Thursday, 4 December 2008

Peas and Paneer Pulao

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Two of my favorite ingredients, peas and paneer come together to make a new favorite - Peas and Paneer Pulao...! All diets and resolutions go in the dumps when I'm faced with some paneer and rice, I just can't help but have some. So of course, I only make this once in a while, but when I do, it is totally worth it!

Here's the really easy recipe for days that you just want to indulge, and you know, we ALL have days like those once in a while.

For this delectable Pulao, you will need:

2 cups of Basmati rice - soaked for an hour
1 cup - green peas, I used frozen peas.
1/2 cup Paneer -sauteed in some olive oil and chopped in cubes
1 green pepper - sliced lengthwise
1 cup any other veggies you like (I used some French beans and a few carrot slivers)
1 large red onion- sliced lengthwise

For the tempering:

1 tbsp - Olive Oil ( use what you normally have on hand, I cook a lot with Olive oil)
1 tsp - Shahi Jeera or plain Jeera ( cumin)
2-3 small green cardamoms
1-2 cinnamon sticks
2-3 tbsp of yogurt- whipped
1 tbsp - ginger and garlic paste
2-3 heaping tbsp -of your best Biryani/Pulao or garam masala- I have some Gujarati biryani/pulao masala that I used. Use to your taste. I used a lot because I wasn't using any turmeric or chili powder.
Few fresh mint leaves - I had about 7-8 on hand, so I used them all.
salt - to taste
sugar - a pinch or two

Soak the rice and let it sit for an hour.

Take a deep pan, heat some oil and add the jeera, cardamoms, and the cinnamon sticks. When they sizzle, add the onions,and the ginger-garlic paste. Stir really well and now add the biryani/pulao masala. Add the Peas, and the veggies you have. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes and add the yogurt, mixing it well. Don't overcook the veggies, because you'll be adding the rice.

Now add the soaked rice, mint leaves, salt and sugar to this mixture. Add 4 cups of water to the pan. Mix gently, taking care not to break the rice. Season the rice and veggies further with more masala if needed. Let the mixture come to a boil, and then lower the heat. Cook until the rice is done.I usually don't cover it, I find that the rice becomes sticky that way. Towards the last few minutes of the cooking, add the paneer pieces and toss gently. Garnish with cilantro leaves if you like!

Fluff the rice and serve with some onion and cucumber raita.


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