I had posted a picture of this back in December 2005 but did not share the recipe back at that time. I am doing that today .
I have always wondered what is the difference between pulao and biryani and here's what I found .
Before biryanis became Mughlai food, they were part of Persian culture in the royal courts of Delhi during the medieval period. The word biryani comes from the Persian "birian", which means "fried" or "roasted". The Persians had a major rice dish in their pulao.
There is a subtle difference between the biryani and the pulao.
In a biryani, the parboiled rice is layered twice or more between the spices and the meat, and they are all cooked together. In a pulao, the stock of meat forms the base and the rice is cooked with the spices so that it absorbs the flavor of the spices. A pulao is like an assembly of cooked rice and meat.
Some of the other differences would be:
Pulao is made by the absorption method of cooking rice. Biryani is made by the draining method of cooking rice.In pulao the base ingredient is mixed with the rice, while in biryani the main ingredient is at the base of the vessel. In biryani lot of aromatic masala is used. Pulaos are relatively less spiced (www.uppercrustindia.com)
Talking of Kesar Pulao , it is a special rice dish that is usually made in North Indian or Muslim weddings or for other important functions. It is a very aromatic dish and has a wonderful blend of spices and Kesar (saffron).
You need :
3 cups basmati rice
6 cups water
7 in number cardamom (elaichi)
1 cup mixed dry nuts (cashews, almonds, raisins)
1 tbsp saffron water (put 1/2 tsp of saffron in 1 tbsp of hot water and dissolve)
3 tbsps ghee (clarified butter)1 tbsp.
salt to taste
green boiled peas , 1 tomato and chopped coriander to garnish
This is how you make it
Wash and soak the basmati rice for about 1 hour.(always preferable as this makes the rice cook faster and look better)
Add 2 tbsp ghee to the pan and put in the cloves, cardamom and half the nuts (you can use oil too, just that ghee has better aroma)
Fry the nuts for till they start to turn golden and the raisins start to swell up .
Add the rice and water , salt to taste and the add in the saffron water.(If you want to just add strands of saffron, that should be fine .The more saffron you put , the deeper the color.)
Cover the pot or pan you are cooking in ,When the rice is done .Fry the remaining dry fruits in the remaining butter and sprinkle on the top of the cooked rice .
Garnish with boiled peas, chopped coriander and a tomato floret.
Serve hot with other delectable curries (veg or non veg) and enjoy