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Meethe Chawal (Sweet Pulao Recipe) Recipe
by Hina Gujral

Meethe Chawal (Sweet Pulao Recipe)

Meethe Chawal or the sweet pulao is considered one of the most auspicious dishes in Punjabi Cuisine. Desserts made with rice are popular in Punjabi to name few – Kheer, Phirni and this unusual version of savory rice is a specialty prepared on certain festive occasions. Considered a good omen, to combine yellow rice with sugar and serve it as a sacred offering to the deity of the family.

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Prep time: Indian
Cook time: Servings: 4 bowls


  • 1 Cup long grain basmati rice
  • 3 tbsp ghee
  • an inch stick of cinnamon
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 4 green cardamoms crushed
  • 1/4 tsp of saffron strands
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/3 Cup sugar or to taste
  • 1/4 Cup sliced almonds, pistachio and raisins


  1. Clean, wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes in water.
  2. Dry roast the saffron strands in a small pan for few seconds. Turn off the heat. Add the milk, stir and set aside.
  3. Drain the water from the soaked rice and transfer the rice to a metal colander.
  4. In a large saucepan heat 3 Cups of water. Add cloves, star anise and two cardamoms.
  5. Add drained rice in the saucepan. Stir and cook till the rice is parboiled (halfway cooked through). Turn off the heat. Drain the water from the cooked rice and let it sit on a metal colander.
  6. Heat ghee in a heavy bottom wide skillet.
  7. Fry the sliced dry fruits for 5 - 10 seconds in the ghee and transfer to a bowl.
  8. Add cinnamon and remaining cardamom pods. Fry till the aroma of spices is released.
  9. Next, add the parboiled rice, saffron mixture, sugar, turmeric and 2 tbsp of warm water. Gently mix.
  10. Close the skillet with a tight fitting lid. Allow the rice to cook and absorb the flavor of aromatics at the lowest heat.
  11. Cook the rice this way for 5 - 10 minutes. Turn off the heat. And do not open the lid of the skillet until you are ready to serve the sweet pulao.
  12. Open the lid of the pan, gently fluff the rice using a fork and garnish with sliced dry fruits.
  13. Serve Meethe Chawal warm.