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Moti Pulao

Pearl Pulao/Moti Pulao

Pearl Pulao/Pilaf ..soft Paneer balls decorated with edible silver, adoring  the flavourful rice cooked in Indian spices.
Course Brunch, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Awadhi Cuisine, Indian, North Indian
Servings 4


For Rice

  • 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.


CoatingĀ  Paneer balls/pearls with edible silver foil is optional. I didn't have any, you can use it if you want.
You can add nuts of your choice like almonds, pistachios and even cranberries.
For vegan option, infuse saffron in almond or any plant based milk or even skip it and add directly to rice with water..
Keyword Gluten-free, Moti Pulao, No-Onion No-Garlic, Vegetarian