Its been a while. A long while. I do have a bunch of recipes to put up. But here are couple of things I have learned doing this time :
1. Taking pictures while cooking is not easy. It a struggle between cleaning up and clicking, adjusting the light and cooking.
2. Taking pictures while cooking Indian Food is difficulty multiplied with 100. The list of ingredients are never less than 10. And that doesn't mean the recipes are complicated but they do have more steps to process. I used all the knowledge of mathematics and science I had in those three sentences.
3. One of the other challenges of blogging is titles. Its another thing to cook but to name your recipes ?
Now may be I can justify having 18 pictures for one post. And grumble about naming this recipe. Generally I would just call it a Chana pulao with Variation II on a paper. But it is quite less like pulao, more like biryani and it has bell peppers. What do I call it ? If you read the title and think my creativity is dead I'll shrug. And curse you.
You lets get to the point shall we ? Like I said this recipe is not authentic. But then whats authentic in pulao anyway? I came up with this recipe when I had halved bell peppers in the fridge ( which I always do). Bell peppers in rice are my weakness and I never leave a reason to add some when they are around. This is a household favourite. One of those recipes I come around every other week.
Chana Pulao with Bell peppers and Yogurt
Serves : 3 people
1 can of Chickpeas
1 white onion ( sliced)
1 green chilly (sliced)
1 tomato (diced)
1/2 Green bell pepper (chopped)
1/2 Red bell pepper (chopped)
1/2 yellow bell pepper (chopped)
2 tsp Coriander powder
1 tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 cup yogurt (whisked)
3 gloves of garlic (minced)
2 cup Indian Basmati Rice
1 1/2 tbsp of Olive oil
Handful of coriander (finely chopped)
Slice the onions and dice the tomatoes. The green chilly I used was rather mild by Indian standards. So I just sliced it. But if you are using a much hotter chilly chop it finer. You don't want a slice of chilly burning you.
Drain the liquid from chickpeas and wash it thoroughly.
In a kadai, take oil and let the onions become translucent. Add garlic and green chilly. Salt according to taste. Using salt at this stage helps to soften the onions.
Add red chilly, coriander powder and cumin powder. And mix well. It will getter dry as you stir in the spices.
Keep stirring for a minute and then add the tomatoes and bell peppers. Unlike the curries you don't want to cook the tomatoes to a paste. I love small junks of tomatoes to nibble upon in rice.
Coat the spices evenly and then add the chickpeas. Let it cook for 5-7 minutes.
Meanwhile lets prepare the yogurt. Stir together yogurt, coriander leaves and garam masala.
People throw away the stalks of coriander leaves. They are actually much more fragrant when they cook. And with rice it will have enough time to cook to become soft and adds great aroma to the rice.
Has the chick peas taken the color of the spices? Switch off the gas and mix in the yogurt.
Par boil the rice. It is very important for Indian rice dishes to have perfectly par boiled rice. And it does take a certain amount of practice to master the technique of perfectly boiled rice each time. I use this formula and it has always worked for me. ALWAYS pre soak the rice atleast for an hr. Take 4 cups of water and put in it 2 cups of rice. Put it on a medium high heat and add 2 tbsp of salt. Let is come to a simmer and let it simmer for 5-6 minutes. You don't want to keep your eye off at this moment as a little over done and you might end up with mushy pulao. It would still be tasty but well ah you won't be approved in eyes of your mother in law. Ha ha ha. Drain the rice in a colander.
In a heavy bottom pan add 1/2 tbsp of olive oil and layer half the rice.
Then layer it with the chickpeas and top it again with remaining rice.
Cover with a tight lid and cook for 20 minutes at low heat. To check the rice is done, sprinkle some water on the side of the pan. If the water evaporated immediately, then Volla! your rice is done. And if it doesn't cook for few more minutes. One more thing that is important for Indian rice dishes is, don't be tempted to open the lid. The steam should not escape till the very end.
You won't need anything else to accompany this one. Its moist and full of colors and flavors. Dig in.....