One day I will cook a “pilaf”, just to be able to post about it so I get to use the word pilaf, which I love because it has such an exotic ring about it !
In the meanwhile – this is the recipe for the pulao I wrote about last summer but which I haven’t made since, until this past weekend. I have adapted it from the original recipe which is in Viji Varadrajan’s “Samayal”, a cookbook about the cuisine of the Tanjore and Palghat regions of southern India.
In the summer last year it was Noor who said she loved this pulao. Then on Sunday it was Indira who wanted to know if there’s be enough left over for Monday. I guess that means we can put it in the Favorites Foods column. Or at least for now, for they may change their minds in some weeks in their sometimes fickle way 🙂
(An update to that from 15 Sep 2010 – Indira said again, when we had this for dinner last night, that she loves this pulav)
The use of the podi is what gives it it’s distinctive, delicious taste.
Carrot and Green Bell Pepper Pulao
Basmati rice – 1 cup
1 large green bell pepper, sliced fine
3 medium sized carrots, peeled and diced in to thin half-moons
1 tablespoon of Pitlai podi
3/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder
lime juice, to taste (but at least 1 tablespoon)
3/4 teaspoon of mustard seeds
8-10 curry leaves
salt, to taste (or say about 1 and a 1/2 teaspoons for the rice and 1/2 a teaspoon to be added while cooking the vegetables)
Wash and soak the rice in cold water for 20-30 minutes, then cook it with a little less than twice the amount of water (I use an electric rice cooker and therefore add 2 and a half cups of water) with salt added in.
Let the rice cool before you start to cook the vegetables so that you are able to separate the grains of rice gently, by hand or with a flat spoon, without breaking the grains.
In a large frying pan, heat the oil, then add the mustard seeds and the curry leaves. When these begin to crackle, add the carrots and fry them on a medium high heat till they are soft enough without being mushy (i.e. they should retain a bite). A few minutes before you think the carrots will be done, add the bell pepper slices and fry everything together till the latter are cooked (I prefer that these should retain a bite too) as well.
Add the salt, the turmeric powder and Pitlai podi and fry everything for another couple of minutes.
Now add the rice, mix it with the vegetables, then put the lime juice and toss everything together gently but quite well over 4-5 minutes.
This makes a very nice meal with varan and salad, or just a raita in the summer.