• June 20, 2022

Kaju Pulao | Cashew Pulao

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With many other monikers and worldwide variations, Pulao or pulav or pilaf is one of the most common rice dishes in India. Be it a simple Veg Pulao or Peas Pulao or a little more royal Shahi Pulao or the flavorsome Yakhni Pulao or this Kaju Pulao, we are quite fixated with this dish on the whole. This recipe of Cashew Pulao made with basmati rice, cashews (a.k.a kaju) and spices is one from my kitchen. It is simple, easy and a tasty one-pot rice dish.

kaju pulao served on a white plate with spoon and shorba bowl on the side.

About Kaju Pulao

Cashew Pulao is the simplest, yet flavorful pulaos that you can ever think of. It is also like being fancy with a rice dish, but not fancy too. Nice long fragrant basmati rice, onions, ginger-garlic paste, cashews and some whole spices in a pressure cooker and voila! A thing of beauty is done in just 2 to 3 whistles.

The flavor of the cashews coming through in this pulao makes every bite of this Kaju Pulao heavenly. If you want to use the readymade ginger-garlic paste instead of making at home, do that. Want to make this no-fuss pulao in a pot or pan and not the pressure cooker? Go ahead with it.

Obviously, the addition of cashews makes this Kaju Pulao rich. So, you can make it once in a while or for guests or on festive occasions. If you have leftover pulao, you can also warm it nicely and pack it in your tiffin box with a refreshing raita or some veg curry.

Cooking Rice

A Cashew Pulao, or for that matter any other pulao will be as good as the texture of the dish along with the flavors. For this, it is very important to cook the rice properly in order to get fluffy, separate grains in the pulao.

After you’ve chosen the apt rice for your pulao, here’s what you should ensure while cooking it, to get the desired result:

  • Soaking: You have to soak the basmati rice to be used in Kaju Pulao, in enough water for at least 20 to 30 minutes. Soaking the rice improves their texture while getting cooked. Or else rinse the rice and use, if you don’t have time. In this case, more water has to be added while cooking. Less water is required to cook pre-soaked rice grains. 
  • Water quantity: As mentioned above, your soaked rice will not need too much water. Ensure that you are adding water, just as required.
  • Sauté rice: Once you have added the rice grains in the cooker, sauté them for 1 to 2 minutes on low to medium heat. This helps to coat the rice grains with the oil or ghee used for cooking. The aim is to get separate and well-cooked rice grains in the Cashew Pulao.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Kaju Pulao

Rinse and Soak Rice

1. Rinse 1 heaped cup basmati rice very well in water till the water runs clear of starch.

rinsing basmati rice for kaju pulao.

2. Then, soak the rice in enough water for 20 to 30 minutes. After 20 to 30 minutes, drain the water from the rice and keep aside.

Also, slice 1 medium to large onion, crush 2 to 3 garlic cloves and ½ inch ginger in a mortar-pestle.

You can also use ½ teaspoon ginger-garlic paste instead. Keep all the spices ready.

soaking basmati rice for kaju pulao.

Make Kaju Pulao

3. Heat 2 tablespoons ghee in a pressure cooker. Instead of ghee, you can also use oil.

heating ghee in a pressure cooker.

4. Then, add the following whole spices:

  • 1 small to medium tej patta
  • 5 to 6 black peppercorns
  • 1.5 inch cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds (shahi jeera)
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 or 2 single strands of mace.

Fry till they crackle and are fragrant. Instead of shahi jeera, you can also use cumin seeds.

whole spices added in the hot ghee in pressure cooker.

5. Add ½ cup thinly sliced onions.

thinly sliced onions added to the hot oil in pressure cooker.

6. Mix well and begin to sauté the onions on low to medium heat.

sautéing onions and spices in hot ghee.

7. Sauté the onions until they start to turn golden.

sautéing onions in the hot ghee.

8. Add ½ teaspoon ginger-garlic paste.

ginger-garlic paste added to the pressure cooker.

9. Mix well and sauté for a few seconds till the raw aroma of the ginger-garlic goes away.

sautéing onions mixture in the pressure cooker.

10. Now, add 25 to 30 cashews. You could rinse the cashews if you like before adding them.

cashews added to the pressure cooker.

11. Mix and sauté for a minute.

sautéing cashews in the pressure cooker.

12. Add the soaked basmati rice.

soaked basmati rice added to the pressure cooker.

13. Season with salt as needed.

salt added to the pressure cooker.

14. Mix the rice very well with the rest of the ingredients.

mixing rice with other ingredients in the pressure cooker.

