Late sunrises, chilly mornings and nippy air. Here comes the winter, sneaking in gradually, catching us by surprise. Not that we mind it. In fact, of all the seasons, winter is my favorite.
The idea of warming up with a cup of coffee, witnessing the gorgeous early morning sunrise, with the gentle caress of the cool breeze is far too tempting for me. Likewise, the idea of snuggling in a quilt on a Sunday afternoon, post a hearty meal is what thrills me the most in winters. Besides these, food in winters is another aspect that could surprise you as a foodie.
Fried food makes a comeback that are gorged upon with countless cup of tea. Winter delicacies like Gajar Ka Halwa , Paneer Pakoda , Moong Dal Vada, Sarson Ka Saag, Mirchi Vada, and Khapli Gavachi Kheer are some of the common dishes that I prepare during these months. Seasonal produces find their way into our kitchens. One of the seasonal vegetable that I await for with much eagerness is Green Peas or Hare Matar. Though now available throughout the year in its frozen form, what makes the fresh procure worthy of a wait is its inherent sweetness which the former lacks.
This inclination for Green Peas is a developed one. Before getting married into a North Indian family, I had no specific affinity for these tiny green pearls and I would treat it like any other vegetable but all this changed after marriage. My family has a strong affinity for green peas and each year we have our list of recipes that are ‘must-prepare’ during these months or until the fresh produce is available, whichever is earlier. Dishes like Matar Ka Nimona , Hare Matar ki Ghugni and Matar Ki Tahari are prepared as part of our winter rituals. To give you a fair idea of how much merit we assign to these recipes, I must mention that Nimona was the first recipe that we shot in our kitchen and uploaded on our YouTube Channel.
Matar ka Pulao is another winter recipe that is relished with great excitement at my home. It’s a mildly fragrant Pilaf recipe that incorporates some aromatic Indian spices and sweetness of fresh green peas with rice which is cooked with absorption method. One of the recurring issues that often gets discussed on various food forums is cooking rice by absorption method. Though this being one of the most common method of cooking rice, it also remains one of the most difficult one to perfect. A step that can ruin the dish is amount of water that gets added in the recipe.
Typically for 1 Cup of rice cooked using absorption method, 1 ½ -2 ¼ Cups of water would suffice. This difference in quantity of water could be attributed to a) temperature of heat source b) age of rice and c) quality of rice. It would take few trial and error sessions before one could arrive on quantity of water that is required for a specific quality of rice. A factor worth remembering during this exercise is for how much time rice has been soaked because soaking time often reduces the cooking time by a factor of half. I guess this discussion warrants a separate blog post that I plan to put up soon.
Matar ka Pulao is a quick recipe, a comfort food that you will like to have in your repertoire for days when you are in no mood of an elaborate preparation and this dish can see you through in less than 10 mins. It can be relished with Vegetable raita or can pair up with any curry preparation.
Make this preparation and share your feedback with us in the comment section below.
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- 1 Cup=200 grams Basmati Rice (Wash and soak in water for 30 mins)
- ½ Cup=100 grams Fresh Green Peas
- 2 Medium sized =100 grams Onions (sliced lengthwise)
- ¼th Cup Fresh Coriander Leaves
- 2 Bay leaf
- 4 Cloves
- 1 inch Cinnamon Stick
- 2 Black Cardamom
- ½ tsp Cumin Seeds
- Cooking Oil
- 1 tbsp Clarified Butter
- Heat 4-5 tbsp Oil in a pan. Add Sliced Onions and fry until Onions turn brown in color. After frying for 12-13 mins on low heat, Onions become brown. Remove from the pan.
- In the same pan, add 1 tbsp Ghee. Add Cumin Seeds, Cinnamon Stick, Cloves, Bay Leaf and Black Cardamom. Always remember to crush Black Cardamom, before adding to the pan. This saves you from accidental popping of black cardamom out from the pan.
- Add Green Peas, Fresh Coriander Leaves and fry for couple of mins.
- Now add Soaked Rice (drain water out from soaked rice) and gently mix. Ensure that grains do not break
- Add remaining Coriander leaves, Onions (Half quantity). Add Salt to taste and mix well.
- Add 2 Cups of Water and allow it to simmer on medium heat.
- Reduce the heat and cook covered for 7-8 mins on low heat (Coriander leaves and Onions have made the Pulao highly aromatic)
- Take off the Pulao from the heat and keep it covered until serving.
- Matar Ka Pulao is ready to be served. Garnish with some fried Onions and relish with Vegetable Raita. Enjoy Matar ka Pulao during these winters.
Click to watch recipe video