Birista Pulao, also known as Beresta Pulao, is a simple yet delicious rice dish made with crispy onions, dry red chilies, and spices. It is a popular delicacy among Bengali Muslims and is often accompanied by a spicy meat dish. Many Bengali Muslim households prepare this flavorful pulao for their meals.
Last Sunday, Mehebub requested me to make Basanti pulao and Goalondo chicken curry. However, I discovered that I didn't have any cashew nuts in stock and decided to skip the pulao. Luckily, Rosie, our househelp suggested making Birista pulao instead. Mehebub overheard our conversation and requested more chicken for the curry. I agreed but asked him to chop the onions, as Birista pulao requires a lot of finely chopped onions. Meanwhile, Rosie was busy taking care of our newest family member, Coffee Chatterjee Alam, a golden retriever puppy we adopted a month ago. Despite the onion-chopping task, I was happy to document another Bangali Muslim recipe on my blog, as Birista pulao requires only a few ingredients.
Birista Pulao; a Bengali Muslim household's favorite?
While I am not trying to generalize, I have personally experienced the dish Misti pulao being served in various Bengali Muslim households. However, my mother-in-law does not frequently prepare it as a main course. Instead, they typically serve Zarda Pulao as a dessert. My first taste of this dish was at my in-law's house, where they also do not prefer Misti pulao and usually prepare different types of savory pulao, including Birista Pulao.
This dish is quite popular in Bengali Muslim households, regardless of their economic status. I even had it at Sabina's wedding, who used to be my daughter's nanny. Debjanir Rannaghar has a few recipes for Sabina as well. Mehebub and my daughter Pasta both love Birista Pulao, especially when served with a spicy meat dish. Pasta even takes it as part of her lunch box.
A few more details about Beresta Pulao!
Birista, also known as Piyaj Pulao, is a dish made of deep-fried onion crisps. However, it is more accurately called Birista Polao due to the specific use of onion crisps in the recipe. Short-grain rice is the best choice for this dish, with Tulaipanji or Gobindobhog being suitable alternatives to Badshabhog. While any flavorful short-grain rice can be used, Basmati is not recommended as it does not suit the earthy flavor of Birista Pulao. Rather, normal rice is preferred over "Biriyani rice" for this particular dish, as confirmed by Rosie.
Rosie, who is Sabina's sister and a talented cook, assisted me in curating this recipe. She belongs to the Bengali Muslim community and hails from a suburb. During our conversation, she mentioned that Birista Pulao is a popular alternative to Biryani for families who cannot afford it as part of their marriage feast. I still remember the delicious pulao with chicken that I had at her sister's wedding. During lunch, Mehebub shared his memories of receiving home-cooked food from his mother during his days at the Ramakrishna Mission hostel.
Here's how I cook Birista Pulao at Debjanir Rannaghar!Print
Birista Pulao, or Beresta Pulao, is a straightforward and savory pulao dish that involves using onion crisps, dry red chilies, and a variety of spices. This delicious Pilaf is often prepared in Bengali Muslim households as a side dish to complement spicy meat dishes.
- 250g Short-grain flavored Rice
- 5 Onion
- 8-10 Dry Red Chilli
- 2 Bay leaf
- 1 Tsp. Salt
- 150ml Oil (for frying the Onion followed by cooking)
- 1 Tsp. Ghee (Optional)
- Wash rice thoroughly and soak it in water for 30 minutes.
- Finely chop onions.
- Heat oil in a deep vessel and fry onions until they turn brown and crisp.
- I prefer to fry the onion in small batches. This helps in getting the onion crunchier.
- Strain half of the fried onion from the pan.
- Fry dry red chilies as well.
- Keep ⅓ of the fried chilies in the pan; crush ⅓ of the chilies and add to the pan and keep the rest for garnishing. This step is very important.
- Add 2 bay leaves.
- Now add soaked rice after discarding the water.
- Fry the rice for 3-4 minutes on low flame.
- The rice will turn almost translucent.
- Add boiling water (double the quantity of rice) to the rice.
- Now add salt as well.
- Cover the pan with a lid and cook for around 7-8 minutes or until the rice is cooked.
- Rice will soak all the water by then.
- Now add the rest of the fried onions and fried red chilies.
- Add 1 Tsp. of ghee and lightly mix it.
- Do not overmix while cooking or do not add excess water.
- Give a rest of 10 minutes before opening the lid to serve the pulao.
- Serve Birista Pulao hot with a spicy side
- I use vegetable oil for this recipe; however, my mother-in-law uses mustard oil. Both taste good.
- Ghee is optional however makes the dish flavorful.
- As very few spices are used, onion and red chili dominate the flavors.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Category: Main
- Method: Cooking
- Cuisine: Bengali
- Serving Size: 100g
- Calories: 598
- Sugar: 6g
- Sodium: 590mg
- Fat: 36.1g
- Saturated Fat: 5.2g
- Carbohydrates: 62.9g
- Fiber: 3.8g
- Protein: 6g
- Cholesterol: 3mg
Keywords: birista pulao recipe, beresta pulao recipe, onion pulao recipe, poyaj pulao recipe, debjanir rannaghar
Birista Pulao Recipe Video!
Recipes from Bengali Muslim households (India and Bangladesh)
- Bangladeshi Kala Bhuna (also known as Beef Kala Bhuna | Kalo Bhuna Recipe)
- Pui Saag diye Masoor Dal (Red Lentil Soup with Malabar Spinach) from the MIL’s Kitchen!
- Keema Kaleji (also known as Keema Kalija | Indian mutton mincemeat and mutton liver curry)
- Dimer Halwa (Egg Halwa or Ande Ka Halwa)
- Kuskhus Badam Halwa (also known as Posto Badam Halwa)
- Narkeli Jam Pitha (Also known as jam pithe
- Taler Bibikhana Pitha (also known as Taler Pithe or Sugar Palm Cake)
- Mangsher Ghughni (Also known as Yellow Pea Curry with Minced Mutton)
- Mutton Handi Kebab, an heirloom recipe from a small-town Kebab shop in West Bengal
- Bangladeshi Mutton Tehari (Also known as gosht tahiri)
- Bangladeshi Chicken Roast (Also known as Biyebarir Chicken Roast)
- Sada Ilish aka Ilisher PaniKhola (also known as Ilish Pani Khola)
- Nona Ilish Bhorta (Also known as Nona Ilish Bhuna)
- Ilish Macher Korma (also known as Hilsa Korma)
- Mutton Rezala (Also known as Kolkata style Rezala)
- Kolkata’s Mutton Tikia (Also known as tikia kabab)
Have you tried the Birista Pulao recipe from Debjanir Rannaghar!
Do let me know how it came out. Also, I would love to see a picture of the same which you can share here at email@example.com. Meanwhile, on Instagram, you can use my hashtag #debjanirrannaghar and in addition, you can tag me at @foodofdebjani.