Komola Polao/Orange Polao
Komola Polao or Orange Polao is a traditional preparation of Bengali cuisine. In this kind of polao, we use orange juice to cook the rice. The oranges chosen for Komola Polao should be very sweet else the rice will be tangy in taste.
With the onset of winter, fresh oranges are already in the market now. Loaded with lots of Vitamin C they are very good immunity boosters. Since I bought a lot of them, I decided to make the first orange preparation of the season, Komola Polao. Komola polao goes best with any spicy prepartion. While I have served it with chingri machher malaikari and aloor torkari, you can serve it with any chicken or meat dish of your choice.
Making of polao is very easy. There is one basic fact that you need to remember while making polao. the amount of water should be double the amount of rice in the polao. Additionally, while making the polao, one should not mix and stir the rice very often. This causes the delicate rice grains to break.
Cook the polao initially for 5-8 minutes on a high flame and then gradually reduce the flame. serve this polao with any spicy dish and it forms an amazing combination.
Preparation time: 20 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
- 1 ½ cup Basmati rice
- 1 ½ cup of orange juice(Juice from 3 oranges)
- Zest from 1 orange
- A pinch of turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoons of ground ginger
- 8-10 cashew nuts split
- 10-15 kishmish/raisins soaked in water
- 1½ inch cinnamon stick broken into pieces
- 4-5 cardamom pods
- 3 tablespoons of ghee
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 8-10 kesar strands
- ½ teaspoon of orange essence (optional)
- Wash the basmati rice properly few times and soak the rice in water for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes drain the water and let the rice air dry for sometime.
- To this air dried rice, sprinkle a pinch of turmeric powder and one tablespoon of melted ghee. Carefully, flip and turn the rice to prevent them from breaking. Keep the rice aside.
- Zest one of the oranges and keep them aside.
- Squeeze the three oranges and keep them aside.( yields 1½ cup of orange juice)
- Heat a pot. To it add the remaining ghee. Once the ghee is hot, add the cashew nuts and raisins, one after another. Fry them and keep them aside.
- To the remaining ghee in the pot, add the cinnamon stick cardamom pods.
- As the ghee turns aromatic, add the rice to the pot. Saute the rice, till the rice changes its color.
- Now, add the orange juice and water. The total amount of fluid added should be double the amount of rice. (3 cups in my case)
- Add the fried cashew nuts and the raisins. Also add salt and kesar strands to the pot.
- Cook the rice covered till all the water is absorbed and the rice is almost done.
- After the rice is done, add the zest of orange and sugar and fold it with the rice gently. Be careful not to overdo it else all the rice will break.
- Turn off the flame and keep the rice covered till ready to serve or about 5-10 minutes.
- Serve the polao hot with a spicy chicken or fish curry.
1. Since the rice is very delicate, care should be taken when dealing with the rice else all the rice will break.
2. Saffron often does not generate a very good yellow colour or you need a lot of saffron strands. Adding a pinch of turmeric powder always helps.
3. Adding orange essence is absolutely optional.This just enhances the orange flavour. However, orange juice and orange zest still does the job well.
Step by step instructions to prepare komola polao
Wash the basmati rice properly few times and soak the rice in water for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes drain the water and let the rice air dry for sometime.
Zest one of the oranges and keep them aside.
Squeeze the three oranges and keep them aside.( yields 1 ½ cup of orange juice)
Heat a pot. To it add the ghee. Once the ghee is hot, add the cashewnuts and pistachios and keep them aside.
To the pot, add the remaining ghee. Once the ghee is hot, add the cinnamon stick and the cardamom pods to the kadai. As the oil turns aromatic, add the rice to the pot. Saute the rice, till the rice changes its colour.
Now, add the orange juice and the water extracted from the rind. The toatal amount of fluid added should be double the amount of rice. (3 cups in my case)
Add the fried cashewnuts and the soaked raisins. Also add salt to the pot. Cook the rice covered till all the water is absorbed. After the rice is done, add the zest of orange and sugar and fold it with the rice gently. Be careful not to overdo it else all the rice will break.
Serve the polao hot with a good chicken or fish curry.
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