The English term pilaf is borrowed directly from Turkish, but all these terms ultimately derive from (Classical) Persian پلو , which is pronounced [paˈlau] in Persian (Dari), and in standard Iranian Persian, polów. In Urdu is pronounced pulāo پلاو. Depending on the local cuisine, it may also contain a variety of meat and vegetables. Pilaf and similar dishes are common to Middle Eastern, Central and South Asian, East African, Latin American, and Caribbean cuisines.
The recipe I have here is the Indian version of the Pilaf. I got the basic version of this recipe from one of my friend's mother (Thank you Thankam Aunty!). We had a dinner at their place where aunty made this Pulao and my son could not stop eating it. So I had to get the recipe from her.
Basmati Rice - 2 cups
Onion - 1 (medium sized)
Ginger-Garlic Paste - 1 1/2 tbsp
Tomato - 1
Green Chilly - 2
Cardamom - 5
Cloves - 5
Cinnamon - 1.5inch stick
Oil - 5 tbsp
Mixed Vegetables - 1 1/2 cup (Corn, Green Peas, Corn & Green Beans)
Coconut Milk - 1/2 cup
Water - 3 3/4 cup
Salt - to taste
1. Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes
2. I used the frozen mixed vegetables. So I microwaved the vegetables for 5 minutes.
3. Using a mixer, make a fine paste of the tomato and green chilly.
4. Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a pan in medium heat.
5. Add the spices (Cardamom, Cloves & Cinnamon) to the oil and saute for a minute.
6. Add the Onions and saute until they start turning brown.
7. Add the Ginger-Garlic paste and saute until the raw smell is gone.
8. Add the tomato-green chilly paste and saute for 2 minutes.
9. Add the water and thick coconut milk and mix well.
10. Add enough salt (could be more on the higher side, as the rice and veggies have to cook in this) and let the water boil.
11. Add soaked rice and microwaved vegetables to the boiling water.
12. Add 2 tbsp of oil to the water as well. This will prevent the rice from sticking together.
13. Once the rice is almost cooked and very little water is left, turn off the stove and close the pan with a tight lid.
14. Open the lid after 30 minutes and the Pulao should be ready.
You could garnish with nuts and raisins, if needed. This is a quick and easy recipe, especially if you are using the frozen mixed vegetables.