Rice Pulao to Rice pilaf – Journey from Indian to Middle Eastern Food
In this hot summer, my brother-in-law while gulping down chilled water said it is too hot here, but there it is AC, AC everywhere. My eight year old nephew trotted around his father elated that he is starting tomorrow for Middle East with his dad. His mom would be ready to welcome him there with Rice pilaf, his favourite dish.
There are hundreds of pilafs and pilafs are very popular in the Middle East. It comes with different ingredients, flavors, accompaniments and side dishes.
I always find it similar to our home made pulaos, you can add any kind of vegetables you want. If you are a non-vegetarian add chicken broth. I make chicken pulao by cooking chicken first and then adding rice to it. The entire mixture is put in a pressure cooker and cooked according to the quantity and processes you follow choose to follow.
Pulao or Pilaf contains vegetables, lentils, or chicken etc and makes a complete meal. In Northern parts of India sometimes people add lentils or kidney beans/rajmas which make it highly nutritious.
When I am in a hurry, I add some ghee into the pre-heated pressure cooker and then add onions, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, garlic, cloves and cardamom and red chillies. After sautéing it I add vegetables such as carrots, French beans, capsicum, potatoes, cauliflower and spring onions. Then when the vegetable starts releasing oil, I add rice (preferably good quality ones) which was already soaked not more than 15-20 mins. After adding rice I add water to it and place the lid on the cooker and set it to medium flame. After one whistle the cooker is placed in a cool place to cool down. After 10 minutes I serve it hot with yogurt mixed with red chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and seasalt. But this is my kind of preparation.
If you want it in Middle Eastern style which is very delicious, fill your skillet with water and bring it to a boil. Then add olive oil and saffron followed by basmati rice. Cook till the water evaporates and the rice is done.
Fry almonds and raisins and cumin seeds in olive oil and add the mixture to the rice. This is good for both children and adults.