Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My Mom's Style Vegetable Pulao

When my sisters and I were little, vegetable pulao was always on our list of things to order at a restaurant. We would always ask our Mom to make it for us at home. Little did we know that she didn't know to make pulao type dishes. One fine day, she surprised us with this veggie pulao and we were really happy and pleased that she made such a tasty dish for us. Apparently, she learned it from one of her colleagues and also passed it on to my grand parents' family. Till date, whenever my grandma makes veggie pulao, she asks us if it tastes similar to my Mom's :-) as she thinks pulao type dishes are not her area of expertise. It is not that she cannot make it well but just that pulao was never in the list of things that she learned to cook from her mother (my grandma and Mom are experts in making traditional Brahmin style dishes though). And, having tried different types of pulaos myself, I have learned that this is not a very unique recipe, but definitely one that will bring back all those childhood memories that I cherish :-).

Ingredients (4 - 5 servings):

Basmati rice - 2 cups uncooked
Cooking oil - 3 to 4 teaspoons
Onions - 1/2 finely chopped
Tomatoes - 1/2 finely chopped
Veggies of your choice - about 2 cups (I always like using a lot of cauliflower and peas in my pulao and don't even bother with any other veggies)
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Garam masala (optional) - 1/2 teaspoon
Fresh cilantro - a few strands finely chopped

To grind into a fine paste:

Onions - 1 big
Tomatoes - 1 big
Ginger - 1 inch piece (roughly)
Garlic - about 3 to 4 cloves peeled
Fennel seeds - 1 teaspoon
Star anise - a couple (some blenders don't handle this well, so you might want to break it into pieces before putting them in your blender/mixer)
Cloves - 3 to 4
Cinnamon - 1 inch stick broken into small pieces
Bay leaves - 1 or 2
Green chillies - 5 to 6 (vary this to suit your taste)
Fresh cilantro (optional) - a few strands broken by hand
Grated/powdered coconut (optional) - 1 tablespoon

Procedure:

1. Grind the ingredients from the above mentioned list and set aside.
2. In a wide pan, heat some cooking oil (you can be a little generous here actually), fry the chopped onions first, followed by the chopped tomatoes and once the onions have turned light golden brown in color and the tomatoes have cooked well, add the paste from step 1, mix in well along with some salt, red chilli powder and garam masala and cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat with constant stirring.
4. Now add the veggies to step 3 (I don't usually boil the veggies beforehand, but just let them cook in the gravy instead so that they don't end up mashed in the end), put the lid on and cook for about 15 more minutes on low heat.
5. You can take the lid off now and cook the rest of gravy for 15 more minutes or until the oil leaves the sides, on medium to high heat with constant stirring. Turn off the stove.
6. Wash and cook the rice and once it is done, spread it in a wide pan or a dish with a wide base, add a couple of teaspoons of cooking oil and the finely chopped cilantro to the rice, mix it in gently and set aside for about 15 minutes.
7. Mix the contents from step 5 with the rice gently, exercising caution not to break the rice. Serve with the favorite raita of your choice and/or potato chips.

It does take a little long to prepare this meal, but every bit is worth it :-). Some of my relatives prepare this by cooking the veggies, rice and spices together and that has a whole different taste to it.

32 comments:

Sree vidya said...

Hi Anupama,
Thanks for dropping by.
You can use 4 garlic pods.
This gives a medium garlic flavour.
You can add a tsp or 2 of tomato ketchup for tangy flavour.
You can also try using the readymade schezwan sauce. Though, I haven't tried it personally. Let me know of the results.
You have a nice blog with traditional iyer recipes. Will explore your blog more.

Gulmohar said...

A comfort food..easy and yummy..

pria said...

i love this dish

Prathibha said...

yummy pulav.I love this

AshKuku said...

Hmmmmmmm........Yummmmmmmmmmmmmy.....

Looks good...And Pulav in any form, with any ingre...always tastes good... no second thoughts to it....

Ash....
(http://asha-oceanichope.blogspot.com/)

Padhu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lata raja said...

I can relate to how your mom did not know to make the dish. I first tasted when I was about 12. My mom's younger brother was married and his wife was permitted by my paatti to indulge us in this. She made it so well that all her in-laws' took down notes :) It is there is amma's note book.

Padhu said...

Love Pulav very much.My veggie pulav is different.Even My mom does not prepare this.I learnt it from a friend. Yummy and comforting

Rohini said...

I can totally relate to it.. My mom hardly used to do recipes with onion, garlic.. But when I grew up, my demands were always Pulav, fried rice etc. So she started to make them for me!
Ur Pulav look absolutely delicious!

Sandhya Hariharan said...

Your Pulav looks nice... offcourse.. mom's recipe.. Kudos.. anytime...

hey deaR..!!
please collect ur award from my blog

Vrinda said...

Very colorful and delicious pulao...

my kitchen said...

colorful & delicious

VS said...

Irresistable pulao is the best one to go with a simple cold raita! Yours looks super yummy!

Viki's Kitchen said...

Mom's recipes are always a success. Like the way you made it. Perfect masala. Yummm....

PJ said...

Pulao tastes great in any way u make it and needless to say mom's version are the best and brings out those wonderful memories..Pulao and raita - killer combo.Your mom's recipe looks delish!!!

chakhlere said...

I just loved you mom's version of pulav. Those ground spices would surely make it heavenly.

A 2 Z Vegetarian Cuisine said...

Lovely and delicious pulav.

Sangeetha Subhash said...

Comfort Yum and healthy!!!Looks delicious...Mom's always amazes us by giving such great recipes isn't?

Malar Gandhi said...

Looks perfect, recipes handed down from mommy's are always great, right.

rekhas kitchen said...

Nice aromatic pulav sounds spicy mmm mouthwatering.

RAKS KITCHEN said...

Nothing can beat mom's recipes,they do mix care and love... Sounds great!

Anupama said...

@ Sree vidya, Gulmohar, pria, Prathibha, AshKuku, Padhu, Vrinda, my kitchen, VS, Viki's kitchen, PJ, chakhlere, A2Z Vegetarian Cuisine, rekhas kitchen, Raks kitchen: Thank you all very much :-).

@ lata raja, Padhu, Rohini: Even now, my Mom hesitates to make such dishes :-).

@ Sandhya: Thanks a lot for sharing those awards :-).

@ Sangeetha Subhash, Malar Gandhi: Very true.

Preety said...

love the idea of grinding all the masalas..this is going in my must try list..

Anupama said...

@ Preety: Thank you :-). Please do let me know how you liked it after you have tried it.

Mythreyi Dilip said...

What a flavorful pulao Anu, makes me hungry dear!

reNUka said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
reNUka said...

Though there are a lot of things that I admire you for (and must learn from you), in the top of the list would be your culinary skills!
You are yet to fulfill the promise you made me about a month ago... Think about it.

cookcurrynook said...

Yummmy! Though I make pulao a little differently, I will definitely try your method too. I will surely be adding garlic since I just the flavour it adds to the dish. Keep it going...great work! :)

Anupama said...

@ Mythreyi Dilip, Cookcurrynook: Thank you :-)

@ Renuka: I think I partially fulfilled the promise ;-)

Pari said...

hi. The rice looks really flavourful, and mom's preparations are always a hit.

shanthi said...

Th amritsari chole in my site is regular white chenna

Anupama said...

@ Pari: Thank you :-)

@ Shanthi: Thank you Shanthi ji :-)