There are some recipes which have been long forgotten due to the constant evolution of new(and relatively easier) ones coming up in the market.The Mughals during their tenure introduced two basic recipes which were immortalised in various forms – the Biryani and Pulao.Biryani uses a “Layer System” of cooking in which the rice and Masala(comprising meat/vegetables(or both),spices and onions) are layered in a deep pot,topped with Kewra water and Saffron,put on “Dum” and cooked slowly.Pulao is a combination of rice with vegetables or meat(or both) which are mixed together and cooked relatively faster.
This Pulao is a Punjabi version of the recipe made exclusively with Onions(hence the name) and is absolutely delicious with Raita,Papad or Pickle. Lets check the recipe out:
1 cup best quality Basmati Rice
2-3 large Onions – sliced
4-5 cloves Garlic cloves – chopped (optional)
1 inch piece Ginger – peeled and chopped fine
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds (Jeera)
1 tsp Turmeric Powder(Haldi)
1 stick Cinnamon/1 tsp Cinnamon powder (Dalchini)
6 Green Cardamoms/1 1/2 tsp Cardamom Powder (Choti Elaichi)
2 Black Cardamoms (Badi Elaichi)
2 Bay Leaves (Tejpatta)
4 Cloves (Laung)
1/2 cup fresh Milk
1/2 cup Ghee
2 tbsp Oil
1 cup Water
Salt to taste
Coriander Leaves – To garnish
1/2 cup fried Paneer cubes – To garnish
Wash and soak rice for 30 minutes.Drain and keep aside.
Heat ghee and Oil in a non stick pan and add Cinnamon,Green and Black Cardamoms,Bay Leaves and Cloves.When they start emitting their lovely aroma add the cumin seeds and Turmeric Powder and salute till they turn brown.
Add Garlic and fry for 2-3 seconds and add Onions.Fry till translucent.Now add the Ginger and fry for a minute.Add the soaked rice.Lower the heat and stir fry till the rice absorbs all the flavours (approx 2-3 minutes).
Add the water and fresh milk to the rice.Stir well and add salt.Cover and cook on the same low heat till rice is done(approx 8-10 minutes).
Remove from heat and fluff up the grains with a fork.Serve hot.
ANOTHER METHOD TO MAKE THE PULAO
If you find cooking by the absorption method difficult then this should work for you.Simply cook the rice as you would cook plain rice by boiling/steaming process and take out on a plate to cool.
After adding the Ginger,ONLY add the milk NOT the water as we have already cooked the rice.Stir well and add salt.Now add the rice and mix very well to amalgamate.Do not cook for more than 2 minutes else the rice will get mashed up.
Serve hot with a sprinkling of fresh Coriander,fried Paneer cubes(press them on top of the rice) and Raita!
The Pulao served with Raita!