Sunday, February 24, 2008

Rainy sunday and yummy pulav

It's been raining in our part of the world all weekend. Usually on weekends, I feel this need to plan for the morning and make sure we take KB out to the park where he can run around and play freely. If we go on weekdays, I have to hold KG and run behind him to make sure he doesn't fall from the slide or some such thing (invariably he runs under some slide structure or falls from one when I am holding her or cannot run under something!). This weekend in a way was more relaxed for me since it was raining and we decided to just take it easy and not go out anywhere in the morning unless it stopped raining.

I gave KB his breakfast and then had mine, fed KG and then started cooking. Decided to make vegetable pulav and raita. I had my MIL's recipe for pulav which always turns out well. While I was cooking, KB had a great time playing in the new school bus tent along with B. He pretended to be driving B to the shop for groceries in his school bus. KB and our neighbor's daughter had a rollicking time playing in this tent on Saturday morning.

After feeding KB his lunch, we ate our lunch. We enjoyed the pulav so much (thanks to my MIL's recipe) that I decided to post the recipe here. After lunch, suddenly the sun was out and it had stopped raining. But we only had about 45 min before KB and KG's afternoon nap time. So we decided to go to the local library. It was so relaxing - KB and I walked to the Children's section, B and KG wandered off into some other non fiction area that he wanted to check out. KB sat on the table like one of the big kids there and pretended to read a book. He then got down and came to the shelf I was at and put the book back, got another book, went back to the table and continued to read.

We got back home and both KB and KG fell asleep in no time. B and I had tea and chatted for a short while. B normally doesn't eat white rice (has cracked wheat) - on days he has pulav he feels this need for a nice afternoon nap. He napped while I spent a little while looking at a couple of blogs, posting responses etc. B came upstairs and downloaded some photos from the camera into the computer - so of course we had fun admiring our own kids in their different moods in the photos. KB woke up early from his nap. Back to duties - feeding the kids/changing the kids/getting some basic dinner ready etc until 6.30pm. We then took the kids out to shop for a larger area rug for the living room. KB had a great time running around at the store and just to make such a relaxing and lovely day even more perfect, he ate his meal peacefully and quickly without any fuss. Some days are just cozy and fun no matter what the weather is outside!

Here is the Pulav recipe and a picture of KB enjoying his new tent!

Dhania - 3 teaspoons
Black pepper - 3
Cinnamon sticks - 4 or 5 small thin ones (I just took one full long one and crushed a few flakes into the mix - didn't want too strong a flavor).
Cloves - 4 or 5
Jeera - 1/4 tea spoon
Red Chilly - 1
Elaichi - 4 (open and crush seeds).

Fry these in little oil.
Grated Coconut - 4tbl spoons
Green chillies - 3 or 4
Coriander - lots
Garlic pods - 2 chopped fine
Ginger - 1 piece
Onion (medium size) - half onion, chopped fine.
Blend (1) and (2) to paste. Quickly sautee the paste in about 4 tea spoons of oil.
Add cooked Basmati rice (I cook the rice separately and boil the vegetables separately - all parallel processing - not really hard) and cooked vegetables to the paste (after the raw smell goes away from the sauteeing) and mix it well.
Vegetables I generally use - Potato, carrot, beans, Valore Lilva (not sure what it is called - we get it frozen at the Indian store), peas.

Cracked wheat pulav:

I make cracked wheat pulav or pulav with brown basmati rice (lower glycemic index - for those worried about sugar/weight/cholesterol etc) if I just want to make a quick pulav with a lot of vegetables.
Since dotmom had asked me how I cook the cracked wheat - I thought I will post that recipe here too.
Buy cracked wheat – light bulgur or the cracked wheat (No 2)avail at the Indian store.

Need cauiliflower (half, cut into florets), potatoes (1 or 2 small, peel skin, chop into big cubes), onion (one small, medium size pieces), a bunch of coriander leaves finely chopped and green chillies, 3 or 4 cut into half. Mint leaves too if u want. and beans, radish etc if u have/want.. just any veggies you add for pulav is fine.

Heat oil. Add 4 or 5 cloves, lil cinnamon, one bay leaf and two cardamoms (open). Then add onions and sautee for a min. To this add a dash of black pepper (if you have the pepper mill, fresh grind, if not pepper powder). (If you happen to have the MTR Pulav powder, you can add a teaspoon of that too).

To this add the cauli,aloo,green chillies, coriander. mix well and let it cook for just 1 min. add salt.

Add 3/4 coffee mug (or a full mug) of toasted cracked wheat to this and mix well with the oil and veggies.

Transfer the whole thing to a pressure cooker vessel and add 2.5 times (the amt of cracked wheat) water.
Pressure cook to only 3 whistles like for rice.

If you don't want to use the cooker, you can add water to the same pan and keep it covered and cook on low for half an hour. (I prefer this until I kind of get an idea of how much water works for that particular brand of cracked wheat).

Amt of water needed may vary depending on the wheat. This is a watered down version - but since it does not have coconut or too much masala stuff (no blending also) - it is a healthier/lighter version of the other pulav.


chitra said...

Hey Noon...good one...yes sounds like u did have a cozy relaxed weekend...thats really nice :) Pulav looks yumm! Thanks for the recipe and it is surely going to be my sunday spl :P. KB and KG look very sweet in the pictures...still waiting for a family pic though!

