Saturday, October 30, 2010

Piquant Pudina(Mint) Pulav

The Breeze is cool
The flowers are still in bloom
The leaves are yellow and red
Almost ready to shed

Fall is that time of the year when nature puts on a brilliant show of  colors.  It is the transition time from long summer days to cold winter nights. It is the way nature acquaints us to store and save for the winter.

Today, the kids are having a blast soaking themselves in water, playing in their water table, as I am soaking myself in the fall season. I am invigorated  with the melody of the chirping birds heading home, the sweet scent of the flowers in my garden, the vibrant colors of the leaves and the cool evening breeze caressing me. With this beautiful picture painted in my mind, I am heading towards my kitchen to make a meal as kaleidoscopic as the fall season. I am making pudina(mint) pulav.  It is served with raita, a yogurt side dish. The pulav is topped with caramelized onions to add a hint of sweetness in every bite. 

Ingredients for Pulav:
Basmati Rice                           1 cup
Water                                       2  cups
Oil                                            2 tablespoons
Mustard seeds                         1 teaspoon
Bay leaves                               4
Turmeric                                  1 teaspoon
Onions chopped                      1/2 cup
(Carrots, Beans, Potatoes
and Peas)                                 2 cups
Garlic                                        2 cloves
Ginger                                      1 inch piece
Pudina(mint) chopped              1/4 cup
Chopped cilantro                      1/4 cup
Green chillies                            3
Grated coconut                        1/2 cup
Garam Masala                          2 teaspoons
Salt                                           2 teaspoons

Pressure cooker:
In a pressure cooker, steam one cup basmati rice with two cups of water up to 3 whistles.
Allow it to cool completely.

Put garlic, ginger, pudina(mint), cilantro, green chillies and grated coconut into the blender.
With minimum water start grinding it to a paste. Add water as necessary to make it a smooth paste.

Chop carrots, beans and potatoes lengthwise.
In a large pan heat oil and add mustard seeds.
Allow it to splutter. Add bay leaves and turmeric.
Add chopped onions and saute until transparent.
Now add the vegetables and saute for a minute or two.
Sprinkle some salt and cover the lid.
The vegetables will soften from the steam.
Stir frequently to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan.
If it is sticking sprinkle water and close the lid.
When the vegetables are 3/4 cooked, add the ground paste and keep the lid open.
The water has to evaporate and the masala needs to stick to the vegetables.       
Once all the water is evaporated add prepared basmati rice. 
Gently mix the rice and vegetables to coat with masala.
Add salt and garam masala. 
By now the kitchen is filled with the flavorful aroma and your taste buds cannot wait to relish it.
Do it a favor by tasting the pulav for salt and adjust the taste.

Ingredients for Raita:
Yogurt                    1 cup
Water                     1/4 cup
Onion                      2 tablespoons
Tomato                   1/4 cup
Green chillies          2
Cilantro                   1 tablespoon
Salt                         1 teaspoon

Whisk the yogurt in a bowl with water.
Add fine chopped onions, tomatoes and slit green chillies to the yogurt.
Season with salt and garnish with chopped cilantro.

Ingredients for garnish:
Olive Oil                  2 tablespoons
Sliced onions          1 cup
Onion ring               1
Cucumber               3 pieces
Pudina(mint)           3-4 leaves

Heat oil in a wide bottomed pan for maximum contact of the onions with heat.
Add sliced onions and saute for a minute.
Turn the heat to medium and let the onions caramelize.
Onions are naturally sweet, the process of caramelizing pulls out the intense flavor and sweetness from it.
Stir the onions around every 3-4 minutes to give every slice a chance to brown.
It takes about 12-15 minutes.

 Serving suggestion:
Lightly brush a ramekin or any small bowl  with oil.
Fill it with pulav till top and level it.
Invert the ramekin or bowl on to the serving plate.
The oil with help the pulav slide easily onto the plate holding the shape.
Place an onion ring on it and fill the ring with caramelized onions and pudina(mint).
Serve with raita and cucumber slices.  

This  pulav is flavorful, aromatic, colorful and a blithe to the eyes and taste buds. While the pudina(mint) endows to the freshness of the pulav, the garlic and cilantro contribute the sweet aroma. The ginger adds zest and heat along with the chillies.

Linking This Post to Vegetarian Foodie Fridays #29


  1. That looks absolutely delishun!!!


  2. WOW. That looks yummy!!!

  3. Fantastic and so pretty too! Thanks for sharing this!