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VEGETABLE PULAO (simple, aromatic and healthy veg pulao)
By : Deepa Sujesh

1.5 cups long grained or basmati rice soaked for 30 minutes
¼ cup chopped carrots, cauliflower/broccoli, french beans, green peas (fresh or frozen) and carrots.(you can add your choice of vegetables)
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 medium size tomato, chopped
½ inch ginger + 2 to 3 medium garlic cloves + 1 green chili, crushed to a paste
1 tsp lime juice
2.5 to 3 cups water
2 tbsp ghee or 2.5 tbsp oil
salt as required

1 tsp cumin seeds/shah jeera
4 to 5 whole black pepper
1 bay leaf
2-3 cloves
2 to 3 green cardamoms
1 black cardamom
2 single strands of mace/javitri,
1 small star anise
1 inch cinnamon


soak the rice in enough water for 30 minutes. drain and keep aside.
in a deep thick bottomed pot or pan, heat ghee/oil and fry all the whole spices mentioned above, till the oil becomes fragrant
add the onions and saute them till golden. saute the onions on a low flame and stir often for uniform browning.
add the ginger-garlic-green chili paste and saute for 10 to 12 seconds.
add the tomatoes and saute for 2-3 minutes on a low flame.
add all the veggies and saute again for 2-3 minutes on a low flame.
add drained rice and saute gently for 2 minutes on a low flame, so that the rice gets well coated with the oil.
pour water and stir.
sprinkle 6 to 7 drops of lime juice. season with salt and stir again.
cover tightly and let the rice cook on a low flame, till the water is absorbed and the rice is well cooked. check in between a few times to check if the water is enough. depending on the quality of rice, you may need to add less or more water. with a fork too, you can gently stir the rice without breaking the rice grains.
once the rice grains are cooked, fluff and let the rice stand for 5 minutes.
serve the veg pulao hot with some side salad, sliced onion & lemon wedges or raita. you can also garnish veg pulao with fried nuts,chopped coriander or mint leaves.

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