Are you somebody who loves chicken? If so, I believe that even small traces of chicken in any dish can get you in a good mood. If you have chicken, some spices, and rice by your side, this article is for you. Even if you aren’t in any mood for pulao, this article will get make sure you end by craving pulao. Pulao fits perfectly with any feast. It’s aromatic, rich, and does not entail a complicated process that tests your patience.
All you need to know about Pulao:
Pulao is a very famous rice dish that is prepared in a seasoned broth. It is believed that Pulao was first served back in the 10th century to a very famous Persian scholar Abu Ali Ibn Sina. Since then, it has traveled through various civilizations and has long evolved from the original dish named ‘Pilaf’. It goes by various names i.e., Pulao, Pilaf, Pulau, Palao, and Pilau. Several countries take pride in serving the best Pulao including Pakistan, Iran, Bangladesh, Turkey, India, Azerbaijan, etc.
It is recommended to use Basmati or Jasmine rice when it comes to pulao. It is then cooked in seasoned broth that contains numerous ingredients including lentils, beans, herbs, and spices.
Types of Pulao:
When most exotic Asian dishes are mentioned, Kabuli pulao makes it to the top 10. Kabuli pulao is a famous pulao recipe of Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Iran. It is famous throughout the world as an ancestor of Yakhni Pulao. What makes Kabuli pulao different is the fact that after being cooked, it is baked with meat on top. Afterward, it is served with fried raisins, carrots, green cardamom, pistachios, and almonds on top. Kabuli pulao is a comforting and luxurious meal for a big gathering.
When it comes to Persian Pulao that goes by the name ‘Polo’, it is cooked slightly differently than regular pulaos. Unlike other types, it is cooked in salted water at very low steam. Then in a separate pan, it is layered with meat and gravy of dried fruit. The pan/pot is covered with its lid and cooked at a very low flame till it’s done.
Spinach, fenugreek, and dried fruit make it very different and unique. The best thing about Persian pulao is that there is no exact cooking time or measurement to make it perfect. While it will sound weird to some, for me, there is excitement in knowing that you will have to find out the perfect balance yourself.
If you are familiar with Turkish dishes, you might know well that Turkish people like eating rice with everything. 90% of their dishes are served with rice. Unlike other types, Turkish pulao is very creamy, buttery, and has a very rich texture. Rice is first fried in cream and butter till it turns golden brown. Then it is cooked in broth. When it is cooked well, it is served hot with dried fruit and nuts on the top.
Mughlai Pulao is a specialty of Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. People often confuse it with Mughlai biryani but the two are very different and unique in their own ways. For making the best Mughlai pulao, it is recommended that you fry your rice with spices and mixed herbs.
Afterward, you have to layer it with chicken mince and cook at a low flame. After the dish is prepared, it is served with fried caramelized almonds. If you don’t like caramelized almonds, you can skip this part and garnish it with regular almonds to achieve that royal look.
One of the most exotic dishes of the Middle East is Arabian Pulao. Arabian pulao differs from regular pulao because it is half cooked in spices and herbs and later it is baked. Rice is cooked in stock first and meat is baked. The two are served with meat on top.
It is later garnished with dry fruit, mint, and fried nuts. Instead of individual serving, Arabian pulao is served on a big platter plate and everybody eats from the same platter with their hands and not spoons. Arabian Pulao isn’t as spicy as regular pulao. The spices used are minimal and the overall dish is a bit bland.
Other types include Afghani Yakhni Pulao, Mutter pulao, Shahi Pulao, Hyderabadi Pulao, Sweet Pulao and simple pulao etc. Modern chefs and cooks are coming up with innovative ways to make this dish interesting by introducing sausage pulao, mushroom pulao, Lahori pulao, etc.
Is Pulao Healthy?
Pakistanis love rice. And they sure know how to incorporate rice in day-to-day meals. Pakistan produces rice in a huge quantity. Whenever someone asks us to replace rice with a better, healthier option, most of us, including me develop cold feet. If you can’t stop eating rice, try to change your intake ratio. Your meat to rice ratio should be the same. In this way, you can continue eating rice without having to worry about your weight.