The weather is getting cold here and driving back from work yesterday,I’m dreaming of hot food that would just appear with the wave of a magic wand when I reach home.Its already dark at 4 pm and I join the millions driving back home dreaming of warm food while serpenting through the endless traffic….my fingers are numb with the cold and so is my mind for most of the journey,”the to do list” running on auto-pilot in my mind….then I spot one dedicated soul jogging with flourescent colors for a t-shirt,in this freezing cold.Note to self-the power of dedication!Mine being a hot spicy meal:)Do the grocery, pick up kid from school…the list goes on,somewhere in between a spark flies & the word “one pot meal” gets into my mind…suddenly the traffic seems to disappear,Christmas lights seem to appear & the distance to home seems a few minutes away…..such is the power of hallucinating about food on a cold winter night.I’m home with all the to do lists taken care of & all set to cook something warm & spicy…open the refrigerator,the frozen chicken in the freezer is as numb as me,so negate the idea,decide to go veggie instead,so here is an equally satisfying quick fix dinner & did I say,”One pot meal” too.
Vegetable Pulao is the dream-child of the South Indian Brahmin community who breathe vegetarian,so here is an authentic one, from one such friend whose recipe warmed my heart & home last night.
Basmathi rice- 2 cups
Vegetables- 2 cups(carrots, beans, corn,potatoes,or anything else you can think of)
Onions- 1/2 ( sliced fine)
Oil- 4 tbsp
Water- 4-5 cups
Salt- to taste
For grinding to a fine paste:
Onions- 1/2 (sliced fine)
Mint leaves- a bunch
Fennel seeds- 2 tsp
Cilantro/Coriander leaves- a bunch
Bay leaves- 1-2
Mustard seeds- – 1 tsp
1.Wash & drain the rice & set it aside for 10 minutes.
2.Heat oil in a thick bottomed vessel/pot and do the seasoning with bay leaves & mustard seeds.When they splutter add the sliced onions & saute till they turn light brown.
3.Now add the finely ground paste into the above & stir it till the raw smell disappears.To this add the vegetables & saute for a few minutes.
4.Now add the well drained rice to the above & stir it for a few minutes, at this point you may add a spoon or two of oil,if you want the rice to not stick to each other.
5.Add the water & salt to the above& let it cook .If using a pressure cooker wait for the sound of 3 whistles or in a vessel/pot wait for the water to completely evaporate & check to see if the rice is cooked.
6.Your dinner is ready in 20 minutes, warm & spicy & the aroma fills the air & your senses on a cold winter night.Enjoy.