This simple pulao, matar pulao, features rice simmered in stock with bursts of flavour from the green peas.
My grandmother recorded this recipe as coming from Rajasthan, but this is almost a ubiquitous dish throughout India, particularly where there was a Mughal influence.
Given its simplicity it is an ideal accompaniment to many of the meat or poultry recipes in this book. It is not much harder to prepare than a simple rice dish and adds no more cooking time.
You could well replace the peas with almost any single vegetable of choice, provided you consider the size, texture and density of the vegetable. Carrot, diced into pea-sized pieces, works well. Starchy vegetable such as potato, do not. If you want to mix vegetables then you are heading down the path of a vegetable pulao, a more complex dish.
This is a simple family dish. Easily prepared and suitable for most meals.
Wash the rice in several changes of water to remove excess starch. Cover rice with cold water and soak for 30 minutes.
Heat a pan over medium heat, add the oil, and when hot, add the cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamom pods and the bay leaf. Fry for about one minute, until the spices start to sizzle.
Add the onion and fry, stirring frequently, for five minutes or until onion is turning golden brown.
Add tomatoes, turmeric and salt to pan, mix well and fry, stirring frequently, for five minutes. You want the tomatoes to soften, and see the oil separating from the masala.
Drain the rice, and add to the masala. Mix well, and fry, stirring continuously, for two minutes. The grains of rice will start to look translucent, and will be well coated with the masala and oil.
Add the greens peas and mix well.
Add the stock, and very gently mix. Bring to the boil, mix again, and then reduce heat to very low. Cover, and cook for ten minutes, or until all the stock has been absorbed into the rice.
Remove pan from the heat and gently fluff the pulao with a fork. Cover the pan with a tea-towel and replace the lid. Allow to stand for another five minutes
Transfer to serving dish by inverting the pot, and serve.
- 200g of uncooked rice is approximately one metric cup.