Recipes: Caramelised Onion Pulao


Over the Chinese New Year long weekend, suddenly S’ aunt and uncle said they would be coming to meet us. So we invited them to lunch instead. Since this was literally a last minute invite, I did not have any time to plan a meal and also since the shops were closed for the new year, I could not top up any groceries. So I made a meal with what I had at home. I made this Caramelised Onion Pulao which is inspired by a Sindhi rice dish I’ve eaten at my neighbour’s house in Mumbai called Bugha Chaanwara. I served this with a classic Sindhi Kadhi and some raita. A simple, but very satisfying meal.

caramelised-onion-pulao-1Caramelised Onion Pulao


  • 2 cups basmati rice, soaked in water for 20 minutes and drained
  • 3 onions, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 4-5 cardamom pods
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsps ghee or oil
  • a handful of cashew nuts
  • 2 cups water


  • In a pan, heat the ghee or oil and when warm, add the onions and stir them to brown them.
  • Keep stirring and make sure they brown but do not burn. Stir them until they caramelise and become crisp.
  • Move the onions to the side of the pan and in the balance ghee or oil, add the cashewnuts and let them brown.
  • Next, add the cumin seeds and stir for a few seconds followed by the cardamom pods and cloves.
  • Now add the drained rice and salt to taste and stir well till the rice is completely mixed with the onions
  • Move this mixture to a rice cooker, add water and cook till done.
  • If you are cooking this on the stovetop, add water and check periodically till the rice is completely cooked.
  • The end result is a slightly brown and sweet rice which goes with any gravy.




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