My mom made this on Sundays combining it with Bagara Baingan (brinjals in gravy) sometimes. I dont eat brinjals and so she used to add tomatoes to it just so I would eat ;-) We call it fried rice at our home. I am not sure what it should be called, but one thing I know is that it tastes great :-)
Well, last weekend a group of friends and me decided to go on a trip to Niagara Falls. (Pictures will follow soon). We had planned to start at around 1:00 in the afternoon and we had to finish our lunch before we hit the road. Pulao came to our rescue as it is a wonderful stand-alone dish . It took me just 20 mins to get it ready for the cooker. I wasn't in the mood of adding potatoes, but they gel well with this dish. (My dad is always teasing me that after coming to the US potatoes have become our staple food..!!!)
- 1 cup - Carrots
- 1 cup - Cauliflower florets
- 1 cup - Green peas
- 1 cup - Green bell peppers
- 1 nos - Onion
- 7-8 nos - Cloves
- 2 nos - Cinnamon sticks (1 inch each)
- 3 nos - Cardamom ( Elaichi)
- 3 nos - Garlic pods
- 1 Tbsp - Mint leaves ( dried)
- 3 nos - Mace
- 1 inch Ginger piece sliced
- 5 cups - Rice
- 3 Tbsp - Oil
- Salt to taste
- Wash and soak the rice before you start with the vegetables, this makes the rice nice n fluffy and the rice gets cooked faster.
- Chop onions and the other vegetables. I used frozen carrots, cauliflower, peas and fresh capsicum. Thaw the forzen vegetables and reserve.
- Heat some oil in a wide saucepan and add the all the spices. Ones the raw smell vanishes, add the onions and saute.
- When the onions are done add the peas and capsicum and continue to saute till they are cooked. I add the peas in this step, as I like them to turn a little crisp on the outer skin.
- Now add the rest of the vegetables and salt. Cover the sauepan and let them cook for about 5-7 mins.
- Drain and add the soaked rice and mix till the rice and vegetables blend well.
- Transfer the whole to a electric cooker and add water for the rice and veggies. If you added salt in Step 5 then taste and add salt accordingly. The pulao tastes best when the rice grains are fluffy and separate.
- Garnish with Cilantro leaves and serve hot with raita or any north Indian gravy.
- Any combination of vegetables and spices can be tried. Adding cashews and raisins will make the pulao rich and definitely tasty ;-).
- If using a pressure cooker, the whole procedure can be done in the cooker pan and water can be added once the rice and vegetables mix well.
- Instead of oil, you can use equal measures of ghee and oil. This gives a mild, comforting taste. Ghee can be added to the cooker aong with the water.