Vegetable Pulao from the Beaches of Goa

Ah, the beaches of Goa. How they stretch on and on for miles and miles. Once pristine in the days when I began to visit Goa, now the popular beaches are littered with refuse at high tide. It is not a pretty sight, but thankfully the government is working to return them to their former glories.

Yet, Goa remains beautiful and worth visiting for a slow and relaxing holiday. On one of my visits, staying with some friends who run a small B&B and lovely restaurant, Mario made this pulao for a Sunday Lunch. It remains a favourite and always, always, brings those beaches back to me. I remember being woken every morning, not by the sounds of the waves, but by the sounds of the kitchen hands beginning their preparations for the day. The happy sounds of their chopping and laughter would filter through to our bedroom and we would always wake to amazing aromas and great food.

This recipe begins cooking the rice on the stove top and finishes it in the oven, similar to the Obla Chaval method.

Are you after other recipes from Goa? Try Goan Rechad Masala, Ladyfingers Recheio, and Sweet Surnoli Dosa.

Are you after other Pulao dishes? Try  a Sago Pilaf, Green Pea Pulao and Cauliflower Pilaf.

Try some mixed Rice dishes too. Try Masala Lemon or Lime Rice, Tamarind Rice (Puliyodharai Saadham), and Urad Dal Garlic Rice.

You can browse all of our dishes from Goa, and all of our Pilaf/Pulao recipes. You might also like all of our Rice recipes too.  Or browse all of our Indian recipes. Alternatively, take some time to explore our easy Late Autumn dishes.

This is one of our Retro Recipes, vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006.. Feel free to browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series.

Continue reading “Vegetable Pulao from the Beaches of Goa”

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Mograbieh (Giant Couscous) and Artichoke Pilaf

Fregola, Mograbieh, Israeli Couscous, Moftoul, Ptitim, Jerusalem Couscous, Pearl Couscous, Ben-Gurion rice, Lebanese Couscous, Giant Couscous, Kabyle Abazine – no wonder you are confused. These are all variations of couscous used through the Middle East, around the coast to Sardinia, and into Israel. They vary in size and shape, construction and ingredients but are generally larger couscous/pasta with either a round-ish or rice-like shape.

Although the different types can generally be used interchangeably, technically speaking, there are some differences between the products of different countries. Some are an extruded pasta, similar to Italian orzo, made with semolina and flour which is toasted to dry. These have a nuttier flavour than normal couscous. Another type is Ptitim, or Israeli Couscous, a type of toasted pasta and shaped either like rice-grains or little balls. It was developed in Israel in the 1950s when rice was scarce.

Others, like Mograbieh (Lebanese) and Maftoul (Palestinian), are rolled and dried large couscous pearls about the size of tapioca pearls. When cooked they have a chewy buttery flavour and are larger than Israeli Couscous. These starchy pasta balls swell and become soft and chewy as they cook, and are excellent at absorbing the flavours of the dish they are cooked in.

Sadly, the globalisation of food has meant that differences get smoothed over, and names get mixed, or all the variations merge into one product. Locally, for a long time I was only able to find the extruded pasta type (labelled Israeli Couscous!), but more recently a local Afghan shop stocks the best Mograbieh.

While Ottolenghi uses Fregola for this dish, I suggest using any of the above large couscous types that you have at hand or that are easy for you to purchase. It will still be excellent!

Yes, this is an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More. In fact, it is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often slightly massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry.

This dish is an unusual one – hearty yet fresh. It is best served just warm or at room temperature.

Similar recipes include Artichoke Hearts with Mozzarella and Candied Citrus, Saffron Mograbieh Pilaf with Broad Beans, Barley Pilaf with Mushrooms, and Rice and Cauliflower Pilaf.

Browse all of our Large Couscous dishes, and all of our Pilafs. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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Persian Barberry Saffron Rice with Almonds and Pistachios

We are so in love with our long stranded saffron from Saffron Only. With our delivery we also received several recipe cards including the recipe for this rice dish which has also been mentioned by an Irani work colleague. As beautiful soft barberries are available at the local Afghan shop, the recipe was added to our must-cook list.

