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 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)
- 2 tbsp light cooking oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3-4 cloves
- 3-4 green cardamom pods
- 1 medium onion thinly sliced
- 4 cups water
- 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. Serve warm.
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