Monday, 3 December 2012

Matar Pulao - Pea Pulao

While learning how to cook in ammi's kitchen, i was repeatedly told cooking the perfect basmati rice took years of practice as basmati rice happen to have a mind of their own. I was always nervous about cooking pulao rice and biryani. It has taken me nearly 10 years to get my pulao right. Biryani is still far from perfection. But i am trying! 

The fragrance of ammi's pulao would welcome you long before you entered the house. She spent time and energy in getting the stock right which was the prime ingredient in cooking the delectable pulao. I have learnt to do the same which leads to results that almost always exceed expectation. Ammi served this pulao with chicken curry or potato meat curry.

In my house i usually serve it with shami kebab and mint chutney. Here is the recipe.

Rice – 1 cup
Chicken Stock – 1 ½ cup - Homemade
Peas (Matar) – 1 cup (Frozen or Fresh - avoid using sweet peas)
Onion – 1 Medium sized (chopped)
Oil – 2 Tblsp
Salt – 1 heaped tsp
Black Cardamoms – 2 (whole)
Cinnamon sticks – 2
Whole peppercorns - 8-10
Cumin – 1 tsp,
Cloves – 4-5
Bay leaves – 2, (whole).
Green Chili – 1 whole

  1. Wash the rice 3 times with cold water and soak it for 30 mins before cooking.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan (it should have a lid) and add onions to it. Let it color.
  3. Add all dry spices to it and fry till onions are dark brown.
  4. Add the green chili as well.
  5. Now add stock and bring it to boil on medium heat.
  6. Add peas; boil for only a minute more.
  7. Now drain water from the rice and add them to the boiling stock. Wait for it to boil again on medium heat.
  8. In the mean while put on a tava/ griddle or a heat diffuser on medium flame on another stove. This will be used to steam cook the rice.
  9. Once the liquid with rice in it starts boiling, wait for 3/4 of the stock to be evaporated.
  10. Now place a piece of aluminum foil on top of the cooking pot and seal the pan with the lid ensuring the steam does not escape. Put it over the hot tava/heat diffuser and reduce the heat to low.
  11. Let the rice cook for 12-15 mins on lowest heat on the stove over the griddle. Open the pan after 15 mins. The water should be dried up and the rice should be cooked completely. 
  12. Mix the rice with the wooden spoon. Let it sit for 5 mins before serving hot.