It is my favourite pulao, inspired by my aunt, who made the best peas pulao, growing up in Mumbai. It tastes best eaten with chicken or lamb/ mutton curry. Can also serve it with a yoghurt raita or any vegetarian or paneer curry.
1 cup white Basmati rice
1 small onion, sliced
few curry leaves
1 bay leaf
Whole garam masala or whole spices (1 black cardamom, 3 green cardamoms, 1 inch piece cinnamon stick, 4-5 black peppercorns, 3 cloves)
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. garam masala powder*
1/2 tsp. chopped jalapenos, deseeded
1 tsp. chopped fresh ginger
2 cups water
1/2 cup peas, shelled (fresh or frozen)
2 tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
Salt to taste
Wash and soak the rice in water for 30 mins. Drain and set aside.
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the bay leaf and whole spices, followed by the onions. Saute till onions start turning golden brown. Add the peas. Add the chopped ginger and jalapenos, a few curry leaves. Add the cumin seeds, followed by the garam masala powder. Immediately add the rice and saute for a couple of minutes, keep stirring, so the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the water, add salt, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 15 mins. or so, till rice is cooked.
* Garam masala powder is available at any Indian grocery store. I generally make it at home, the recipe is in my Daal gosht recipe blog post.
I make the pulao in a flat bottomed pressure cooker. After adding the water, cover the pressure cooker with the lid on, leaving a little gap for the steam to come out, do NOT secure the lid at this time, on high heat. Once the water comes to a boil, lower heat, stir and secure the lid tightly after a minute or so, let half the water get absorbed at this stage. Secure lid. After 1 whistle, lower heat and turn of heat after 2 mins.