Prepare time: 25 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Serves: 2 Persons


For Soaking Rice

  • 1.5 cups rice or 275 grams rice
  • 3 tablespoons Ghee
  • 1 pinch of saffron
  • ½ tablespoon warm water for soaking saffron

Dry Fruits & Nuts

  • 1 tablespoon almond
  • 12 to 15 cashews
  • 1 tablespoon pistachios
  • 1 tablespoon raisins

Other Ingredients

  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds (shahi jeera)
  • 2 inches cinnamon
  • 1 tej patta (indian bay leaf)
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 to 3 strands of mace
  • 1.5 cups cups thinly sliced onions or 135 grams onion or 1 large onion
  • ½ tablespoon Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 1 green chilli – chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
  • ½ cup chopped tomatoes or 1 medium sized tomato
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon kashmiri red chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon biryani or pulao masala powder or ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 3 tablespoon Curd (yogurt)
  • 1.5 to 2 cups chopped mix vegetables – carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, french beans, broccoli, mushrooms
  • ⅓ cup green peas (fresh and frozen)
  • 2.5 to 2.75 cups water
  • salt as required
  • some mint leaves or coriander leaves for garnishing

Directions For Making Shahi Pulao


  1. Rinse basmati rice very well in water till the water runs clear of starch. 
  2. Then soak rice in enough water for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes drain all the water and keep rice aside.
  3. In a small bowl mix ½ tablespoon warm water and 1 pinch of saffron (kesar). Also chop all the veggies and slice the onions.

Frying Nuts & Dry Fruits

  1. Heat ghee in a heavy pot or a pan. Keep the flame to low or medium-low. 
  2. Add almonds. fry almonds till they change color and become a shade darker. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside.
  3. Next add cashews and fry them till the cashews become golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside.
  4. Then add pistachios and fry for a few seconds. Remove and keep aside.
  5. Next add 1 tablespoon of raisins and fry till the raisins become plump and swell. remove and keep aside.

Making Shahi Pulao

  1. Keep the flame to a low and add the following whole spices – ½ teaspoon shah jeera (caraway seeds), 2 inch cinnamon (dalchini), 1 tej patta (indian bay leaf), 4 green cardamoms (hari elaichi), 1 black cardamom (badi elaichi), 4 cloves (lavang) and 2 to 3 strands of mace (javitri). 
  2. Fry the spices for a few seconds till they become aromatic and splutter.
  3. Then add thinly sliced onions. Mix well and begin to sauté onions on a medium-low flame.
  4. Stirring often sautéing onions till they become golden. 
  5. When the onions become golden, switch off the flame and remove about ¼ to ⅓ cup onions. Keep aside.
  6. Switch on the flame and add ½ tablespoon ginger-garlic paste. Sauté till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.
  7. Then add chopped tomatoes and mix.
  8. Add the chopped green chilli, chopped coriander leaves and chopped mint leaves. mix well.
  9. Add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi), ½ teaspoon kashmiri red chilli powder, ½ teaspoon biryani or pulao masala powder or ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder.
  10. Mix and sauté till tomatoes soften.
  11. Keep the flame to a low and then add 3 tablespoons of fresh curd (dahi or yogurt).
  12. As soon as you add curd, mix quickly so that it does not split. Mix very well.
  13. Now add 1.5 to 2 cups chopped veggies like carrots, french beans, cauliflower, mushrooms, potatoes. Also add ⅓ cup green peas.
  14. Mix and sauté veggies for a minute.
  15. Add 2.5 to 2.75 cups of water. Depending on the quality of rice, you can add less or more water. mix well.
  16. Season with salt as per taste. Mix again. Check the taste of water and it should taste slightly salty.

Cooking Shahi Pulao

  1. Cover pan with lid and cook on medium flame till the entire mixture come to a boil on medium flame.
  2. Then add the rice.
  3. Add the saffron solution. Saffron can be skipped and 1 teaspoon rose water or kewra water can also be added. mix again.
  4. Cover the pan with lid and simmer on a low to medium-low flame till rice grains are tender and cooked. Do check a couple of times and if required you can add some hot water if the pulao mixture looks dry.
  5. When done, gently fluff the pulao.
  6. Serve shahi pulao garnished with the fried dry fruits, nuts and onions. You can even garnish with a few mint sprigs of coriander leaves.

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