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Saffron or Zafraan Pulao of Kashmir is a famed variety. No marriage in Kashmir is complete without the Legendary Wazwan or "The Big Feast" . First to arrive is the huge plate called Trami filled with heaped Zaffran Pulao with succulent pieces of seek kababs along with Rogan Josh and Methi korma and Curry of Lamb meat delicately spiced and cooked with utmost care.  In total, a true WAZWAN has to have seven accompaniments with rice. Once you sit-down for wazwan, it is an insult to the host if you get up in between. The 36 course dinner lasts for more than three hours.  Just imagine a huge Kashmiri plate full of sweet scented Saffron Pulao steaming and spreading the aroma in the lazy cold night of Kashmir, and the guests sitting around with samovars of Kahava and santoor notes spreading the magic . and casting a spell. . . . . . . . Oh God . . . . . . . It is unbelievable. 

(For a family of 4 once serving)
Rice 1. 5 cup (Basmati/Biriyani)
Onions 1 Nos Cut in rings
Green peas/carrots 1/2 cup (optional)
Cloves 6 to 8 nos
Cinnamon sticks 5 nos ,1 " size
Cardamom 10 nos
Bay leaves 2 to 3 nos cut in half
Raisins 2 table spoons
Figs 3 to 4 nos
Alu Bukhara 4 to 5 nos
Cashew 1 5 nos split
Almonds 10 nos
Walnut 2 to 3 nos
Saffron 1/2 spoon (1/4 gm)
Fresh Fruits of choice (grapes, apple pieces etc) 1/2 cup
Sugar 1 tbsp
Milk 1/4 cup
Ghee 100 ml
Salt to taste

Black Cumin (shahjeera) This is optional 1. 5 spoons
Cloves 6 to 8 nos
Cinnamon sticks 5 nos ,1 " size
Cardamom 10 nos
Bay leaves 2 to 3 nos cut in half
Raisins 2 table spoons



If you are using Basmati Rice/Biriyani Rice, ensure that the rice is old otherwise, if the rice is new, toast the rice after soaking in water for ten minutes and draining all the water, and toasting in a kadai in two spoons of ghee till the rice is very light creamy or pinkish looking. Toasting for about ten miinutes would do. This would ensure your rice grains remains separate when cooking. 

Now take rice and put directly in cooker without any separator. Best to use is Hawkins pressure cooker. Add needed salt. . Add enough water to cook the rice and the . Please ensure that you add just enough( 500 ML) for the above. But ensure that you use only old rice. Water quantity must be fixed by you as per the quality and quantity of rice you use.  In Kashmiri Pulao, it is better to add salt and sugared milk and Whole almonds (after removing brown skin) when you cook rice itself. 

Clean all the dry fruits, crack a walnut and remove the shell, remove brown skin of Almonds by soaking in hot water for ten minutes. Cut figs in eight pieces, Alu Bukhara in four pieces (remove the seed nut). Fry Figs ,Cashewnuts , raisins and Alu Bukhara in ghee a little and set aside. 

Pressure cook Steam cook/Boil and cook carrots/Green Peas after adding a little sugar and salt to enhance green colour. Pressure cook only 3/4 and don't fully or over cook. Set aside. Slice one onion in rings and fry the rings till they become dark brown and crisp.  Set aside
Take saffron in a katora and soak it in milk or water for 30 minutes and using a spoon, press it with reverse side of spoon and make a paste of saffron or use a pastel and mortar , prepare paste (1 spoon) set aside. 

Now take Ghee in a Kadai and add cinnamon, Cardamom ,Bay leaves and cloves. When cloves and cardamom puff up , remove from fire and let it cool. Keep aside. Shah Jeera (black cumin) is used as per the choice of the grand cook. If you want you can use it. 
When the rice is completely cold, mix 3/4 cooked Green peas and or Carrots , add fried Cashew nuts and raisins ,. saffron paste with ghee to rice, and mix well. Take care and ensure that the Pulao has good amount of Ghee and the rice is not dry. If needed, add some more ghee. Cover with a lid and set it aside for an hour to let the spices aroma permeate in Rice. 

After one hour, heat up the Pulao with either indirect steam heat or in Micro. Ensure that the vegetables are completely cooked .  Place it in serving bowl, garnish with brown onion rings on top and serve piping hot with Sweet Raitha of grapes or pineapple
You can serve it with Korma also. Other accompaniment is shallot curd raitha (sambar vengayam pachadi). 

Enjoy !!!!
As usual, don't forget to post in your feedback please. 

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