Navratan Pulao: Delightful and Delectable Rice Recipe

Navratan Pulao

Navratan Pulao, a flavorful and delectable delicacy belongs to Mughlai Cuisine of North India. A healthy, comforting and fragrant, Navratan Pulao is loaded with nuts, flavored with saffron, flower essence and whole spices. This royal Navratan Pulao recipe will surely  enhance your palate!!!

Navratan Pulao

If we talk about different pulao recipes, Navratan Pulao stands out due to its, jewel-like hues and heavenly fragrance. Navratan Pulao is an exquisite and appetizing dish of rice by its own or when paired with our house favorite Dal Makhani or your favorite any mildly spiced curry.

Navratan Pulao

What is Navratan Pulao?

Navratan aka NINE-JEWELS Pulao, is a dish which comes from ancient royal kitchen of Mughal emperors, embedded its roots in from Mughlai cuisine. In Mughlai cuisine, the food has to be rich when cooked for Mughal king and emperors, using aromatic spices, nuts, dried fruits, ghee and cream.  

Navratan Pulao

Mughlai cuisine is influenced by the Turk-Persian cuisine of Central Asia, the region where the early Mughal emperors originally hailed from. Along with them they also brought their rich, delicious cuisine to North India.  Out of many delightful and delectable dishes Pulao was one which also originated in Persia and was known as Pollo/Polo.

Navratan Pulao

If you’re novel to Indian food, or cannot bear hot spicy food, or if you just fond of Indian food for all of its splendid diversity and palatability, this recipe is for you. This is a non-spicy but a fragrant and exquisite recipe for pulao.  There are spices in a Navratan Pulao, but they are whole spices, like green cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves, which impart flavor rather than heat. There is no spicy chili or peppers used in this recipe. In fact, its flavor profile is somewhat on sweeter side, because of the use of nuts raisins and saffron milk. And that’s exactly how it should be.

Navratan Pulao

Is Navratan Pulao Healthy?

Navratan, as the name suggests, means enriched with nine jewels of nuts, dried fruits and vegetable. You can add your favorite nuts and vegetables to it. I have added cashews, almonds, walnuts for nuts, raisins for dried fruit, cauliflower, carrots, green beans and green peas for vegetables and paneer for protein. Traditionally, all the nuts and vegetables are deep fried before adding to rice. I have skipped deep frying them to maintain the healthy aspect of pulao keeping the calories as low as possible. Plentiful vegetables, nuts, paneer and aromatic rice, make this pulao recipe healthy and perfect to relish by kids.

Navratan Pulao

Tips for Making the Best and Most Flavorful Navratan Pulao:

Ingredients for Navratan Pulao
  • Use best quality of long grain basmati rice to make the best texture and fluffed Navratan pulao. Each grain of rice needs to be fluffy and separate.  I have used Indian classic basmati rice in this recipe and really like the quality of rice. Please don’t use any short grain or sticky rice for this recipe.
  • Always, clean, wash the rice well until the water runs clear. Be sure to always soak the rice before cooking. Soak time should be about 30 minutes for stove-top recipe and 15 minutes for instant pot recipe version.
  • Each ingredient used in this recipe adds flavor and texture to this pulao, try not to skip any ingredient from the recipe, unless you are trying to make it nut free or vegan by avoiding dairy products.
  • The veggies most often used in this pulao are potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, green peas and green beans. I have skipped potatoes, but feel free to add them.
  • Don’t overcook the veggies, mushy veggies will ruin the appeal of Navratan Pulao.
  • To maintain the low-calorie profile, I have sautéed the veggies instead deep frying them
  • You don’t need too many spices in this pulao, but the few whole spices we use are important and indispensable so try not to skip them. These spices tie the vegetables and rice nicely together and add needed flavors to pulao.
  • I have used kewra water this time to add the floral fragrance but I keep switching between kewra and rose water.
  • Navratan Pulao is a delicate flavored dish that you don’t want to add any complex flavors of stock or coconut milk to it. Just water would be perfectly fine to cook this recipe.
Navratan Pulao

How to make Navratan pulao Vegan?

To make this pulao vegan, substitute ghee with vegetable oil, use nondairy milk and use tofu instead of paneer, with no loss of flavor and deliciousness you would e able to enjoy the vegan version of Navratan Pulao.

Navratan Pulao

What to Serve with Navratan Pulao?

