Vegetable Pulao

In the early 1990s, cable TVs had just entered homes, infact, TVs had just entered a few homes. International brands were unknown to most except probably those who had travelled abroad. Internet was virtually unheard of and computers unseen by most. Weekends were 1.5 days long and travels by Bajaj scooters. The only McDonald we had heard of was the old farmer who had pigs and ducks on his farm. Eating out was restricted to local foods like pao bhaji, sev puri, samosas and dosas. Eating out was an extravagance, a luxury. Families ate out once in 1-2 months. Sundays became special affairs. Sunday was a day to cook out specialities by the woman of the house. The menu for sunday until lunch was pretty much fixed. Idlis with hot sambhar and spicy chutney for breakfast. And my mom's special Pulao and Chana masala for lunch. How we lusted for the lunch. All the while, playing in the street, the mind was still in the kitchen smelling in the aroma of pulao. My mom's simple yet delicious vegetable pulao was always a favourite among friends and relatives. I use the same recipe, the same ingredients, but I can never match up to the pulao of those early sunday afternoons of my life. But each time I make this pulao, the feeling of nostalgia envelopes me.

Vegetable Pulao

Indian rice pilaf made with vegetables and whole spices

Recipe Type:  Main Course
Cuisine:          Indian
Prep Time:     30 minutes
Cook time:     20 minutes
Yield:              2-3 Servings


1 cup Rice
2 cups Water (Or how much is needed to cook 1 cup of rice in a pressure cooker)
1 cup Assorted vegetables  (Roughly chopped Cauliflower, Potato, French beans. Carrots and Green Peas)
1 Onion
1 Tomato
2-3 Green Chillies
5-6 Black peppercorns
1-2 Cloves
1" stick Cinnamon
1 Bayleaf / Tej patta (dry)
1 cube Maggi magic cube (veg)
2 Tbsp Oil

  • Wash the rice and spread on a muslin cloth to dry until ready to use.
  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker
  • Add the finely chopped onions and slit green chillies
  • Add all the whole spices and fry until the onions are light brown
  • Add the tomato and fry for 1 min
  • Add the rice and fry for 30secs - 1 min
  • Add the water. Crush the magic cube and add it to the cooker.
  • Add salt. The magic cube itself has salt, keep that in consideration while adding salt.
  • Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles or until the rice is done.
  • Serve hot with raita or pickle

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