Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Black-eyed Peas Pulao

Winter this year has been what winter should be - cold snowy and white !! Not that I am a huge fan of winter but there is something a little unsettling about those 60F non snowy days like we had last year during the peak winter months. And on cold wintry nights the thought of piping hot food on the table is very comforting and warms us from the inside.

So here is an easy one pot meal for cold winter nights - extremely flavorful that will make you momentarily forget the below zero temperatures outside :-) Just what the doctor ordered !!

  • I have used black-eyed peas but any kind of beans (pinto, kidney beans, garbanzo beans etc) works great. 
  • Cilantro/green chillies combination is the major flavor that gives the kick to this dish, so feel free to adjust the quantity as per your taste. Mint can be substituted for cilantro or a mint/cilantro combination will work great. 
  • Serve this with a cooling cucumber raita (cucumber yogurt dip, recipe included) to balance the spices.
2 cups basmati rice (soak in 3 cups of salted water for 30 min)
1/2 cup Black-eyed peas (cooked al dente or canned will work fine as well)
1/2 cup mixed vegetables, diced (carrots, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower florets)
1 small onion (red or cooking onions), finely chopped
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (Jeera)
6 nos. whole cloves
3-4 Cardamom pods
1 Bay leaf
1/2 cup thick coconut milk
11/2 cup water
Salt to taste
2 tbsp oil

Grind to Paste
1/4 cup cilantro
2-3 serrano chillies (adjust to taste)
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/2 inch ginger, peeled

  1. Heat oil in a saute pan on medium heat, add cumin. cloves, cardamom and bay leaf. Let it splutter. 
  2. Now add the onion and saute until the onions are turn light brown. 
  3. Add the cilantro/chilli/garlic paste. Saute for a few minutes until the raw smell disappears. 
  4. Add the mixed vegetables, stir and allow it to cook for a 2-3 minutes. 
  5. Drain the rice and add it to the above mixture. Now add the black-eyed peas. Stir until well mixed. Add salt to taste.
Stove-top method -
  1. If you plan to continue cooking on the stove top, pour the water and coconut milk to the above mixture. 
  2. Bring it to a rolling boil, reduce heat to low. And cover the pan tightly. 
  3. Let it cook for 15 - 18 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Check once around 12 minutes to see if the rice is done and if necessary can add another 1/4 cup water.
  4. Turn the heat off. And let it rest for 5-10 minutes before opening the lid.
Microwave method -
  1. After step 5, transfer the contents in to a microwave safe bowl. 
  2. Pour the liquids (water and coconut milk) to the above mixture. Stir once and cook it in the microwave for 15 - 18 minutes.
  3. Check once around 12 minutes to see if the rice is done and if necessary can add another 1/4 cup water. 
Fluff with a fork and serve hot with cucumber raita.

Cucumber Raita - Mix 1/2 cup greek or regular yogurt with 1 shredded cucumber, 1 finely chopped green chillies. Add 2 tsp of finely powdered roasted peanuts (optional). Season with salt.

Enjoy !!

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