Vegetable Pulao

I just finished eating the best leftover vegetable pulao! Pulao is an Indian rice dish flavored with spices and other ingredients. It differs from biryani in that the rice is cooked from start to finish with the other ingredients, whereas in biryani the rice is¬†partially¬†cooked and then layered with other ingredients and cooked very slowly over the stove or baked. There are so many varieties of pulao ranging from simple to complex. I found this vegetable version on Indian Food Forever. I made it a little differently though. I didn’t make a paste of the onions, spices, etc. and instead just sauteed them first. I find that pastes take longer to cook–to get rid of the raw smell–and more oil to keep them from sticking. It turned out delicious! Today I had it with raita made with yogurt, sliced onions, green chilis and chaat masala. Mmm.

1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons cashews
2 tablespoons raisins
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion sliced
2 garlic cloves chopped
1 piece ginger minced
3 green chilis chipped
2 pieces cinnamon bark
3 cloves
3 cardamoms
1 carrot cut into small pieces
1 potato cut into cubes
1/2 cup mint leaves chopped
1/4 cup cilantro leaves chopped
1/2 cup peas
2 cups basmati rice
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
4 cups water
Salt

  1. Heat the butter in a medium heavy bottom pot (I used a 6 quart enameled cast iron pot kinda like this one).
  2. Add the cashews and raisins and cook for a few minutes until the cashews start to get a little color and the raisins plump.
  3. Remove the cashews and raisins from the pan and heat up the oil.
  4. Add the onions and cook until translucent adding the garlic, ginger, green chilis, cinnamon, cloves and cardamoms part way through cooking.
  5. Meanwhile pre-boil the carrots and potatoes until they start to get tender (I used the microwave for a couple of minutes).
  6. Add the carrots and potatoes to the onions and saute until they are pretty much done.
  7. Add the mint and cilantro and cook for a few minutes.
  8. Add the peas and cook until they are warmed through.
  9. Add the rice and turmeric and saute until the rice turns opaque.
  10. Add the water and salt (enough so that the water tastes lightly salty) and bring to a boil.
  11. Cover, turn the heat to a really low simmer and cook for 25 minutes.
  12. Fluff up with a big spoon, throw in the cashews and raisins, and let sit for 5 minutes.

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