Blogging Marathon# 27: Week 4/ Day 1
Theme: Miscellaneous – Tips to cook Pulao/ Pilaf in Pressure Cooker
Dish: Bagara Rice
We are in the last week of our Blogging Marathon# 27 and the theme for this week is ‘miscellaneous” and ‘arts & crafts’. I’ve to say that I’m a little crafty. No, I guess I have to say I was crafty more than 10 years ago and now I can’t even think of anything fancy for my kindergartner’s projects.
When Valli announced that the theme for the last week is arts & crafts, I started watching a Telugu cooking show that had a segment on food carvings. I made note of quite a few and started trying out my crafting skills. After seeing my creations — Tomato tulips/ Strawberry flowers & Cucumber Chinese fan, my husband decided to start cooking himself because of the amount of time and energy I was spending on trying to precisely cut the fruit/ veggie to get the right shape. Oh, mind you none of what I made actually looked what they were supposed to look like and it seemed waste of resources to the husband. After hacking away a week’s worth of tomatoes for one trial, I had to agree with him and accept my failure.
So for the next few days, I’m going to post some quick and easy rice recipes. Also I’m planning to post what I learnt in my Wilton Cake Decorating course later on in the week.
Today, I have a very simple and tasty rice dish. It is spiced with whole garam masala (spices), mint and cilantro. I cooked it in the pressure cooker. Recently couple of my blogging buddies have asked me how my pressure cooked pilaf/ pulao’s come out so fluffy. There was a time when my pressure cooked pilafs were either mushy, burnt at the bottom or uncooked. So after some experiments, I think finally I’ve started to make some decent rice dishes in the cooker.
Here are some tips:
Soak rice for at least 10 minutes, the more the better.
When adding water to rice in the pressure cooker, always err on adding less than more. It might look like water is less and we get the urge to add more, stop yourself, add just the required quantity and no more.
I use 1:1¼ ratio of rice:water for basmati rice. For sona masoori I use 1:1½ to 1¾ rice:water.
- 1 cup Basmati rice - washed, soaked for at least 10 minutes
- 1 Onion - medium, thinly sliced
- ½ cup Mint leaves - lightly packed, finely chopped
- ½ cup Cilantro leaves - lightly packed, finely chopped
- ½ tsp Ginger Garlic + paste
- 2 chilies Green - slit
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 Cinnamon " stick
- 3 Cloves
- 3 pods Cardamom
- 1 tsp Jeera Shah
- to taste Salt
- Heat 2tsp oil in a pressure cooker, add the spices (from bay leaf to shah jeera) and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Next add the onions and cook on medium flame until the edges start to brown. This has to be done low and slow to get the maximum flavor from the onions.
- Add ginger+garlic paste and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in the chopped herbs and cook for another minute.
- Drain the water from the rice and reserve the water. Add the rice to the pressure cooker and gently stir to get all the grains coated with the spice mixture, cook for about a minute.
- Add the reserved water, salt and cook for 1 whistle. After 1 whistle, reduce the flame to low and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove from flame and let the pressure release naturally. Fluff the rice ans serve with your favorite side dish.