Timepass said...

Pulav looks very tempting.. Cute pics of the kids

shweta said...

The Pulav looks inviting.The kids no doubts adorable...!!

Tharini said...

Pulav and Raita for lunch always a good weekend makes!!!

You relaxed me on Monday morning with such a cosy description and rid me of any blues.

And, I have been looking for a winning pulao recipe, and here it is!

Thanks for both!

Preethi said...

the pulav looks so yum.. can I visit??? as for the school bus tent.. wow.. should make sure Nantu doesn't see it.. he has a huge tent structure complete with tunnels and play huts which occupies most of his room... but he will want the bus.. looks like good fun :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Noon !!, may i ask a stupid Q, how old is KB ?
And i do see a keyboard out there, who plays it ? :)

Neera said...

I am so glad u had a relaxing Sunday. Shall try the pulao recipe for sure .. it looks so appetizing. The kids look adorable as always. Waiting for ur pic in my inbox :)I too am curious to know who plays the keyboard?

DotMom said...

coconut?? now that is a secret ingedient. the recipe sounds yummy. you can make it with cracked wheat also??? How? Can you tell me how to cook the cracked wheat.

The school bus tent is very cute and the driver cuter still! I love lazy weekends like these. Where you do nothing in particular but feel like you have accompalished so much!

noon said...

Chitra - Hope the pulav turns out good! :) Thanks for compliments about KB/KG. Family pic - only recently when I was looking for a pic of the four of us I realized we don't have any - one or the other is missing...hope to take one good family pic one of these days...will send it to you...

Timepass - Thanks :) I would loved this pulav more if someone else had made it for me...not as much fun when you make and eat it yourself!

Shweta - thanks thanks!:)

Tharini - I know - esp for B - his mom used to make it every Sunday - so for him I think it really brings back memories of his mother...she really really pampered him with her amazing cooking. I miss her cooking too!
Do let me know if you try the recipe - now that a few people may be trying it, I better look over the recipe again to make sure I have not left anything out...

Preethi - Sure! Do visit - you have double incentive now - I will make pulav for you and KB and Nantu will enjoy playing in the bus tent...
We have the tunnel too but it is a little difficult for me to monitor both kids - if KG tries to go behind KB am a bit nervous - I have to sit next to them the whole time...this one is safer I feel. So left the tunnel in the garage...

noon said...

TAA - It's not a stupid question at all. I often read blogs and if the age is not obvious on the main page, then I too wonder how old the kid is...Anyway - KB just turned 2.5 yrs old (I wrote a post on it - "Here we go again" post).
Keyboard - long story - we got it when I started learning vocal music. To help me with maintaining the notes. I play the Veena (which also I don't now - let's say I have learnt to play!) but I love to sing more than anything. I wanted proper voice training so I started from scratch. But after about 3m (one class a week) or so I had to quit because the teacher fell sick and we moved too. But we found that KB loved the tunes and also he enjoys randomly playing on the keys. So we just keep it in place accessible for him. :) Every now and then B and I play some random tunes...for some reason I can play a couple of "geethams" on it though I have no idea of the chords. But only those couple of songs...strange.

Neera - thanks. Hope pulav turns out good :) See above comment - for keyboard...

dotmom - You can add minimal coconut also - I made the proper MIL version yesdy. But usually I make cracked wheat pulav that is a watered down version of this recipe. Why don't I add it to the post - so you can look at's too long for a comment.
Also, you can try the pulav recipe (both) with brown basmati rice - it's glycemic index is not as low as it is for cracked wheat but it is lower than white rice for sure - and it tastes really fact I liked it better than white basmati the first time (but then I made the simple pulav then). Brown basmati though - takes a long time to cook. Leave it on medium flame and let it go for 6 whistles or so in the pressure cooker. Then it cooks well...
Hey - your India trip is coming up right? Packing started? You and Chip alone?

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

Hey Noon ... Pulav repice you have posted is almost the same that I follow at home :) The only change is I add Mint leaves to the regular rice Pulav as well. Also when I fry the ground mixture, add tomato to it in the pan before mixing the veggies and rice !!
Pulav and Rice is my favorite dish and pics posted tempt me make them this week.

molarbear's posts said...

Thanks for that nice recipe and the great photos! Just got time to browse through your posts....


ddmom said...

Pulav look yum. I should try the cracked wheat recipe.
Love the lazy weekends :) :)

noon said...

Hi CA - Yeah - I think pulav somehow has that "special meal" feel to it esp on weekends! :) Enjoy your pulav lunch this weekend!

MB/Deponti - thanks! :)

DDMom - am hoping for more such relaxed weekends! :)

Anonymous said...

yummy looking pulav, noon! will try it this sunday :) and ur kids look adorable!

have finished your a-z tag

K 3 said...

Thanks for posting the recipe ... have a baby shower this weekend and I am assigned to rice ... this looks like a Yummy recipe to try out! Thanks again!

Neera said...

Hey ..forgot to tell u ..I tried this pulao recipe last week with few changes to make it quicker ..I used the frozen veg packet for the veggies and didn't have time to blend 1 and 2 into a paste just added those to the cooking rice and it still turned out amazing :)