1. Rice Basmati – 1/2 kg
2. Sugar – 3/4 kg
3. Pure ‘Ghi’ – 250 gm
4. Almond Kernels – 25 gm
5. Raisins – 25 gm
6. Dry Dates – 50 gm
7. Dry Coconuts – 50gm
8. Shelled Musk Melon Seeds – 25 gm
9. Black Cardamom – 25 gm
10. Black Pepper Corns – 10 gm
11. Cinnamon – 5 gm
12. Green Cardamom – 5 gm
13. Cassia Leaves – 6 nos
14. Cloves – 2 nos
15. Green Ginger – 20 gm
16. Sugar Candy Crystals – 25 gm
17. ‘Kewra’ Essence – 5 drops
18. ‘Saffron’ (a pinch), or Lemon Yellow Edible Colour (a little)
19. Salt – 1/4 tsp
- Wash in several waters, and soak the ‘Basmati’ Rice, in 3/4 litre of water, for 2 hours before cooking.
- Blanch the Almond Kernels and stem and wash the Raisins.
- After soaking the Dates in water for an hour, rinse these in more water. Cut each date lengthwise into 5 or 6 slices, discarding the stones and the horny tops.
- Pare the Dry Coconut, and whittle it into thin shavings, of an inch in length.
- Clean the shelled Musk Melon Seeds, by discarding any Seeds with shells, shell pieces and also bad Seeds. Wash these.
- Take out Seeds of Black Cardamoms and clean these of the chaff. Crush these Seeds, along with Pepper Corns into small granules.
- Wash, scrape and chop the Green Ginger.
Keep together the above prepared Condiments (2 to 7) in a bowl.
Method of Cooking
In a thick bottomed ‘Patila’, of about 3 litres and with a fitting lid, boil the Basmati Rice in the very water in which it was kept soaking, till it is almost cooked and all water is absorbed. Stir gently once or twice while boiling, so that the Rice cooks uniformly. Remove ‘Patila’ from the stove.
Meanwhile in a Pan, put the Sugar and add a little more than a quarter of a litre water, and the prepared Condiments, along with the Cinnamon pieces and Cassia Leaves. Add also the Saffron, ore little Lemon Yellow Edible Colour. Stir, and boil on a low flame till Sugar gets dissolved, and the Condiments also cook a little in the Syrup.
Now transfer the somewhat cooked Rice to a basin, and add the Condimented Syrup, along with the Green Cardamoms, after crushing these a bit. Add ‘Ghi’, after heating it in a pan and adding the two cloves. Now, with a broad flat spatula (H-‘Palta’), gently mix the Rice, and the Condimented Syrup along with the ‘Ghi’ and Cassica Leaves etc., and transfer all the things back to the ‘Patila’. Cover its mouth with the fitting lid. Put a ‘rope’ of kneaded wheat flour dough, between the rims of the ‘Patila’ and the lid, and press it, to make the vessel almost air tight.
Resume heating the ‘Patila’, on a very low heat, and put a weight on the lid, so that the kneaded flour packing sets as a gasket to stop the steam from escaping easily. After 20 to 30 minutes of slow steam cooking remove the weight and the lid, and see that the Rice is done to the very core, and all its grains, are separate and become somewhat translucent. The very special aroma will denote that the ‘Polav’ is ready. Sometimes a little more heating, after sprinkling of little water, may be necessary, if the Rice is not done properly. Just before serving, the ‘Kewra’ Essence and Sugar Candy Crystals are mixed with the ‘Pulav’. Serve piping hot.