Shahi Vegetable Pulav is a very rich and aromatic pulav made with mixed vegetables, nuts raisins and flavored with Saffron. A very colourful preparation of rice which not only tastes good but looks good too.
This Pulav is not spicy at all and hence can be served with any vegetarian or non - vegetarian side dishes or you can just enjoy it with your favorite raita or chutney.
Here is a simple and very easy to follow recipe for Shahi Vegetable Pulav.
Basmati Rice - 1 1/2 cups
Onion, sliced - 1 medium
Carrots, chopped - 1/4th cup
French beans,chopped - 1/4th cup
Green peas, shelled -1/2 cup
Green capsicum, diced - 1 small
Green chilies, slit lengthwise - 2 pcs
Ginger chopped - 1 tablespoon
Garam Masala - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Cooking oil - 2 tablespoon
Desi Ghee - 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon
Saffron - 12-15 strands
Milk, lukewarm - 2-3 tablespoon
Bay leaf - 1
Black pepper corn - 8-10 pcs
Black Cardamom - 1 pc
Cinnamon - 5 cm stick
Cloves - 4-5 pcs
Cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Shahi Jeers - 1/2 teaspoon
Green Cardamom - 2-3 pcs
Mace - 1 blade
Star Anise - 1pc
Fresh green coriander, finely chopped - 2 tablespoon
Mint leaves, finely chopped - 1 tablespoon
Cashew - 8-10 pcs
Raisins - 15 - 16 pcs
Onion, finely sliced - 1 medium
Oil to fry the onion
Pick, clean, wash and soak Basmati rice for 30 - 45 minutes.
Soak saffron strands in lukewarm milk and keep aside.
Heat around one cup cooking oil in a kadhai and add the sliced onions, fry until golden brown. Remove browned onions using a slotted spoon and keep on kitchen towel to drain off any excess oil.
Heat a heavy bottom pan and add around 2 tablespoons of cooking oil. (I have used the oil which was leftover after frying the onions) Add all the whole spices and fry until they start releasing there aroma. Add the chopped onions and fry till they turn translucent.
Once the onions start changing colour add the chopped carrots, beans and shelled green peas, mix well, add salt and fry for 3-4 minutes.
While the rice is cooking heat 1 teaspoon of desi ghee (clarified butter) in a small kadhai or frying pan, add the cashew nuts and fry till they start changing colour, add the raisins and fry for a minute or so, as the raisins start to puff up remove from heat and keep aside. In the same pan add the chopped capsicum and fry until it starts to turn tender. Remove from heat and keep aside. In betweek the process keep checking on the rice
By now the rice should be almost 80% done, add the fried capsicum, chopped ginger, slit green chillies, sprinkle the garam masala powder. Mix the soaked saffron well and add it to the rice, (I usually add it at 3-4 places). Heat 1 tablespoon of desi ghee and pour over the rice. Cover and cook for another 5-6 minutes. Turn off the heat and keep it covered for at least 15 to 20 minutes.
Open the pot and fluff up the pulav using a fork, garnish with fried onions, fried cashews and raisins, chopped green coriander and mint leaves.
While frying the onions for the pulav please ensure that it does not change colour, and you add the vegetables once it starts turning translucent. If the onion changes colour, then it will impart a brownish colour to the rice. As we want the rice to be white with a few saffron coloured ones.
Traditionally this pulav is made in Ghee but I have used regular cooking oil to make it, and have just added 1 tablespoon of ghee at the end along with saffron infused milk and garam masala. The Ghee enhances the flavor and texture of the pulav.