Friday, March 4, 2016

Recipe of the month: Baby Corn and Capsicum Pulao

There is absolutely no history to this dish so I'm not going to launch into elaborate storytelling. I made it, we liked it and BAM! It's on the blog!

Actually, wait....there is a little more. I have been wanting to feature another rice recipe because there aren't too many of them on the blog. The South-Indian in me feels guilty about this fact (I feel I owe some kind of allegiance to rice) and so attempts are made in that direction every now and then.

Well, for the record, this isn't a South-Indian style of rice preparation (note to self: need to feature more of those). I had some baby corn languishing in the fridge for almost a week and thought I'd put them to use in a rice dish. I usually pair baby corn with capsicum/bell peppers in Indian-style curries so I thought why not do the same in a pulao. This is a one-pot meal that comes together easily in under an hour with commonly available ingredients. It is hearty, delicious and worth your time. It can be a colorful addition to your child's lunch box too. 

That's it from me today. Check out the recipe here,

Baby Corn and Capsicum Pulao 

Preparation time: 30 mins ; Cooking time: 25 mins 
Total time:~ 1 hour
Recipe category: Main Course/North Indian
Recipe level: Easy
Recipe source: Adapted from here
Serves: 4-5

Ingredients :
(Measuring cup used : 1 cup = 240 ml)

2 cups white basmati rice 
20 baby corns, sliced vertically and then cut in half
1 medium-sized capsicum/bell pepper (any color), sliced lengthwise
2 medium red onions, finely chopped 
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 1-inch sticks cinnamon 
1 medium indian bay leaf 
4 green cardamoms 
4 cloves 
1 star anise, Optional
1/2 tsp turmeric powder 
1/2 tsp red chilli powder 
1 tsp coriander powder 
3 cups water + 1/2 cup whole milk, for cooking the rice
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt as required (~ 3 tsp)
Fresh coriander leaves, chopped - for garnish

For the ground paste:
2 medium ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 small bunch coriander leaves
3-4 green chillies (adjust according to spice level), cut in half
1-inch piece ginger 
6 cloves of garlic 

Method:

1. Rinse the rice a couple of times under water and then soak in ample water for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, drain the rice and keep aside.


2. When the rice is soaking, prepare this ground paste. Add the roughly chopped tomatoes, coriander leaves, green chilies, ginger and garlic cloves in a small blender/chutney grinder jar. Without adding water, grind to a chutney like consistency. Keep aside.



3. Heat the oil in a deep-bottomed vessel. Add the cumin seeds and mentioned whole garam masala and saute till they crackle.
Note that I crushed the cardamom pods and cloves using a mortar and pestle before adding to the oil because I don't like getting bits of those when I am eating. 


4. Next add the finely chopped onion and saute the onions till they become translucent.


5. Then add the ground paste. Stir and saute for 1 to 2 minutes on a low flame.


6. Next add the spice powders (turmeric powder, red chilli powder and coriander powder) and mix very well.


7. Add the sliced red capsicum/bell peppers and give it a good stir.


8. Add sliced baby corn. Stir and then add the drained basmati rice and stir on low flame for 1-2 minutes until the rice is coated with the masala.



9. Add 3 cups water and 1/2 cup milk. Add salt & sugar. Stir very well.


10. Cook partially covered on medium-low heat till all the moisture is absorbed. Do NOT stir the rice at any point of time while it is cooking. Once done, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Give the rice a gentle mix. Remove the bay leaf and garnish with chopped fresh coriander.


11. Serve the Baby Corn Capsicum Pulao with any raita of your choice and papad. 


Notes:
  • You can make this rice in a pressure cooker as well. Start to fry all the ingredients in the pressure cooker, add the rice and required quantity of water and cook for the number of whistles that you deem appropriate (I don't normally use a pressure cooker to make one-pot mixed rice so I can't advise)
  • If you want more color, use one quarter of a large red, green & yellow capsicum in this recipe
  • The texture of the capsicum isn't crunchy in this dish since they are cooked along with the rice in water. If you prefer a crunchy texture then I suggest you saute the capsicum separately in a little oil until just crisp and mix it at the end with the rice. A little more work but if that's how you like it...
  • You can add in fresh/frozen peas or shallow-fried cubes of paneer for different variations
  • You can add in fried cashews or toasted almond slivers if desired
  • The quantity of salt I have given is just a reference and it may not work for you if the kind of salt and measuring spoon that you use differs from mine. Please add according to your taste. 


Other rice (main course) recipes on the blog,

North-Indian rice preparations:
Egg Biriyani
Methi Pulao
Vegetable Pulao

South-Indian rice preparations:
Dill Pulao
Spinach Masala Pongal

International rice preparations:
Mexican Fried Rice
Vegetarian Nasi Goreng


Cheers,


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