Pearl Pulao

The pearls in this pulao are peas, sweetcorn, black chickpeas and fresh pomegranate seeds. These bright-coloured pearls make this dish a real treat for the eyes as well as for the tastebuds and take the healthfulness of an ordinary pulao to the next level.

Time: 30 minutes

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Serves: 4

Pearl Pulao
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Ingredients

  1. 2 cups extra-long basmati rice
  2. 1/2 cup boiled black chickpeas (kala chana)
  3. 2 tablespoons peas
  4. 2 tablespoons sweet corn
  5. 2 tablespoons fresh pomegranate seeds
  6. 1 large onion, chopped
  7. 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
  8. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  9. 1 teaspoon ghee
  10. 2 dried bay leaves
  11. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  12. 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
  13. 1 black cardamom
  14. 4 cloves
  15. 1 small cinnamon stick (1 inch approximately)
  16. 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder (optional)
  17. Salt to taste
  18. 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves

Method

  1. Soak 1/4 cup of black chickpeas (kala chana) overnight and pressure cook them in 2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon salt for for 6-8 whistles or till they are cooked. Open the pressure cooker lid when the steam is released. Drain the black chickpeas but don't throw away the water, you can use the water in a curry or for kneading chapatti dough. You can also use a tin of boiled black chickpeas but the freshly boiled ones are definitely healthier.
  2. Rinse the rice and soak it for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Grind the black cardamom, cloves and cinnamon in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder and add keep aside.
  4. Heat oil in a broad pan or pot, add cumin seeds and allow them to splutter. Add asafoetida, onion, bay leaves, ginger and sauté until onion becomes golden brown. Add boiled black chickpeas, sweet corn, peas, salt, red chilli powder, ground spices (black cardamom, cinnamon and cloves), mix well and sauté for about 30 seconds on medium heat.
  5. Add 4 cups of water into the pan and bring it to a boil. When the water starts boiling, drain the soaked rice and add it to the boiling water. Add 1 teaspoon ghee along with the rice. Stir well and cover the pan with a lid. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and cook for 15 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat after cooking the rice for 15 minutes but do not uncover the pan for another 15 minutes.
  7. After letting the rice rest for 15 minutes, fluff the rice gently using a fork.
  8. Garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds and coriander leaves.

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