We have always made pulao with a gravy based in tomatoes, onions, coconut, green chillies, mint and coriander leaves. A few days ago, I wanted to have pulao but something different from the usual. I threw in some random stuff from around the house and whatever veggies we had in the refrigerator. The result was yummy and different from the usual, just as I wanted. Everyone in the family loved it, and it is surely going to make an appearance quite often on our table. We refer to this dish as ‘Tomato Pulao’, as it is made in a tomato gravy.
Ingredients (makes enough for 4 people):
For the gravy:
5 medium-sized ripe tomatoes
4-5 cloves garlic, peeled
A 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled
1 medium-sized carrot
2 medium-sized potatoes
About 10 French beans
A handful of shelled peas
1 medium-sized capsicum
2 medium-sized onions
A small bunch of fresh coriander leaves
10 leaves of fresh mint
3 tablespoons oil
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
Red chilli powder to taste
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
A 1-inch piece of cinnamon, broken in two
4-5 whole elaichi
2 bay leaves
A pinch of asafoetida
3-4 teaspoons rajma masala (I used MDH)
1-1/2 glasses rice
1. Peel the potatoes and carrots and cut them into large chunks. Peel the onions and chop them length-wise. De-string the beans and chop them into large pieces. Remove the seeds from the capsicum and chop it into large pieces. Chop the fresh coriander finely. Shred the mint leaves roughly with your hands. Keep the prepared veggies aside.
2. Chop the tomatoes into large pieces. Chop the ginger finely. Grind the tomatoes, ginger and garlic cloves into a fine paste in a mixer, without adding any water. Keep aside.
3. Wash the rice thoroughly in running water and place it in a colander. Let all the excess water drain out. Keep aside.
4. Heat the oil in a pressure cooker. Add the mustard seeds and allow them to splutter. Add the asafoetida, cloves, elaichi, bay leaves and cinnamon. Fry everything for a minute, ensuring that they do not burn overly.
5. Add the chopped onions to the pressure cooker. Cook them on a high flame till they turn brownish.
6. Now, add the tomato-ginger-garlic paste to the pressure cooker. Cook for about 5 minutes on a high flame till the raw smell disappears.
7. Add the chopped veggies and washed rice. Stirring constantly, cook everything on a medium flame for 2-3 minutes.
8. Add 2 glasses of water, salt and red chilli powder to taste, turmeric powder, rajma masala, shredded mint leaves and finely chopped coriander leaves. Taste and add seasonings, if required. Turn the gas on high, and close the pressure cooker. Cook for 3 whistles.
Done! Serve hot with raita.
1. You could even add other vegetables of your choice to the pulao, like cauliflower. I didn’t because I didn’t have any. You could even add soya nuggets.
2. I used rajma masala to make the pulao. I am guessing chhole masala or paav bhaji masala would give equally good results.
3.I have found that mint shredded with the hands adds a better flavour to pulao as compared to mint leaves that have been chopped with a knife.
4. I have a feeling that this pulao would taste even more wonderful than it already does, when garnished with finely grated Amul cheese.