Kishmish Kaju Pulao: Bengali Cashew Raisin Rice



Because my awesome boyfriend is Bengali (hey babe!), I like to make him Bengali cuisine every once in a while. My very first attempt at Bengali food was a fish curry, which you can find by clicking here. It was…eventful to say the least. Bengali food is delicious, especially the desserts. All those wonderful Indian sweets you love? Most likely Bengali. Almost everything has a touch of sweetness to it, which is perhaps why my boyfriend is so stinkin sweet to me. It’s in his blood. 

Anywho, this recipe for cashew raisin rice is not a new one. Actually, I made it during last year’s Durga Puja(o). If you’re interested in reading about our holiday party where you will also find another Bengali recipe for spicy potato and cabbage, feel free to click here. I’m not sure why I waited so long to post this recipe, but here you go!

PS, the second half of this recipe is cooked in a rice cooker. If you don’t have one, just put the appropriate amount of water in a pot, and cook it on the stove. 



  • 2 cups basmati
  • 1 onion, sliced very thin
  • 1-2 handfuls of cashews
  • 1-2 handfuls of raisins
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp ghee, if Vegan just use oil
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 3-4 cardamom pods
  • 1/2 tsp saunf
  • a couple pinches of saffron

To Make:

In the rice cooker, add the rice and appropriate amount of water, and soak for 20 minutes. 

While the rice is soaking, heat the ghee in a pan. 

When the ghee is hot, add cardamom, cinnamon, cloves. Once those crackle, add the onions. Saute until translucent. Add the cashews. Stir, reduce heat. Saute till onions are nice and golden and cashews are golden brown. Add the raisins. Stir until raisins become plump. Add the saunf and stir. Turn off heat. 

By now the rice should be soaked. Take a cup or small container, and take out a little bit of the water. Add the onion mix, along with salt and sugar. Stir everything together in the rice cooker. Sprinkle the saffron on top of the mixture, and close the lid. Cook on appropriate setting. 










11 responses to “Kishmish Kaju Pulao: Bengali Cashew Raisin Rice

  1. Like the previous commenter I had to google saunf!! Ah, and I call myself a foodie… 🙂 Looks like a gorgeous recipe. Love the fact that it’s been made particularly in tribute to your man’s Bengali roots (awww). You two make such a sweet pair! As per always, I love the way you write Whit. A pleasure to read! xx

  2. I decided to try your pulao. I don’t have a rice cooker. I just use a big heavy saucepan. I use “INdiaGate” basmati. I make it Iranian style by soaking the rice for about an hour or so, then dumping the drained rice in the saucepan full of boiling water for about 4 minutes or until its still hard in the middle. Then drain the rice and put the saucepan back on the stove and melt some butter and oil in it. Then dump a mound of the rice into the pan, poke some holes in the mound with a wood spoon end, pour brewed saffron over the top and close the lid and put on med heat until it steams….then set to low heat and let steam for about 40 minutes…it makes a pretty tahdig at the bottom of the pan that tastes really good. I used your recipe by pouring the onion mix onto half the rice at the bottom of the pan and then pouring the rest over the top of the sauce and then poking holes and pouring the saffron over the top of it…. it came out really good. (I also tossed in some dried apricots with the raisins).

  3. Pingback: Diwali Recipe Roundup! | WhitBit's Indian Kitchen·

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