There are times when I am really pressed for time or not in a mood to cook anything complicated or want a break from the regular rice and curry fare. That is when I turn to making pulao or masala rice. I keep experimenting with ingredients in my kitchen to add variety to the recipe. My inspiration? People staying in Bangalore would be aware of the range of pulaos available in hotels here like palak rice, pudina rice…the list is endless. And then I realised there are a lot of my variations that can be experimented with . One of my faves is palak rice which you can find in this blog. I have recently come up with another recipe. You can add whatever you wish to in it like dals, veggies etc and have it with a curd raitha making it a wholesome recipe. Specially useful when you are home alone 😛
The amount of ingredients in the recipe below would suffice 2 to 3 people approximately depending on how big eaters you are 😛
A dal of your choice (masoor dal/moong dal) – 1/2 cup
(Soak the dal in water and keep aside to quicken the cooking process)
Chopped veggies of you choice – 1 cup
(You can include a medley of vegetables like carrots, potatoes, peas, french beans etc. You can also include paneer cubes if you wish. A healthier substitute for paneer would be tofu or bean curd)
Rice – 1 1/2 cups (wash well and keep aside)
Jeera – 1 tsp
Chopped coriander – for garnishing
Salt – to taste
To be ground into a paste:
Onion – 2 small sized
Ginger – 1″ piece
Garlic – 5 to 6 cloves
(Instead, you can use a couple of teaspoons of ginger garlic paste if you wish)
Chillies – 4 to 5 or as per taste
Dhania powder – 1/2 tsp
Jeera powder – 1/2 tsp
Ground coconut – 2 to 3 tbsp (optional)
Chilli powder – as per taste (optional).
Grind all the ingredients for the masala into a paste adding a little water and keep aside.
In a pressure cooker heat some oil.
Add jeera and let it splutter.
Now add the ground masala paste and fry well till the oil starts leaving the masala.
Drain the water from the dal. Add the dal and the veggies to the cooker, mix well and stir for a couple of minutes.
Now add the rice and fry for a couple of more minutes and make sure everything mixes well.
Now add 4 to 41/2 cups of water depending on the amount of water required for your rice to cook. Just add a cup more of water than normal as we need to cook the dal and veggies along with the rice.
Add salt as per requirement and mix well.
Allow the water to come to a boil and then check and adjust seasoning.
Now close the cooker and cook for 2 whistles on high and for 5-7 minutes on low heat.
Turn off the heat, allow the cooker to cool.
Check seasoning before serving. Garnish with chopped coriander.
Serve hot with raitha of your choice.
To give the dish a spicier flavour, you can add a bay leaf, a small piece of cinnamon stick and a couple of cloves along with the jeera.
You can also add cashewnuts of groundnuts along with the veggies to give the dish a crisp and rich texture. Just play with the ingredients you have in the kitchen.
If you feel that the pulao is a little watery, just remove the lid from the cooker and fry on heat stirring slowly. Do not stir too much as the whole thing might become mushy.
Any more improvements or suggestions? Feel free to post a comment or mail me at aparna_j81atyahoo.com
- Rajma masala – Kidney beans cooked in indian spices (tummykhush.wordpress.com)