My favourite way to enjoy navratan pulao is to pair it with Dal Makhani. But any mild spicy curry would go beautifully with this, like paneer makahani or navratan korma or even simple cucumber raita goes very well.

How to store Navratan Pulao?

Refrigerator – Navratan Pulao keeps well in the fridge for almost a week. While reheating in microwave sprinkle some water to keep them from drying.
Freezer – Navratan Pulao also makes a perfect freezer friendly recipe for meal prep. Cook a big batch and freeze in portions in freezer-friendly containers. When ready to consume, transfer the frozen pulao container to refrigerator the night before to get it thaw and reheat using microwave or stovetop.

Navratan Pulao

Ingredients

Ingredients used in Navratan Pulao

Dairy:

Pantry

Nuts used in Navratan Pulao

Produce:

  • Green Peas (Hari Matar): 3/4th cup/ 125 grams/ 4.4 oz, frozen
  • Carrots (Gajar) : 3/4 cup/ 125 grams/ 4.4 oz, diced
  • Cauliflower (Phool Gobi): 1 cup/ 130 grams/ 4.6 oz
  • Cilantro (Hara Dhaniya): handful/15 gms chopped
  • Pomegranate Arils (Anar ke Dane): 2 tbsp/
Vegetables used in Navratan Pulao

Spices:

Whole Spices used in Navratan Pulao

Method

Intant Pot Instructions:

  1. Wash the basmati rice a few times, and then soak it in enough water so that the rice is completely soaked and has an inch of extra water on top. Soak the rice for 15 minutes.
    Rice being washed RIce being soaked
  2. When you are ready to cook, drain all the water from the rice and keep the rice aside.
  3. Warm milk in a microwave safe small bowl and add saffron strands to soak.
    milk and saffron strands Saffron Milk
  4. Now heat ghee in the inner pot of Instant Pot and add whole spices and cumin seeds to it.
    adding cumin seeds Adding bay leaves
    adding whole spices sauteing spices
  5. Once the cumin seeds start spluttering and start getting aroma of whole spices. Add the chopped green chili and nuts.
    adding nuts sauteing spices and nuts
  6. Roast nuts for a minute then add all the vegetables and paneer.
    Adding cauliflower Adding carrots Adding green peas
    Added green beans Added vegetables for cooking to pot Added paneer to pot
  7. Sauté all the vegetables for two minutes. Add salt and sugar.
    Adding salt Adding Sugar
  8. Then add drained rice to the vegetable mixture. Added soaked rice
  9. Add water, lemon juice and mix well.
    Adding water in IP plot Adding lime juice
  10. Before putting on the lid, add the saffron milk and Kewra/rose water.
    Adding saffron milk adding Kewra extract
  11. Close the pot with the lid and press the manual/pressure cook button. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes with the pressure valve in the sealing position. cooktime in IP
  12. Let the pressure release naturally. Take off the lid and fluff the rice with a light hand.
    time it took for NPR Cooked navratan Pulao
  13. Sprinkle handful of chopped cilantro and pomegranate arils.
Navratan Pulao cooked in Instant Pot

Stovetop Pan Instructions:

 

  1. Wash the basmati rice a few times, and then soak it in enough water so that the rice is completely soaked and has an inch of extra water on top. Soak the rice for 30 minutes. RIce being soaked
  2. When you are ready to cook, drain all the water from the rice and keep the rice aside.
  3. Warm milk in a microwave safe small bowl and add saffron strands to soak.
    milk and saffron strands Saffron Milk
  4. Start by heating ghee in a wide pan and add cumin seeds to it.
    Adding ghee Adding cunmmin seeds
  5. Once the cumin seeds start spluttering add whole spices and roast until you start getting aroma of whole spices.
    adding whole spices sauteeing spices
  6. Add nuts and roast them for a minute.
    adding nuts adding nuts
  7. Now add chopped vegetables and sauté them.
    Adding cauliflower adding carrots
    Adding green Beans Adding green peas
  8. Add salt required just for vegetables and mix.
    Cegetables added to cooking pan Adding salt
  9. Cover the pan with lid and cook the vegetable until they are about 75% cooked. Depending on heat, this should take 10 to 15 minutes. vegetables getting cooked with lid closed
  10. Add paneer and continue sauteing.
    paneer added to vegetables getting cooked vegetables getting cooked
  11. Then add drained rice, remaining salt and sugar to the vegetable mixture.
    Added soaked rice Adding salt adding sugar
  12. Add water, mix well and cover it up with a lid.
    adding water Navratan pulao in the middle of cooking
  13. Reduce the heat to low and let the rice cook for about 15 minutes. cooked navratan Pulao
  14. Once the rice is cooked about 75%, add saffron milk, kewra water and lime juice.
    adding saffron milk Adding kewra essence adding lime juice
  15. Put the lid back and switch off the heat.
  16. Let the rice rest for 15 minutes and steam cook with residual heat. The carry over heat will cook the rice perfectly without making them mushy. Cooked navratan Pulao
  17. Fluff up the rice using fork or spatula.
  18. Sprinkle some cilantro and pomegranate arils, navratan pulao is ready to serve.
    adding cilantro adding pomegranate seeds

