Recipes: Cauliflower and Broccoli Pulao

Since GG started her internship, I have been trying to make more one-pot meals that she can take with her. Some experiments in making one-pot meals are successful or some are a big failure. Today’s recipe is one of those experiments which were successful. Everyone loved it and S who is usually not a big fan of the cauliflower and broccoli combination asked me to make this instead of the usual stir fry I make.

This is a very simple recipe to make and barely took me 10 minutes to prep and put in the rice cooker. If you are making this on the stovetop, it will need a bit more care as you need to keep an eye on the water level.

Cauliflower and Broccoli Pulao

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • ½ a head of cauliflower, cut into medium-sized florets
  • ½ a head of broccoli, cut into medium=-sized florets
  • 1 medium-sized onion, halved and sliced finely
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • inch cinnamon stick
  • ½ tsp green chilli paste or 1 green chilli, chopped into big pieces
  • 10 pieces of cashew nuts
  • Salt to taste
  • 1.5 cups water

Method:

  • Wash the basmati rice well till the water runs clear and then soak it in water for 20 minutes. Drain and keep aside.
  • Heat a pan and add the ghee and when the ghee warms, add the cashew nuts and let the nuts become golden brown.
  • At this point, add the cumin seeds and let the seeds pop.
  • Once the cumin seeds pop, add in the bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom pods and saute for a few seconds each.
  • Then add in the green chillies or the chilli paste and saute for a couple of minutes.
  • Now add the chopped and washed cauliflower and broccoli florets and saute for a couple of minutes.
  • Once the florets are cooking for a few minutes, add in the washed and drained rice and season with salt. I usually add about 1 tsp of salt for a cup of rice, but this is a personal preference.
  • Transfer the rice mixture to a rice cooker and add 1.5 cups of water and cook until done. If you are using the stovetop, stir once a while until all the water is completely absorbed by the rice and the rice is cooked.
  • Once the rice is done, switch off the stove or rice cooker and let it sit for a while before opening it and fluffing it with a fork.
  • Serve hot with a raita.

Recipe: Saffron Cumin Rice

I saw a reference to Saffron Rice in some recipes I was browsing while thinking about what to cook last Sunday. The name intrigued me and I got thinking about how this recipe would look and taste. So I tried making my version and the result was a delicious, fragrant but simple dish which I put together in less than 15 minutes of prep time plus cooking time.

Saffron is a very exotic and expensive spice. It is derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the “saffron crocus”. The vivid crimson stigmata and styles, called threads, are collected and dried to be used mainly as a seasoning and colouring agent in food. Although some doubts remain on its origin, it is believed that saffron originated in Iran, but Greece and Mesopotamia have also been suggested as the possible region of origin of this plant.

Saffron is a powerful antioxidant and is said to have cancer fighting properties. It is also said to reduce heart disease risk factors, lower blood sugar levels and improve eyesight in adults with age-related macular degeneration. It may improve memory in adults with Alzheimer’s disease

Saffron and Cumin Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup basmati rice, soaked in water for 20 minutes
  • 2 pinches saffron
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • Soak the basmati rice for 20-30 minutes and drain and keep aside.
  • Warm the milk in a small container and then put one pinch of the saffron and let the saffron dissolve in the milk.
  • Heat the ghee in a pan and when warm, add the cumin seeds. Let the cumin seeds splutter and then crush the remaining saffron with your fingertips and add to the ghee.
  • Add the turmeric powder and stir for a couple of seconds. The turmeric is added to enhance the colour of the rice plus for its antiseptic properties. So you can omit it if you want.
  • Next add the soaked rice and stir for a few minutes. Stir the dissolved saffron and milk and add this to the rice. Mix well.
  • Add the salt (approximately 1 tsp per cup of rice) and stir well.
  • Transfer to a rice cooker, add the water and cook until it is done. Let it sit in the rice cooker for 10 minutes and then fluff the rice. Serve hot with any gravy vegetable.
  • If you are cooking using the stove top, add the water to the rice while using the pan to fry the rice, then cook it until it is al-dente. Keep an eye on the rice and add more water if needed.

I served this rice with a yummy kadhai vegetable, the recipe which I will share very soon

Recipes: Kashmiri Pulao

Kashmir – the very name is so evocative and exotic. The northern most state in India, this snowy region is quite devoid of vegetatation and so recipes from this region feature more meat and game than vegetables. Everyone, including the Hindu brahmins eat meat and vegetarian recipes are sparse on the ground in this state.

S loves Kashmiri Pulao which is found in the menus of most restaurants and wanted me to make it over the weekend. I checked around and found a recipe I liked, but omitted the fruits that more often than not are found in restaurant menus. This one is a slightly plain recipe, but you can always add fruits if you like.

