In Indian cuisine, Pulao (also spelt as Pulav) is a dish made with rice and vegetables or meat. Typically, paneer pulao is an easy rice dish that uses paneer and peas. I decided to use some veggies instead of just peas. You can let your imagination decide as to what kind of pulao you want to try. Here's my recipe...
1 1/2 cups basmati rice
1 1/2 cups mixed vegetables, fresh or frozen (peas, carrots, beans, corn, lima beans)
1 cup paneer (indian cottage cheese), cut into small cubes
1 1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
4-5 green chillies, cut each lengthwise into 4 pieces
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 large onion, cut lengthwise into thin slices
1 large tomato, finely chopped
2 tsp chilli powder (adjust according to taste)
1 1/2 tbsp lime juice (adjust according to taste)
4-5 bay leaves
1-2 cinnamon sticks (small pieces)
Salt, to taste
3 tbsp oil
1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
1 1/2 cup plain yogurt (whisked) or buttermilk + 1 1/4 cup water (yields 2 3/4 cups)
Rinse and soak the basmati rice for 20-25 minutes.
In a pan, shallow fry the paneer cubes using some cooking spray until they turn slightly golden brown.
In a deep pan or stockpot, heat oil & ghee, add the cinnamon sticks, cloves and bay leaves. Add the onions and green chillies and fry until the onions are slightly brown. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes until it turns pulpy. Add the ginger-garlic paste and chilli powder. Cook until the raw smell fades away.
Now, add the mixed vegetables (if you feel that its too much veggies, you can reduce the quantity... but it never hurts to have more veggies!!!) and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the paneer and soaked rice. Mix well with the vegetables and spices and fry the rice for 3 minutes or so. Add the yogurt and water to rice and salt to taste. When the liquid starts to boil, add chopped cilantro and stir well. Close the lid and cook on medium flame for 15-20 minutes until the rice is cooked (do not stir in between).
Squeeze the lemon juice on the rice and slightly mix it. Serve with raitha.
Makes 4-5 servings.