Have you ever been pulled into a meal just by the smell of cooked Basmati? I have! Let me guide you through the transcendental experience. Close your eyes and imagine the aroma of mixed spices in Ghee with nuts and finely chopped fresh colorful vegetables, now as you’re delicately stirring the essence of Pulao, you’re blending in long strings of cooked Basmati as the warm steam of mildly spiced mixture rises. Aaaaah.. the AROMA. Basmati beckoning you? I’ll give you the recipe handle, cook away!
My Recipe Corner
My formula with Veg Pulao is to keep it simple and clean. That said, this recipe should barely take any time and effort if you have some required ingredients.
- Wash and soak 1 1/2 cups Basmati Rice (preferred) for about 15 minutes. Drain the water and set aside
- Chop finely – carrots, beans and potatoes and keep ready. Also, take a fist full of green peas. Have about 1 1/2 cups of veggies ready
- Add 2 tbspns of Ghee/Butter in a hot pan and saute dry spices ( 1-2 Bay Leaves, 1 Star Anise, 1 tsp Shahi Jeera, 4-6 cloves (laung), 4 Cardamom (elaichi), 2 inch Cinnamon stick, 1/4 tsp fennel seeds (optional))
- Once the spices emit aroma, add 10-12 whole cashews and roast until they turn light brown. At this stage some folks add sliced onions (1 medium sized) and saute it till golden brown (I skip onions in my Pulao Recipe- just go off of richness from spices and ginger garlic paste)
- Right after cashews turn color add ginger garlic paste (grind 6 garlic pods with 3/4 inch ginger). Toss it till the raw smell goes
- Add veggies and saute for 3 minutes. You can choose to add chopped mint or not (I grind mint with green chilies and coriander and add it to my Raita when having it with Pulao)
- Add water and salt and let the mixture boil for a few minutes. Then add the rice
- I typically cook my Pulao in a thick Bottom Kadai/Saucepan with a lid. I NEVER Pressure cook it to avoid the rice from sticking together and mushing up
- After adding rice, I add a few drops of oil (keeps rice grainy). This is when you can even add food color to get the yellow tinge in your Pulao (optional)
- Ensure rice to water ratio is 1:2 and close the lid
- Monitor the cooking to see if the water is all evaporated. Once cooked, take the lid off and gently stir the mix – be careful when stirring – you don’t wanna break the rice. You’ll notice your Pulao is fluffed up, aromatic and non sticky – just like in the restaurants!
PS: Serve HOT with simple Raita
My Top Recipe Recommendations
- Pan mein Prepared Pulao – love this recipe!
- Easy Veg Pulao Recipe – Check out his use of spice potli! Simple and elegant preparation
- Veg Pulao Recipe using Onion and Paneer
- Spicy Tawa Pulao with leftover Rice
- Basanti Pulao/Bengali Sweet Pulao/Durga Pooja Special
My Improvs & Notes
- If you’d like to add Cauliflower also to the recipe, sure – go ahead!
- You can add Paneer too if you’d like- some recipes suggest this as a variation
- I prefer not adding any green chilies to my recipe, but you can blend two green chilies with ginger garlic paste and add them!
- Additionally, add mint or coriander leaves for more flavors
- Some recipes suggest adding milk with water for cooking the rice. Addition of Milk sets the color of the Pulao
- finally, if you wish to use the Pressure cooker, ensure you pressure cook for just 2 whistles and not any more
- Kurma/Korma also tastes good with Pulao