Basanti Pulao

Basanti pulao or Bengali sweet yellow pulao. Bright yellow coloured aromatic rice made with fragrant gobindobhog rice saffron and aromatic whole spices taste heavenly with any spicy curry. A festive dish from Bengali cuisine. Basanti stands for yellow. This sweet yellow pulao called basanti pulao, holud pulao or misti pulao. Basanti pulao also taste great with Basmati rice, so you can use whatever you have.

Durga puja is around the corner. Try this aromatic rice to celebrate your festival. You can also make it for bhog prasad for Goddess. To know about Durga Puja or Sharad Utsab click here. For bhog or naivedya different types of dishes are prepared to offer Goddess Durga. Reading a book Bhog Naivedya by Sujata Shukla. Copy pasting a line from the book, “This is not just faith, but also a nation’s food culture, brought to you on a puja thali!.” I completely agree with it. You can get many more authentic recipes on above Durga Puja post link. As I said you can serve this pulao with any veg or non veg spicy curry. I served it with shahi dum aloo. I will share the recipe soon.

Here are some no onion garlic veg curry recipes which you can serve with this pulao.

Chhanar dalna

Spicy potato curry

Makhana curry

Kaju Curry

Dahi aloo

Aloo kofta curry

Pointed gourd in yogurt gravy

Rasgulla korma

Matar kofta

Shahi paneer

Aloo Paneer

You can also serve this pulao with any non veg curry like

Chicken kosha

Chicken rezala

Dim kosha

Zafrani chicken

Chicken dak bungalow

Rara mutton

Railway mutton curry

Fish kalia

Chhanamukhe ilish

Chicken chaap

Fragrant gobindobhog rice with whole spices made this pulao aromatic. But if you don’t have gobindobhog rice then you can use Basmati rice. I usually make basanti pulao with Basmati rice because gobindobhog rice is not available outside Bengal. Have a look at how it looks with basmati rice. In this pulao I have used basmati rice and instead of saffron used little turmeric powder.

But this time got gobindobhog rice online. I used saffron or keshar to make this pulao basanti or yellow. If you don’t have saffron then you can use little food colour or turmeric. But I recommend to use saffron for the lovely aroma and colour.

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Gobindobhog rice – 1&1/4 cup

Ghee or clarified butter – 2 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon

Saffron or keshar – 1/4 teaspoon

Milk – 3 tablespoon

Cumin seeds or jeera – 1/2 teaspoon

Green cardamom – 3

Cloves – 3

Cinnamon – 1 inch piece

Bay leaf – 1

Cashew nuts – 15

Raisins – 15

Ginger – 1 teaspoon, grated or paste

Salt – 1 teaspoon or to taste

Sugar – 2-3 tablespoon

Bengali garam masala powder – 1 teaspoon

Mace or javitri powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Nutmeg or jaiphal powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Cumin powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Water – 2 & 1/2 cup


1. Wash the rice well. Drain the water completely. Marinate the rice with 1 teaspoon ghee, salt, sugar, grated ginger or paste, nutmeg or jaiphal powder, mace or javitri powder, cumin powder and 1/2 teaspoon Bengali garam masala powder. Get the recipe of Bengali garam masala here. I have used 1 teaspoon salt and 2&1/2 teaspoon Sugar and its perfect for me. Mix everything well and keep aside.

2. Soak saffron for 15 minutes in 3 tablespoon warm milk. After 15 minutes crush the saffron with your finger tips and let it soak for some more time.

3. Crush the green cardamom, cloves and cinnamon in a mortar pestle.

4. Heat remaining ghee in a pan or wok. You can use half oil and half ghee if you want but ghee taste better. Fry the cashew nuts on low medium heat. Keep stirring to fry the nuts evenly. When cashew nuts becomes light golden brown transfer the nuts on a plate.

5. Now fry the raisins. When raisins fluff up immediately remove from ghee and transfer on a plate.

6. In the same ghee add cumin seeds, crushed green cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaf. When cumin seeds starts to splutter add marinated rice and fry for 2-3 minutes.

7. Add saffron soaked milk, water and fried cashew nuts and raisins. Mix well.

8. Cover and cook for 5 minutes on high heat. After 5 minutes reduce the heat and cook on simmer for 5 minutes again.

9. Now stir the rice gently and check. Add little more water if required. I had to add 1/4 cup more water. Cover and cook on simmer for 5 minutes more or till water absorbed.

10. Add 1/2 teaspoon Bengali garam masala powder, mix and switch off the heat.

11. Cover and leave it to rest for 5-10 minutes. Now fluff the rice gently and serve with any spicy curry.

Recipe notes

1. Basmati rice can be used instead of gobindobhog rice.

2. You can use turmeric powder or yellow food colour instead of saffron or keshar.

If you tried my recipe, you can share your food pictures with me in the social network sites by using hashtag, #batterupwithsujata I would love to see your creations.

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Bengali Pulao



We make different types of pulao, fried rice etc. But I love this simple flavourful pulao. My mother always made it with rich mutton curry and tomato chutney.

Try this Bengali style pulao with non veg curry or any spicy curry.



Rice – 1 glass,  I measured in a glass. 

Ghee/clarified butter – 2-3 tablespoon

Cardamom – 4 broken

Cinnamon – 1 inch piece

Cloves – 3-4

Bay leaf – 1

Cumin seed – 1 tsp

Ginger – 1 inch piece, grated

Cashew nuts and raisins – as much as you wish to add

Water – 1 and 1/2 glass

Salt and sugar to taste


Heat ghee in a pan. Add cumin seeds. Let it crackle. Add bay leaf, cardamom cinnamon and cloves.

Then add the rice. Fry for some time. Stir gently. Add cashew nuts and raisins. Add grated ginger, salt and sugar. Saute for 1 minute more.

Add water and microwave for 12 to 15 minutes. Check after 12 minutes, if its perfect then switch off the microwave. Keep the rice in microwave for  10 – 15 minutes more.

You can pressure cook it too.
Heat ghee or clarified butter in pressure cooker. After frying and mixing all the ingredients close the lid. Switch off the flame after one whistle. And its ready.

Serve hot with any spicy curry.
Or you can enjoy it with dum aalu and a sweet and sour chutney.