Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Abbie's Homestyle Peas Pilaf (Pulao)

I make this pulao frequently because it is such an easy fix and so delicious. It works well with curries/gravies as well as fried nuggets and kababs on days when you just want to fry the protein and not overwork on curries/gravies. Take it away!

  • Basmati rice, pre-soaked, 2 1/2 cups
  • Ginger-Garlic paste, 1 tablespoon
  • Red peppercorn, 1 large
  • Black peppercorns, 4-5
  • Peas, 1 1/4 cup
  • Fried, crushed onions, 1/2 cup
  • Cumin seeds, 1 tablespoon
  • Red chili powder, a pinch (more if you like extra spicy)
  • Cinnamon stick, 1 inch
  • Bay leaf, 1 large
  • Cloves, 5-6
  • Garam masala (whole spice powder), 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander (cilantro) powder, 2 teaspoom
  • Cumin powder, 1 teaspoon
  • Salt
  • Canola/vegetable oil, 3 tablespoon
  1. In a large, deep (about 5" at least) skillet add ginger and garlic paste, cumin seeds, cloves, black peppercorns, red peppercorn, cinnamon stick, and cooking oil and set on medium heat. Spices burn at the slightest overheating.
  2. When spices begin to give off aroma, ginger and garlic paste is browned and sizzling, and cumin seeds have browned, remove from heat and add red chili powder, all spice powder, cumin powder, and coriander powder, a few drops of waters (to avoid burning of spices) and continue frying for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add fried onions and sweet peas and fry for about a minute on high heat.
  4. Next, add the rice (washed and strained) and fry for a minute.
  5. Fill water in the skillet all the way until the rice have 2 1/2 cm water level rise on top of them. You can check this depth by sliding your cooking spoon all the way to the base of the skillet, scooping the contents (rice) and raising them to the surface ever so slowly as to to calculate mentally how much the depth is.
  6. Bring the rice to boil and conduct a salt taste test. Salt Taste Test: I conduct a salt taste test by tasting the water in which the rice (pilaf/pulao style) are being boiled. If the water tastes perfect, the rice will taste perfect. For this recipe, add 2 teaspoons of salt, mix well, and taste the water. If it tastes less salty then what the cooked rice should be, add another 1/2 teaspoon and repeat the test. Adjust salt until the water tastes perfectly salty for your taste. 
  7. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and cook with covered lid until the water dries up.
  8. Open the lid and mix the rice, frying them well until they are perfectly dry and ready to serve. Serve with a side of diced tomato-onion-cucumber salad (kachumbar), pickle, papadum (paapar), and yogurt dip (raita). 

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