Friday, January 1, 2010

Matar Pullao Pea Pilaf

This recipe is for a delicious and mild tasting pea pullao. People of my husband's U.P. origin Pakistani background eat mild pullaos such as this for Sunday lunch with raita and pickles.

Rinse and soak 1.5 cups high quality basmati rice for ten minutes. In the meanwhile:

1.5 cups rinsed and soaked basmati rice
1.25 cups frozen peas
1 tbs ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp green chile paste (you can puree the ginger, garlic, and chiles together)
4-5 whole dried red chiles
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 pieces of cinnamon bark, about 1 inch each stick
7 cloves
2 big black cardamom (bari elaichi)
1 tsp lemon/lime juice
salt to taste, about 1 tbs
2 tbs oil
1 tbs ghee
3 cups water

Heat oil and ghee. On a high flame: Add in dried red chiles and stir them around for a moment. Toss in all of the whole spices. Once these sizzle, add in ginger, garlic, and green chile paste. Let the aromatic pastes turn golden (ensure it does not burn). Immediately pour in 2 cups of water. Remove the dried red chiles and set aside to use later as a garnish. Add in the lemon/lime juice and salt. Add in the soaked strained rice. Add in the remaining cup of water. Use this to ensure that all of the grains of soaked rice go into the pot during the transfer from their soaking vessel if you need to. Allow this to come to a boil. When it boils properly, add in the frozen peas. Allow it to boil again. Cover, then lower the heat to the lowest setting. Cook covered for 17-20 minutes. After this time, briefly open the pot to let excess steam escape, then recover and allow the rice to rest for 10 minutes with the flame off. After 10 minutes, fluff the rice gently with a fork.

Garnish with the fried dried red chiles, which people who want a little heat can eat along with the mild pullao. You should have a lightly seasoned, fluffy, emerald studded pea pullao. Serve with plain yoghurt or raita. Matar pullao can be eaten as a main dish, but also goes well with all types of curries.

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