Pulao is something that I make quite often. The versatility of the dish comes in very handy when I want a quick and wholesome one pot meal. And the best thing about it is that one can make it as light or as rich as one wants, vegetarian or non vegetarian; add as many vegetables or just a few; very spicy or mild; want to add some nuts and dried fruits…you can do it any way. I’m sure many of you must have your own favourites and tips.
Although I do make the odd chicken pulao, I usually keep it quite simple and add an assortment of vegetables to mine. The colourful vegetables make the dish very pleasing to the eyes. With today’s spinach-cashew pulao, however, I have taken a bit more effort and added a ground mixture to make it a bit more indulgent than my regular quickie vegetable pulao. The ground greens, nut and spice mixture added a good deal of oomph to the dish, and was, a nice change from the usual.
I have used oil, but if you want to indulge further, you can use ghee or butter instead.
2C basmati rice,
1 C cubed (small) carrots
1/2 C cubed (small) yellow pepper
salt to taste
3 and 1/2 C water ( may need more later)
2 tblsp of oil
salt to taste
To be ground together to a thick, rough consistency with 3 tblsp of water-
1C spinach leaves
a small bunch of coriander leaves
1/2 C cashew nuts
2 green chillies (or according to taste), halved
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
1 whole red chilli, halved
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
- Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan.
- Add the ingredients for tempering. When the seeds begin to sizzle, add the carrots and yellow pepper and stir for about 30 seconds.
- Add the spinach mixture and stir constantly over medium heat for about a minute.
- Add the rice and the powdered spices, salt and stir well, scraping the bottom of the pan to avoid burning. Do this for about 3 minutes.
- Add the water, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook till the rice is done. If the water gets dissolved before the rice is cooked , add a little more water, a little at a time. On the other hand, if the rice gets cooked before all the water is dissolved, increase the heat and stir till dry.
- Remove from heat, cover and let the pulao rest for at least 5 minutes.
- Serve hot with some raita or plain yogurt.
We had ours with some spiced yogurt,
and yes, it was a delightful change from my regular one..loved every bit.
How do you like your pulao?
Enjoy your weekend!