Serve with favorite curry, in my case it is Dal-Makhani.

Navratan Pulao cooked in pan on stove top

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Navratan Pulao
Navratan Pulao: Delightful and Delectable Instant Pot Recipe
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

Navratan Pulao, a flavorful and delectable delicacy belongs toMughlai Cuisine of North India. A healthy, comforting and fragrant, NavratanPulao is loaded with nuts, flavored with saffron, flower essence and wholespices. This royal Navratan Pulao recipe will surely  enhance your palate!!!

If we talk about different pulao recipes, Navratan Pulaostands out due to its, jewel-like hues and heavenly fragrance. Navratan Pulaois an exquisite and appetizing dish of rice by its own or when paired with ourhouse favorite Dal Makhani or your favorite any mildly spiced curry.

Course: Entree, Everyday Recipe, Instant Pot Recipe, Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: GlutenFreeDiet, HinduDiet, VegetarianDiet
Keyword: Instant Pot Rice Recipe, Navratan Pulao
Servings: 6
Calories: 362 kcal
Author: Rupali Agarwal
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp Ghee Clarified Butter
  • 1 cup Paneer small chunks
  • 2 tbsp Milk
Pantry
Spices:
Produce:
  • 3/4 cup Green peas Hari Matar – frozen
  • 3/4 cup Carrots Gajar – diced
  • 1 cup Cauliflower Phool Gobi
  • 3/4 cup Green Beans Phali
  • 15 gms Cilantro Hara Dhaniya – handful chopped
  • 2 tbsp Lemon juice Anar ke Dane
Instructions
Intant Pot Instructions:
  1. Wash the basmati rice a few times, and then soak it in enough water so that the rice is completely soaked and has an inch of extra water on top. Soak the rice for 15 minutes.
    RIce being soaked
  2. Warm milk in a microwave safe small bowl and add saffron strands to soak.
    Saffron Milk
  3. Now heat ghee in the inner pot of Instant Pot and add cumin seeds and whole spices to it.

    sauteing spices
  4. Once the cumin seeds start spluttering and start getting aroma of whole spices and nuts.

    sauteing spices and nuts
  5. Roast nuts for a minute then add all the vegetables and paneer.
    Added vegetables for cooking to pot
  6. Add paneer, salt, sugar and sauté the vegetables for two minutes.

    vegetables getting cooked
  7. Then add drained rice to the vegetable mixture.
    Added soaked rice
  8. Add water, lemon juice and mix well.
    Adding water in IP plot
  9. Before putting on the lid, add the saffron milk and Kewra/rose water.
    Adding saffron milk
  10. Close the pot with the lid and press the manual/pressure cook button. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes with the pressure valve in the sealing position.
    cooktime in IP
  11. Let the pressure release naturally. Take off the lid and fluff the rice with a light hand.
    Cooked navratan Pulao in instant pot pan
  12. Sprinkle handful of chopped cilantro and pomegranate arils and serve.

    Cooked navratan Pulao
Stovetop Pan Instructions:
  1. Wash the basmati rice a few times, and then soak it in enough water so that the rice is completely soaked and has an inch of extra water on top. Soak the rice for 30 minutes.
    RIce being soaked
  2. Warm milk in a microwave safe small bowl and add saffron strands to soak.
    Saffron Milk
  3. Start by heating ghee in a wide pan and add cumin seeds to it.
    Adding cunmmin seeds
  4. Once the cumin seeds start spluttering add whole spices and roast until you start getting aroma of whole spices.
    sauteeing spices
  5. Add nuts and roast them for a minute.
    adding nuts
  6. Now add chopped vegetables and sauté them.
    Cegetables added to cooking pan
  7. Add salt required just for vegetables and mix.
    Adding salt
  8. Cover the pan with lid and cook the vegetable until they are about 75% cooked. Depending on heat, this should take 10 to 15 minutes.
    vegetables getting cooked with lid closed
  9. Add paneer to cooked vegetables and mix.

