mutton, washed, trimmed and cut in small pieces
medium sized red onions, thinly sliced in half rings
black cardamom pods
2-inch cinnamon stick
basmati rice, washed in several changes of water and preferably soaked overnight
salt to taste
Pulao is a staple in many Pakistani homes. In appearance and taste, it can appear simple, but those who have grown up eating it know its complexity comes from a gentle touch perfected over decades of practice. A lightly spiced mutton bone broth and carefully browned onions give this pulao a nutty color and a soft, satisfying flavor that makes it the perfect accompaniment to korma, a richly spiced curry.
- Add meat in a large pot of salted water with black cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, 2 sliced red onions and 1 tbsp. of crushed garlic. Bring to boil, cover pot and simmer on low heat till mutton is tender, about 2 hours. Once the meat is tenderized, remove the meat with a slotted spoon and set aside. Strain the bone broth and set aside.
- In a large pot, heat oil. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the remaining sliced red onion, and fry about 15 minutes on medium-low heat.
- Once the onion is a deep even brown, add crushed garlic and fry for a few seconds.
- Add the mutton and fry for 10 minutes on medium heat.
- Add 8 cups of the mutton broth. If you are short, add water. Check for salt, and bring to a boil.
- Add rice, and let the water boil out, about 5-10 minutes.
- Once the water boils out, wrap lid with a clean kitchen towel and place it securely on the pot. Let rice steam on very low heat for 10 minutes.
- Place pulao on serving platter and fluff with a fork.
Maryam Jillani was TASTE's Cook In Residence, and the founder of Pakistan Eats.