So, here’s the deal.
I made this tonight for dinner. But I have no clue what to call this. So, you can make up your own name for it. And if you can think of anything creative – let me know. It kind of belongs to the Pulav family.
Whatever we decide to call it, I can tell you that it was a very hearty tasty meal for all of us. There’s rice in here, then veggies, then some beans and some nuts and a whole lot of flavor. And it’s a one pot dish – which I love!
I really liked this combination of veggies I used for this dish. But I’m sure you can customize this to your taste and add your favorite veggies in there too.
Starting off with onions, I decided to use the pearl onions instead of the chopped big onions. You can try and talk me out of it if you really want to – but these pearl onions do have a ton of flavor that’s sometimes missing from the big mamma ones. Yes – it’s a pain to peel them, agreed. But they do taste better.
On the veggies front, I used red bell peppers, zucchini and tender green beans. And then for some protein, I added some black chickpea / kala channa. And for an extra crunch – some chopped almonds. What can go wrong with all these wonderful ingredients?
In a wide pan, add about 1 tsp oil. When hot, add about ½ tsp Jeera (Cumin seeds) and ½ tsp Sombu (fennel seeds). When they start to turn brown, add finely chopped ginger and green chilli. Then, add the pearl onions to this and fry for a min.
When that is done, add the rest of the veggies in here. You don’t have to cook them for a long time. Almost immediately, season them well and mix the rice. They will get cooked along with the rice.
Then, add the boiled black channa. Boil it just enough so that they can be squished between your fingers when pressed.
Next comes the seasoning part. I kept the seasoning part simple. Some turmeric for a colorful rice.
Some red chilli – as much spice as you can take. Ours is not much considering my little one also eats from this.
Salt – to taste. I love that my salt container has a whole write up on how to eat salt correctly and not eat too much of it which might lead to unnecessary health conditions. They conclude their speech with these words of wisdom - ‘Salt Responsibly’. How true.
And then some biriyani masala or your favorite pulav masala. I always use Ethnic Kitchens Nawabi Biriyani Masala – like the flavor of that thing!
This is not a required addition but for me it was more of cleaning my fridge and trying to use as much as I have in there. I had some blanched and peeled almonds sitting for a couple of days and decided to add them in here for a crunch. It sure was a great crunch for our almond loving family!
Well..I forgot to tell you to wash and soak about 2 cups of basmati rice before you start all this. Soak the rice in water for about 30 mins or so. Rinse the rice well and drain all the water and add it to the veggies in the pan.
Instead of adding regular water to cook the rice, I decided to use some veggie broth. I think this made all the difference between a regular pulav and a really flavorful one. I mean the flavor that lingers on your tongue after you take a bite and eat it all. That flavor. So, if you can don't skip this. Use a good veggie broth.
For 2 cups of basmati rice and all the veggies, I added about 4 cups of veggie broth. More broth will be added a little later. But this is good for now. Mix everything well together once. Add a little bit more salt to taste for the rice.
Close the pan with a lid and let this boil and cook for about 5 mins or until you see the rice soaking up all the broth.
Like this - this is still partially done rice. There is a little bit of stock left in the pot. At this stage, switch off the stove and move all of this rice to a baking dish.
Now add another half a cup of broth all over the rice.
You can do this step while the rice is cooking. Wash, peel and cut 3-4 potatoes into rounds.
Blanch for about 4-5 mins in hot water. Make sure the potatoes are not completely cooked - you should be able to cut them with a knife but not crush them with a finger..get it?
Cover the rice in the baking dish with the blanched potatoes and some circle cut onions.
Cover with foil and bake in a pre heated oven at 350F for about 20 mins.
After that, increase the temp to 425F and turn on broil and remove the foil and let the potatoes and onions get broiled for about 5 mins or until you see them turn golden.
These potatoes and onions were absolutely awesome to eat along with the rice.
There's some piping hot nameless rice.
I served with some of of my favorite "Tomato-Cucumber-Green Bell Pepper Raitha". And some fresh grilled mango. Just for a twist. I just cut long strips of fresh mango and placed it on a cookie rack right over a medium flame. Like this -
So, have you come up with a name yet?
Enjoy. Peace out!