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Navratan Pulao or 9 Jewels Rice

Do you know what Navratan means? Sounds familiar? It literally stands for 9 jewels or gems. There are many stories behind the history of this dish, some say that during the rule of Emperor Akbar, the chef wanted to celebrate all Akbar’s 9 gems from his court and that’s how he came up with this dish. And that’s how Navratan Pulao was born, maybe? Do you believe it? This will make a great Diwali dish for this year.

 

What are these 9 Jewels?

To make this dish, you can use any 9 ingredients like a mixture of veggies and dry fruits/nuts or just all veggies. Totally depends upon you. It is similar to Navratan Korma (which is a creamy dish made with nuts paste) and paired with naan or kulcha. Navratan Pulao can turn out to be a really festive dish with not many ingredients while you are trying to clean your fridge.

Tilda – perfection in every pack

I have recently partnered with Tilda Basmati UK to use their best rice collection available today in the European market. Tilda started in the 70s, the first ones to bring Basmati to Asian families who had moved to the UK. It has been four generations now, but they are still the most popular rice brand selling great variety of high quality rice across Europe. There is a huge variety of rice suiting for different occasions and the Pure Basmati rice seems to be a great option for everyday use.

Also incase you didn’t know Basmati has the lowest glycemic index (GI) making it the best grain for anyone on a diet and for a diabetes friendly diet as well. The lack of saturated fats helps in providing high amount of fiber which can only mean good things for your body.

Now let’s get to the food, already!

Pulao is one such dish that has travelled across both sides of the silk route – it has reached all the way upto China, Mongolia and also the other end upto Spain, Greece. It has different names and different recipes but it all originated in Persia centuries back and was called Pollo/Polo. It is interesting how every country added their own ingredients to it and made it for so local. This holds true for Pulao/Pulav as well. There are so many types of Pulao in India but this one especially is interesting given the royal nature and background of it.

I have a very easy and simple recipe for this dish. It might look like a lot of ingredients, just hey! take a deep breath and read through the list. I am sure you have all these ingredients right now at home with you. The steps are very easy to follow as well. I am sure this Diwali you will make an impression using the Tilda Pure Basmati Rice

Happy Cooking!

Print Recipe
Navratan Pulao Yum
Instructions
  1. First to prepare the rice, wash it well and boil it with 3 cups of water and a drop of oil. It should take 10 mins for the rice to be cooked. Drain the excess water and let the rice rest, till needed.
  2. In a pan add oil, once it is warm enough add the cubed potato, followed by carrots and cook for 5 mins and strain the same and keep it separetely.
  3. To the same pan and same oil, add paneer and cook till golden brown from all the sides. Remove from the pan and keep it aside.
  4. Add the cauliflower florets and saute for a minute. Add walnuts, almonds, cashew nuts and green beans. Saute everything in the pan.
  5. On a medium heat, add the ginger garlic paste, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, bay leaf, cinnamon stick and green cardamom, mix well.
  6. At this point add the cooked rice, salt, ghee and mix well but not too hard.
  7. In another small pan/bowl add few strands of saffron to lukewarm milk and add this to the rice. Followed by the rest of shallow fried veggies (potato and carrot) and paneer.
  8. Add lime juice and cook it under cover for another 5 mins.
  9. Transfer it to a serving plate and garnish it with coriander leaves.
  10. Serve it hot with boondi raita (to make the raita - just assemble everything mentioned under the raita ingredients and add 1/2 cup of water). Serve it with sliced onion, lime wedge and green chilli (if desired)
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