Fragrant Pulav is a must for any formal Indian meal. It can be made in a million ways but the process is pretty much the same. You need to take care of certain things to make them taste great.
||2 inch piece
|Whole black pepper
|Coarsely chopped bell pepper
|Coriander stems chopped (optional)
|Red chili powder
- Always use basmati rice for this because basmati rice grains stay separate even after cooking. Wash rice in water 2 to 3 tmes and then soak in 2 cups of water for at least 1 hour.
- Slice onions and bell pepper in one-inch pieces. Chop ginger and tomatoes roughly. Crush cardamom once with a heavy object and keep aside.
- Halve the cashews.
- Heat the ghee in a saucepan and add cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, black pepper, and cardamom. Do not replace ghee with butter or oil. Also do not skimp on ghee.
- Once the cumin seeds pop up, add sliced onion and ginger.
- Turn the heat to low and saute till onions become red.
- Add slit green chilies, cashews and raisins and saute till raisins puff up and cashew start to change color.
- Now add all the vegetables and saute for about 5 minutes on medium heat.
- Now add the rice to the pan but do not throw the water. Mix everything gently. Soaked rice are very delicate, stir them gently.
- Once all the rice is coated with ghee etc, add salt, garam masala, red chili powder and the water. Mix gently, turn up the heat and cover the lid.
- As soon as the water boils, turn down the heat to low and let it cook. We need to cook it until all the water is absorbed. Mix it every 5 minutes or so.
- Once you notice that there is no water at the bottom, turn off the heat and let it cook in its own heat.
- Open it in about 10 minutes and Fragrant Pulav is ready to serve.
- You can serve it with any curry or raita but it does not need anything at all.
- Don’t skimp on ghee. Ghee makes it smooth and more buttery.
- The fragrant spices like cinnamon stick, bay leaves and cardamom are the must haves for this recipe. If you don’t put those, the pulav will not be fragrant.
- Saute the onions till they are red. That makes them sweet and makes the pulav taste great.
- Make sure to add cashews and raisins because that adds to the richness.