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Vegetable Pulao
Pulao or pulav is a savoy rice dish in which rice is cooked with meat or vegetables and flavored with aromatic spices. Vegetable pulao is a beautiful and delicious rice preparation, made with white basmati rice, whole garam masala, and fresh or frozen vegetables. Flavor and aroma of basmati rice, lightly spiced with whole garam masala, is heavenly.

Vegetables and rice in vegetable pulao make it a complete dish and can be eaten by itself. Side dishes such as raita (made with yogurt and finely chopped cumcumber, tomatoes, and boiled potatoes), pickles, and roasted poppadum (Indian lentil crackers) complement this dish.

Happy Cooking!
Serves 4
White Basmati Rice
1 cup (8 oz cup)
Cumin Seeds
1/4 teaspoon
Store Bought Frozen Mixed Vegetables (Peas, Carrots, Beans, and Corns)
1 pound
Olive Oil
1 tablespoon
1 1/4 to 3 cups (Depending on the cooking method)
Whole Garam Masala
1 black cardamom, 3 green cardamom, 5 cloves, 1 cinnamon stick (3 inches long)
1/2 Small, cut thin, lengthwise
Unsalted Butter
1 inch cube
1 1/4 teaspoons or according to taste
Step 1
Thoroughly rinse the rice 3 to 4 times, until water is clear. Rinsing removes extra starch sticking to the rice grains. Drain water and keep the rice aside.
Step 2
Heat the olive oil (or another cooking oil of your choice) in a pan on medium-high heat. If you are using a pressure cooker for cooking vegetable pulao then heat the oil in pressure cooker pan. Add the cumin seeds and whole garam masala to the hot oil.
Step 3
When the cumin seeds start to crackle and the whole garam masala starts to sizzle, add the chopped onions. Fry the onions on medium-high heat until they are golden-brown and slightly crisp. Frying at high temperature will yield crispy onions, which provide a nice texture to pulao.
Step 4
Now, add the frozen mixed vegetables and stir to coat the vegetables with oil. The vegetables will be cooked with rice; therefore, do not cook them at this stage.

You can replace store bought frozen vegetables with 3 to 4 varieties of fresh vegetables of your choice, about 1/4 cup (8 oz cup size) each. Make sure to coarsely cut the vegetables as they will be cooked with rice. Finely chopped vegetables become mushy when cooked with rice. Also, choose vegetables that can maintain texture when cooked with rice such as corn, peas, beans, and carrots.
Step 5
Add the rice and mix well. Now it is time to cook the fried ingredients with water.

For cooking rice, the standard rice to water ratio is 1:2, however, this ratio vary with cooking methods. Rice can be cooked in a pan, pressure cooker, rice cooker, or microwave, and each appliance requires different quantity of water and takes different time to cook.
  • To cook 1 cup white basmati rice in a pan, add 2 cups of water (2 times the rice). Once the water comes to a boil on high heat, lower the heat and tightly cover the pan. It will take about 15 minutes to cook on low heat.

  • To cook 1 cup white basmati rice in a pressure cooker, add 1 and 1/4 cups of water (just 1/4 cup more water than rice). The rice is cooked on 3 whistles on high heat. Remove the cooker from stove, and let the pressure inside the cooker release by itself before opening the lid. This is the fastest and my favorite method of cooking vegetable pulao.

  • To cook 1 cup white basmati rice in a rice cooker, add 2 cups of water (2 times the rice). It takes about 30 minutes to cook.

  • For cooking in microwave, follow your microwave specific instructions. Usually, to cook 1 cup white basmati rice, 3 cups of water (3 times the rice) is needed. It takes about 10 minutes to cook on high with rice uncovered and 15 minutes on medium/medium-low with rice uncovered.
In addition to the above cooking methods based on appliances, also make sure to follow the cooking instruction on the rice packaging to get the best flavor and texture.
Step 6
If cooking in a rice cooker or microwave, transfer the fried ingredients from the pan to a rice cooker or microwavable container before adding water.

Add water to the fried ingredients according to the appliance or brand of rice you are using. Now, add the salt and gently mix well. Add the butter cube in the end. Butter will slowly mix with rest of the ingredients while cooking. The vegetables in the pulao will cook nicely with rice.

The cooking time will depend of the appliance and brand of rice you are using.
Step 7
Once your vegetable pulao is cooked, immediately transfer it to a wide rice serving tray to avoid rice from sticking with each other. Enjoy the vegetable pulao with sides of your choice like yogurt, raita, pickle, or roasted papdum.

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