P-U-L-A-V. This very simple 5 letter word brings up images of a dish that is rich and exotic, packed with aromatic spices and yummy tasty vegetables. When I was growing up, Pulav was my Mom’s specialty. She used to make it every week end with chicken curry as my whole family loves it. My Grand mother who is 70 loves to have this food atleast once a week till to this day.
I am trying to keep my mom tradition of making this dish every week in my house as my whole family loves it too. I always cook Pulav during lunch time and I double the quanity, so that we can have it in dinner time ( it tastes even better after 4 hrs).
Pulav is one in which we cook all vegetables & rice together. Biryani is where we layer vegetables & rice one over the other & cook. Pulav is simple & easy than our rich Biryani.
It is made very simple yet unexpectedly tasty and I bet people will always go with a second or third serving. It tastes even more with chicken curry or lamb curry or vegetable kurma or even a simple raita.
These traditional exotic dishes can be done very easily and healthy yet with mouth watering flavor. All the trick lies in choosing the vegetables in the right order ( some veggies cook fast some cook slow).
TIP- I usually have frozen mixed vegetables or frozen peas handy. I always have carrots and potatoes at my home. These vegetables are very handy to have in the freezer or refrigerator. Try to use fresh ginger garlic paste (hand grater is always nice to have) in this recipe, it makes a huge difference.
Traditionally this dish is made with basmati rice (choose the basmati kind that has nice aroma just by itself) But you can also try with regular rice which has little less flavors.
Here is the recipe.
- 4 Cups Basmati rice washed and soaked for 10 min
- ½ Cup Frozen green peas
- 2 Carrots chopped lengthwise to 2 inch pieces
- 2 potatoes diced
- 1 medium onion chopped lengthwise
- 10 green chilies or adjust according to taste
- 2 tbsp’s fresh ginger garlic paste
- 2 cinnamon sticks (each of 1 inch length)
- 4 cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ tsp Shahjeera / kala jeera
- 2 javathri (Optional)
- 1 star anise
- 10 cashew nuts
- ¼ Cup Mint (Pudhina)
- ¼ Cup finely
- chopped cilantro (Coriander) leaves
- Heat 4 tbsps of oil in a kadai. Add the whole garam masala(Cinnamon stick, Cloves, Bay leaves, Shahjeera, javathri, star anise and cashew nuts).
- Add onions, green chilies and sauté them till onion is transparent. Add little salt to the onions which will help it to cook faster
- Add ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw flavor leaves and a nice aroma fills the kitchen. Add carrots, potatoes and sauté them for a min. Add other vegetables to it and mix well.
- Add coriander and mint leaves, mix them all together.
- Add the above vegetable mixture to rice cooker. Add rice and add 4 cups water, 2 cups milk (I usually use 1: 1and 1/2 ratio for basmati rice and water but I want to replace little water with milk to get rich and creamy taste)
- Check the taste and adjust it accordingly.
- Turn on the rice cooker. While the rice is cooking, sit in a couch and increase your appetite by enjoying the aroma of the pulav.
Let the rice cool off to room temp and serve it with raita or vegetable pulav or paneer butter masala or my family favorite chicken curry.
Note- For more buttery or creamy flavor you can add 1 cup heavy cream at step 5, instead of 2 cups milk and put 5 cups of water to boil the rice. I once, made this rice with heavy cream for a pot lock at my work and all my colleagues loved it so much.