The recipe simmers long grained rice until al dente, then steams it on a bed of potatoes or pita bread (optional) until the bottom is crispy and the rice is perfectly cooked. It is then served with saffron water, the toasted barberries, almonds and pistachios.

Berberis, commonly known as barberry, is a large shrub that has yellow flowers and red or blue-black berries. The berries, rich in vitamin C, have a distinct sharp acid flavour. The country in which they are used the most is Iran where they are used in rice pilafs.. Due to their inherent sour flavor, they are often cooked with sugar before being added to rice. Iranian markets sell barberry dried. In Russia they are sometimes used in jams and extract from them is a common flavouring for soft drinks and candies/sweets. They are rarely used in Europe in modern times. (Thanks wikipedia.)

I notice that Ottolenghi has a similar recipe on his website. I mention it only as we have an Ottolenghi Project happening, cooking from his book Plenty More. You can check his recipe out, but I like this one better. 🙂

Barberries are also such a beautiful colour that they make a great garnish to any rice dish or salad.

Similar recipes include Saffron Mograbieh Pilaf, Saffron, Date and Almond Rice, and Golden Saffron Tea.

Browse all of our Saffron dishes and all of our Persian recipes. Our Middle Eastern dishes are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.
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Freekeh Pilaf with Herbs and Yoghurt Dressing

Such a wonderful earthy flavour, Freekeh, that strange sounding name (to Western ears) belonging to the nutty grain. Sold whole or cracked, it is easy to find at Middle Eastern stores, some providores and some bulk lentil and grain places. Freekeh actually means rubbed – the process of removing the grains from its husks.

Like quinoa, freekeh is full of protein, with a beautiful smokiness, and is dead easy to cook. It is Middle Eastern duram wheat that is picked while unripe then traditionally roasted over wood fires to burn off the husks – hence its wonderful smoky flavour. Surprisingly it is also a little sweet, so a squeeze of lemon or lime always does wonders to a freekeh dish.

Freekeh is so unusual as generally the grains we use have been allowed to mature and dry on the head.

This dish is a take on an Ottolenghi dish from his book, Plenty, but has some minor variations. It is beautifully cooked by simmering for 15 mins and then leaving covered, to steam until cooked. Then it is tossed with herbs and topped with garlicky lemon yoghurt before serving.

Similar recipes include Vegetable Pulao from the Beaches of Goa, Green Beans with Freekeh, Walnuts and Tahini, Barley Pilaf with Mushrooms, and Rice and Cauliflower Pilaf.

Browse all of our Freekeh recipes and all of our Pilafs. Our Middle Eastern dishes are here. Or browse our Late Spring collection of recipes.

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Saffron Mograbieh Pilaf with Broad Beans | Israeli Couscous Pilaf with Broad Beans

Mograbieh is a large couscous/pasta in the shape of pearls. Similar products are known by various names – Ptitim, Israeli Couscous, Jerusalem Couscous, Pearl Couscous, Ben-Gurion rice, Maftoul, Lebanese Couscous, Giant Couscous, and more. It is also similar to the Kabyle Abazine and the Sardinian Fregula.

Although they can be used interchangeably, technically speaking, there are some differences between the products of different countries. Some are an extruded pasta, similar to Italian orzo, made with semolina and flour which is toasted to dry. This one has a nuttier flavour than normal couscous. One type is Ptitim, or Israeli Couscous, is a type of toasted pasta and shaped either like rice-grains or little balls and was developed in Israel in the 1950s when rice was scarce.

Others, like Mograbieh (Lebanese) and Maftoul (Palestinian), are rolled and dried large couscous pearls about the size of tapioca pearls, and when cooked they have a chewy buttery flavour and are larger than Israeli Couscous. These starchy pasta balls swell and become soft and chewy when cooked and are fantastic at absorbing the flavours of the dish they are cooked in.

