Monday, May 26, 2014

Mint Pulao cooked in a clay pot rice cooker

We hosted a baby shower in our house a while ago.  I went to Target to get some stuff for the baby.  These days, I hardly have any time to browse through stores - aimlessly looking for good deals.  Most of my shopping now is done with a purpose and I really missed walking around the store, finding a “great deal”.

We had a four-day weekend, and the baby shower was catered, and I really did not have much work to do.  So spent some time walking down the aisles in Target.  I don’t know how many of you do this, but I always check out the clearance shelves to see if there is something that catches my eye.  This was my lucky day!  I found a nonstick kadai with lid and because it did not have a tag, the manager gave it to me for $1.99!

I also found this unique rice cooker that someone had bought online, but had returned to the store.  I had never seen a clay pot rice cooker before and was intrigued.  They had it marked down to $45.  I had to buy it.  The price on Amazon was $79 – so I think I got a good deal.

I love the idea of cooking in the clay pot.  I have made rice in it several times.  The manual says that I can use it to make soups and other stuff too.

Today, I made mint pulao.  It is a really simple, flavorful recipe and a great one-pot meal.  I did make potato curry to go with it.   Well, with my family, I had to – because we had not had our weekly potato fix :)

Here is what you need:

  • 2 cups basmati rice
       For the masala:
    • 1 cup tightly packed mint leaves
    • 3 green chilies
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • ½ inch piece ginger
    • ¼ cup coconut, grated
  • 2 – 3 tsp. ghee
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 3 – 4 cloves
  • handful of broken cashews
  • ½ onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup, chopped beans
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric
  • salt to taste


 Here is how I made it:

  1. Wash the basmati rice in several changes of water, and soak it for ½ hour.
  2. While the basmati rice is soaking, grind all the ingredients for the masala with a little bit of water.  Set aside
  3. Heat ghee in a saucepan.  Add cumin seeds, star anise, cloves, and cinnamon.
  4. When the cumin seeds change color, add the cashew nuts.
  5. After a couple of minutes, add the onions and sauté till they become translucent.
  6. Add the ground masala and cook on low heat for about five minutes.
  7. Add the turmeric powder and veggies.  Sauté for five more minutes. 
  8. Drain the rice and add it along with salt.
  9. Fry on medium heat for a couple of minutes.
  10. If you are using the rice cooker, transfer this whole thing into the rice cooker pot and add four cups of water. (If you are cooking it directly in the saucepan, add the water to the rice, bring it to a boil, turn the heat to low and let it cook, covered, for about 15 minutes)
  11. Cover and cook on white rice setting.
  12. Once it is done, fluff it with a fork to separate the grains.

Serve with raita and a spicy curry of your choice.

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