February 25, 2009

Methi Pulao


I got pretty excited when I spotted methi at the Indian store here in Paris and I picked up more than 1 bunch. So in some of these forthcoming food blogs, you are likely to see methi as the key ingredient. I tried this dish today because as always it’s a quick fix and while it’s cooking, I can do other stuff as well. This is my mom’s recipe but pretty similar to any ‘rice dish’ nonetheless.


1. Veggies: Other than the methi (which has got to be thoroughly washed and finely chopped), toss in whatever you can find in your kitchen. I’ve used carrot, peas, onions, tomatoes and potato as part of my whole at-least-5-veggies-per-portion-of-food theory. You can also use a piece of finely chopped ginger and/or 3-4 cloves of garlic minced.
2. Oil
3. Cooked rice – finely separated.
If you get sticky rice often, keep a bit less water and try cooking the rice to get separate grains. The texture of the dish defines it’s taste to a great extent.
3. Seasoning: Mustard seeds, jeera, salt-to-taste
4. For masala (adjust accordingly): Coriander seeds – 1 spoon, jeera – 1 spoon, Cloves –2, Cinnamon – 1” piece, peppercorn –5/6, red chili flakes – 1/8 spoon
5. Garnishing: Washed and chopped coriander leaves.


1. For the masala: Dry roast the ingredients mentioned above and grind into powder without adding any water. Set aside.
2. Cook the rice separately.
3. Meanwhile, add oil in a saucepan and toss in the ingredients in the following order- (a) Mustard-jeera seeds (b) Ginger/Garlic (c ) Onions (d) Tomatoes and (e) methi, carrots, potatoes and anything else.
4. Add a glass of water to the mixture, add salt and then close the lid, turn gas to simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes till the water has been absorbed and the veggies all look cooked.
5. Add 2 spoons of the masala and blend it in.
6. Allow to cool for a bit before adding rice to it, bit by bit while mixing it along with the “gravy”. Take care not to break the rice. The easiest way to do this is to add rice to the mixture in small quantities and stirring with slow and deliberate strokes to mix the rice with the vegetables.
There you go.. you’re all done to decorate it with coriander. Serve with raita/chips/both. What the methi does is to add a very subtle yet distinctive flavor to the whole dish making it a ready hit with anyone who eats it. So, what do you have to lose? Bon appetit!



Vidhya said...

stomach grumbling...yum

Jaya said...

Vids -> C'mon.. It's easy enuf to try. Give it a shot :)

Anonymous said...

Looks yummmmmmmmm... and the rice is soo separated for you. I am never able to do that.

Jaya said...

Anon -> Well, thanks. It's usually easy to get the rice all separate once you know how much water it takes to cook your rice to perfection. For the normal ponni/sona-masoori, it is 1 rice: 2 water. If this comes up sticky for you, you shd use a little less water to cook it. That should leave it all separated. Give it a shot! Good luck :)

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