Monday, January 31, 2011

Veg. Pulao/Biryani

I have never been a big rice fan; hence no wonder so far I haven’t had a single recipe in this category. I learnt easy recipe of pulao from a roommate of mine and then started making Pulao with Dal/Raita/Soup quite often. When I am bored of making Roti/Paratha I go for rice as an only main course dish, though I could rarely make it perfect. Sometimes it would be sticky or sometimes it would be too dry. I have tried almost all possible options to make it perfect, like cooking rice in pressure cooker, cooking rice uncovered, cooking rice and veggies together. No luck! Then I asked a friend (Who is Telugu and Biryani is their specialty) and she told me the most important step of making rice/biryani - how to cook the rice. I did not remember all the steps and followed whatever I remembered. Though I was prepared for not so good dish, but in the end I was so happy looking at the perfect pulao. I can say this is the best pulao I ever had, whether made by me or someone else. Also, I am not sure whether to call this as Pulao or Biryani, since some of my steps were closer to Biryani. (Until now, I did not know the exact difference between Pulao and Biryani). Anyway, what matters in the end is the tasty dish :)

Serves 2-4
Preparation Time: 20 Minute + soaking time
Cooking Time: 1 Hour

1.5 cup rice
2 tsp oil
A whole cardamom
2 pc cloves
2 sticks of cinnamon
8-10 whole black pepper
A bay leaf
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp red chili powder
1.5 to 2 tsp biryani masala
2-3 tbsp milk

Veggies cut into small cubes, except onions
1 cup bean (20-22pc)
½ cup carrot (2 small pc)
½ cup potato (1 small pc)
½ cup peas
1 cup onion, thinly sliced (2 medium pc)

Make sure if you are using 1.5 cup of rice, use at least 2 to 2.5 cup of veggies excluding onion

1. Soak rice for 1 to 2 hours and cook it covered with 1.5 cup of water and salt on low flame (Do not soak it for more than couple of hours, water quantity should be exact as rice quantity and not double)
2. Heat oil in skillet. Add bay leaf, cardamom, cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon, pepper, cashew nuts and raisins
3. Stir it for a minute or so and add onion, chili and ginger paste
4. When onions turn translucent, add remaining veggies, salt, turmeric powder, chili powder and Pulao/Biiryani Masala
5. Cover the skillet and stir in between
6. When veggies are almost cooked (and not completely cooked), add milk
7. Remove the lead and stir continuously until milk is evaporated
8. Now, in a big oven safe bowl or a foil tray, mix cooked rice and veggies
9. Cover it with aluminum foil and put it in oven at 350 F for about 30 minute or until veggies are perfectly cooked

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