I love pulav because it’s a no-fuss, easy one-pot meal that is ready in just under half an hour. No sambar, rasam and a dozen other accompaniments. I made this baby corn and peas pulav with Seeraga Samba rice which is the rice they use in Thalapakatti biryani. It’s not as long as the basmati rice but it has wonderful flavour and aroma which makes it a great choice for biryanis and pulavs. I served this pulav along with roasted baby potatoes. I am sending this to Blogging Marathon #33 for the theme Fiction with Food. Pulavs and biryanis are nowadays my go-to dishes for weekend lunches. But I once made a biryani, a horrendous biryani that my friends would remember even now. The story today is the making of that horrendous biryani.
I’d not cooked for large numbers (around 7-8 people is not large at all now, but it was then) before and I’d never made biryani before. We were in Bangalore then and we had invited our friends over for lunch. This was during my early married days. Among the friends was a vegetarian as well. My menu was this – Carrot Halwa, Vegetable biryani, Aloo Jeera, Chicken biryani, raita and boiled eggs. Everything went wrong that day. We started late and we had only the dessert ready by the time our friends arrived. So we served the carrot halwa first. Carrot Halwa was fantastic though. While my friends chatted away wondering if I’d serve lunch for dinner, I struggled with the biryani. I was all the while on the phone clarifying measurements with my mom. Instead of doing the whole thing in a pressure cooker, I’d chosen to boil the rice halfway through and then mix it with the masala. As I’d feared, I’d overcooked the rice and when I combined the hot rice with the masala I was left with biryani bisibele bath. My hungry friends had no choice but to eat it but they had a hearty laugh. I’d managed to screw up the eggs as well. They were misshapen and overcooked. My friend asked me which chicken had laid such strange eggs. They’d have a mild heart attack if they knew I am writing a food blog now.
Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Baby Corn – 200 gm chopped into bite sized oblong pieces
Peas – 200 gm
Seeraga Samba Rice/Basmati rice/Long grain rice – 3 cups rinsed and soaked for 1 hour
Onions – 2 chopped fine
Garlic – 5 pods chopped fine
Green chillies – 4 slit lengthwise
Coconut milk – 2 cups/extracted from 1 big coconut or just regular Milk
Cloves – 3
Cinnamon – 2 inch piece
Salt to taste
Ghee – 3 tbsp
Oil – 2 tbsp
1. Rinse rice in 2-3 changes of water till the water runs clear. Soak rice in water for 1 hour.
2. Heat ghee and oil together in a pressure cooker. Add the whole spices – cloves and cinnamon. After a minute add the chopped onions and garlic and sauté till the onions turn translucent. Add the chopped baby corn and peas and stir around. Throw in the green chillies.
3. Drain the water and reserve it. Add the rice to the cooker. Stir gently to mix it all up. Now pour in the coconut milk. Level the rice and stick your index finger into the broth to check the level of liquid above the rice. If it is halfway between the first and second lines, the liquid is enough. Else add the reserved water little at a time while checking the liquid level. Add salt and stir well to incorporate. Taste the liquid and adjust seasoning.
4. Closet the pressure cooker and cook on high for a minute or until you see steam. Then plug in the weight and reduce heat to low. Cook on low for 12 minutes. Switch off and wait 10 minutes for the pressure to subside. Open the pressure cooker and fluff up the rice with a fork. Serve hot with raita and vegetables of your choice.