I always used to think that pulao, fried rice and biryanis are more time consuming than regular cooking.
The truth is, in fact, they are not! The list of ingredients look long and intimidating, but if you look closely, it will be the spices or powders that are readily available in the kitchen. After the first couple of times, you get the hang of it and it’s easy from then on. It’s a basic ‘chop the vegetables, make the ground paste or marinade, mix everything with rice and cook together’ formula.
So try any pulao recipe for this weekend and spread the love for food around :-).
Recipe Adapted from: Mallika Badrinath’s Festive Biriyani recipe from her ‘Rice Varieties’ book
- 1/2 cup Soya Chunks**
- 1 cup Basmati rice
- 2 onions, diced
- 1 tsp each of chopped ginger and chopped garlic
- 2 cups Mixed Diced Vegetables (carrot, peas, beans, cauliflower, potatoes etc)
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- ghee or oil – for sauteeing
For the yogurt mix:
- 1/2 cup thick yogurt
- 2 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
- 2 green chillies, chopped
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp pepper powder
- 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
- Mix the items for the yogurt mix together. Keep aside.
- Wash and soak the rice. Set aside.
- Soak the soya chunks in water (I use plain water, but I soak for a longer time) until its soft completely. I leave it for an hour or so. Squeeze out the water from the chunks and keep aside. It’s important to squeeze the water out, else the chunks for absorb the spices well. I have torn the chunks into smaller pieces as well, it’s optional though.
- Heat ghee or oil in a pan and saute the onions and ginger garlic bits till the onions are done. Add the drained soya chunks and saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Tip in the vegetables and let it all mix together.
- Add the yogurt mix, salt and cook for 2 minutes. Drain the rice and add it as well. Add 1.5 cups water and transfer to a rice cooker to finish off the cooking.
- Serve with Achari Bhindi, a simple onion -tomato raita or even plain yogurt.
**Note: Diced paneer and tofu would also taste great. The pulao can be prepared with out soya as well. Just omit it and carry on with the recipe, it won’t be a soya pulao , though.