This pulav is different

There is something about an anaar aka pomegranate that makes our heart leap like at sighting the rainbow mentioned in a famous poem. It's brilliant in colour and divine in taste. We can't have enough of it. To be honest, we are partial to the ruby red Kandahari stuff to the thin-skinned bedana variety paler in hue and milder in sweetness.

Imagine our delight when we encountered by chance the anardana pulav in a food promotion. When we talked to the chef in charge we were a bit disappointed to learn that it is not descended from a blue-blooded ancestor but is a recent creation to please vegetarian patrons whose palate is jaded with navaratan, jira and peas pulav. It is easy to cook, has subtle flavours and is beautiful to look at. What more can you ask for? We tell our guests that this is a "lost-and-reclaimed" recipe that an itinerant Kabuliwala gifted our mother

Anardana pulav


Long-grained rice 250 g

Bay leaf One

Cloves Two

Brown cardamom 1-2

Cinnamon One-inch stick

Cumin powder 1/2 tsp

Kashmiri mirch powder `BC tsp

Mace powder A pinch

Green cardamom powder A pinch

All-spice powder A pinch

Pomegranate seeds One cup

Vegetable stock 1-1/2 cup

Pomegranate juice 1/2 cup

Lemon juice 1tsp

Red bell pepper (cored, cut in tiny pieces and stir-fried for 20 Half seconds no more!)

50 ml butter +10 ml (optional)

Salt To taste


Pick, wash and soak the rice then spread on a plate to dry.

Heat butter in a pan and put in the bay leaf along with whole spices and when these change colour add the rice stir lightly to coat the grains with butter then put in the powdered spices with salt and pour in the vegetable stalk.

Bring to boil, cover reduce the flame to medium and cook till rice absorbs all fluid. (Uncover to check). Sprinkle pomegranate juice all over and maybe a little more butter to moisten the pulav.

Sprinkle lemon juice and add the pomegranate seeds and mix with very gentle touch to distribute these evenly. Garnish with tiny bits of bell peppers and enjoy!