Pulao, an aromatic rice dish, originated in Persia and came to India with the Mughals with similar derivatives found in other cultures. Pulao is similar to the English dish of pilaf or Italian risotto. Pulao is a delicately flavored rice, sautéed in ghee and flavored with whole spices like cumin, cloves, vegetables etc. Pulao is traditionally cooked with meat and spices, though in India it is predominantly a vegetarian dish.
The delicate, long grains of Basmati rice are ideal for making a pulao. This long-grain rice known mostly for its powerful fragrance.
Pulaos are a very famous dish in India. There are many varieties of pulao such as Vegetable pulao, Paneer pulao, Cumin pulao or Green peas / Matar pulao. Today I would like to share with the one that is made from green peas.
Green peas are starchy, but high in fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and lutein. They are available throughout the year. You could use fresh or frozen green peas. In the below recipe I have used frozen green peas.
Basmati rice - 1 cup
Oil / Ghee (clarified butter) - 1 1/2 tbsp
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Cardamom – 2 to 3 nos
Cinnamon – 2 inch piece
Onion - ¾ cup
Green chillies - 2 slit
Ginger & garlic paste -1 tsp
Green peas (fresh or frozen)-1/4 cup
Fresh mint leaves – 10 to 15 leaves
Coriander leaves – a fistful
Salt to taste
Water – 2 cups
Step 1 - Soak basmati rice for 20 minutes. Drain the water completely and keep it aside.
Step 2 - Heat oil / Ghee in a pressure cooker, when its warm add cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon. Sautee for a while and then add chopped onions and green chilles to it. Fry it for a minute or 2 till it becomes translucent. Now add the ginger & garlic paste and sautee for a minute.
Step 3 - Then add the soaked rice and green peas to it and mix well. Mix gently ensuring the rice doesn’t break. Now add salt, chopped mint leaves and coriander leaves, mix well.
Step 4 - Add water and close the lid. Turn it off after one whistle. Serve hot!!!
Method 2 - If you are making this pulao in a heavy bottom cooking pan, then follow the above steps till step 3. Then add water, cover the pan and allow it to boil. Now reduce the fire and leave it for 2 to 3 mintues. Then turn off the fire and leave it covered. After 15 to 20 mintues, you could open the lid. The rice will be cooked thoroughly and your pulao will be ready to be served.
Pulao can be served with yogurt raita and chicken/mutton/egg curry.