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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Vegetable Rice/ Vegetable Pulao

This recipe was regularly prepared once a week during my working years. I used to prepare this for dinner and my kids and my husband  were pleased to have this as a special item which was a break from our routine comfort food. When the required ingredients are ready at home it takes only 35 to 40 minutes from the time you are in the kitchen starting to cut vegetables. While in India I use fresh vegetables for this. It is more easier to make this when we have frozen mixed vegetable packet.This dish can be made by bachelors too if they happen to cook themselves as students or while working.
The intent of posting this recipe is to share the method it is prepared more than the recipe. The main requirement for this is the cooking utensil. I prefer to use non-stick sauce pan for this. You get this in different sizes. If one needs to cook only a cup, smallest one can be used. Thus the larger the quantity of rice, the bigger pan is needed. The most important thing which a beginner or even the experienced cook experience the difficulty while cooking this dish is, in getting the rice grains  separate without sticking to each other  in a correct texture and in not burning the bottom of the pan. When using pressure cooker the flavor and texture and even taste changes. The procedure for DUM is usually followed. The Dum procedure can be easily followed by using Aluminium foil and cooking on a very low heat for exactly 20minutes irrespective of the quantity of the rice being cooked. I have been following this method for past 25 years and the method has not let me down even once. I tried to explain the procedure in detail , in the above lines, to make it clear and easier to beginners too, and I taught the same to my children too. This can be followed for making any type of rice when the raw rice is  being cooked along with the ingredients.
I am sure this will be of some use for those who  are  not aware of this. Here is the  tasty ,quickly made recipe.


Basmathi rice2 cups
Onion1 no
Potato1 no
Carrot1 no
Beans8 to 10 no
Cauliflower florets 1/2 cup
Green peas1/2 cup
Green chilli3 no
Ginger2” piece
Garlic4 cloves
Cardomom3 no
Cloves4 no
Cinnamon2 piece
Bay leaf 1 no
Biryani masala powder1 tsp
Mint,coriander,curry leafFew leaves
SaltTo taste
Oil/Ghee2 tblsp

Assemble all the required ingredients.
Rinse basmathi rice, drain and set aside.
Heat 4 cups of water on a low heat.(the ratio of rice to water is 1:2)
Cut vegetables into medium chunks.
Slice onion,slit green chilli,chop ginger and crush garlic and keep ready.( If using mixed  frozen vegetables rinse them under running cold water,drain and keep aside and just slice,onion,green chill ginger and garlic).
Heat Oil and little ghee or butter in the sauce pan.
Add the whole masala(cardamom.cinnamon,cloves and bay leaf) and saute.
Add the onion and then green chilli, ginger and garlic and fry for few seconds.(I used ginger garlic paste but freshly chopped and crushed garlic is preferred).
Add the cut vegetables and mix.
Add the soaked rice and gently saute till it is evenly coated.
By this time the water would have come to boiling stage.
Add it to the rice and mix.
Add salt, masala powder, mint leaves, curry leaves and coriander leaves and immediately slow down the flame/heat to the minimum (sim) and cover with aluminium foil and place the lid above it. See that the foil is sealed all around the pan.
Put off the stove exactly after 20 minutes and remove the pan. Open the lid after 5 or 10 min. and gently puff the cooked rice with fork to mix the vegetables evenly.Butter or ghee can be added for extra flavour and taste at this stage.
Hot vegetable pulao is ready to serve.It goes well with raita or even plain curd.

I used big black cardamom which is apt for pulao.
Mixed vegetable is your choice.Corn kernels and broccoli comes with the packet.I added few paneer pieces.
Note the time after sealing with foil and put off exactly after 20 minutes.Setting the times is preferred.
The flame/heat should be the minimum.(If using electric plate it should be on "4").

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