etc.

Remember to add cilantro (fresh coriander leaves) and mint, as they add a refreshing flavor to the pulao and make it more delicious.

Saffron gives a beautiful orangish color and a lovely flavor to shahi pulao.

Others – You will also need plain yogurt (dahi, curd), cumin seeds, garam masala powder, ghee, oil, salt, and kewda essence.

If you do not have kewda essence, add a little rose water for the rich flavor.

I prefer to use both ghee and oil, but you can make it only ghee, too.

How To Make Shahi Pulao

Wash 1 cup of long-grain white basmati rice and soak it in water for 20 minutes.

Rice soaked in water.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 2 tablespoon ghee in a pan over medium-high heat.

Once hot, add 8-10 almonds, 8-10 cashew nuts and fry until browned.

Almonds and cashew nuts added to hot ghee in a pan.

Add 8-10 raisins, and fry for 4-5 seconds. Remove on a plate.

Raisins added to the pan.

Add the following ingredients to the pan and let them crackle for 3-4 seconds.

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-inch piece of cinnamon stick
Whole spices added to the pan.

Add ½ cup sliced onions and cook until they turn golden brown, stirring frequently.

Sliced onions added to the pan.

Now add the following ingredients and mix well.

  • ¼ cup plain yogurt, whisked
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 2 tablespoon crispy fried onions
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup green peas
  • ¼ cup cubed carrot
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon kewda essence
Yogurt, garam masala powder, crispy fried onions, coriander, mint, carrots, peas , kewra essence, and salt added to the pan.

Add the following ingredients and mix well.

  • soaked rice
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 pinch of saffron soaked in 1 tablespoon milk
  • fried nuts
Soaked rice, water, saffron soaked in milk and fried nuts added to the pan.

Reduce the heat to low.

Cover the pan and cook undisturbed for 20-25 minutes until the rice is cooked and all the liquid is evaporated.

Pan covered with a lid.

Remove the pan from heat and let it rest for 5 minutes.

Fluff the pulao using a fork and serve hot.

Ready shahi pulao.

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Made using nuts, whole spices, yogurt, and onions, this Shahi Pulao is a perfect addition to your festive or special meals. Here is how to make it (gluten-free and can be made vegan).
5 from 1 vote

Shahi Pulao Recipe

Made using nuts, whole spices, yogurt, and onions, this Shahi Pulao is a perfect addition to your festive or special meals. Here is how to make it.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Soaking Time: 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup long grain white basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 8-10 almonds
  • 8-10 cashews
  • 8-10 raisins
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 4 cloves (laung)
  • 1 star anise (chakri phool)
  • 2 green cardamoms (hari elaichi)
  • 1 bay leaf (tejpatta)
  • 1 inch cinnamon (dalchini)
  • ½ cup sliced onions
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt (dahi, curd) (whisked)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 2 tablespoons crispy fried onion (birista)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  • 1 tablespoons chopped cilantro (fresh coriander leaves)
  • ¼ cup green peas
  • ¼ cup cubed carrots
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon kewda essence
  • 1 pinch saffron (soaked in 1 tbsp milk)
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Instructions 

  • Wash the rice and soak it in water for 20 minutes.
  • Heat oil and ghee in a pan over medium-high heat.
  • Once hot, add 8-10 almonds and 8-10 cashew nuts and fry until browned.
  • Add 8-10 raisins, and fry for 4-5 seconds.
  • Remove on a plate.
  • Add cumin seeds, cloves, star anise, cardamoms, bay leaf, and cinnamon, and let them crackle for 3-4 seconds.
  • Add onions and cook until they turn golden brown, stirring frequently.
  • Now add yogurt, garam masala powder, crispy fried onions, mint, cilantro, peas, carrot, salt, and kewda essence and mix well.
  • Add the soaked rice, 2 cups of water, saffron soaked in milk and fried nuts, and mix well.
  • Reduce the heat to low.
  • Cover the pan and cook undisturbed for 20-25 minutes until the rice is cooked and all the liquid is evaporated.
  • Remove the pan from heat and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  • Fluff the pulao using a fork and serve hot.

Notes

If you do not have kewda essence, add a little rose water for the rich flavor.
I prefer to use both ghee and oil, but you can make it only ghee, too.

Nutrition

Calories: 342kcal, Carbohydrates: 46g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 21mg, Sodium: 615mg, Potassium: 224mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1431IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 61mg, Iron: 1mg
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