Thursday, 3 April 2014
Recipe for Perfect White Veg Pulao / Pilaf
Sometimes the only thing a girl needs is a plain veg pulao with dal and some papad on the side to feel everything is perfect in this world, that is the beauty of comfort food.
Are you wondering why all the fuss for such a simple and easy dish? The answer is sometimes we all just need to get back to the basics, so if you are some one struggling to cook up the perfect pilaf /pulao then this one is for you.
Every house has their own version of the perfect veg pulao with their secret tips to cook fluffy rice, and many homes take their pulaos very seriously, no kidding.
When it comes to me I just follow the universal rice cooking ratio - 1 cup rice + 2 cups water = perfect rice every time.
My version is very basic but if you follow these steps you will only have the most aromatic and flavourful pulao with each grain separate, I promise you.
Simple tips to follow to make the best pulao.
Do not add a ton of whole spices, they always pop in your mouth making the aromatic pulao a nightmare to eat as you and your guests will be left struggling to remove them one by one.
Make sure you wash and soak the rice for not less than one hour.
For a unique and flavourful twist add fennel seeds to the ginger garlic paste, you will be glad with what fennel can do to your pulao.
Stick to just peas and carrot chopped in small cubes, remember its a white veg pulao and just has hints of veg here and there.
Always saute the rice before adding the water, this is what makes any pulao get that wow factor.
Use a large saute pan when ever you make pulao, a large surface helps when you saute the rice and each grain gets evenly coated.
Here's what you need
1 cup basmati rice - washed very well and soaked for an hour
1 large onion chopped
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup chopped carrot
4/6 cardamom pods powdered fine
2 garlic, 1/2 tsp fennel seeds and 1/2 inch ginger paste
2 tsp lemon juice
2 table spoon ghee
Whole spices (less is more)
1 bay leaf
1 large cinnamon stick
2 tsp cumin
Start by adding the ghee to a heavy bottom saute pan, once heated add in the whole spices and after a few seconds quickly add in the ginger garlic and fennel paste, saute for a min and add in the chopped onion. Keep the flame low, make sure the onion stays a pale pink and not brown.
After 2/3 min add in the peas and carrot, drain the water from the rice and add it to the pan, saute everything gently for 5 min, be patient and coat each grain well.
Saute till all the water from the rice dries up. If not, give it another few min till the rice looks lightly toasted. Make sure nothing browns. You will get a great aroma by now.
Now add in 2 cups of water and put the heat on high, add salt to taste, powdered cardamom and the lemon juice. stir it very gently so everything mixes well.
Wait for a boil, as soon as you see a boil put the heat on low and cover quickly with a tight lid.
Cook for 12/15 min, depending on the rice of course. After you shut off the flame allow to rest for 5 min before opening the lid. Fluff only with a fork and transfer to a plate, let all the steam escape.
If you feel the rice is not cooked cover it again with the lid and leave it in for 10 min, the steam will cook the rice. No need to start the stove for this.
That's it, now your done. Its simple and wonderful to eat, enjoy.