15. Pour 1.75 cups water and stir. For an al dente texture in the rice, add 1.5 cups water. 

Check the taste of the water, it should taste a bit salty. If not, then add a bit more salt. Cover and pressure cook for 7 to 8 minutes or 2 to 3 whistles on medium heat.

water added to the pressure cooker.

16. When the pressure settles down naturally, open the lid. Gently fluff the rice.

cooked kaju pulao in the pressure cooker.

17. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve Kaju Pulao with your favorite veg curry or paneer gravy like matar paneer, paneer pasanda, shahi paneer, paneer tikka masala or shorba.

kaju pulao served on a white plate with a spoon and shorba bowl on the side.

Serving Suggestions

While I’ve already mentioned a few instances which are just right to enjoy this Cashew Pulao, these are the ways you can serve it:

Tips and Variations

  1. Out of basmati rice? Use any variety of non-sticky white rice or long grained rice. You can also make this pulao with brown rice. Simply add water as needed.
  2. This Kaju Pulao is a mild one. Use 1 to 2 green chilies to add a heat level.
  3. Don’t have caraway seeds? Use cumin seeds (jeera) instead.
  4. While preparing the pulao, you can add some fresh mint and coriander leaves.
  5. The garnishing on the pulao can be done with mint leaves too.

More Pulao Variations To Try!

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kaju pulao served on a white plate.

Kaju Pulao | Cashew Pulao

This recipe of Cashew Pulao made with basmati rice, cashews (a.k.a kaju), onions and spices is simple, easy and a tasty one-pot rice dish. The recipe can be made in a stovetop pressure cooker, in an Instant Pot or in a pan on the stovetop.

5 from 5 votes

Prep Time 30 mins

Cook Time 10 mins

Total Time 40 mins

main ingredients

whole spices

Preparation

  • Rinse basmati rice very well in water till the water runs clear of starch.

  • Then soak the rice in enough water for 20 to 30 minutes. After 20 to 30 minutes, drain all the water from the rice and set aside.

  • Also thinly slice the onion and crush garlic cloves and ginger in a mortar-pestle. You can also use ½ teaspoon ginger-garlic paste instead. Keep all the spices ready.

Making kaju pulao

  • Heat ghee in a 2 litre pressure cooker.

  • Then add all the whole spices mentioned above and saute till they crackle and turn fragrant.

  • Now add the sliced onions and saute stirring often, till the onions turn golden.

  • Add ginger-garlic paste. Saute till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.

  • Add the cashews and saute for a minute.

  • Add the soaked rice. Season with salt.

  • Mix the rice gently with the rest of the ingredients. Pour water and gently stir.

  • Cover and pressure cook the pulao for 2 to 3 whistles or 7 to 8 minutes on medium heat.

  • When the pressure settles down on its own, remove the lid, gently fluff the rice.

  • Serve kaju pulao garnished with some chopped coriander leaves. You can serve with any vegetable or paneer gravy or shorba of your choice.

  1. This is a mild pulao. For some heat, you can add 1 or 2 green chilies.
  2. You can also add some mint leaves and coriander leaves while preparing the kaju pulao.
  3. Instead of coriander leaves, you can garnish with mint leaves.
  4. Instead of caraway seeds, you can use cumin seeds.
  5. To make the recipe in a pot or pan on the stovetop, add 1.75 to 2 cups water. Cover pan with a lid and simmer rice on medium-low heat until rice grains are tender and fluffy. 
  6. To cook the cashew pulao in Instant Pot, first sauté the spices and onions using the sauté option. Add rice and mix. Then add 1.75 to 2 cups water. Pressure cook on high for 5 minutes. Give a quick pressure release carefully after 10 minutes once the pressure cooking is complete. Meaning wait for 10 minutes after the pressure cooking is done. Fluff the rice and serve.
  7. The recipe can be halved or doubled easily.

Nutrition Facts

Kaju Pulao | Cashew Pulao

Amount Per Serving

Calories 623 Calories from Fat 225

% Daily Value*

Fat 25g38%

Saturated Fat 11g69%

Polyunsaturated Fat 2g

Monounsaturated Fat 9g

Cholesterol 38mg13%

Sodium 605mg26%

Potassium 400mg11%

Carbohydrates 90g30%

Fiber 5g21%

Sugar 4g4%

Protein 12g24%

Vitamin A 61IU1%

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 2mg10%

Vitamin B6 1mg50%

Vitamin C 5mg6%

Vitamin E 1mg7%

Vitamin K 13µg12%

Calcium 92mg9%

Vitamin B9 (Folate) 25µg6%

Iron 3mg17%

Magnesium 102mg26%

Phosphorus 248mg25%

Zinc 3mg20%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Kaju Pulao from the archives first published in August 2016 has been republished and updated on 11 June 2022.


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