This is a great 1-pot meal or basis of a larger meal, and, of course, delicious. It is great lunch food and also good comfort food. Eye-catching, it is perfect for the buffet table, or a light luncheon or dinner. It is rich with texture, colour and flavour. It is common in Punjabi homes and has lots of variations.
Savoury Rice and Green Pea Pilaf | Masala Hari Matar Pulao
source: Lord Krishna’s Kitchen by Yamuta Devi
prep time: 8 mins
cooking time: 30-40 minutes
serves 4 – 6 depending how you use it
1 cup basmati rice
3 Tblspn ghee
0.25 cup raw cashews
1 tspn cumin seeds
1 – 2 tspns green chilli, minced – use a spice blender for quick and easy work
0.5 Tblspn finely grated ginger
1.75 cups water
0.75 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 tspn turmeric
0.5 tspn garam masala
0.25 cup raisins or currants
0.5 – 1 tspn salt
3 Tblspn fresh mixed herbs – basil, mint, oregano, thyme
green coriander to garnish
Rinse the rice in water and soak it for 10 mins. Drain the rice and leave to dry on a plate for 20 or more minutes.
Heat the ghee in a heavy 1.5l pot over medium heat. Add the cashews and fry, stirring all the time, until the nuts are golden brown. Remove the nuts with a slotted spoon.
Turn up the heat and add the cumin seeds, the chilli, and the ginger. Fry until the cumin seeds start to brown. Pour in the rice and stir fry for about 2 minutes.
Pour in the water, fresh peas (if using), turmeric, garam masala, raisins, salt and herbs. Bring to a quick boil.
Immediately reduce the heat to very low, cover with a tight fitting lid and very gently simmer for 20 – 25 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed and the rice is tender and fluffy.
If you are using frozen peas, pour boiling water over them. Drain, and add the peas on top of the rice at about the 15 minute mark by quickly opening the pot and sprinkling the peas on top. Replace the cover and continue cooking.
Turn the heat off and without lifting the lid, allow the rice to sit for 5 mins to allow the grains to firm up. Just before serving, remove the lid, pour in the cashews and green coriander and fluff the piping hot rice with a fork.
Fresh or frozen peas can be used.
Coconut milk can be used to cook the pulao for extra flavour.