My Mother's Pulao

Photo by: indianfoodrocks

by indianfoodrocks

about 1 year ago

My mother's pulao is a simple yet flavorful rice with vegetables that can be served with plain yogurt or a raita. It also goes well with spicy curries as it complements the spices, instead of jostling for a place in the limelight.

Serves 6-8

  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick (approx 2" in length)
  • 2 serrano peppers, halved along their length
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 cups mixed vegetables (frozen is fine)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3-4 sprigs cilantro, chopped for garnish
  1. Wash rice in several changes of water. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large wide-mouth saucepan. When it shimmers, add cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle.
  3. Add cloves, cardamoms, peppercorns, cinnamon stick and serrano peppers. Turn down the heat if it looks like the cumin seeds are darkening quickly. The cumin seeds should not blacken (burn).
  4. Add sliced onion and sauté on medium-high heat until soft. About 4-5 minutes.
  5. Add grated ginger and stir-fry for a few minutes.
  6. Add washed rice and mix with other ingredients in saucepan until the rice is well-coated with the seasoned oil. Add mixed vegetables. If using frozen vegetables, there is no need to thaw them.
  7. Add 4 cups of water, lime juice and salt. Mix well. Avoid stirring after this point. Turn the heat to high and bring to a rolling boil. Allow the pulao to cook in this boiling water until the water level drops to just below the level of the rice. About 10-15 minutes.
  8. Cover the saucepan tightly and turn the heat down to medium-low. Cook for another 15-20 minutes until all the water has been absorbed and the rice is cooked. (The cooking time depends on the age of the rice as well as your altitude.)
  9. Toss with a fork, taking care not to break the rice grains. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with a raita or plain yogurt. Or with a curry.

Nutrition Info:


  • 243 calories
  • 8g total fat
  • 1g saturated fat
  • 0mg cholesterol
  • 591mg sodium
  • 40g carbohydrate (1g dietary fiber, 1g sugar)
  • 4g protein
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