I made this polau-rice after quite a bit of experimentation with the ingredients and the flavours. This one turned out to be absolutely brilliant, and I am absolutely happy with it. For sure, there are no fixed recipe for polau-rice, and it could be made in variety of ways. You can definitely play around with the recipe, and I would love to hear about any variations or alterations made. This recipe is really simple, and I hope you enjoy this.
Cooking time: 30 mins.
Ingredients: (serves 4)
For Pilau-masala: (powdered spice)
5-6 cardamon pods
2 inches cinnamon stick
4-5 mace florets
4-5 black pepper seeds
1/2 teaspoon shah jeera (optional)
1/2 teaspoon shah marich (optional)
2 medium size cups of Basmati rice 4 cups of water 1/2 cup of green peas, fresh or frozen 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
1 cup of cauliflower florets, chopped in small pieces
1/3 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/3 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon ginger and garlic paste 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds 1 bayleaf (optional)
150 grams of paneer (cottage cheese), diced in1 inch squares salt to taste
For the Pilau-masala:
Dry roast all the spices, until they start to crackle, but do not over-roast. Grind the spices to a powder, and store in an airtight container. It could be kept for several months.
For the Pilau-rice:
1. Measure the rice in a pan and rinse it 2-3 times with plain water. Add the measured cups of water in the rice ( it is double the quantity of rice), and soak it for 20 mins. The measure of the water is absolutely critical for cooking a pilau rice, so take care while measuring.
2. Heat oil in a pan for deep frying. Fry the paneer pieces lightly until light golden brown. Take them out from the pan and put them in a bowl of cold water for a couple of minutes. Drain the water and reserve.
3. If using frozen peas, defrost the peas, and dry it by spreading on a kitchen tissue.
4. Put the cauliflower florets in a pan of boiling water, and simmer for about 3 minutes. Drain and reserve.
5. Heat oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds and let them crackle, but take care not to burn them. Add the chopped onions, and saute over a medium flame until they are translucent. Add the green peas and cauliflower and continue to fry for about 5 mins. Add the garlic and ginger paste, and the bell peppers, continue to fry for about 2 minutes. Add the rice with the water, and mix it well in the pan. Add salt to taste.
6. Cover the pan and let it come to boil. Uncover the pan, put the flame to medium, and let the rice simmer, turning it occasionally with a flat spatula, taking care not to break the rice. Also take care that the rice does not burn or stick to the base of the pan. Mix the paneer pieces with the rice when it is done.
5. When the water had dried up, put the flames off. Lay one layer of the rice immediately in a rice plate or a flat serving bowl, and sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon of the pilau spice. Put another layer of rice on top and repeat the sprinkling of spices. Serve hot. Best with any Indian style curries.