This is one of the dishes I learned to make during my cake baking session with Prethi. Basmati rice is something new for me. It’s more delicate grain that my usual long grain rice and has a lower glycemic index, 67 vs. 89. Cooked this way, it gets a wonderful dash of color and spice and was the perfect base for dal fry – our next recipe.
2 cups basmati rice
1 heaping tablespoon clarified butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 bay leaves
4 whole cloves
3 cardamon pods, split open
1 cinnamon stick, shredded (the cinnamon was thinner than what I usually find in the US)
1 cup diced onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic*
1 teaspoon minced ginger*
1 cup frozen peas
2 teaspoons salt
3 cups water
* Most Indian dishes involve minced garlic and ginger; Prethi uses them everyday. So she processes equal parts in small food processor, enough for several days, and refrigerates in a covered container.
- Add rice to a bowl and cover with a couple inches of water. Let it soak for 30 minutes before beginning to cook; this will remove some of the starch and is supposed to keep the grains of rice from breaking during cooking
- Add clarified butter and oil to a large saucepan (one with a lid) on medium high heat
- Add bay leaves, cloves, cardamon, and cinnamon, cook for 2 minutes
- Add onion, cook 3 minutes, stirring
- Add garlic and ginger, cook 2 minutes, continuing to stir
- Drain the rice, add to the saucepan with the peas, salt, and water
- Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 12 – 14 minutes, until you see holes from the columns of steam.
- Remove from heat, stir, cover, and let sit for 5 more minutes
Note: you can make this vegetable pulao by using mixed veg rather than peas.