Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tava Pulao

This is a hearty and spicy rice dish and is a popular street food. Basically it is rice and veggies spiced with pav bhaji masala and I presume it is the pav bhaji vendor who sells it along with the pav bhaji. I have tried and tasted this rice from other finger licking bloggers but the current post is adapted from Tarla Dalal's Mumbai's Roadside Snacks book which is equally hearty. Like the bhaji recipe it is also prepared in a tava or a griddle and served hot with raitha and/or pappad. I am posting the original recipe though I changed the quantity and spice proportions as per taste.

Ingredients:
Butter: 3 tbsp
Cumin Seeds: 2 tsp
Chilli -Garlic Paste: 1.5 tbsp (below)

Onions: finely chopped 1/2cup
Capsicum/ Green Bell Pepper: finely chopped 1/2 cup
Tomatoes: finely chopped 1and1/4 cup
Salt : as per taste

Turmeric Powder: 1/4 tsp
Chilli Powder: 2tsp
Pav Bhaji Masala : 4 tsp

Basmathi Rice: Cooked 2.5 cups
Green Peas : boiled:1/4 cup
Cilantro: 1 tbsp finely chopped

Chilli-Garlic Paste(makes 1/2 cup):
Kashmiri dry Red Chillies /Any less spicy dried red chillies: 10-12 deseeded
Garlic: 8-10 medium cloves roughly chopped.

Prepartion:
Finely chop onions,tomatoes and capsicum. If using fresh shelled peas, then cook it or steam/microwave it. If using frozen peas you can add it along with veggies and cook it for a few minutes.Cook rice and keep aside.You can cook rice till just done as we will be sauteeing it for few minutes at the end.

Prepare the chilli -garlic paste: Soak the whole red chillies in enough warm water for atleast an hour. Drain them,addto a blender and blend along with garlic cloves adding little/enough water. This quantity gives you half cup.Use as needed and store remaining in an air tight container in the freezer.

 Any less spicy chilly will work instead of Kashmiri ones. I have used byadgi chillies which I soaked in little hot water for just 15 minutes. The Kashmiri chillies will impart more colour to the rice dish while the byadgi ones are orangey compared to the former. Atleast that's my assumption.

Heat butter in a rimmed pan/skillet on a large tawa/tava/griddle.Add the cumin seeds and saute on a medium flame till crackle.Add the required amount of chilli-garlic paste and onions,mix well and saute for 3-4 minutes on medium.

Add capsicum,tomatoes,salt,turmeric powder,chilli powder, pav bhaji masala and 1/4cup of water.Mix well,and cook on medium flame for about 5 minutes till the butter separates,stirring once in between,
If using frozen peas,add it now and allow it to cook as well.

Add the cooked rice,cooked peas (if not already added) and chopped cilantro/coriander,toss gently (so as not to break the grains) and cook for another minute. You can use tender stems of cilantro along with the leaves as they impart more flavour to the dish. 

Serve immediately with raita and pappads optionally garnishing with more cilantro.


The dish is hearty and comforting. The plus point of this recipe is that it uses pre cooked /leftover rice and quickly comes together. The chilli paste can be made a day earlier as well. The dish can also be made as a one pot meal and these are the finger lickingly good recipes that I have tried and tasted: Tawa Pulao from Chef In You and Tava Pulao : Mumbai Special from Vegetable Platter. 

This  delectable rice is also on way to AWED:Indian at Taste of Pearl City, an event by DK.


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