Rice and Pearls!!!

The recipe I am sharing today literally means rice and pearls. The recipe is called moti-polao. Moti in Bengali means pearl and Polao is the name of a fragrant rice dish. The moti in this case is really tiny spiced meatballs that are mixed with the rice before serving. The dish kind of reminds me ofΒ one of my favourite songs “Diamonds and Pearls” by Prince. So enjoy the recipe and may be even have a listen to the song πŸ™‚


Moti Polao


To make the Moti:

1/2 lb ground meat (beef, chicken, lamb, turkey – your choice)
1 tsp ginger paste
2 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried mint (fresh mint can be used instead of the dried)
1/2 tsp Kashmiri red pepper (replace with cayenne or paprika if you wish)
1 packet Lipton onion soup mix (you can use any brand of your choice)
1 egg
2 tsp sambal oelek (substitute with chili paste or hot sauce), optional
1/4 cup bread crumb
salt to taste (if required)
Oil for frying

*Please note that this has ingredients that would not be used in a traditional Bengali Cuisine.

Moti-Polao: The beginning of Moti

Take all ingredients except for oil and mix them together. Please note that you may not need extra salt and both worcestershire sauce and the soup mix is likely to have enough salt. Now let it sit for 15 minutes.

Moti-Polao: Moti Before Frying

Make tiny meatballs (about 1/4″ in diameter) and fry them in hot oil. Once cooked, place them on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Set aside until the rice is ready. Keep them warm or re-heat before use. You can also bake these meatballs in the oven.

Moti-Polao: Moti after frying

For Polao:

4 cups rice, washed and drained of all water
1 tsp ghee or clarified butter
1 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp ginger paste
2-3 bay leaves
2 cardamoms
1 1 inch piece cinnamon
3-4 green chili
2 tbsp beresta (use more or less per your preference)
hot water
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp rose water
salt to taste

In a pot heat the oil and ghee. You can use all ghee or all oil too depending on your preference. Add the ginger paste along with bay leaves, cardamoms and cinnamon. Add the rice and saute the rice for about 3-5 minutes. This helps make the rice aromatic. Make sure that the rice kernels do not burn, so stir well and often. Now you have two options.

Moti-Polao: Polao - Frying Rice

The Rice Cooker Method (this is what I did in this instant): Transfer the rice in to a rice cooker add the milk and then enough hot water to cook the rice. Add salt and set it to cook. Once the rice is cooked, add the rosewater. Also place the green chilies (whole) on top of the rice and keep it in warm setting of your rice cooker for about 5 minutes. Now add the meatballs and beresta and mix well with the rice to serve.

Moti-Polao: Polao being cooked

The alternative method would be to cook on the stove top: In this method, add the milk and enough hot water to cook the rice (about 4 cups of water). Add salt, cover and cook in low heat. Once the rice is almost done, add the rosewater and place the green chilies on top of the rice. Cover and cook until the rice is completely cooked. Now add the beresta and the meatballs and mix it with the rice. Serve hot!

Whichever method you choose, this is one simple, easy and delicious rice dish!

Moti-Polao: Ready to be served

13 responses to “Rice and Pearls!!!

  1. Pingback: What To Eat After 30 Days of Fasting! | Culinary Adventures of The Twisted Chef T·

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