Kashmiri Pulao

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Basmati rice, washed and soaked in water for 20 minutes, drained and kept aside
  • 2-3 small onions, sliced finely vertically. If you are using bigger onions, cut horizontally in half and then finely vertically
  • 1 pinch of saffron, soaked in 2 tbsp warm milk for 15-20 minutes.
  • 10-12 cashew nuts
  • 10-12 almonds
  • 3 cloves
  • 3-4 green cardamom
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-inch piece of cinnamon
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seed powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 3-4 tbsp ghee

Method:

  • Dissolve the saffron strands in the warm milk and keep aside.
  • Heat 2-3 tbsp ghee in a pan and fry the sliced onions until the onions are crisp. You can sprinkle a pinch of salt while frying them. Once the onions are crisp and brown, remove them to a plate with kitchen paper and keep aside.
  • In the same pan, add in the cashew nuts and almonds and fry until they are brown and crisp. Remove and keep aside.
  • In the same pan, add more ghee if needed and fry the cardamom, cloves, bay leaf and cinnamon and saute for around 30-40 seconds.
  • Then add the chopped green chillies, ginger and fennel powder and saute for a couple of seconds.
  • Now add the soaked and drained rice and season with salt and saute for a minute.
  • Then add the dissolved saffron with the milk and saute for a couple of seconds.
  • Transfer this to a rice cooker and add the appropriate amount of water (around 1 cup). If you are cooking on the stovetop, continue cooking covered with the lid on till the rice is almost cooked.
  • When the rice is cooked in the rice cooker, fluff the rice with a fork and add the fried onions and nuts and mix well. Let it be on warm mode for another five minutes before serving it hot with a Kashmiri Yakhni.
  • If cooking on the stovetop, when the rice is almost cooked, fluff the rice and add the onions and nuts and mix well. Cook for another 5 minutes more till the rice is completely cooked and then serve hot.
  • If you want to add fruits, you can add chopped apples, pineapple and pomegranates which you can add when you add the onions and nuts.
  • Enjoy the delicious Kashmiri Pulao and think of the frozen beauty of this state while eating it. I served this with a Potato Yakhni which I will put up very soon and link it here once I upload the recipe.

Recipe: Navratan Pulao

A couple of weeks back, this recipe popped up in my Facebook feed. It is a recipe from the Sanjeev Kapoor’s WonderChef brand. I only had one view and when I was wondering what to cook this weekend, I decided to make this and used what I thought was the recipe.

Navratan traditionally means nine gems and so I decided to make this with nine ingredients, including dry fruits and excluding rice and spices.

Navratan Pulao

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups basmati rice, washed and soaked for 30 minutes
  • 1 large onion, sliced finely
  • 1 carrot, julienned into slightly thick strips
  • 1 sweet potato, julienned into the same size and shape as the carrot
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 10-12 cashew nuts
  • 10-12 almonds
  • 1 handful raisins
  • 2 green chillies, chopped into large pieces
  • 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 4-5 green cardamom pods
  • 2-inch cinnamon
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • Drain the rice and keep aside
  • In a pan, heat the ghee and when warm, fry the cashew nuts, almonds and raisins, one by one, remove, drain and keep aside.
  • In the same pan, with the remaining ghee, add the cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf and cardamom and stir for a couple of seconds.
  • Now add the chopped chillies and ginger and give it a stir.
  • Add the vegetables and stir well.
  • Now add the washed rice, the fried dry fruits and salt and stir well.
  • If you are cooking this in a rice cooker, pour the rice into the rice cooker, add 3.5 cups of water and check for salt and let it cook.
  • If you are cooking on the stove top, add 2 cups of water and let it cook. Check occasionally and add more water if needed.
  • You can serve this with any gravy based vegetable or even just with a salad and a raita.

Recipe: Vegetable Pulao

IMG_6049An easy one-pot meal, this pulao can be put together when you are in a hurry. This is the perfect meal for a bachelor to make as it does not need many utensils as well as a lot of skills to make it.

This also makes a perfect school or work packed lunch. You can also prep this the night before and if you are using a rice cooker, keep it in the cooker to cook overnight. Then in the morning, you have fresh pulao all ready for you before you leave for school or work!

Vegetable Pulao

IMG_6047Ingredients:

  • 1 cup basmati rice, washed and soaked for 15 minutes
  • 1 cup chopped mixed vegetables (I used potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, green peas and sweet corn)
  • 2-3 tablespoons frozen paneer refreshed in hot water for 10 minutes
  • 1 onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4-5 cloves of cardamom
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1-star anise
  • 10-15 cashew nuts, chopped
  • 2 tsp golden raisins
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 1-inch piece of ginger julienned
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp ghee

Method:

  • Wash the rice well and remove all the water and keep aside.
  • Heat a pan and when it is warm, add the ghee. When the ghee liquefied, add the cumin seeds and when the seeds pop, add the bay leaf, cloves, cardamom and star anise. Stir each for a few seconds before adding the next ingredient.
  • Add the green chillies and ginger and stir well.
  • Add the cashew nuts and the raisins and stir for a few seconds.
  • Next add the onions and stir, letting it become translucent.
  • Next, add the chopped vegetables and stir well. Add the washed and drained rice next along with the salt and stir well, letting the salt coat the rice grains and vegetables.
  • Remove from the flame and put this mixture into a rice cooker and add the water (normally I add ¾ cup water to 1 cup of Basmati rice, but you can play with it depending on the rice you use)
  • When the rice is done, fluff with a fork and serve with any gravy or a raita.

IMG_6050

IMG_6049