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Pearl Pulao/Pilaf .. A delectable Rice Pulao with soft deep-fried, Paneer balls decorated with edible silver, adorn the flavourful rice cooked in Indian spices.
Pearl Pulao and its History
Pearl Pulao or as it is popularly known as Moti Pulao is a delicacy from Awadhi Cuisine. The original version of the pulao is non-vegetarian.
This rich Pulao was cooked in the kitchens of Nawab of Lucknow. Pearls or the Moti in pulao are made with egg whites poached and cooked with special technique, pounded and stuff in the intestine of chicken and in such a way that the cooked yolks resembled the real pearls. These days this exotic Pulao is not cooked widely. I recently saw a feature on you tube, on this Pulao at NDTV cooking show hosted by Chef Aditya Bal.
Another piece of history says,that the Pulao was first dished out from the kitchens of Nawab of Awadh.The delicious platter from the kitchens of Nawab was one of the way to show their wealth and elegance. Pearl(Basra Ke Moti) trade flourished in that region during the Nawab’s regin. On one special occasion the chef added the paneer balls coated silver vark (edible silver foil) in Shahi Pulao resembling the real pearls, to give it a more royal touch.Since then various version have come up and this Pulao is made on special occasions.
For vegetarians, this is an easy and quite simple vegetarian version of the pulao, where the Pearls or Moti in Pulao are made with the Paneer or Indian Cottage Cheese. This pulao is quite popular in the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh where it is cooked during festivals as a part of Bhog(offering) to the Divine. Please update me if another other region also people make it.
The rich flavour in this pulao comes from the use of Indian whole spices and saffron. Nuts like cashew nuts and raisins are added to enhance the richness of the pulao. I saw the vegetarian version of Pulao cooked by Chef Saransh Goila on NDTV few years back. I had forgotten about this Rice preparation till the time I saw the non-vegetarian by Chef Aditya.
Searched few recipes and every recipe was different from the other. I liked this simple version of Pulao by Chef Saransh, so here I am with this Royal Pearl Moti Pulao recipe.
It takes just a few minutes to cook it, if you have with you fresh Paneer and boiled potato available. You can use store bought Paneer or make it at home(Homemade Paneer).
Use good quality Basmati Rice for making this.
Let’s see how I make this Pearl Pulao/Moti Pulao
Pearl Pulao/Moti Pulao
- 2 Cups Basmati Rice
- 8-10 Cashew Nuts
- 8-10 Raisins(Kishmish)
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 2 Black Cardamoms
- 2-3 Green Cardamoms
- 4-5 Cloves
- 4-5 Peppercorns
- 1-2 tbsp Desi Ghee/Oil
- 4-5 Saffron Strands
- 1/4 Cup Milk
- 1/2 Salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp Sugar
To make Paneer Pearls/Moti
- 1 Cup Soft Crumbled Paneer
- 1 Boiled Potato small
- 2 tbsp Cornstarch Cornflour in India
- 1 tsp Salt
Prepare the Rice Pulao
- Wash Rice and soak it in enough water for at least 1 hr.
- When ready to take rice, take a heavy bottomed pan, add ghee/oil to it.
- Roast Cashew Nuts in it till light brown. Roast raisins for few seconds till it puffs up. Keep aside for later use.
- In the same pan and ghee, add the whole spices, and cumin seeds. When the seeds crackle, add rice and saute for few minutes.
- Add 3 Cups of water. Add salt, and mix lightly . Cover and cook till rice is done and the water evaporates. Add the saffron milk when the rice is half done and again cook till all the liquid evaporates.
Prepare the Paneer Pearls/Moti
- In a bowl, mix paneer, boiled mashed potato, cornflour and salt. Mix and make a smooth mixture.
- Make small lime balls, and deep fry till light brown. I like to keep the Paneer pearls very light in color. Once done, keep aside to add in pulao.
- Check for the doneness of rice, add cashew nuts and raisins and mix lightly with a spoon or fork.
- Coat paneer pearls with edible silver foil while still warm. Add to the pulao before serving.
Prepare Rice Pulao
Prepare Paneer Balls/Pearls
Do make this wonderful Pulao and add a royal touch to your menu. So perfect for the festivals and special occasions. The rice is so rich and full in flavours that my 7yr old loves to have it just like that, without any curry or dal.
So make some creamy gravy and enjoy this rice with some boondi raita side.
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This is 16th in my series of A-Z Biryani/Pulao/Khichdi dishes, that I am taking to Mega Blogging Marathon April’19.
Day 16. P. Pearl Pulao
This is an event where I along with a group of fellow bloggers are blogging everyday about Biryani/Pulao/Khichdi dishes this whole April, with Sundays off.
My earlier posts for the event..
Day 1. A.. Aloo Matar Ki Tehri
Day 2. B..Broccoli Mushroom Pulao
Day 3 . C..Chana Dal Khichdi
Day 4. D..Dhaniya Pulao
Day 6. F.. Fresh Mint and Peas Pulao
Day 7. G.. Gatte Ka Pulao
Day 8. H.. Hari Moong Dal Khichdi
Day 9. I.. Iyengar Puliyogare(Instant)
Day 10. J.. Jeera Rice
Day 11. K.. Kashmiri Pulao
Day 12. L.. Lucknowi Veg. Dum Biryani
Day 13. M..Mixed Veg Pulao
Day 14. N.. No-Onion No-Garlic Kadhai Paneer Pulao
Day 15. O.. Oats and Moong Dal Khichdi