This post is for my cousin in Mumbai - Shanta Akka. She wanted a simple vegetable pulav recipe. I learnt this version from a vacation class I took at Catering College (Cadell Rd. - Mumbai) while in college. The funny thing was the class was called a "Housewives Course" but 80% of us were college kids who had never stepped into the kitchen to cook! It was such a fun hands-on experience. Every week we cooked 3 dishes - an appetizer, entree and dessert. And got to take them home to enjoy with our family. We even had a test at the end to judge not only our newly acquired cooking skills, but also our presentation (we had to design a menu card) and cleanliness etc. And imagine my utter surprise when I got the second highest marks in that test - I still think it was rigged.
Anyway, coming to the recipe, here's how I make it:
1 cup Basmati rice - wash and drain
2 cups water
3 tsp canola oil
1 cup chopped veggies - yesterday I used 1/2 onion, 1 small red potato (with skin), handful of green beans and 1/2 carrot (peeled) - I usually cut them all into long slivers
Whole spices - 1 tsp cumin seeds, 2 bayleaves, 1 inch cinnamon stick, 4 cloves, 4 cardamons, 4 black peppers
1 green chilli - deseeded and deribbed for less heat
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp ghee
Heat 2 tsp oil. Add the chopped veggies and fry for 5 mins. Drain. In the same pot, add the remaining 1 tsp oil. Drop the whole spices and the chilli pepper. Fry 2 - 3 mins. Add the rice and fry another 2 - 3 mins. Add the water and bring to a rapid boil. Add the salt and sugar. Cover and cook on low for 5 mins. Then add the fried veggies. Cover again and cook another 10 mins. Squeeze in the lemon juice. Gently mix with a fork and take off heat. Heat the ghee in a small vessel and fry the cashews till golden. Pour over the pulav.
Enjoy with a spicy gravy veggie.