Pulao: Idiot's Guide to Homely Indian Food

3 min read · Posted on: Jul 10, 2005 · Print this page

Here is a recipe I wish I had when I was learning to cook. For the benefit of all the Indian bachelors who are gonna start cooking, I give you - a lifesaver:

How to make Pulaaaaaoooooo


Idiot’s Guide to Homely Indian Food

Since I’m going to teach you this ultra cool recipe, you are going to do all the cutting and slicing. He, he, he… start with the onions. We’ll need half a piece. Cut it into small pieces. And a tomato too. You can keep them together if you are really stingy and cannot afford many bowls (like… say a cookery show).

I’m assuming we are preparing for 2 (But that I’m eating both is a totally different matter altogether), so take 1 cup of rice. Now “wash” the rice. It’s easy - Pour some running water on the rice, do some sort of cleaning action with your fingers and drain it off. Do this 2-3 times, till the water gets clear. Now drain off all the water.

Take a pan-like vessel. Pour some oil so that it is about 3 millimetres high. Now, put some mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Heat on medium flame till the mustards starts “popping”. Now add your onions and tomato pieces. Did I remind you to cut potatoes? Of course, I did, you idiot. Well, one small potato is fine. Keep stirring till the onions turn slightly golden (or fumes fills the nearby room ;) )

Time for Masala mix. No, not the TV programme. Real masala. It’s roughly like this (all are in tea-spoons):

  • 1 spoon turmeric powder
  • 2 spoon dhaniya powder
  • 1 spoon masala powder
  • 1 spoon red chilly powder
  • 3 spoon salt

Keep stirring till the onions looks shrunk (or your roommates starts coughing in the nearby room). Looks good? Maybe not. It sure tastes amazing. Not yet, you fool. Just wait some more. For now, transfer it to a pressure cooker or a large vessel.

If you are cooking in a pressure cooker, use twice as much water as rice (note to use the same cup you used to measure rice). Close the cooker and let it cook. If its an open vessel, use thrice as much water. Stir occasionally to prevent the frothing up effect (not as cool as it sounds, very messy actually).

Turn off the cooker after you hear three “proper” whistles (as in, not half whistles or hissing sounds). Or in an open vessel, wait till the water dries up (or till your roomates start jumping out of the window)

That’s it. You were expecting more, right? Sorry, that’s all there is to it.

Tip: Best eaten with Yogurt/Ketchup

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Arun Ravindran

Arun is the author of "Django Design Patterns and Best Practices". Works as a Product Manager at Google. Avid open source enthusiast. Keen on Python. Loves to help people learn technology. Find out more about Arun on the about page.

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