May 21, 2007

What's in a name? Pulao no more...

What's in a name? To answer this question, I have to tell you a story. About a couple of weeks ago, I read a recipe in Vegetarian Times that intrigued me. It was called Indian Chickpea Rice casserole. With chickpeas as well as cashews, currants and vegetables, it sounded a delicious healthy meal, sort of a mix between a Qabuli and a Kashmiri Pulao.

I wanted to try it immediately. So I looked around in the pantry, substituted chickpeas with kidney beans (I always have beans in the pantry), added a couple more vegetables and spices and voila, I had my own version of Pulao. Oh yes, no oven for this one, it was made on the stove.

Then, the dilemma followed, the naming process - what to call it. I was going to call it "Special Pulao" and send it to Nupur's A-Z of Indian vegetables. The week passed by. I had every intention of posting it last week with an updated title "Quick Special Pulao" and send it to Nupur's event again, but other priorities came in the way. Now I have two options. I can either call it "Really Quick Special Pulao" for Nupur's event (before it's too late) or leave it as Indian Pulao with Beans - Mandira's way ;)

2 tspoon oil
1 tspoon mustard seeds
1 tspoon cumin seeds
1 cardamom
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tspoon coriander powder
1 dry red chilli
1 medium red onion - chopped
2 medium carrots - chopped
handful of mushrooms - chopped
1 green pepper - chopped
1 tbspoon fresh ginger -grated
1/3 cup raisins/currants
1/3 cup cashews (I used a mix of cashews and walnuts)
2 cups basmati rice (I use basmati rice)
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup red beans ( substitute it with chickpeas)
fresh cilantro - for garnish
salt to taste

Heat 1 tspoon oil in a wide bottomed pan and temper it with mustard seeds, chilli and cumin seeds. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, turn off heat, and transfer spice mixture to a small bowl and set it aside.

Heat the remaining oil in the pan and ass the cinnamon and the cardamom. Then add the ginger and stir it for a couple of minutes. Add onion and let it cook on medium heat till the onions turn translucent.

Then add the rest of the vegetables, spices, salt, raisins/currents, half of the nuts and mix it well.

Then add the broth, rice and the chickpeas and let it all cook on medium low heat for 30-40 min till all the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked.

Garnish with the rest of the nuts, and cilantro and serve warm. It goes well with raita (yogurt dip).

This is going to Abby's celebration of the vegetables at Eat the right stuff. Thanks for hosting!

Update: Now that this has an equally delicious name - Rajma Pulao (thanks Bee!), this is my entry for A-Z of Indian vegetables hosted by Nupur at One Hot Stove. Thank you.

I noticed that I have a growing list of Pulao recipes, so it's also part of the Pulao Series now.
Here are the others:
Vegetable Pulao
Kalam Polo - Persian Pulao


  1. 'R' for rajma pulao.

  2. good one Bee, and here I was trying to make it work with Really Quick Special Pulao... LOL

  3. looks good Mandira, i'll take beans anyday.

  4. Thanks Mandira,for visiting my blog:)
    You have a colourful blog with lovely recipes and good photographs.
    The Rajma Pulao is looking tasty and so is the banana cake. Nice blog :)

  5. It looks very tasty! I was intrigued when I saw the recipe in Veg Times too :)

  6. ISG - thanks, we try to include beans in our regular diet too.

    Thanks Archana. The banana cake and the rajma pulao was a big hit.

    Nupur - it should be in "it tastes better than it looks" category. I made a few changes to the recipe and it was so delicious! Sending it your way.

  7. wow!!!!that is really yummy one .I love beans a lot.Mandira the AFAM round up is done .You can chk out .

  8. hey this one dish meal sounds good! gotta' try it ;)
    i too save all the cuttings from newspaper & magazines for recipes!!!

  9. Hi Mandira...the pulav sound delicious. i too collect some recipes from the magazines.Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  10. I love one dish meals! Looks good, Mandira!

  11. Oh the things a foodie has to do. :)

    Do what makes you feel comfortable dear.

    I love one-pot dishes, especially those with rice and peas!

  12. Deepa - thanks, this was once quick meal. The AFAM round up looks great.

    Richa, Meena - I keep the recipes and then forget to use them :) this, I had to try right away. I'm going to try it with chickpeas next.

    Vani - thanks.

    Cynthia - Dinners like these make a ordinary weeknight special :)

  13. hi mandira,
    nice blog.
    ur pulao looks delicious.

  14. Dear Mandira,

    Good Pulao recipe! You are right - we need not get caught up with the name when the dish is so very delicious.... This recipe with the addition of mushrooms, raisins, cashews, and cilantro sounds great and looks appetizing. Will be trying it out soon.

  15. Prajusha - thanks.

    Pritya - it was delicious, and nutritious. Let me know how it turns out for you. :)


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