“FORBIDDEN RICE” PULAO
Cooking at home away from home is real fun and also a learning experience. Here in Portland, I just raid my daughter-in-law’s pantry, lay my hands on ingredients which I had never cooked before and start playing with them ! Here is my simple Vegetable Pulao where I have used ” Black Rice” instead of the usual Basmati rice. In ancient China black rice was cultivated only for the Emperor’s consumption. The superior quality grain was forbidden to the general public and hence it was also known as “Forbidden Rice”. The black grain looks like the long Basmati rice.
Chinese Black Rice – 2 cups ( soaked overnight)
Chopped Carrots – 1 cup
Green peas – 1 cup
Chopped onion – 1/2 cup
Finely chopped green chillies – 1 tsp
Finely chopped fresh ginger – 1 tsp
Finely chopped garlic – 1/2 tsp
Finely chopped fennel stem with leaves – 2 tbsps
Salt – 1 3/4 tsp
Sesame oil – 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon – 1” piece
Cloves – 4
1. Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds and allow to splutter.
2. Add cinnamon, cloves and cardamom.
3. Stir in onion and garlic and fry till golden in colour.
4. Add the chopped ginger, green chillies and the fennel stem and saute for two minutes.
5. Drain the presoaked Chinese Black rice and add it to the seasoning.
6. Saute until dry and stir in the carrots and peas.
7. Add salt and four cups of water and bring it to a boil.
8. Lower the flame, cover and cook stirring occassionally.
9. Cook till all the water is absorbed and till the pulao is done.
Enjoy the nutty flavour of the Forbidden Rice Pulao with any gravy of your choice.