Tuesday, 13 December 2011

144) PULAV


1)    Biriyani rice (aged short grain fine scented rice) – 1 kg.
2)    Ghee (clarified butter) – 4 tablespoons
3)    Carrot – 200 gm.
4)    Fresh or frozen green peas – 100 gm.
5)    Beans – 100 gm.
6)    Cauliflower – 100 gm.
7)    Garam masala powder – ½ teaspoon
8)    Star anise – 1
9)    Cardamom – 1 pod
10)                      Cinnamon stick – 1 inch piece
11)                      Cloves – 4 Nos.
12)                      Cashew nuts – 25 gm.
13)                      Sultanas or raisins – 25 gm.
14)                      Salt – 2 level teaspoons
15)                      Water – 2 litres

To Make:
Wash the vegetables. Peel the carrot and dice into 1 cm. cubes (shape and size can vary). Cut off the tips of the beans and cut into 1 cm. thick pieces. Cut the cauliflower into 1cm. x 1cm. x 2 cm. pieces. Wash and drain the rice. Set 2 litres of water in a vessel on low heat.
On the other stove, set a large thick wok, also on low heat. Pour in half the ghee into the wok. Tip in the drained rice, the cashew nuts, the raisins, the cinnamon stick, the cloves, the star anise and the cardamom pod. Roast slowly on low heat till the rice loses its stickiness.
In the meantime, on a third stove, set a medium sized wok on high heat. Pour in the rest of the ghee. Tip in the green peas and stir frequently. As soon as the skin of the peas start to turn a light brown, turn down the heat and add the rest of the vegetables and also a level teaspoon of salt. Stir occasionally for 5 minutes and switch off.
The rice should have lost its stickiness by this time see if the water is boiling. If not, turn up the heat and get it to boil. Pour the boiling water into the wok containing the rice. Turn up the heat and put in a level teaspoon of salt. As soon as the rice boils, turn down the heat and cover with a lid. Every few minutes, open the lid and stir to prevent the rice from sticking to the base.
The rice will expand by 50% when it is half cooked. It is time to tip in the toasted vegetables from the other wok. Sprinkle the garam masala powder over the rice and the vegetables. Stir and cover with a lid. Every other minute, lift up the lid and stir. As soon as all the water is gone, the pulav is fully cooked and ready to serve.

Serve with coriander chutney and with beetroot and curd salad.
1)    Garlic and onion have not been used in this recipe because pulav is sometimes served in Konkani marriage feasts where garlic and onion are taboo. However, if you like to make pulav more flavorsome, you can include 100 gm. of onion and 3 to 4 grams of garlic while roasting the vegetables.
2)    Potato lovers can include 100 gm. of potato with the other vegetables.
3)    To make the pulav rich and crunchy, you can deep-fry day old bread cut into cubes of 2 cm. x 2 cm. x 2 cm. in ghee and add them just before serving or as a garnish. Around 30 to 40 bread cubes should suffice.
4)    While roasting the rice, if you add a generous pinch of saffron, you will get beautiful colour and a divine aroma in your pulav.
5)    Pulav can be packed in lunch boxes (without the fried bread cubes) and is generally adored by children.

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