I make vegetable pulao almost every fortnight with all the vegetables I have in stock at the moment, its usually with leftover vegetables.It use to be a rare thing in our homes when we were kids. It was a kind of special food reserved during holidays or when guests come over. Lot of efforts were taken to make this. Cashews were roasted and added. Spices used to be freshly ground. Proper side dishes along with chips, papads, pickles were present. Sometime even vadaams were fried.We grew up to like pulao and then it was made quite frequently. It became a simple one pot meal with just loads of vegetables with a easy raita or just plain curds and some papads or pickles.
I just learned few years ago that in south the rice variety made this way is called biryani unlike the layered dum biryanis in the north.
1.Wash the rice.Drain the water and keep it aside for around 15 minutes.
2. Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add the cumin seeds and the whole spices(Bayleaves, cinnamon, cloves,cardamom,anise). Saute for a few minutes.
3. Add the ginger, garlic green chiily paste along with onions and saute till the onions are slightly brown in colour.
4. Add the vegetables and mix.
5.Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, pulao masala and salt.
6. Add the chopped mint leaves and curd and mix well.
7.Now add the soaked rice and mix till everything combines beautifully.
8. Add enough water to cook the rice. Pressure cook till the rice is cooked well and grains should be seperate (not mushy)(see notes)
9. Gently mix and serve.
Serve hot with some raita and papad.
1. Normally for 1 cup of basmati rice, one should add 1 cup or 1 1/2 cup of water, not more than that. It will turn mushy if more water is added.
2. Add vegetable of your choice. I have given a list in the ingredients. You can even add mushrooms , paneer,tofu etc. I added broccoli too as it is healthy, but its taste in the pulao is slightly over powering. So consider before adding.
3. You can skip the pulao masala. Whole spices are enough for a nice flavour.