Shahi paneer kofta pulao /pilaf
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3
Shahi paneer kofta pulao / saffron soaked pilaf with caramelized onions and stuffed cheese balls served with makhni sauce.
  • Pulao / pilaf
  • Basmati rice (good quality fragrant type) : 2 cups
  • Saffron (good quality): large pinch of few threads soaked in warm milk / water
  • Assorted nuts ( slivers of almonds and pistachios, raisins, sliced cashews etc) : half cup or more
  • Spices : small piece of cinnamon , 4-5 green cardamoms, 2-3 black cardamom, 3-4 cloves, 1 star anise, 1 mace
  • Bay leaves : 2-3
  • Kebab chini / long tail pepper : 5-6 (optional but lends very nice sweet aroma to the dish)
  • Keora water / rose water : few drops
  • Nutmeg powder : a small pinch
  • Sugar : 2-3 tsp or more as per taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Ghee : 3-4 tbsp
  • Crispy caramelized onion : 1 cup
  • Finely minced fresh ginger : 1 tbsp
  • Paneer kofta (deep fried): 6-8
  • Mint and cilantro finely chopped for garnish
  • Makhni sauce / creamy tomato based sauce to serve : 2 cups or more
  1. Wash and soak the basmati rice for 15 minutes.
  2. Drain the rice in a net colander and spread it in a wide plate. Let the rice dry out completely.
  3. Once the rice is dried out, make sure no traces of moisture in it, add a teaspoon of ghee and sugar and mix it properly. Leave it aside for a while.
  4. In a pan, heat rest of the ghee. Add all the nuts listed and let them fry for couple of minutes till they turn golden hue.
  5. Add the ginger, bay leaves and all the spices mentioned except the nutmeg powder.
  6. Once the ginger starts leaving its beautiful aroma, add the rice with salt.
  7. Stir the rice well so that it incorporates the spices and nuts together.
  8. This will take around 5-6 minutes.
  9. I make pulao in a microwave.
  10. So use any deep bottom glass container with lid, and add half the rice into it.
  11. Sprinkle the nutmeg powder, saffron water/ milk, keora or rose water.
  12. Stir in half of the caramelized onions.
  13. Place the deep fried paneer koftas over the bed of rice.
  14. Cover it with rest of the rice.
  15. Add 4 cups of water. level it up.
  16. Set the microwave temperature to 900W.
  17. Micro high for 15 minute.
  18. After 15 minute do not open the lid immediately. Trap the steam to finish cooking.
  19. Once the rice is done, plate it in rice serving dish.
  20. Garnish with rest of the caramelized onions and finely chopped mint and cilantro leaves.
  21. Serve the kofta pulao with creamy and tangy makhni sauce / tomato based gravy.
The same recipe holds good for stove top method also. But I prefer microwave cooking as it is hassle free and foolproof method. If you are using stove top mehtod then use the lowest heat to cook the pulao.
Recipe by saffronstreaks at