Vegetable Pulav Recipe:
Aromatic Indian Pulav (Fried Rice) with french beans, carrot , green peas and caramelized onions.
It seems quite long since I last said ‘this is my mom’s recipe’ and that she in turn got it from her mom and also that I am absolutely clueless so as to how many generations of my ancestors relished it before I got lucky. I am not even sure if the one I have is anywhere close to what the original recipe was, or was there any original recipe in the first place, but what I know for sure is that I just love it the way my mom makes it. Some fresh in season vegetables, colour of the caramelized onions, generous amount of ghee (clarified butter), aromatic spices and good quality basmati rice, and a truck load of love makes this hearty pulav my perfect party recipe.
The vegetable ‘pulav’ is not really a family secret but instead a very classic Indian preparation and its recipe like most other traditional recipes is no where documented but still you just know its perfect recipe. I’ve used the traditional way of preparation, no shortcuts for I really wanted to share the authentic recipe, although you can most definitely use your rice cooker or the microwave, just make sure you cover cook to retain its aroma. Though, please be warned of a little extra effort this preparation requires beforehand. A peculiar mechanism used to infuse the aroma, where all whole Indian aromatics are tied in a muslin cloth and put in the pot of boiling water that is used for cooking rice later, is quite intriguing and i had named it the potli wali pulav as I child. One could definitely straightaway use powdered garam masala instead but then it will never match the aroma of whole spices and wrapping it together in muslin makes it so much easier to discard later.
Ingredients (serves 4-5):
- 2 cups of Basmati Rice, washed and drained
- 3/4th cup French beans, chopped
- 3/4th cup carrots, chopped
- 2 medium onion, sliced
- 3/4th cup green peas
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 & ½ tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 & ½ tbsp Ghee (clarified butter)
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 pinch of saffron
- 1 pinch of grated nutmeg
- Salt to taste
- 5 cups water (depending upon the cooking mechanism)
For the Aromatics:
- 3-4 cinnamon sticks, 1 inch long
- 1 twig of Mace (javitri)
- 4-5 Cubeb or tailed pepper (kebab Cheeni)
- 4 black cardamom (choti elaichi)
- 4 green cardamom (badi elaichi )
- 1 star anise (chakra phool)
- 4-5 cloves (laung)
- 1 and ½ tbsp coriander seeds
- Tie all the whole aromatics in muslin cloth tightly and add it to the pot of boiling water (take enough water required to cook the rice plus an extra cup), cover and let it simmer until the extra water has evaporated. Also soak the saffron and nutmeg powder in the milk to infuse and keep aside.
- Now heat the vegetable oil in a pan or wok and add the bay leaf and fry for ½ a minute. Add beans, carrots and fry together for 5 minutes on a medium flame, then add the green peas and fry for another 2-3 minutes and finally tip in the rice and fry together until the rice strands separate and is slightly golden.
- Now measures the water as required for cooking and add to the rice, add the milk infused with saffron and nutmeg and cover cook the rice.
- While the rice cooks, golden-brow fry the onions in the entire ghee (clarified butter) and once the rice is cooked just quickly stir in the entire fried onions along with the ghee and cover back again. Leave covered for 5 mins before serving with the gravy of your choice.
Dos and Don’ts:
- Be conscious while frying the rice so as not to break the strands. Also do drain out all excess water from rice after washing it.
- If cooking in a regular pot I added 3 and ¾ th cup of water, brought it to a boil on high and then simmered for 10 minutes and my rice was perfectly cooked.
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