The best version of rice I like is – Plain boiled rice. Whenever we go out to any restaurant for dining, people get surprised when I order Plain rice as an accomplishment for my curries and Daal since everyone around me dotes Pulao rice and Jeera Rice when eating out. I am a rare species to eat plain rice with dal without any other condiments and spices added to it. I just love the bland taste as it is.. I can simply eat Idlis on their own with our own Indian Chai.. Yes, I am that crazy for plain rice !!
Lately though, I have started experimenting with rice and rice based dishes. I made these Garlic Green Rice, Thai Coconut Rice, amazing Curd Rice or the sweet rice dish – Zarda too.. And to add on to this series, I made this Tawa Pulao a few days back. The different spices, mixed together gave this Tawa Pulao an unforgettable flavour which I endeavour to create again n again. The main difference between this Tawa Pulao and the usual Masala rice is a not a big one, but definitely significant in deciding the taste and texture.
I learnt this trick from a TheleWala in Delhi, who used to stand in front of our Office every day, and hence was our main source of dinner for many months. He used to grease his Tawa ( the Big round one ! ), sprinkle some water on it, and then fry the plain rice with spices. And then used to add the fried vegetables into this roasted rice. Garlic and green chilli infused rice did take the taste of this dish to another level indeed. But that big dollop of butter on top…. trust we Delhites asking for another serving !!
That mix was delish, and yes overloaded with Fat and Oil. But the way I have made it at home is with mush less oil and lots of vegetables, including Beetroot. Which has not only imparted wonderful pink colour to this dish, but also enhances the taste and nutrition. So, now I really can say that I am going into a transition phase from not having spiced rice at all, to at least trying new versions of rice. But at that, I still eat my Daal with plain boiled rice and that’s it. All these other varieties are enjoyed best on their own or with some Beetroot Raita…
What you need ?
- 2 cups cold n plain boiled rice – Basmati will work best for this recipe
- ½ cup grated Beetroot – water squeezed out
- ½ cup green peas
- 1/4 cup Sweet corn kernels – optional
- 1 carrot – diced small
- 2 onions – chopped
- 4-5 green chillies – chopped fine
- 1 medium tomato – chopped small
- 5-6 Large Garlic pods – grated or chopped
- ½ inch piece of ginger – sliced thin, or grated
- A pinch of Asafoetida
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp Red Chili powder , turmeric, coriander powder each
- ½ tsp Paprika (optional)
- 1 tbsp Butter / Ghee
- 1 tbsp Oil
How to Make?
- Heat ghee/butter in a broad flat bottomed Pan, and fry garlic and green chilies into it. Add a pinch of Salt and turmeric to it and just sauté for 10 sec.
- Add the cold rice, separating it with fork or spatula, mixing well with the garlic chili butter. Keep the flame low, and frequently stir this without covering up. You may sprinkle some water on top, if it gets too try. But remember, we don’t want very moist rice, but just well-cooked fluffy texture. So don’t overdo the water
- Once its done, take it off in another plate. Now in the same Pan, heat oil. Add asafoetida and after frying for like half a minute add chopped onion and ginger into it. Fry till it gets browned.
- Throw in all the other vegetables and remaining spices, and adjust salt etc.
- Cook this covered for 10-12 minutes on low-medium flame, stirring in between. When done, add in the cooked rice and mix well but very gently, taking care not to break the rice apart.
- Keep the flame medium and stir this continuously for another minute. Turn off and garnish with Paprika and Black Pepper, with some sprigs of Cilantro on top..
- Frying both the rice and the veggies is an important step for this specific dish. If you want, you can go ahead and make the general Tadka with the vegetables first and then add plain boiled rice into it straight away. Frying them separate definitely churns out a distinct flavor though.
- This Pulao tastes great when served fresh and hot straight from the Griddle, since the rice tends to get loose when turns cold.
- Cut a piece of onion along side and serve with Raita, Chutney and some mild Curry.