Saturday, January 26, 2013

Mint Pilaf / Pudina Pulav

Pulav or Pilaf, as I understand, is a rice based dish that has its origins somewhere in Central / South Asia and is now fairly common from Turkey to India. The idea is to slowly cook the rice with vegetables and spices so that it absorbs the flavours of the vegetables and spices.

Ingredients (to serve 2)
  1. Basmati Rice -  1 cup
  2. Mint leaves, finely chopped - 2 tbsp
  3. Your choice of vegetables, diced - 1 cup (I used carrots, multi coloured peppers, green beans, cauliflower, and mushrooms)
  4. Green chillies, finely chopped - 2 
  5. Bay leaf - 1 small, optional
  6. Cashew nuts - 4-5
  7. Pine nuts - 1 tbsp, optional
  8. Vegan vegetable spread / Vegan margrine - 1 tbsp, optional
  9. Oil - 2 tablespoon
  10. Salt to taste
  1. Heat the oil in a deep bottomed pan / pressure cooker.
  2. Roast the cashews and pine nuts.
  3. When they turn golden brown, add the vegetables and roast them.
  4. Add mint leaves, bay leaves and rice and roast till, rice is slightly carmalised.
  5. Add salt and water and bring it to boil. 
  6. Cook under medium to low heat till the rice is cooked and the water has evaporated. 
  7. Add the vegan vegetable spread / margarine and fold the rice over and let it melt and mix evenly.
  8. Serve with a vegan raita.

Cucumber Carrot Raita

Raita is a yoghurt based "dip" that goes well with Biriyani, Fried Rice, Pulav / Pilaf. It is also delicious like a dessert.

  1. Unsweetened Soy Yoghurt -  1 cup
  2. Cucumber, finely chopped - 1/4 cup
  3. Carrots, grated  - 1/4 cup
  4. Tomatoes, finely diced  - 1/4 cup
  5. Coriander (Cilantro), chopped  - 1 tbsp
  6. Green Chillies, finely diced Or Black pepper - to taste 
  7. Salt to taste
  1. Mix together the vegetables, salt and yoghurt
  2. For best results let the raita settle for about 10 minutes and extract the flavours of the vegetables.