“Pulao”, “Pilaf”, “Pollou”, “Pilau” all refer to a rice dish that is cooked along with spices and vegetables in a big pot. The origins of this dish are shrouded in mystery but, I can certainly attest that this is a quick and easy dish to cook and, delicious and filling to eat. My ongoing saga of not using onion and garlic free continues with this dish being the latest instalment!
- White Basmati Long Grain Rice, soaked for 30 minutes – 2 cups
- Oil – 2 tablespoons
- Apples (I used 2 small Red Delicous), diced finely – 3/4 cup
- Fresh Ginger Root, minced – 2 teaspoons
- Green Chillie, sliced finely – 1 medium
- Walnut Pieces, broken – 1/4 cup
- Black Cardamom, whole – 1
- Cloves – 4 to 6
- Cinnamon Bark – 1″ piece
- Bay Leaves, whole – 2
- Fennel Seeds – 1 teaspoon
- Moxed Vegetables (fresh/ frozen) – 1 cup (I used a mix of broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, green peas & bell pepper)
- Warm Water – around 2 cups
- Salt, to taste
- Roasted Almonds, for garnishing – 10 to 12 (optional)
- Rinse the soaked Basmati rice 4 – 5 times until the water runs clear. Drain and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a deep pan (I used my pressure pan).
- Add the black cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves and fennel seeds to the oil. Cook on low heat until aromatic.
- Toss in the ginger and green chillie. Cook until golden.
- Mix in the apple pieces and walnuts and roast in the oil.
- Add in the vegetables and stir to coat with the spices and oil.
- Carefully stir in the drained rice into the above mix.
- Add enough water till the rice is covered. Season with salt.
- Clip on lid and cook on high for 4 – 5 minutes. Take off the heat and release steam immediately to stop further cooking.
- If cooking in an open pan then cook until the water dries up and the grains are fluffy and cooked.
- Fluff the grains with a fork and garnish with roasted almonds if using.
This tastes great the next day too, as the spices infuse flavour into the rice, veggies and apples. Happy cooking!