Photo credit: Pierre Bamin on Unsplash

Pulao is to Pakistan as risotto is to Italy. Pulao can be served as a simple dish of fried rice or include several other ingredients such as meat and vegetables. Basmati rice is traditionally used to make pulao. This long-grain rice is famous for its strong fragrance.

Note that this recipe makes enough to feed a huge, hungry crowd!


  • 1kg basmati rice
  • 10 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp large cardamom pods
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp fennel seed
  • ½ tbsp coriander seed
  • ½ tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 500g beef, chopped
  • 2.5L water, divided
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • ¼ cup cooking oil
  • ½ cup plain yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp chopped green chillies
  • salt and red pepper, to taste


  1. Soak the rice for 30 minutes in water.
  2. Put all the spices into a bundle, leaving out the ground coriander.
  3. Put the beef in a pressure cooker and add the spice bundle, 1.5L water, half the chopped onion, 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste and salt to taste, then cook for 15 minutes.
  4. Put the oil and remaining onion into a big pot and lightly brown the onion. Add the rest of the ginger-garlic paste and mix well. Then add the beef, ground coriander, black pepper, salt and red pepper to taste and mix well.
  5. Add the yoghurt and fry the meat well on high heat. Mix in the chopped green chillies.
  6. Add 1L water to the pot and heat until it boils. Then add the soaked and drained rice and cook on high heat until the water evaporates, steaming the rice for about 10 minutes.
  7. Your delicious beef pulao is now ready to eat!

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