I’ve made pulao with chicken before, and it was great. I followed an Indian recipe to a tee. I was looking for a vegan version with a variation of spices, not necessarily Indian spices (though I love them). I’ve watched a lot of YouTube videos lately about how to make it, and this is what I came up with. It’s a variation of all the recipes I saw, but two important things about making any pulao are a) you must rinse the rice until the water is absolutely clear, and b) soak it before cooking. If you omit these steps, your rice will likely be too starchy, sticky, and it will break.
I just made this last night, so I have to hurry and write down the ingredients before I forget! Next time, I would add peas and cabbage (two ingredients I didn’t have on hand). I think cooking a little broken vermicelli and adding that to the mixture at the end would add to this recipe as well.
2 c long-grain basmati rice, rinsed until water comes out clear, and soaked for 20 minutes before cooking
1 large onion, thin-sliced lengthwise
2 red bell peppers, diced very finely
2 carrots, grated
About 24 fresh organic green beans, chopped very finely
2 cloves minced garlic
3 tbsp EVOO
1 tbsp garam masala (an aromatic blend of spices often used in Indian cooking)
2 tbsp soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped green onion for garnish (could also use cilantro as well, or instead)
The usual ratio of 1 to 2 (rice to water) should be 1 to 2.5 when making pulao. Also, do not cook the rice until it is completely done; reduce cooking time by about 5 minutes. Set aside. Meanwhile, have all your vegetables chopped and ready to add to the hot non-stick wok or large non-stick frying pan because you will cook everything on high heat, and it will not take long. Plus, you will need to be stirring the mixture constantly. Heat the oil in the wok/frying pan over high heat and add the onions and garam masala. Stir constantly until the onions begin to darken and the mixture becomes very fragrant. Add the garlic, beans, bell pepper, carrots, and continue stirring until all the vegetables are mixed well. Add the salt and pepper to taste (go light on the salt if you’re going to use soy sauce after you add the rice to the mixture, or you may want to omit the soy sauce altogether). Turn the heat down to low, and let the flavors blend for a few minutes before adding the rice.
Your rice is cooked and set aside. When you are ready to add it to your cooked vegetables, fluff it up very gently to separate the rice grains, trying not to break them. Add 4 cups of the cooked, fluffed rice to your mixture and very carefully fold it in. Add soy sauce (if you choose to use it) and blend in evenly using a soft spatula. Slightly cover and turn off the heat. Let sit for a few minutes for all the flavors to meld together.
Serve on a platter and garnish with chopped green onion.