I wonder if there are any Bengalis who do not love misti pulao! I had too many versions of misti pulao at different aunts house, be it white, offwhite or yellow, but all very unique in its own way. My Maa always used to make the yellow version. I loved (and still do) it, mostly because of its nice colour. When I was kid, I used to call it "sundar bhaat" meaning, "beautiful rice". Maa used to make it every time her sister's daughter (my cousin B) used to come to our house for holidays. They were very close at hearts. Now I understand that my Maa was more a friend than a masi to her. Cousin B used to have her carefree days while visiting us. She and my Maa used to go to movies together, have chaats, eggrolls and shahi mitha paan, and lots of fun. I was left out from all these as I was mere a kid. No wonder, I did not like it at all! I remember feeling angry every time Maa used to cheerily announce the visit of cousin B during winter vacations. The only thing I liked about those seven days was having misti pulao more than once in honor of cousin B.
Every time I make misti pulao, it reminds me of those leisurely afternoons, the non stop adda at the lunch, our hands dried up with food and those prolonged laughter sessions. Sometimes I really miss those days and more of all I miss the fact that my lil A might not ever witness those pure love, laughter and leisure in todays fast paced lives!!!
Basmati Rice - 2 cup (Washed, smeared with turmeric and spread to dry)
Cashew nuts - 10 to 12
Raisins - 10 to 15, washed and soaked
Peas - 1/2 cup
Cinnamon - 1 inch
Green Cardamom- 4-5
Black Cardamom - 2 (seeded)
Cloves - 2-4
Ghee - 1 tablespoon
Sugar - 2 teaspoon
Salt - To taste
Wash the rice, add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder, mix well and spread to dry.
Heat ghee in a kadhai, temper it with cardamom (both green and black), cinnamon and cloves.
Add the cashew and raisins to it and saute it for 2 minutes. Add the peas to it and saute it for 2-3 minutes more. My Maa never used to add peas to this pulao, but I usually add it as it makes the dish more colorful.
Add the rice to it and stir and mix it well for 2- 3 minutes.
Transfer it to a pot and add warm water to it such that the water level rises to 1 inch above the rice in the pot.
I cooked it on stove top. Cook it in medium flame for 12-15 minutes. Keep a watch not to overcook the rice. If by any chance excess water remains, drain it out. Alternatively, you can cook it in microwave for around 15 minutes.
We celebrated the Independence Day with misti pulao and chilli chicken at lunch. Yeah, I know, no celebration is complete without foods. And of course we listened to patriotic songs all day.
I am sending this to Walking through the memory lane, hosted this month by Avika, originally started by Gayathri.
P.S. Sorry, not too many photos. Lil A has been sick for last few days and extremely sticky to her Mom.