Today's recipe is for a mild, flavorful vegetable pulao that is regular at my home. Don't get intimidated by the long list of ingredients. It is a simple one for even novices to try.
Ingredients: (6 servings)
1.5 cup Basmati Rice
1 Tbsp oil
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 cardamom pods
3 one inch cinnamon pieces
2 bay leaves
4 green chillies (I used Serrano peppers. Adjust the quantity if using other variety.)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder (optional. I just add it to make it colorful.)
2 onions - finely chopped
1 - 2 tomatoes - finely chopped
2 potatoes - peeled and cubed
20 green beans - stringed and chopped into one inch bits
2 carrots - peeled and cubed
1/4 cup fresh / frozen peas
Salt to taste
(I omit the garlic paste from the recipe. If using, add along with the ginger.)
* Wash and soak rice in water for 30 minutes. This step is optional.
* Heat oil and add cumin seeds in a pan. When they start to brown, add cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves and ginger. Saute for few seconds and then add chillies and turmeric powder. Again saute the ingredients and then add onion. Fry until it turns translucent and then add tomato. Cook until tomato turns mushy.
* Add the chopped vegetables and drained rice to the pan and saute for a minute or two. Add 3 cups of water and salt to the pan, cover and cook until done. It usually takes around 20 minutes to cook this way and don't be tempted to stir often.
* Serve it with raita.
If you are not comfortable cooking directly in a pan, add the contents to a pressure cooker (up to 3 whistles) or a rice cooker and cook until done. Another method is to cook rice separately in a cooker and add it to the pan after vegetables are done.
Onion - Tomato Raita:
A raita is usually served as an accompaniment to a biryani / pulao to cool one's palate and tummy. The most common and simple one is where raw chopped onion, tomato, green chillies, cilantro and salt are added to beaten yogurt. I personally do not prefer the flavor of raw onion in a raita and so add cooked stuff as mentioned below.
2 cups yogurt (Fatfree will do.)
2 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 - 2 green chillies
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 Tbsp minced cilantro
* Add salt to yogurt, whisk and leave aside.
* Mince finely onion, tomato and green chillies.
* Heat oil and add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When mustard seeds start to splutter, add chillies and turmeric. Saute for few seconds and add onion. Fry until translucent and then add tomato. Cook until mush and turn off the stove.
* Let cool and add this mixture to the yogurt. Mix well, garnish with cilantro and serve.
This goes to BM#24 under the theme of "Mixed Vegetables - Carrot, Potatoes & Beans". Check here what others are cooking during the marathon.