Tuesday, January 22, 2013

South Indian Veg Pulao with Chicken

South Indian Pulao is actually a spicy kind of biryani with coconut as essential ingredient in the masala. Unlike dum biryani, vegetables are cooked in a spicy green masala paste and cooked rice is mixed in finally.

My memory dates back to 1976 when I first visited Madras(Chennai) and tasted this pulao at a friend's sister's house. She made excellent vegetable pulao and I had not  tasted such a wonderful pulao before. What we got in restaurants those days was Mangalorean style pulao with red masala and a seasoning of mustard seeds and curry leaves, that too made with left over cooked rice. At home, my mother never prepared any garam masala based dishes then.

We have added boneless chicken pieces along with the vegetables and avoided potato, since I don't like the taste of potato in pulao/biryani. Adding chicken is also a clever way of making your kids eat vegetables in the food! Vegetarians may add mushrooms as well.

We tried it with mint onion pachadi(Raita) made with coconut based chutney ground along with mint leaves, coriander leaves, ginger and green chillies to a fine paste and mixed with fresh thick curds, salt to taste and sliced onions soaked in it. 

Ingredients:
Basmati/Jeera rice - 2 cups washed and soaked for 15 mins
Carrots - 2, cut into small wedges
Boneless Chicken pieces/Potato peeled and cut into 1/2" fingers - 1/2 cup
French beans - 6 diagonally cut into 1" pieces.
Green peas - 1/2 cup.
Cauliflower florets - 1/2 cup
Onion - 1 chopped.
Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste.
Cashew bits - A handful, optional
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Oil - 1 tbsp.
salt - To taste

Grind together:
Onions - 2
Green chillies - 5
Grated Coconut - 1/2 cup
Ginger - 1" piece
Garlic - 4-6 cloves
Coriander leaves - A Handful
Mint leaves - A sprig

Method:
In a small sauce pan, boil 2 cups of water with salt.
When boiling, cook the vegetables separately one by one, drain and set aside.
Beans take 1 1/2 mins, potatoes more, all the others about a min.
Save the cooked vegetable broth.
Cook the rice, using 2 cups water + the broth.
In a thick bottomed vessel, fry the cashews in 1 tbsp of ghee till golden. Remove and keep aside.
Add the onions and then add 1 tbsp of oil. When translucent, add the peas.
After 1 min, add the ground paste, 1/2 tsp garam masala and fry until oil leaves the sides.
If you are adding chicken, add the pieces now and fry till chicken is tender.
Add cooked rice, cooked vegetables, fried cashew bits, rest of the ghee, garam masala and salt (You can add red chilli powder, if you like it hot) and mix well.
Cook just for 1 min on low fire. 
Serve hot with lemon wedges and raita of your choice.

3 comments:

Lata Malya Kini said...

Wow - an authentic recipe!! Love the use of coconut in the masala. Looking forward to trying it out soon. Thnx Raj

Shilpa Sunil Rao said...

Dear Raaj Maam,

Another of your awesome recipe must say!! Will try today itself and give you the feedback.

Thanks for such a lovely treat.

Rajanikanth Shenoy, Kudpi said...

Thanks Lata and Shilpa. I am sure you will like it.

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