Tomato Pulao (spiced rice)

Use basmati rice when cooking a pulao and you can use any spice and vegetable of your choice. With pulao you use the method of cooking rice where you don’t drain the water and measure the ratio of1:2 (1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water). You need to soak the rice in cold water for at least 15 minutes before cooking. This help the grains swell and stops it from breaking and it cooks faster.

Tomato pulao
3 cups basmati rice (1 cup serves about 2-3 persons)
2 large tomatoes made into a thick puree
1 cup basmati rice, washed and soaked for ten minutes
1 whole black cardamom
A few curry leaves (optional)
1 tsp garam masala powder (or a bit ore if you like it spicy)
2 tsp garlic crushed
2 tsp ginger crushed of finely chopped
A few threads of saffron soaked in milk
Oil or ghee for frying according to preference
Salt to taste
Fresh coriander to sprinkle over

Use a heavy based pan if possible. Heat the ghee and when hot add the black cardamom and curry leaves, stir around and soon after the ginger and garlic and then the tomato puree. Fry for just a few seconds and then add the salt, garam masala and saffron soaked in milk. Stir again and then add the rice that has been drained and turn the pan around gently to let it mix with the other ingredients (do not stir as this breaks the grains). Finally add the measured hot water (1:2) and bring to the boil. When it starts to oil, turn down heat, cover and let it cook for about 8-10 minutes. Sprinkle coriander, check that grains are cooked (if not add a sprinkling of hot water and cover) and then turn off heat. Don’t serve rice immediately as it is still wet and stirring would make the rice patchy. It’s best that rice is cooked ahead of time and left to settle for 10 minutes or so, before you are ready to serve.