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Monday, September 26, 2016

A - Z Rice Dishes ~ V for Varhadi Pulao / Vegetarian Goli Bhaat

My 'V' dish, Varhadi pulao comes from the state of Maharashtra which originally happens to be a meat based dish. I happened to see an interesting vegetarian variation on Pradnya's blog during one of the previous marathons. I had bookmarked it and now it seemed like the right time to try it when I am doing the 'Rice' series this month. This savory rice dish is usually a part of the feast prepared to welcome the wedding guests and hence the name Varhadi pulao. It is also called as the goli bhaat in reference to the round shaped minced meat dumplings used in the dish.

Pradnya used spicy chickpea flour dumplings as the vegetarian substitute here which when combined with the spicy base used for the rice makes the final dish a super duper hit. I was initially apprehensive about how my husband is going to receive the dish as he is not a fan of overtly spiced dishes and he can't stand coconut. However the dish was so flavorful that my husband had it for three meals straight, continuously praising it. I did not make any changes to the original recipe except halving it since there were only two of us to eat it.  The original dish also suggests to add about 2 ladles of ghee to the dish as it happens to be a celebratory dish and is supposed to be special. However I stuck to Pradnya's low cal version.

The recipe appears to be a tedious one because of the list of ingredients but is not that difficult considering that it is prepared during weddings. The preparation consists of three parts - preparing the masala, goli and rice. 

Part 1:
Ingredients for masala paste:
1 tbsp. dry grated coconut
1 tsp. sesame seeds
1 tsp. poppy seeds
1 tsp. black pepercorns
1 tsp. green cardamom 
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
2 to 3 cloves 
2 bay leaves 
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 star anise 
3 to 4 red chillies
2 tsp. coriander seeds 
2 tsp. oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 inch ginger piece
3 to 4 garlic cloves
1 green chillie

Preparing paste:
1. Dry roast individually coconut, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, black peppercorns, green cardamom, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, star anise and red chillies. Leave the coriander seeds aside.
2. Heat the oil and add onion, ginger, garlic and green chillie. Fry until the onion turns translucent.
3. Grind the ingredients from step 1 and step 2 and the coriander seeds into a fine paste adding a little water. 

Part 2:
Ingredients for gole / dumplings:
1.5 cups besan / chickpea flour
1 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. red chili powder
1 tsp. turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1 tsp. ginger - garlic paste
1 tsp. ground paste from above
1 tsp. oil
Oil to fry

Preparing gole:
* Combine besan, garam masala, chili powder, turmeric and salt in a mixing bowl. Then add ginger-garlic paste, the ground paste, 1 tsp. oil and water if needed to form a thick rollable ball of dough. Let it sit for few minutes.
* Grease your palms with oil and make small balls/gole from the dough and place them in a steamer for about 10 minutes or until done.
* Deep fry these gole in oil until golden brown and crispy. Remove them with a slotted spoon and set them aside.
Part 3:
Ingredients for pulao:
2 cups basmati rice, rinsed and soaked for 10 minutes
1 tbsp. oil
2 tbsp. ghee
1 large onion, finely sliced 
1 bay leaf
1 black cardamom
1 tsp. crushed saffron, mixed with a tbsp. warm water (optional)
Ingredients for garnishing:
Deep fried cashews
fresh grated coconut
Minced cilantro

Cooking pulao:
* Heat oil and ghee in a large pot and add onion, cardamom and bay leaf. Saute until onion starts to turn golden brown. Next add the remaining ground masala paste from part 1 and saute until it is dry.
* Add rice and 4 cups of water and cook covered until the water is reduced to half. (What I did was transfer the contents to a container adding only 3& 1/2 cups water and cook it in a pressure cooker without the pressure valve on so that I could add the crushed golas in the middle of the cooking. That way I didn't had to worry about the final consistency of the dish.)
* Crush a few golas with hand to form a coarse mixture and sprinkle this on the rice. Also add the saffron if using. (At this stage, two more ladles of ghee are added to the dish, traditionally.)
* Cover the pot again and cook the rice until all the water is absorbed. Remove the lid during the last minutes of the cooking.
* Garnish the pulao with the remaining golas, fried cashews, coconut and cilantro and gently mix.
Recipes so far in A - Z Rice Dishes,  
A for Achaari Chole Pulao
B for Bhuna Khichuri
C for Chintapandu Pulihora
D for Dindigul Thalapakatti Veg Biryani
E for Ellorai / Ellotharai  
F for Fodnicha Bhaat 
G for Gongura Pulihora 
H for Hare Moong ki Chaaswaali Khichdi 
I for Iyengar Style Kadambam 
J for Jodhpuri Vegetable Pulao 
K for Kaju - Karivepaku Annam 
L for Lilva Khichdi
M for Mamidikaaya - Kobbari Pulihora 
N for Narali Bhaat
O for Oliya 
P for Peas Pulao 
Q for Qabooli Biryani 
R for Ram Pulao / Rajasthani Gatte Ka Pulao
S for Spinach layered Biryani
T for Tawa Pulao
U for Urad dal Khichdi 

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 68.
An InLinkz Link-up


Gayathri Kumar said...

Such a drool worthy pulao. Those deep fried dumplings sound so flavourful and must be a great addition to the delicious pulao..

Usha said...

This must have tasted wonderful with all those spices. Those gole must have tasted awesome in pulao.

vaishali sabnani said...

Suma this rice sounds so unique..love the golis in it..the spices going in there ..sounds so delicious. Definitely trying it soon.

Kalyani said...

Wow ! Looks so interesting ! After the Ram pulao that I tried immdly , this is going to my to-do list :))

Srividhya said...

I have never tried this.. interesting share.

Harini R said...

Looks like I missed it at Pradnya's space. I agree this is a very flavorful rice and would love to dig in!

Priya Suresh said...

Omg, this pulao is something am gonna try for the sure. Definitely a must try dish. Flavorful rice.

Ritu Tangri said...

gole themselves are so flavorsome, can be enjoyed as snack. I wonder how they would have tasted in pulao..Bookmarked

Pavani said...

Wow, what an inviting pulao this is Suma. Bookmarked to try some time soon.

cookingwithsapana said...

Besan gole in pulav looks so inviting. A complete flavorful dish.

Archana said...

Its been ages since I ate this pulao. In fact I had forgotten about it till now. Yum yum.

Sandhya Ramakrishnan said...

Very different rice variety and I have never heard of this before. Would love to try this sometime soon.

Srivalli said...

Wow thats amazing dish and the pictures are really making it more droolworthy!..bookmarked..