Origin of Dum Pulao

Pulao is typically made up of rice or, in some regions, out of wheat and then cooked in broth or stock by adding spices. Additionally, you can mix either vegetables or meat into the recipe. Pulao is a dish that is popular in many central Asian, middle eastern, and south Asian countries.  

History of Pulao

The history of pulao goes back to the epic times where there have been instances where cooked rice and meat were together. A Persian scholar, Ibn Sina, has mentioned a lot about pulao in his medicinal books. He has elaborated on the types of pulao as well as the various methods to prepare it. He has also given the special mention of all the different ingredients used to make pulao with its advantages and disadvantages. Eventually, he was considered to be the father of modern pilaf, or modernly called pulao. Pulao also became a part of the Soviet cuisine as the version of central Asia spread through all the Soviet republics. Innovations in the preparation of this dish were made by the Arabs, Persians, and Turks. As a result, over the years, pulao has become a daily affair in the kitchens. There are Arab texts from the thirteenth century that describe how the rice grains in pulao should be. The rice grains should be plump, but at the same time, they should be firm, and the rice grains should not clump together. 

How is pulao cooked?

Few chefs choose to use basmati rice to prepare pulao as the grains remain light and fluffy and do not clump together. The steps in making pulao are:

  1. Rinse the rice thoroughly to get rid of all the starch.
  2. Rice is added to the oil and is briefly stirred before adding either water or stock. 
  3. The spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and bay leaves are then added.
  4. If you wish, you can also add either meat or vegetables or both.
  5. Saffron is added to give the pulao a yellowish color.
  6. It is finally garnished with fried onions.

The type of fat you use depends on which recipe you are following. Also, soaking the rice and steaming it will vary from recipe to recipe. 

What is the Indian variety of Dum Pulao?

In India, pulao is a mixture of lentils, vegetables, meat, and rice. It is incorporated with spices like bay leaves, nutmeg, cumin, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon. The entire dish, which is in a pot, is sealed with either tin foil paper or dough, which gives it the name Dum pulao. This dish is commonly consumed for lunch or dinner and is very rich in food energy. To enhance the taste of the plate, you can couple it with spiced yogurt called raita. 


The existence of pulao went back centuries and was considered a delicacy made with vegetables, meat, or plain. It is also very beneficial as it has many spices and is often served during big occasions and weddings. So, add pulao to your food recipe today and satisfy your taste buds with its outstanding and delicious taste.

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