Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bengali Mishti Pulao

The Bengali Mishti Pulao (mishti in bengali means 'sweet') is one such rice dish, which, if you are a Bong, will invariably be proud of. I am proud of it to the extent that I can eat it everyday. And I mean it when I say this. Like most of the Bengali food that is cooked in my kitchen comes from my knowledge that I've gained from my mother, this too comes from her. This is a flavourful, sweet and aromatic rice dish which I would almost thrust my face into during my childhood. My mom's solution to my food tantrums would be Mishti Pulao.

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M has been fond of Bengali food since the time we got married. He likes most of what I have cooked so far. But this, according to him, this has to be my signature dish. Well, I agree with him or not - we won't talk about it here.

Coming back to the famous Mishti Pulao, which by the way, is almost always served in our Bengali weddings, has a little variation too. Like I have seen many people adding peas to this dish. They do that in the weddings too. But I choose to skip that. I keep the peas for my Peas Pulao. Even my mom and a few aunts I know, make it without the peas. But you should choose. I am sure it will taste equally good.

Earlier, when I made Mishti Pulao, I mostly used Basmati rice. But using Gobindobhog gives it another level of flavour. So lately, I mostly opt for the latter. Even M prefers and insists I use Gobindoblog for this pulao.

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And a fairly good amount of turmeric powder (holud) is used in this recipe to get that utterly awesome yellow colour you see in the photos. Say, about a tablespoon.

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This is simple to make, no doubt. Still, I will give you an even more hassle-free way to make it. The microwave version.

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Bengali Mishti Pulao


Basmati/Gobindobhog rice 2 cups
Turmeric powder 2 tsp.
Sugar 3 tbsp.
Cloves 4 nos.
Cardamoms 6 nos.
Cinnamon 2 one inch stick
Bay leaves 2 nos.
Cashewnuts 1/2 cup
Raisins 1/2 cup
Water 4 cups
Salt as per taste

  1. Wash and soak rice for 30 minutes. Drain. Heat ghee in a kadai and add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cardamoms and cloves. Fry for few seconds.

  2. Next, add rice, turmeric powder, sugar and salt. Mix really well till all the grains are covered with turmeric powder.

  3. Now add water, raisins and cashewnuts. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Cook till done. Serve hot with chicken or mutton curry.

To make Mishti Pulao in a microwave:

Put ghee, cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon and bay leaves in a mirco safe bowl. Cook on high micro power for 2 minutes. Then add the soaked rice, turmeric powder, sugar and salt. Mix everything together. Mix well so that all the rice grains are nicely coated with turmeric powder. Add the raisins and cashewnuts. Mix again. Then add 4 cups of water. Cover the bowl with a cling film. Poke with a fork 3 or 4 times to make tiny holes in the cling film. Put the bowl back into the microwave oven and cook on high micro power for 15 to 18 minutes. The time will depend on your oven. Mine gets done in exactly 15 minutes.

 photo mishtipulao5_zps947e6526.jpg

I always make any kind of pulao in a mircowave these days. One, it saves me a lot of time and is hassle free. Two, the rice grains do not stick to each other. Which happens with my most of the time if I am not using the microwave. So, maybe you would want to try making it in the microwave sometime.


  1. Wow,what a superb yummy dish arundhuti..appealing to the core..

  2. Arundhuti, I love it! Its similar to saffron rice only the yellow is due to haldi and not saffron! Beautiful snap too:)! Welcome to FIC, dear!

  3. Had it years ago when we were in Cal, but have never made it.It is midnight here and after looking at the snap, I want to eat mishti pulao NOW!

  4. mmmm i will take some right from your picture. i have never tried this way. great pic!

  5. Mishti pulao & memories & cravings... this is very much like Zarda, except zarda has saffron in it.

  6. Lovely and perfect snap.I think it is similar to normal saffron rice,but sweeter with the addition of sugar.Perfect and rich.

  7. Perfect for the event, what a beautiful color!

  8. i have had yum yum mishti doi, but haven't heard of mishti pulao. sounds delicious :)

  9. Delicious and yummy..Nice click...

  10. i love this... yours looks heavenly..

  11. Looooove mishti polau. With kosha mangsho. :-)
    Ki mone koriye dile Arundhuti ... ebar toh banatei hobe. :-)

  12. beautiful pic, lovely pulao, will try this out asap!

  13. a lovely combo of flavors and lovely colour too...might have tasted yummmm !

  14. wooo..that a bright and attrative colour....looks inviting..

  15. Hi Arundhuti,

    There is a slight mistake in the name of my blog, its "Here I Cook" and not "Bengali Cuisine"

  16. pulao looks ta darun hoyeche

  17. love the golden yellow...kemon achis tui? long time no see

  18. Thank you evrybody...for such appreciation...:-)

  19. mishti rice looks super yummy!!

  20. I love Misti pulao..It looks yummy.Nice presentation.

  21. Looks delicious...enough to get me cooking right away...

  22. Hi Arun,

    Check teh awards page on my blog , there is one waiting for you.

  23. Arundhuti

    Pulao dekhe ar lob samlate parlam na tai baniya fellam.Korta moashai kheye bah!bah! korlen but most of all it reminded me of my pre-marriage days when during any function or festival at home in Kolkata this dish was made.
    Fond memories of the paste bring sad thoughts to the mind.
    Bhalo theko.

  24. Instead of turmeric, can saffron be used to get the yellow colour?