With the hot weather we’ve been having these past few weeks, I find that when thinking up dinner ideas, my cravings for rice has increased tremendously. Maybe its the quick comfort that comes from a big bowl of rice, or the fact that I’d rather eat raw wheat that knead and mould it into rotis, waiting for them to puff over a burning stove, I really don’t know. So it comes as no surprise that I find myself cooking more varieties of rice-based dishes in summers as compared to the colder months.
There’s an unsaid rule when it comes to cooking rice, that’s followed in many kitchens throughout Asia – when cooking rice, NEVER cook just enough! You always make sure there’s plenty left over. And I completely agree – rice is just great to use as leftovers. It freezes perfectly, can easily be revamped into an amazingly tasty dish in a matter of minutes, and not to mention, tastes divine when simply warmed up and served along side a fried egg and some Indian pickle!
Often, I make a big batch of plain rice over the weekend, and spruce it up during the week. Of the many variations of rice dishes I make from (purposely) left-over rice, some of my all-time easy-breezy favourites can be seen here, here and here, all quick, simple and delicious dinner ideas.
When I decided to make dinner last night, I knew I would once again be cooking what else, but rice. So I settled for a recipe that was simple and so delicious – Pulao or as some call it, Pilaf. Pulao is very common in the North Indian cuisine. It is often served as a side to exotic curries and salads. I served mine simply with a big bowl of mixed veggie Raita and some Papad.
MATAR PULAO (PEAS PILAF)
Prep time: 5 min | Cooking time: 20-25 min | Serves: 4
Special equipment recommended:
2 tbsp light cooking oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
3-4 green cardamom pods
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
5 cups water
2 and 1/2 cups Basmati rice, rinsed thoroughly and drained
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed and drained
salt, to taste
Heat oil in a deep pan on medium-low heat and add in cumin seeds, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom pods. Once they start to sizzle and become fragrant, add in onions, and fry for a few seconds till lightly browned. Be careful not to let it burn.
Add in water and once it starts to come to a slight boil, lower the heat and stir in the rice and peas. Season with salt.
Let the rice cook on low heat, covered, till all the water evaporates and the rice is cooked through.