Vegetable pulav is the quick and delicious one pot meal.This pulao is not a fancy dish like biryani but it is simple, and a quick recipe. Adding a colorful vegetables and spices is a best way to jazz up the plain old steamed rice at certain times and during special meal times. If I am serving a vegetable pulav as a main dish, I usually add a lots of vegetables like carrot, beans, peas, potato to the rice. Adding cashew pieces to the dish, gives very nice nutty flavor to this simple pulao. This is a lighter version and hence more appropriate as a side dish.
- 2 cups white Basmati Rice
- 3 cups water
- 4 tablespoon ghee
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 4 cloves ,gently crushed
- 6 green cardamom, gently crushed
- 1 – 2″ stick cinnamon
- 3 tbsp cashew pieces
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder/cayenne/paprika
- a good big pinch of saffron
- salt to taste
- 2 carrots, chopped in to tiny cubes
- 1 small potato, peeled and chopped in to tiny cubes
- 1/2 cup chopped green beans
- 1/2 cup peas, shelled or frozen
- Fresh chopped cilantro- To garnish (optional)
- Wash the rice grains till the water runs clear. Soak the rice in cold water for about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Chop the vegetables and also thaw the green peas. if your using fresh green peas, then it is great.
- Gently crush the saffron strands and soak them in a tablespoon of hot water.
- In a deep thick bottomed pan, add the ghee/melted butter and add the cinnamon, clove, green and black cardamom. When the spices start to sizzle and get fragrant, in a couple of minutes, add the cumin seeds. When the seeds sizzle, add the coriander powder and red chili powder/cayenne/paprika the pan. Stir the spices around quickly for a few seconds. They will be fragrant as soon as they hit the oil. Make sure that they do not turn dark and burn.
- Then add cashew pieces and fry for 1 minute.
- Add all the chopped vegetables to the pan and cook them at high heat for 2-4 minutes till all the water evaporate, while tossing them frequently. Next add the rice and cook while constantly tossing and stirring for about 3 minutes. All the water will have evaporated by this time and the rice and the vegetables should be coated with the spice mix and start looking dry.
- Add the salt, the saffron and 3 cups of warm water; stir everything together, and let it cook at medium to high heat for about 8 minutes or until all the water from the top has evaporated. All you should see is a moist layer of almost done rice and vegetables. Lower the heat to minimum and cover the pot with a tight fitting lid. Leave it on the stove top to cook for another 8-10 minutes.
- Switch off the heat, uncover and fluff. The rice grains should be cooked, but the grains should be separate and not mushed up at all.
- Keep it uncovered as the heat and the steam will over cook the rice. Cover the pan only when cooled.