Patiala, a fourth largest city in Southeastern part of Punjab is popular in India for several noteworthy items. Its traditional turban, Patiala salwar (a female trouser), jutti (footwear) and the world famous Patiala peg (said to be roughly around 120ml). Patiala is also renowned for its rich gastronomic traditions. Food preparations like tandoori roti, maa ki daal, matar paneer, paranthas, aloo ki tikki, malai kulfi , makki ki roti and sarso da saag are part of the rich culinary list that Patiala can proudly boast about.
Last Sunday afternoon, I had some leftover Dal tadka from previous night’s dinner and I wanted my lunch to be a very simple affair. So I proposed that I would make steamed rice, but met with a stiff resistance from Pranay as he thought steamed rice and Dal would be too boring for Sunday Lunch. So after some convincing, we decided to make a fragrant Pilaf from Patiala that has always lived up to our expectations.
This preparation of Patiala Pilaf (Pulao) is straight from “Classic Indian Cooking” by Julie Sahni. This recipe is one of my favorite rice preparations that I make in my kitchen. I like the usage of fried onions that goes in this preparation. Fried onions are typically used in Indian cooking in biryani, pulaos and sometimes they are used in chicken or potato curries. Fried Onions impart a crunchiness and sweetness to the recipes in which they get used. We also make use of whole spices like green cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf and black cumin seeds that make this preparation very aromatic. I would definitely recommend using Basmati Rice for this preparation. We must be very careful while cooking basmati rice, as too much stirring can break the grains and spoil the aesthetics of the dish. I make use of a fork to check if the rice has cooked. When the Pilaf gets cooked, always keep the pilaf covered for 15 minutes so that the rice could absorb the aroma from the spices. This would make the pilaf more flavorful and aromatic.
- 2 cups long grain basmati rice
- 1 medium sized onion finely chopped
- 2 medium sized onions fried
- 7-8 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 1 tsp Shahi Jeera (black cumin seeds)
- 7-8 green cardamom
- 6 cloves
- 2 inches of cinnamon stick
- 2 bay leaf
- Cooking Oil
- Take a large bowl and soak the rice in water for 30 minutes.
- Heat 3 tbsp oil in a pan. Fry chopped garlic until they turn light brown.
- When garlic turns brown, add black cumin seeds. As cumin seeds starts to splutter add chopped onions and fry them until they become tender.
- When Onions become tender, add green cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf and fry them for a minute.
- Fry whole spices for 1 minute. Now add rice and mix it well with the ingredients in the pan.
- Add 4 cups of water for 2 cups of rice.Cook rice uncovered on medium flame until water begins to boil.
- As the water begins to boil, add salt as per taste. Cover and cook the rice until it is done.
- Rice gets cooked in 3 minutes. Turn off the flame and let the rice stay covered for next 15 minutes so that it absorbs all the flavors and aroma of spices.
- Garnish Patiala Pilaf with fried onions.
This flavorful pilaf is best enjoyed with any veg or non-veg gravy or with some delicious Dal preparations . Check out some equally delicious rice preparations.
Click here to watch recipe video