Andhra style veg pulao

Andhra style vegetable pulao/pulav is a fragrant and rich rice dish made of most Andhra Pradesh homes. The combination of whole spices along with mint leaves and a paste made of dry coconut, cashews, khus-khus among other ingredients make this pulao/pulav flavoursome and gives this dish a delectable taste. The creaminess of cashews and the sweetness of dry coconut make this pulao very different from other pulao and is one of my favourite rice dishes. Every home has their own pulao recipe and there are varieties of pulao also. This pulao is a one pot satisfying meal with a lot of flavour and taste. Andhra pulao can be served for both lunch or dinner with raitha. Andhra pulao can also be served with any chicken or mutton/lamb curry.

Preparation time: 10 mins (except cashews soaking time)

Cooking time: 30 mins

Cuisine: Andhra Pradesh

Spiciness: Mild

Serves: 3

Ingredients

  • Oil/ghee – 4 tbsp
  • Onion – 1 (90 gms)
  • Cashews (split) – 15 to 20
  • Ginger and garlic paste – 2 tsp
  • Mint leaves – 1/3 cup (6 gms)
  • Coriander leaves – 1/3 cup (6 gms)
  • Carrot (medium) – 2
  • Peas – 3/4 cup
  • Green chillies (slit, optional) – 3
  • Basmati Rice – 1 1/2 cup
  • Water – 3 to 3 1/3 cup
  • Whole spices

  • Bay leaves - 2
  • Cinnamon sticks (2 inch in length, each) – 2
  • Cloves – 4
  • Green cardamom – 4
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Paste

  • Cashews – 5
  • Khus – khus (poppy seeds) – 2tsp
  • Dry coconut (copra) – 15 gms
  • Fennel seeds – 1tsp
  • Cloves – 3
  • Green cardamom – 3
  • Cinnamon stick (1/2 inch size) – 1
  • Water – 1/3 cup
  • Garnishing

  • Fried cashews (optional) – few

Method

  • Soak khus khus (poppy seeds) and cashew nuts (kaju) in hot water (1/3 cup) for 15 to 20 mins in preparation to make the paste.
  • Add all the ingredients required for the paste in a grinder including the water used to soak. Grind to a smooth paste. Keep it aside.
  • Slice onion, slit green chillies (optional) and chop mint and coriander leaves. Keep them ready.
  • Wash and soak rice in water for about 20 mins. Drain the water and keep aside.
  • Place a vessel over heat and add oil or ghee. Add all the whole spices when hot. When they start crackling, add the sliced onion.
  • Sauté the onion until light brown and transparent.
  • Add ginger and garlic paste, sauté for 30 seconds. Add cashews and sauté for a further 30 seconds until lightly brown.
  • Add mint and coriander leaves (use 3/4 only), carrot and green chillies (optional). Mix well and cook for about 2 mins on a medium flame until the mint leaves wilt.
  • Lower the flame and add the paste. I added 5 tbsp of water in the mixer to clear all the attached paste from the grinder (mixer) and added to the cooking vessel with the paste. As soon as it starts to boil, add the green peas and mix well.
  • Add the drained rice, salt and water to cook.
  • Add the remaining mint and coriander leaves. Mix well. Allow it to boil for about 5 to 7 mins.
  • As soon as you see the bubbles and the water is almost absorbed or reduced (and only little water is left), lower the flame and close the lid. Cook for about 10 mins or until the rice is done. Switch off.
  • Allow to rest for about 5 mins. At this stage, you can add fried cashews and mix it with the rice or just garnish on top. This is optional.
  • Serve Andhra pulao with onion and tomato raitha or any other raitha you like.

Notes

  • If you use more onions and mint while roasting with other ingredients in oil/ghee/butter, you get a dark colour in the rice. I prefer light colour.
  • If you don’t want to add cashews in the beginning and like more of a crunchy texture, then you can fry all the cashews separately, add to rice. Mix well and serve. Cashews are important for this rice preparation. You can add in the beginning or towards the end, whichever way you like.
  • I have used frozen peas. If you are planning on using fresh peas add earlier or later as per its cooking time it takes.
  • The amount of water used for the rice it depends, I have used basmati rice 11/2cup water or little more for 1cup rice, if ordinary rice then use more as per its requirement, if cooking plain rice, where as if cooking pulao need to take the consideration paste and other ingredients as it has liquid and has moisture, so add water accordingly.
  • I have cooked the pulao in absorbtion method in a rice vessel; can cook in the cooker also.
  • While grinding the paste I have used fennel seeds, if not can use fennel powder 1/2tsp and add while cooking the rice.

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