    vegetables getting cooked
  10. Then add drained rice, remaining salt and sugar to the vegetable mixture.
    Added soaked rice
  11. Add water, mix well and cover it up with a lid.
    adding water
  12. Reduce the heat to low and let the rice cook for about 15 minutes.
    cooked navratan Pulao
  13. Once the rice is cooked about 75%, and very little water is left, add saffron milk, kewra water and lime juice.

    adding saffron milk
  14. Put the lid back and switch off the heat.
    Cooked navratan Pulao
  15. Let the rice rest for 15 minutes and steam cook with residual heat. The carry over heat will cook the rice perfectly without making them mushy.
  16. Fluff up the rice using fork or spatula.
  17. Sprinkle some cilantro and pomegranate arils, navratan pulao is ready to serve.
Serve with favorite curry, in my case it is Dal-Makhani.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Tips for Making the Best and Most Flavorful Navratan Pulao:

  • Use best quality of long grain basmati rice to make the best texture and fluffed Navratan pulao. Each grain of rice needs to be fluffy and separate. I have used Indian classic basmati rice in this recipe and really like the quality of rice. Please don’t use any short grain or sticky rice for this recipe.
  • Always, clean, wash the rice well until the water runs clear. Be sure to always soak the rice before cooking. Soak time should be about 30 minutes for stove-top recipe and 15 minutes for instant pot recipe version.
  • Each ingredient used in this recipe adds flavor and texture to this pulao, try not to skip any ingredient from the recipe, unless you are trying to make it nut free or vegan by avoiding dairy products.
  • The veggies most often used in this pulao are potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, green peas and green beans. I have skipped potatoes, but feel free to add them.
  • Don’t overcook the veggies, mushy veggies will ruin the appeal of Navratan Pulao.
  • To maintain the low-calorie profile, I have sautéed the veggies instead deep frying them
  • You don’t need too many spices in this pulao, but the few whole spices we use are important and indispensable so try not to skip them. These spices tie the vegetables and rice nicely together and add needed flavors to pulao.
  • I have used kewra water this time to add the floral fragrance but I keep switching between kewra and rose water.
  • Navratan Pulao is a delicate flavored dish that you don’t want the add any complex flavors of stock or coconut milk to it. Just water would be perfectly fine to cook this recipe.
Nutrition Facts
Navratan Pulao: Delightful and Delectable Instant Pot Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 362 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 32mg11%
Sodium 425mg18%
Potassium 337mg10%
Carbohydrates 41g14%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 3075IU62%
Vitamin C 21mg25%
Calcium 236mg24%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Equipment and major ingredients used in this recpie:

Recipes for popular accompaniments with Navratan Pulao:

Other Rice Recipes on EYP that may interest you:

What is Navratan Pulao?

Navratan aka NINE-JEWELS Pulao, is a dish which comes from ancient royal kitchen of Mughal emperors, embedded its roots in from Mughlai cuisine.Navratan Pulao

Is Navratan Pulao Healthy?

Plentiful vegetables, nuts, paneer and aromatic rice, make this pulao recipe healthy and perfect to relish by kids. Skip deepfrying of vegetable to keep dish low calorie.

How to make Navratan pulao Vegan?

To make this pulao vegan, substitute ghee with vegetable oil, use nondairy milk and tofu instead of paneer, with no loss of flavor and deliciousness you can enjoy the vegan version of Navratan pulao.

What to Serve with Navratan Pulao?

My favourite way to enjoy navratan pulao is to pair it with Dal Makhani. But any mild spicy curry would go beautifully with this, like paneer makahani or navratan korma or even simple cucumber raita goes very well.

How to store Navratan Pulao?

Refrigerator – Navratan Pulao keeps well in the fridge for almost a week. While reheating in microwave sprinkle some water to keep them from drying.
Freezer – Navratan Pulao also makes a perfect freezer friendly recipe for meal prep. Cook a big batch and freeze in portions in freezer-friendly containers. When ready to consume, transfer the frozen pulao container to refrigerator the night before to get it thaw and reheat using microwave or stovetop.

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