Mixed Veggie Pulao

In a large skillet, add enough oil to coat the bottom.

½ TSP cumin seed
and heat over medium to crackle
Careful not to scorch the oil, so keep heat medium to low as all ingredients are added.

1 cinnamon stick
4 cloves
8 peppercorns
1 chili, whole*
1 carrot, finely diced
Scant ¾ cup frozen peas, rinsed and drained
½ cup canned corn, drained
¼ cup canned green beans, drained
Stir fry together for several minutes.
*Keeping the chili whole will reduce the heat throughout the dish; chop for more flavor

In a microwavable 2 qt soufflé pan
1 cup long grain basmati rice
4 cardamom pods
1 TSP salt

Measure 3 cups of water
Stir enough water into frying pan to gather the spice and vegetables from the pan.
Add to rice.
Pour remaining water (so that all 3 cups of water will be used)
in with the rice and vegetables to the rice mix.

Microwave on high 20 minutes.

Adapted from the recipe for Pulao from
The Indian Spice Kitchen: Essential Ingredients and Over 200 Authentic Recipes by Monisha Bharadwaj

Why did I change the recipe?  To work in my sure fire, never fail, microwave rice recipe that I use as base when creating many dishes.
So what did I change? Because my rice recipe uses less rice, I cut all spice and veggies by half as a rule.  Whereas the original called for 4 chilis, I chose one to suit the children’s palate. In addition, the original called for 6 tablespoons of corn oil.  Vegetable oil is my choice and only enough oil was used to coat the pan.  By keeping the temperature med-low, I was able to fry everything adequately.

NEXT TIME- I recommend a smaller frying pan, deeper, medium width, so I can use even less oil.  The end product was slightly too oily for my personal taste.  Perhaps I can further reduce the need for much oil.
An idea would be to start with a minimal amount of oil mixed with the cumin seeds.  Allow the seeds to heat releasing the scent and flavor. Add the other ingredients, then add a small amount of the water to cook the veggies. The canned and frozen veggies don’t need much cooking.

REMEMBER- Remove cloves, cinnamon stick and cardamom pods before serving. Give the chili pepper to the heat lover in your family.

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