Basmati Rice with Raisins (Pulao)

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The perfect Basmati Rice…. now that could be a little “tricky”.  The difference between “okay” and “perfection” is that perfectly cooked Basmati Rice must be FLUFFY.  It should also be fragrant, a little sweet, with a ton of flavors.



The recipe is very simple, the trick is to put it in the oven halfway through.  The indirect heat in the oven, allows the rice to cook evenly and prevents any burning.  You cook the rice halfway through, then stick it in the oven and THAT’S IT!  It’s as easy as that.


The two key ingredients to super fragrant basmati rice is Ghee , clarified butter, and Rose water.  You definitely can skip the rose water, but you just don’t want to.  You can find this at any Indian grocery store.  If you can’t find ghee, use butter.

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  • 2 cups basmati rice (washed and drained)
  • 3 tbsp of Ghee (you can order Ghee on Amazon).  You can use melted butter if you don’t have ghee.
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 3-4 whole cardamon pods
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 cups of water
  • 5-6 whole green chilis, stems removed
  • 2 tbsp of golden raisins, rinsed
  • 1 tsp Rose water
  • 1 tiny pinch of orange food coloring (optional)


  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • On medium low heat melt ghee, careful not to let it burn.  Add the cardamon, cinnamon, ginger paste and salt.  Fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then add the rice and sauté.  Once the rice is well coated and toasted add the water and cover with a lid.  Cook on medium high heat for about 10 – 12 minutes, until rice is no longer submerged in water and you see steam holes.
  • Transfer the rice to the heated oven.  Cook for about 10 more minutes, until all the water has evaporated.
  • Lower the oven temperature to 275 degrees.  If using food color, mix it with the rose water and drizzle over the rice.  Sprinkle the raisins and green chilies over the rice and cover with lid.  Put it back in the oven and let it sit for at least 10 – 15 more minutes.  This will allow the raisins on soften and plum up.
  • Fluff the rice with a fork.  You should end up with sweet, fragrant, perfectly cooked basmati rice.


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