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Vegetable Pulao - A Mixed Vegetables Rice Dish
A universally popular dish, the Vegetable Pulao is a must serve item on most party menus as well as restaurants. You could have veg dishes with it, or non-veg, and the Veg Pulao always works great with any of them, such is its adaptive versatility. Also, it contains some very nourishing vegetables and thus, has a high nutritional value.
I have cooked the rice in my pressure cooker, but you can do this without the cooker, in a heavy bottom pan - it just takes longer. I have added whole garam masala to create a strong flavorful base for this dish, and crunchy pepper corns give it so much taste and appeal. The veggies themselves star up this dish totally, as they add an immeasurably beautiful flavor to this dish - and after all, this is Veg Pulao and so it should incorporate the wonderful flavors of these veggies. Finally, the coriander, cumin and garam masala powders enhance the flavor for this rice further.
So, lets get to the recipe right away.
- 2 cups rice (basmati or any other long grain rice)
- 100 gms green peas
- 1 medium size carrot
- 3 or 4 florets of cauliflower
- 1 capsicum
- 5 to 6 french beans
- 3 or 4 sprigs of spring onions
- 3 each of cardamom, cloves and connamon
- 5 or 6 pepper corns
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/4 tsp garam masala powder
- 4 or 5 cashew nuts
- 4 or 5 raisins
- Salt (according to taste)
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp vinegar or lime juice
- 4 tbsp oil
- 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1. Wash and soak the rice for 1/2 an hour, then drain the water in a strainer.
2. Cut the spring onion bulbs into cubes and cut the green parts finely.
3. Cut the capsicum, carrot and french beans into half inch pieces.
4. Separate 1/2 inch florets from the cauliflower.
Instructions for cooking
1. Heat the oil in a pressure cooker and on a slow to medium flame, fry halved cashews and when they are golden in color, remove them and keep them aside.
2. Then, add bay leaf and whole garam masala and when they splutter, add pepper corns and cumin seeds, and when these splutter, add the spring onion bulb cubes and stir fry
3. Add the vegetables, excluding the green part of the spring onions and including the peas, and stir fry them for 5-7 minutes. Now, add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for a minute.
4. Add the soaked rice to it and fry well till it changes its color (takes approx 5 minutes). Then, add coriander, cumin and garam masala powder and stir for a minute, and add 4 1/2 cups of hot water to it. Now, add salt according to your taste, sugar, and vinegar or lime juice. Close the lid of the cooker and when the pressure comes, cook for 2 minutes and switch the flame off.
5. When the pressure dissipates and the cooker cools, open the lid and add the finely cut green parts of the spring onions and mix well. Garnish with raisins and fried cashew nuts.
6. Your yummy Vegetable Pulao is ready.
This is one of my favorite rice dishes and I've been having it since I was kid. It used to be a staple of birthdays at my home and around the neighborhood and it still is special enough for me. This also was a must item on picnics and works well on travels as well. You can serve this with chutneys, raita, curries, chole, chana dal and other types of dals - that's how wonderfully flexible its use is, not to mention, its own flavor is totally winsome.
So, follow this recipe and you'll be able to make this magnificent rice dish too, and enjoy.