Spicy Vegetable Pulao – Quick one pot meal

Dinner is usually an elaborate affair in my home but lunch usually comprises of something quick fix like parathas or a one pot rice/pasta meal . I had some pav bhaji masala languishing in my fridge, so I thought of using it to spice up this quick fix veggie pulao for lunch. Surprisingly, it turned out quite well . In fact the next day , Aisha (my younger daughter) requested me to make the “biryani” again which is a very rare thing for my extremely picky eaters to do. I was glad about it since it’s a great way to get some veggies inside them.

I made this in a pressure cooker but you can make it any pan which you use for cooking pulao/pilaf.

Spicy Vegetable Pulao
 1 cup basmati rice (washed and soaked for half an hour)
4-5 tablespoons cooking oil
2 tablespoons mixed whole spices ( 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 2 green cardamoms, 2 cloves, 1 inch piece cinnamon, 1 bay leaf)
 1 medium onion chopped
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 potato peeled and chopped
3-4 baby carrots / 1 big carrot chopped
2 medium beetroots
1 tomato chopped
Handful of peas
2 -3 green chilies
1 tablespoon pav bhaji masala (I had the National brand)
Salt (according to taste)
Water (to cook rice).

1) Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add the whole spices. When they begin to splutter add the onions and fry till they are golden brown.
2) Add the ginger and garlic paste and saute for a few seconds.
3) Add the potatoes and fry for a couple of minutes.
4) Add the carrots followed by beetroots and tomatoes . Sauté for a few seconds after each addition. Add the pav bhaji masala and salt. If you are using fresh peas add them at this stage. I use frozen ones which cook very quickly so I add them in the end to retain their colour.
5) When tomatoes become soft, add the drained rice and fry for a few seconds till all the water dries. Take care that the fragile grains of basmati do not break.
4) Add about 1.5 cups of water ( more or less depending upon your brand of rice) and bring to a boil. Taste the water to adjust salt. Add the frozen peas and green chilies. Put the lid of the pressure cooker and cook for 1 or 2 whistles till rice is done. When all the pressure is released from the pressure cooker, carefully open the lid. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve with raita for a quick and easy one pot meal. You can garnish it with chopped cilantro leaves.

I kept it mildly spicy because of my daughters . You can of course, increase the pav bhaji masala and green chilies if you would like it to be spicier.

I’m linking this to :
Any One Can Cook – Series 45 hosted by Taste Of Pearl City

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