Every now and then, I get the urge to cook something in less than 30 minutes. My criteria like every working person on a harried weekday is simple. The recipe should be easy, use pantry staples and be tasty enough to satisfy my stomach and ego.
One pot meals are legend in my house. From dying mushrooms to long forgotten links of sausage, I have added everything and lived to tell the tale. Those long forgotten boxes of readymade masalas which get ‘lost’ at the dark ends of the cupboard also suddenly find purpose.
The template is simple enough for me to have typed it on whatsapp when I posted a picture on instagram stories and a friend asked for the recipe. So here goes.
Pulav (serves 2 or 3)
1 1/4 Basmati rice, washed and soaked for 15 minutes. If you dont have this, sona masuri works just as well.
1 large onion, sliced
2 green chillies slit
1 to 11/2 cups assorted vegetables (carrots, beans, potato, mushroom, peas, bell peppers work well) Try and use firm vegetables, cauliflower etc may turn to a mush
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chilli powder (omit if you dont like spice)
1 tablespoon pav bhaji/ tandoori or any other mixed masala, if you dont have this, 1/2 teaspoon garam masala will work
2 tablespoons oil
whole garam masala – 1 bay leaf, 1 star anise, 2 green cardamom, 2 cloves, 1 inch piece cinnamon (add what you have on hand)
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1/2 cup fresh coriander + mint leaves
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste or grated fresh ginger
2 cups water (measure with the same cup the rice was measured)
In a medium pressure cooker, on medium heat, add the oil and allow to heat up.
Add the whole cumin seeds and crackle, next add the whole garam masala and saute for a minute. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell disappears, about 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add the onions and green chillies and fry till the onions are beginning to turn brown. Now add the vegetables, dry masalas except salt and saute for 2 minutes.
Add the rice and water, salt and mix gently, so as to not break the grains of rice. Adjust any of the spices if needed. Cover the pressure cooker and allow to cook until the cooker hisses (whistles) 2 times. Turn off the heat and allow the pressure to release.
Open the cooker and fluff the rice with a fork gently. Top with chopped fresh coriander and mint and serve hot with yogurt and papad.