Sunday, August 08, 2010

Vegetable Pulav & Cucumber Raita

An all vegetarian meal on a Sunday is a record of sorts in our home. But we did it today. With this vegetable pulao/pulav, cucumber raita and some roasted papad/poppadoms.
For the Vegetable Pulao, I got some color on my potatoes and cauliflower. Stirred in the cup of diced mushrooms I had in my fridge and added some color with carrots and green peas. You can use green beans too which I did not have at home today.

Ingredients for Vegetable Pulao/Pulav are:

1 cup diced cauliflower
1 medium potato, cut in cubes
1 cup button mushrooms, cut in quarters
Quarter cup green peas
Quarter cup diced carrots
1 inch knob of ginger, ground
3-4 green chilies, finely chopped
Little squirt of lemon juice
1 cup Basmati rice
Half teaspoon cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
2 green cardamoms
2 black cardamoms
2-3 cloves
1 stick cinnamon
Pinch of grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon desi ghee
Pinch of sugar

Wash and drain the rice and keep it in a sieve for about 20 minutes.

Heat oil in a pan and sauté the cauliflower and potatoes separately to get a light color on them. Remove and keep aside. Sauté the mushrooms in the same pan.

Add ghee in the pan and add the whole spices like cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon, cumin seeds and bay leaves. Let it sauté for a minute. Add the rice and mix well. Toss in the sautéed vegetables, carrots, peas, ginger and green chili pieces. Stir well to mix everything. Let the rice and vegetables sauté for about 3-4 minutes. Add salt and a pinch of sugar.
Transfer to a microwaveable bowl, add two cups of water, lemon juice and the grated nutmeg. Give it one last stir. Cover with a cling film. Microwave for 20 minutes or till rice is done. If you see some moisture in the rice after the cook time, turn the microwave oven on for 3-4 minutes more.

Let the pulav stand in the bowl for about 10 minutes before you serve.

IMG_0099 I served my Vegetable Pulao/Pulav with this cool Cucumber Raita.


Ingredients for Cucumber Raita are:

1 cucumber, grated
2-3 green chilies, finely chopped
Handful of finely chopped cilantro
1 cup Balkan-style plain yogurt
1 teaspoon bhaja moshla
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Black salt

Whisk the yogurt, chill for some time. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients and season with black salt. You can use regular salt if you don’t have black salt.

IMG_0095 The mixing of the Cucumber Raita should be done only when you are about to serve. Salt will make cucumber release moisture which is not good for the consistency and taste of the raita.

I make my bhaja moshla (dry roasted spice) by roasting some cumin seeds and coriander seeds on low heat. Then I coarsely dry grind them. The bhaja moshla can be stored in a clean jar for a few weeks. It just adds a whole lot of earthy fresh flavor and taste to raita and salads.
IMG_0096An experienced Bengali housewife would also use this bhaja moshla to take a plain potato curry to the next level.


Sayantani said...

microwave e pulao bananor idea ta darun. aar ete besh bhatgulo gota roeche. pressure cooker e banale ektu jhamela to hayi. amio jato pari sobji add kori ote aar akdom same ebhabe raita banai. amar Hubby'r most favourite.
kara'r set ta asadharon Pree.

Satya said...

wow .. perfect combination...i love the look of your pulav it looks spicy and tasty... and with a bowl of raita nothing beats it..


GB said...

I love your presentation pree!! Those ceramic kadhais look good enough to eat (off of)!!!!! Love raita in any form.......also love the roasted papads (how do you make you microwave those...mine never turn out right on the MW and I end up frying them....let me know if there's atrick to this.)

PreeOccupied said...

@Sayantani, yes, I make all my pulaos in the microwave, I think I have learnt the art not too overcook my rice this way.

@Satya, thanks! This is my favorite combination.

@GB, Those are gifts by my sister only for my Blog. ;-)

Do a one minute for 3-4 papads spread separately on the m/wave plate. If you still have a few small portions undone, do a quick 10 seconds more. That's the only trick I apply to my papads.

shanthi said...

wonderful combo and good pictures.

A. Naik said...

pulao is one of my favorites.... and this looks yummy.......