Making Pulao For First Time? 7 Tips To Ace It
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When searching for comfort food yet wanting to indulge in something delicious and quick, pulao is something that rules the palate. This easy-to-make dish has been made in the Indian kitchens for ages. Not only has the dish won people's hearts but also the appetite since ancient times.  


The origin of pulao, sometimes called pilaf, can be attributed to two credible schools of thought if the following ideas are followed. One of them places the rice dish in the hands of the Persian with traces of pilaf of Iranian origin. It is believed that between the 10th century and 13th century, the dish acquired a native flavour and was brought to the centre stage through the Arabic cookbooks during this period. The tale of pulao in the Indian texts has some substance as well. It is believed that the term pulaka from the Sanskrit language resonates with the idea of pulao. The name of the dish has also been found in the Yajnavalakya Smriti. 


If you’re a fan of pulao and are trying to make this delicious rice recipe for the first time, here are some tips that can help you. Take a look:  

  • Choose The Right Rice  

It is of vital importance the type of rice you choose to make your pulao. Always opt for long-grain Basmati rice which is recommended for its fragrant aroma, delicate texture, and the ability to shape well during cooking. Basmati rice lends a nutty flavour to the pulao and has a perfect fluffy texture. While selecting Basmati rice, look for grains that are slender and uniform in size. Besides, make sure that the rice is aged as aged Basmati rice cooks more evenly and absorbs more flavour.  

  • Rinse And Soak The Rice  

Rinsing is the crucial step for making it a perfect pulao. Start by rinsing the rice under cold water until the water runs clear. This step helps in removing excess starch, preventing the grains from sticking against each other during cooking. After a thorough rinsing is done, soak the rice in water for about 30 minutes. This allows the grains to absorb moisture, resulting in even cooking and fluffy texture.  

  • Preparation Of Aromatics  

This is a crucial step to make a perfect pulao. Aromatics like onions, garlic, and ginger infuse complexity and depth of flavour into the pulao. Start by sautéing finely chopped onions, garlic, and ginger in ghee or oil until they turn golden brown. When the onions get caramalised, their natural sweetness is exuded. Meanwhile garlic and ginger add layers of savoury and pungent notes. Aromatics are the foundation of this dish.  

  • Spices  

Spices infuse layers of flavours and aromatic richness into pulao. It is the selection and balancing of spices that complements the other ingredients. In pulao, a blend of whole spices like cumin seeds, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, and cloves, are tossed in ghee to release their essential oils and intensify the flavour.  

  • Ratio Of Rice To Liquid  

To achieve a perfect, fluffy pulao, it is essential to use the correct ratio of rice to liquid. Generally, a ratio of 1.5 to 2 cups of liquid for every cup of rice works well. However, this can slightly vary depending on factors like the type of rice, etc. It is important to strike the right balance as too much liquid can turn the pulao into mushy while little water can result in undercooked rice.  

  • Cover And Steam  

After all the ingredients are added to the pot for making the pulao, cover it tightly so that it traps heat and moisture, creating an ideal environment for the rice to cook evenly. This step also helps the complete absorption of flavours of the spices and aromatics. This method allows the rice grains to plump up without becoming mushy. The steam generated in the pot helps soften the rice keeping it light and fluffy. Allow the rice to simmer over low heat to meld all the ingredients together.  

  • Resting Period  

Ensure you allow the pulao to rest for at least 5-10 minutes after cooking. This allows the flavours to settle in and harmonise. At this time, the steam continues to work its magic, infusing each grain with the essence of the spices and ingredients. The resting period also helps to achieve the ideal texture, allowing the rice to firm up slightly while remaining tender and fluffy. Besides it gives excess moisture the chance to redistribute, preventing soggy pulao.