my dad's sandwich, which is still the best sandwich ever. But over the last few years I've gradually been adding it to recipes, initially just a few leaves sneaked in which did not really exert their presence. But later my love for chaat forced to make large batches of pudina chutney to use in bhel puri & sandwiches. I have even driven 40 mins to the Indian store to stock up on pudina, the measly sprigs sold at the regular stores just don't cut it for me.
chutney stored in the fridge now, and you should too. But today its all about this amazing pulao where pudina is the star of the dish. When I have excess pudina on hand I make this fragrant pulao and it has quickly become a favorite with us. I surely have come a long way from my mint-hating days.
Pudina Pulao (Mint flavored Rice)Ingredients:
- 2 cups - Basmati rice, uncooked
- 1 cup - Mint leaves, packed
- handful of Spinach leaves, lightly blanched
- 1 Tbsp - Coconut, freshly grated (or frozen)
- 2-3 nos - Green chillies (adjust to taste)
- 1 sq" chunk - Ginger root
- 2 nos - Garlic cloves
- Whole spices - 1 tsp cumin seeds, 3 cloves, 2 green cardamom pods, 1 black cardamom, 1/2 star anise, 2 1" shards of cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp - Turmeric
- 2 nos - Red Potatoes, cubed (~ 1 cup)
- 1 Tbsp - Oil
- Salt to taste
Notes: I used spinach solely for the extra green color, they do not add any flavor so you can easily skip them if needed. The turmeric here helps retain the green color too.
- Wash the rice in multiple changes of water until the water runs clear. Soak the grains in warm tap water for about 30mins while you get the rest of your ingredients ready.
- In a blender, toss in the mint leaves, blanched spinach, ginger, garlic, green chillies, coconut and blend to a slightly coarse paste using as little water as needed.
- In a wide saute pan, heat the oil on a medium flame and toast the whole spices. Add turmeric, cubed potatoes and saute for a few minutes until the potatoes nicely brown around the edges.
- Add the mint paste next and cook for a few minutes to cook out some of the raw garlic flavor (~ 2mins). Add drained rice and stir gently to coat all the grains with the mint paste, saute for 2-3 mins.
- Transfer the contents of the pan to a electric cooker, add required amount of water and salt to taste. Cook until done and serve warm with a cool yogurt raita.
- I was lazy when I made this last week and thats why you don't see any brown potatoes, but please don't skip that extra step, they taste great in the pulao.
- If cooking the rice on the stove top, start with a deep enough pan in step 3 while toasting the spices and continue cooking the rice in it. Basmati rice needs lesser water than the usual 1:2 (rice:water), specially when its been soaking for sometime. I went with a 1:1.5 which was enough to cook the potatoes too.
This is an absolutely fragrant dish, your kitchen will be filled with the heady aromas of mint and spices, eagerly drawing everyone towards it. The whole spices add a depth to the rice without overpowering the beautiful herb that you've painfully harvested. The spices help elevate the herb to a whole new level and make your guests feel like they are enjoying an exotic biryani and not the humble pulao. We were really hungry when I made this last week and so I did not wait for the potatoes to brown. But the tender browned potatoes, infused with the mint & spices are a delight in the pulao, so don't skip that.