Bengalis cook the polau as a one-pot meal. All spices and dry fruits are fried in ghee and then the rice is added to the same pan. The whole thing is then cooked together.
- Basmati rice (1 cup)
- Green cardamom (Hari elaichi), crushed(4)
- Bay leaf (Tejpatta) (1)
- Salt (to taste)
- Ghee (3 tbsp)
- Cinnamon (Dalchini) (2 one-inch sticks)
- Mace (Javitri) (a few strands)
- Whole black pepper (Sabut kali mirch)(10)
- Cashew nuts (Kaju) (10)
- Raisins (Kishmish) (10)
- Rose or kewra water (6 drops)
- Water (2½ cups)
- Soak the rice in the water for 30 minutes and drain.
- Transfer the rice to a deep pan, add salt, tejpatta, and crushed elaichi.
- Add 2 cups of water to the rice and cook on high flame till the rice is half cooked. It takes about 10 minutes.
- To check whether the rice is ready to be used in the polau, press a few rice grains with a ladle. They need to break easily when pressed. Take the rice off the flame and drain.
- Spread it on a large plate to dry and keep aside.
- In another pan, heat ghee on high flame. Add dalchini, javitri, kali mirch, kaju, and kishmish. Sauté till the kaju turns golden.
- Now transfer the half-cooked rice into the pan along with the spices and nuts and mix well.
- Add about half a cup of water and cover the pan to steam the rice on low flame for a few minutes till it is fully cooked. Check a few grains to see if they are cooked well.
- Fluff the rice with a rice spoon/fork. Sprinkle a few drops of rose water and mix in gently.
- Serve hot with chutney or sabzi of your choice.