Friday, January 21, 2011

Poolao or Palao, any which way, banao aur khao...

4 o’ clock hunger pang – Sindhu (my Sis) and I charge into the kitchen! In less than another 15-20 mins, both of us waiting for the pressure cooker to whistle… Our anxious walk around the kitchen would remind one of people outside Operation Theatre waiting for the doctor to come out… Once the whistles are done, we wait for the cooker to cool down and stop hush hush, so that we could open the lid and attack!!! Our guest to taste these culinary achievements (at times mishaps) was our Granny. She was always supportive and actively stood by our side in all such passionate things that we did… Miss her to the core!

With hubby and Ma disliking one pot meals, now I hardly get to indulge into these delicacies. What made me realize how badly I missed a pulao? Had gone to the beauty parlour and the beautician’s hub calls up. She is instructing him to get all the ingredients for making Pulao. I come back home and was casually chatting with my maid. Asker her what she cooked? (That’s one question I don’t fail to ask even in the shortest of conversations) Fate had it that she too cooked Pulao that day and I was put in a ‘Do or die’ situation. Luckily there was some plain rice and fish curry just enough for Abbas from the previous day and Ma was in Kolkata. I made this 1-pressure-cooker-3-whistles rice and satiated my Pulao forbidden soul.

Note: After Abbas finished his dinner I asked him to taste it but he was firmly reluctant. Pestered him to have just a spoon. Well, little was he aware that no one can eat just one spoon of this dish… He he

Rice – 2 cups
Veggies – 1 cup, chopped into cubes (I used carrots, beans, potatoes and green peas)
Onion – 1 small, chopped
Bay leaves – 2
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil + ghee or just oil – 2 tbsps
Water – 4 cups

For the masala:
Coconut – grated, 2 tbsps
Onion – 1
Tomato – 1
Ginger – 1” piece
Garlic – 4-5 cloves
Mint leaves – 10
Coriander leaves – a handful
Cardamom – 2
Cloves – 3
Cinnamon – ½” stick

  1. Grind together the ingredients called for under the masala header using little water if required.
  2. In a pressure cooker, heat oil, add bay leaves.
  3. Add sliced onions and saute till they turn transparent.
  4. Now add the ground masala and sauté till raw smell goes.
  5. Add the veggies, rice, turmeric powder and salt and mix well.
  6. Add water and close the lid.
  7. I generally cook for 3 whistles i.e. the cooker is left on high flame till the first whistle, put it on low flame and cook for next two whistles. Or first five minutes on high flame and next two on low flame and switch it off. Do not open the lid till the pressure cooker is silent (You know what I mean!)
  8. Server with raitha. (I love it on its own)

I had forgotten to take pictures of it. So clicked after having packed it for lunch…

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