Sadly, the globalisation of food has meant that differences get smoothed over, and names get mixed, or all the variations merge into one product. Locally, for a long time I was only able to find the extruded pasta type, but more recently a local Afghan shop stocks the best Mograbieh. The pics show the extruded type – I will update when I make this dish again.

For this recipe, a celebration of Spring, use any of these types, cook it with saffron and add broad beans and chilli. You can even use Italian orzo pasta or risoni if you wish.

Are you perhaps after Broad Bean recipes? Try French Braised Lettuce, Peas and Broad Beans, Fava Bean Puree with Dill, Glorious Five Bean Salad, and Tawa Broad Beans.

Also try our Mograbieh and Artichoke Pilaf, and Freekeh Pilaf with Herbs and Yoghurt Dressing.

You might like to browse our Middle Eastern recipes, our Israeli recipes and our Orzo recipes. Enjoy all of our Late Spring recipes here.

Continue reading “Saffron Mograbieh Pilaf with Broad Beans | Israeli Couscous Pilaf with Broad Beans”

Barley Pilaf with Mushrooms

An easy, nutritious and warming dish.

A simple barley pilaf with mushrooms is a nutritious and warming accompaniment to a meal. Dark and hearty, it is definitely a winter dish. A sweet note is added with the sultanas and texture with the walnuts. Easy to cook, it can be made beforehand and gently warmed when you need it. It also makes a great breakfast dish if, like me, you prefer to explore savoury breakfast items rather than sweet options.

Are you after similar recipes? Try Charred Okra with Spiced Tomato Barley, Barley and Root Vegetable Soup, Barley and Red Kidney Beans, and Parsley and Barley Salad with Feta.

You  might like to browse all of our Barley Recipes here, and other Mushroom Recipes. Our easy Mid Winter Warmers are here.

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Carrot Rice | Carrot Pilau

Mixed rice dishes are easy to prepare and quickly become family favourites. They are great lunch or tiffin dishes, and served with a raita/pachadi and a simple salad to make a delicious light meal.

Carrots have an inherent sweetness and it is emphasised when you sauté them in ghee. This recipe compliments that sweetness with the bite of the green chilli, the warmth of sweet spices like cardamom, cloves and cinnamon, and the crunch of onions and nuts. You will really enjoy it.

If you are looking for similar Rice recipes, try Vegetable Pulao from the Beaches of Goa, Sri Lankan Ghee Rice, Spicy Eggplant Rice, Sri Lankan Yellow Rice with Yoghurt, Cumquats Rice, Rice and Cauliflower Pilaf, Lemon Rice, and Pepper Cumin Rice. Barley Pilaf is pretty good too.

Are you looking for Carrot recipes? You will like this Green Bean and Carrot Poriyal, Carrot Poriyal with Coconut Lentil Crumble, Carrot Thoran, and Carrot Sambal.

You can browse all of our Rice dishes here, and find all of our Carrot recipes here. Take some time and explore all of our Indian recipes. Or browse our Early Summer recipes.

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Subudana Kitchari with Potatoes and Peanuts | Sago Khichuri | Sago Pilaf

Remember Kurma? If you are of a certain age, and Australian, you will recall his TV shows of vegetarian Indian cooking. He really was the first to bring Indian food to Australians in a way that made it easily comprehensible and easy to cook. He was a stickler for detail, and for this I love him. So many recipes out of India these days are low in detail, low in precision, and that allows others to take liberties with Indian recipes. Soon, Indian food is no longer Indian food, but some mish mash of regional differences and non-Indian preferences.

One small example. I am constantly frustrated by recipes that say “1 cup rice”. Which rice? Basmati? Short grained? Long grained? Red or white? A South Indian variety? or a North Indian Variety? And it can make a huge difference to the end result. Do you need rice that is harder? Soft? Sticks together? Separates beautifully? Kurma would never leave one in doubt.

We don’t use rice in this recipe, even though it is a kitchari. This recipe from Kurma uses sago. But as usual, Kurma is precise in all details.

