Monday, January 6, 2014

Peas Pulav - throw in some carbs and proteins together for a delightful, one pot meal

Did I tell you how I lost a 2 page draft ready to be published here? Well, I know I wrote a line about it that did no justice to the loss in my last post which is when the unfortunate event happened. To begin at the beginning, it was the weekend and the day had started quite early as we were running around doing multiple things, we came back home a little tired and after dinner and Sat night phone calls I sat down with my laptop on my lap top. I had my draft of the post collecting thoughts for almost 2 months (since the time I made my last batch of saaru pudi) and sat for 2 hours editing content, working on the pictures, selecting the best looking ones from a sea of about hundred odd pictures (darn digital photography, seriously there is no respect for pictures in this just click, click and click away world) and read the draft more than a couple of times like I always do to eliminate bad content, bad grammar, bad language, bad anything at all and I finally clicked on 'Publish' (I swear I did that and there is no 'Delete' button as far as I can see on the page) and 'poof' it goes into an irretrievable oblivion. There is not even an older version of the draft to fall back on, so much for risk management. What am I supposed to do when this happens at 11.45 pm?? What would you do??? Well, here are the lessons learnt while I am still on a mission to find out how my beautiful post simply got deleted so irreverently by Google blogger when my explicit and only instruction had been to Publish it -
Lesson 1: Draft your posts in a word document and keep saving it or atleast you have the auto save to depend on.

Lesson 2: Don't be conservative and keep the 'preview' window open until you see the published post in another window/tab. Atleast, you can copy & paste the content.

Lesson 3: Don't try to write a blog post when you are tired and sleepy and then try to pass on the blame on an inanimate web tool.

Well, what happened afterwards was a story of true grit as I sat for the next 2 hours trying to remember what I had written and reproduce it, reselect the pictures, align them and finally publish at 1.30 a.m. This simple act proves beyond all reasonable doubt that I do not have any short term memory issues and can still extend my day when I truly want to :-). All is well that ends well and I am really proud of my saaru pudi post. If you haven't seen it yet and if you are looking for a great Rasam/saaru recipe, it is right here.

Now onto today's post. I am back with yet another simple to make, delicious and wholesome to eat rice item. This is not a South Indian staple but is more on the lines of fried rice. There is something very attractive about a fresh pod of green peas and I can't say no to them even at the pricey prices they come. We don't usually see them through the year but when the farmer's market starts in late Spring/Summer, I get fresh, plump and pricey English peas. I grew them a couple of years in pots but the handful of pods they yield was not anywhere close to satisfying our needs. Then when we moved to Washington, I found that these peas make appearance in our local Indian grocery stores at odd times during the year. I have found them in Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter so I really don't understand the rationale but have learnt to enjoy them when I can get my hands on some fresh ones.
The other day I brought home a bag full of peas and shelled them in the night thinking of what to make and as the next day was a working day, I decided on this easy to make peas pulav. This recipe is a very common dish at restaurants in India during lunch time and is typically served with a raita made of sour yogurt and raw onions. It is not spicy at all like many of the restaurant rice dishes and is well suited for a light and satisfying meal if you crave for rice. You can make variations to this peas pulav by adding a few more whole spices (cinnamon, cardamom, star anise etc) but I like to keep it very simple. I had some fresh mint growing in the pot that I used in the recipe which makes the rice very fragrant and the green peas are a sensation in the mouth when you bite into them. Though you can use frozen peas as an alternative, be forewarned that it is a very poor substitute. If you have to wait for the green peas to be season, this is still worth that wait.
So if you have a handful of fresh peas, go ahead and try this mess-free rice item and pack it in your lunch box to go too.

What do you need to make Peas Pulav? 
2 cups rice - I used Basmati rice, you can use sona masoori if you prefer
2 cups fresh green peas shelled
1 cup thinly sliced red onions
1 bay leaf
1 Tsp cumin
6-8 whole black pepper
2 cloves
1 inch piece ginger
2 green chilies
1 Tblsp finely chopped mint leaves/pudina
1 Tblsp oil
1 Tsp salt (adjust to taste)
How do you make Peas Pulav? 
  • Wash and soak rice in 3 cups of water for 20-25 minutes. 
  • Remove the stems, slit the green chilies vertically and cut them into 2 pieces each. 
  • Wash, peel and grate/pound ginger into a coarse paste.
  • Heat a heavy bottom pan on medium heat, add oil. 
  • Add cumin seeds and let them sizzzle. 
  • Add the bay leaf, cloves, pepper corns and saute for 20-30 seconds. 
  • Add the green chilies followed by ginger paste and saute for another 20-30 seconds. 
  • Add the thinly slices onions and saute until they turn limp and lightly pink. 
  • Add the shelled peas and salt and mix it in. 
  • Drain water from the rice, add the soaked rice to the pan followed by the chopped mint leaves. 
  • Add 3-3/5 cups of water (depending on the quality of your rice. Lower the heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the rice is fluffy and cooked. 
  • You can transfer the contents once mint is mixed in to a rice cooker or pressure cooker and let it cook. 
  • I do either stove top vessel or rice cooker or pressure cooker depending on how much time I have and my mood :-). Each of these methods need different levels of 'watching over' to make sure rice cooks perfectly, choose what suits you best. 
  • Let the rice cool down slightly before mixing it in and tasting. 
  • Serve with papad and raita or a steaming hot Dal. Perfect for a rainy day brunch or as a party dish. 
  • Lightly saute paneer(cottage cheese) pieces and add it to the peas pulav before serving. 
  • Add 1/2 Tsp garam masala powder before adding rice to the mixture if you like it to be spicy. 


Kaveri Venkatesh said...

It's really sad that you lost your first draft..but I must appreciate your will power to sit and draft and new one in the middle of the night and successfully post it.

Love this simple pulao any day

NamsVeni Pothas said...

very nice peas pulaav with wonderful pictures. so big story behind the Saarupodi ? but all is well....i really appreciate you .

Swathi Iyer said...

Yes type in word first and then copy paste it in blogger that will be good. I love this delicious one pot meal Nagashree.