Bengali Basanti Pulao recipe, a befitting easy pulao recipe for all Bengali festivities. Bengalis love rice and they love festive cooking. And what other recipe could be more suited than this Bengali meetha pulao recipe or Basanti Pulao with gobindobhog rice?
It is a sweet and fragrant dish that simply plays on the aroma of the spices and the variety of rice used in it. In this blog post, I have shared a detailed recipe for Bengali Basanti polao recipe including a quick video demonstration.
History of Bengali Cuisine & Basanti Pulao
There are some interesting facts about Bengali Cuisine. It is the only traditionally developed multi-course menu spread that serves food course-wise rather than laying it out altogether. It is something similar to the modern French cuisine structure which is also multi-course based cuisine.
Among Bengali cuisine’s popular dishes, Basanti Pulao features prominently among the most preferred rice-based dishes. Polao, having featured in ancient Dharma-related sacred texts of Hinduism often was described as a rice-based dish cooked with meat and other spices.
Of late, its meatless versions came into being which utilizes fragrant varieties of rice combined with selective spices to be served along with several kinds of main course dishes. Basanti pulao mutton kosha is a classic meal idea where this sweet rice pulao is served with spicy mutton curry. Those who are averse to red meat can enjoy basanti pulao and chicken kosha.
Basanti Pulao Ingredients
Bengali-style Basanti Pulao originally employs an indigenous fragrant variety of rice called Gobindobhog. A native variety of rice belonging to a certain region of West Bengal, it is short-grained and extremely fragrant.
The term Gobindobhog consists of ‘Gobindo‘ and ‘Bhog‘ (offerings) meaning it is the most preferred choice of rice as an offering to Lord Gobindo or an avatar of Krishna or Vishnu for the ‘bhog’ preparation. Hence the name, Gobindobhog.
Recently in 2017, the Government of India allotted a Geographical Indication (GI) tag to the Gobindobhog Rice variety thus, strengthening the quality of the rice cultivated and supplied by the southern basin of the Damodar River valley
Here’s the quick list of ingredients for this Basanti Pulao or Bengali Meetha Pulao recipe
- Gobindobhog Rice – or any other short-grained rice such as Indrani. Another alternate would be Basmati Rice
- Spices like Bay Leaf, Green Cardamom, Black Cardamom, Cinnamon and Cloves
- Dried fruits & nuts like Cashew and Raisins. You may also add some slivered almonds and pistachio
- Saffron – a hefty pinch for flavor and color
- Ghee – the best quality you can get
- Salt & Sugar
- Turmeric Powder – just a touch for the color.
Step-by-step instructions for Basanti Pulao recipe in Bengali style
- Heat the ghee in a pan and fry the chopped nuts and raisins on a low flame till they turn golden. Once done take them out and keep them aside.
- Now transfer the leftover ghee to another heavy bottom deep pot and let it warm. Add the Bay Leaves and whole spices and stir for a minute till they start releasing their aroma.
- Now, add the washed and drained rice and give it a gentle stir till it starts releasing the aroma
- Now pour the water and season it with salt and sugar. Add garam masala powder and milk-soaked saffron strands. Give it a stir and let it simmer for 8-10 minutes with lid on.
- Once you see the water has been absorbed halfway, remove the lid and add the fried nuts and raisins. Take a pair of chopsticks and give the rice a gentle stir from the bottom. Let it simmer for another 2-3 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed completely.
- Turn off the heat and allow it to sit for a while, say 10-15 minutes, before serving it hot.
Bengali Durga Pujo Special Menus
Festive cooking demands a special menu. Since we have a lot to choose from, we have dedicated elaborate menus for each of the Bengali Festivals like Durga Pujo, Poila Boishak or Bengali New Year, Basanti Pujo, Jamai Sashti, etc.
Often they include elaborate recipes that would require widespread preparations by the entire family to serve out a wonderfully thought and executed meal. For instance, I have a collection of recipes to help you plan meals with Bengali Luchi.
I often plan my weekend special menus or party menus using recipes from my blog. For instance, I have paired this Basanti Mishti Pulao recipe with a Spicy Bengali Chicken Curry Recipe, as well as Chicken Rezala quite successfully.
On one such occasion, my menu included this polao along with the Spicy Honey Chilli Chicken Recipe. It was applauded and loved by everybody who came over to our place for lunch.
It can also be wonderfully served with Bengali Kosha Mangsho for a leisurely Sunday lunch meal with family.
This Basanti Mishti Pulao with Basmati Rice is a Gluten-Free recipe, so all those who are allergic to Gluten can easily make and enjoy this dish. Gluten is a protein that often leads to discomfort as many fail to digest. They may suffer symptoms like diarrhea, rashes, and severe abdominal pain. Generally, wheat, barley, and rye have gluten in them which should be completely avoided if you are gluten-sensitive.
This Basanti Pulao is a classic example of Indian Veg Pulao Recipe and can be turned into a Vegan recipe by replacing Ghee or Clarified Butter with flavorless white oil such as sunflower oil or rice bran oil.
I have over 200+ Bengali Recipes on my Blog that offer a wide variety of lunch and dinner meal ideas. Starting from classic and traditional recipes to contemporary ones that are more suited to modern-day hectic lifestyles, you will find many recipes to choose from.
Bengali Basanti Pulao recipe, a befitting easy pulao recipe for all Bengali festivities. Bengalis love rice and they love festive cooking.
- 1/2 cup Gobindobhog Rice or Basmati Rice
- 1 cup Water Tepid or Lukewarm
- 4 tbsp Ghee or Clarified Butter
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 Black Cardamom
- 4 Green Cardamom
- 1 inch Cinnamon Stick
- 5-6 Cloves
- 1/3 cup Mixed Dried Fruits Chopped Almonds, Cashew, Walnuts
- 1/3 cup Raisins
- 1 tsp Garam Masala Powder
- Salt To Taste
- A pinch of Saffron soaked in 2 tbsp Warm Milk
- 1 tbsp Sugar
Heat the ghee in a pan and fry the chopped nut in it till light golden in color. Once done take them out and keep aside.
Now, add the Bay Leaves and whole spices and stir for a minute till they release their aroma.
Now, add the washed and drained rice in it. Fry it till they become crisp.
Add the water, salt, sugar, garam masala powder and milk soaked saffron strands. Give it a stir and let it simmer for 8-10 minutes with lid on.
Once you see the water has been absorbed halfway, remove the lid and add back the fried nuts & raisins. Take a pair of chopsticks and give the rice a gentle stir from the bottom. Let it cook for a few minutes more and then turn off the heat.
Let it sit for a while just like that, maybe for 10-15 minutes. Then serve.