Bengali Misti Polao Or Basanti pulaoPolao is a very popular rice preparation all over the India. But it does not taste the same in every part. In South this pulao or pullihora flavored with curry leaves , cumin seeds ect. But in the Northen side curry leaves are not used to make pulao. On the other side in Bengal it tastes sweet and must be light yellow in color. In Bengal this particular Polao is very popular in any special occation like marraige ceremony, rice ceremony etc even for the family gathering. "Misti/Mitha" stands for sweet in Bengali & "Holud/Basanti" stands for yellow in color & most importantly this will pronounce "Polao" not Pulao. So this rice preparation must be sweeter in taste & yellowish in color. My Grandmom (dad's mother) used to make this for me as I love this rice preparation so very much. Today I'll share the exact recipe which she used to follow.
This polao should be cooked with Bengali aromatic rice called "Gobindobhog" rice. But out of West Bengal it is not possible to get this rice. This is Bengal special rice. Its aroma makes the Polao more aromatic & tasty. Some people say that "Kalizeera" rice, which is available in Bengladeshi stores, is quite similar, but belive me I could not find the similarity, because once you eat the "Gobindobhog" rice you will never forget the aroma. So I made this with "Basmati Rice". This can be a better substitute of "Gobindobhog" rice. Ghee and saffron are the 2 very essential ingredients for this preparation, you can't skip these two. For this most aromatic rice you need very less ingredients but it taste really awesome.
Steps to Prepare
- Take the rice and wash under the cold water thoroughly, but do not rub, just wash the rice, & strain the excess water completely.
- Now spread the rice on a large plate or serving tray. Now let the rice to dry completely, it will take 15-20 minutes.
- After 15-20 minutes add the ghee, turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon salt, ground garam masala to the dried rice and mix with rice gently.
- Remember the washed rice is very fragile right now. Leave the ghee & other ingredients marinated rice for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour take a Kadai Or Wok and heat 2 tablespoons of oil in it. When the oil is perfectly hot add the raisins & cashew nuts and fry them till golden brown.
- Take the fried nuts & raisins out of the wok and keep aside. No in the same oil add bay leaf and grated ginger for tempering. Add the marinated rice to the wok and fry for 5 minutes.
- Now add the fried nuts, raisins, sugar and 4 cups of water, simmer the heat, cover the wok with an airtight lid and let the polao to cook till the rice is cooked perfectly. It will take at least 15 minutes.
- When the rice will be cooked perfectly, open the lid, if you wish may add 1 tablespoon of ghee now to enrich the polao, stand the polao for 10 minutes and serve.
- If you want to make it in pressure cooker, add 3 cups of water instead of 4 cups, close the lid with whistle, wait for 2 whistles on high heat turn off the heat and let the pressure release itself. (before adding the water to the pressure cooker, other steps are the same, and this whole process will be in to cooker instead of the wok). When all the pressures will be released, open the cooker, wait for 15 minutes for standing time and then serve.