Are you interested in other Sago recipes? Try Sago Payasam, and Sago Coconut Payasam.

We have quite a number of Kitchari recipes, for example Goan Bisibelebath, Maharashtrian Kitchari with Masoor SproutsGujarati Kitchari, Bengali Kitchari and Moraiya Kitchari with Yoghurt.

Feel free to browse all Sago recipes, and all of our Kitchari Recipes. Browse our Indian recipes here and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to explore our Late Summer recipes.

Continue reading “Subudana Kitchari with Potatoes and Peanuts | Sago Khichuri | Sago Pilaf”

Spicy Eggplant Rice | Baigan Pulau

Rice with buttery soft eggplant

Is it the golden brown cashews or the butter soft spears of eggplant that make this a succulent rice dish? The eggplants are first marinated in turmeric and salt to maximise the flavours, before being sauteed with spices and then cooked with the rice. The sesame-heavy spice mix is freshly made – dry roasted and then ground – and adds a nuttiness to the basmati rice.

This is a great main dish rice for lunch or dinner. It is a fiddly dish, with more work than we normally include in recipes. But the result is worth the extra effort. Serve with yoghurt or raita/pachadi, a simple spiced vegetable, a simple broth and perhaps some roti.

If you are looking for similar recipes, do try Red Pepper Rice Salad, Spicy Eggplant Rice, Rice and Cauliflower Pilaf, Lemon Rice, and Pepper Cumin Rice. Barley Pilaf is pretty good too.

Browse all of our Rice Recipes, and our Yamuna Devi recipes. Explore all of our Indian recipes too. Or be inspired by our Late Autumn dishes.

Continue reading “Spicy Eggplant Rice | Baigan Pulau”

Rice and Cauliflower Pilaf

Buttery soft cauliflower with rice

The cauliflower is butter soft, delicately seasoned with a yoghurt and spice mixture, nestled into a beautiful rice dish. You will be amazed at this rice-cauliflower combination from Yamanu Devi.

The cauliflower is stir-fried until slightly golden before a yoghurt-coconut-spice mixture is folded in. Then the cauliflower is steamed to tenderness with spiced rice. A perfect dish for entertaining too.

Similar recipes include Vegetable Pulao from the Beaches of Goa, Crispy Cauliflower with Capers, Crispy Cauliflower with Tahini Dressing, Roasted Cauliflower and Grape Salad, and Slow Cooked Cauliflower with Lime and Spices.

Please browse our other Pilaf recipes, Cauliflower recipes, and Rice recipes. Our Indian recipes are here and Indian Essentials here. Or just enjoy our easy Winter recipes.

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Savoury Rice and Green Pea Pilaf | Masala Hari Matar Pulao | Punjabi

An eye-catching and mouth-watering dish.

Green Pea Pilaf is a great 1-pot meal or the basis of a larger meal, and, of course, it is delicious. It is great lunch food and also good comfort food for sensitive times, you know what I mean. Eye-catching, it is perfect for a buffet, or a light dinner.

Rich in texture and flavour, this dish is common in Punjabi homes and has lots of variations. The recipe comes from Yamuta Devi, just one of her many dishes that always turn out perfectly. As usual, the combination of ingredients is so well balanced. She is the master of subtlety.

Are you after other Pulao dishes? Try Rice and Cauliflower Pilaf, Spicy Eggplant Rice, and Sago Pulao. And don’t forget the wealth of South Indian Mixed Rice dishes.

What about other Pea dishes? Try Carrots and Green Peas with Green Coriander, Stuffed Toasties with Potatoes and Peas, and Tawa Peas.

Want more? Please browse all of our rice dishes here, and all of our pilaf dishes. Or try all of our Pea Recipes here. There is also a range of Punjabi dishes for you to explore. Or simply take some time to check out our easy Early Winter dishes.

Continue reading “Savoury Rice and Green Pea Pilaf | Masala Hari Matar Pulao | Punjabi”