Kashmiri Pulao – Mildly Sweet and Tart Apple Rice Recipe

Kashmiri Pulao served in a Wok with accompaniments

Flavorful and delectable Kashmiri Pulao delicacy from the finest cuisine of India, loaded with nuts, flavored with saffron, whole spices and garnished with fruits. This royal Kashmiri Pulao recipe will enrich your palate with mildly sweet and tart flavors. Richness of ghee, warmth from saffron, whole spices and nuts make Kashmiri pulao a perfect choice to enjoy in cold weather. All in all, this instant pot pulao recipe is a great addition to any festive or holiday spread this season.

Kashmiri Pulao served in a Wok with accompaniments

Easy Kashmiri Pulao Recipe

Making Kashmiri Pulao is very easy and don’t need any special kitchen expertise. It is a breeze to make it on stove-top in a wok or pan, but making it is even more convenient using electric pressure cookers such as Mealthy or Instant Pot. Other than chopping whole recipe only needs 15 minutes of active time.

Variations of Kashmiri Pulao

Kashmiri pulao is often confused with Modur Pulao or Kashmiri Meetha Pulao, which is also a sweet pulao recipe from Kashmiri cuisine. Modur pulao recipe has much more added sugar compared to this Kashmiri pulao recipe. This Kashmiri recipe does not use any added sugar other than that use to caramelize the onions. Most of the sweetness in pulao in coming from the natural sweetness of apples, cranberries and dry fruits. Hence you will taste the sweetness in every bite, but it does not dominate the flavor and is balanced with tart flavors.

Cooked Kashmiri Pulao in a wok

Balanced Flavors for Festive Meal Spread

Northern Indian festive meals typically include several spicy delicacies. Addition of mildly sweet Kashmiri Pulao to the spread creates a nice balance to tone down the palate. If your gathering has a mix of different ethnicity, then this Kashmiri pulao will be a hit in any North Indian spread. It is also liked by kids due to its mild flavors.

Cooked Kashmiri Pulao in a wok

Flavored with Flavorful Apples and Pomegranate

Addition of green apple, cranberries and pomegranate kernels make it exceptionally awesome in taste. Kashmiri Apples and Kashmiri Pomegranates are commonly used for garnishing authentic Kashmiri Pulao locally due to its abundance, quality and flavors. Kashmiri pulao tastes best when accompanied with your favorite raita, but it can also be enjoyed on its own without any additional accompaniments.

Cooked Kashmiri Pulao in a wok

Tips to make most flavorful Kashmiri Pulao

  • To make the best texture of Kashmiri pulao, you need to use the best quality of long grain basmati rice. I have used Indian classic basmati rice, which I really like and I am using the same rice for last 14 years. I have tried other brands in between, but always come back to it.
  • When cooked in ghee, ghee adds a very nice aroma to Kashmiri pulao. But if you want to make it vegan, then you can also cook in other types of non-fragrant oil.
  • It is best to use fresh fruits instead of canned or frozen fruits. I chose to use seasonally available fruits such as green apples, cranberries and pomegranate. Pineapples, grapes, pears and other fruits can also be used, if available.
  • Make sure that the fruits are cut to small bite size before adding. This helps in uniform mixing with rice and blending of flavors.  
  • To stop the oxidation of the chopped apples, keep them in a water filled bowl with few drops of lemon juice in water. Before adding to the rice, drain the apples and absorb free water using a dry kitchen towel.
  • Kashmiri pulao is rich in dry fruits. There are two ways to add dry fruits. You can roast them separately and then add it at the end, or just let dry fruits cook with the rice. I choose to add dry fruits during the sauté process while caramelizing the onions.
Dry fruits for Kashmiri Pulao

Kashmiri Pulao Ingredients


  • 1 cup Apple juice
  • 1 medium Onion sliced/Julienne
  • 1/2 cup Pomegranate kernels 1 cup green Granny Smith Apple
  • 2 tbs Fresh mint leaves chopped
  • ¼ cup Cilantro leaves chopped
Kashmiri Pulao Ingredients


  • 1 cup Basmati rice
  • 1 tbsp Ghee / Butter / Oil
  • 2 tbs halved Cashews
  • 2 tbs slivered Almonds
  • 2 tbs chopped Walnuts
  • ½ cup dried Cranberries



  • 1/4 cup Milk warm
Kashmiri Pulao Ingredients

Kashmiri Pulao Instructions


  1. Rinse basmati rice in water for 2-3 times and then soak them in water for 15 minutes. Rinsed rice being soaked in waterTIP: Do not throw the rinsing water. Collect it in a bowl and use to water your curry leaves plants.
  2. Soak apple in a water and vinegar solution to remove the wax as much as possible. 
  3. Soak a pinch of saffron in warm milk and keep aside. Saffron being soaked in milk
  4. Crush the whole spices, especially cardamoms pods. TIP: Never add whole pods in hot oil there are chances they can pop in the hot oil and come straight towards your face while cooking.
    Spices being crushed in Mortat and Pestle Crushed Spices
  5. Slice onion and keep it aside. Chopped onions on a cutting board

Cooking Instructions using Electric pressure cooker/Instant Pot/Mealthy Pot

  1. Set Instant pot/Mealthy pot with the inner liner pot and start heating the inner pot by selecting sauté mode on normal heat level. 
  2. When the screen displays hot add ghee to the inner pot. Then add bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, star anise and all other crushed whole spices to the hot ghee. Give it a stir to get all spices infuse with ghee.
    Ghee being added to instant pot bowl Cinamon sticks being added to instant pot bowl
    Bay leaves being added to instant pot bowl Crushed whole spices ebing added to instant pot bowl
  3. Then add all the nuts and roast for few sec.
    Cashews being added Walnuts being added
  4. Now add sliced onion and start caramelizing them stirring every few minutes interval. Added sliced onion
  5. Add 1 tsp of sugar and ¼ tsp of salt to the onions to expedite the process of caramelization of onions. Sugar being added
  6. During caramelization of onions if you see onions are getting stuck to the bottom of the pot add 1-2 tbs of apple juice to deglaze the bottom of the pot.
    Onion being caramalized