This week is my husband's birthday. Hence, all week I am making his favorite dishes! He could eat pulao everyday instead of plain rice! He likes all kinds of pulaos.Methi pulao is by far one of my favorite pulaos too. I like it not only because of the delicious distinctive aroma of the fenugreek but also because of the immense health benefits of fenugreek leaves. I make it even more healthier by adding dry soy chunks and fresh tender green peas.Mmmm yummy! Pair it with fresh cucumber raita, it is heaven on earth. Here is a fine meal for you.
Basmati rice: 3 cups
Fresh Methi leaves (Fenugreek leaves): 1 cup ( from 1 medium bunch), washed and cleaned.
Soya chunks: 1 cup
Green peas: 1 cup ( I used frozen)
Ghee: 2 tbsp
Coconut oil: 2 tbsp
Clove: 3-4 nos
Cinnamon: 2 inch stick
Bay leaf: 1 big
Cardamom pods: 3-4
Cashewnut halves: 1 tbsp
Onion: 1 large,chopped lengthwise.
Ginger-garlic paste: 1 tbsp
Green chillies: 4-6( depending on your spice level),chopped fine
Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
Garam masala powder: 1 tsp
Tomato: 1 medium, chopped
Salt : to taste
Sugar: 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves: 1 tbsp chopped fine ( for garnishing)
Hot Water: 2 cups + 6 cups
Rinse the basmati rice thoroughly until all the starch is removed. Soak basmati rice in water for 30 mins. Drain the water and let it dry for 20-30 minutes.
Soak the soy chunks for 15 mins in 2 cups hot water with 1/8 th spoon salt added to it. Squeeze the soya chunks out of the water and keep aside.
Heat oil/ ghee mixture in a kadai/ sauté pan/ pressure cooker. Add the cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaves, cashew halves and the onions. Sauté until the onions turn transparent.
Now add the turmeric powder and the chopped tomatoes. Saute until the tomatoes wilt.Add in the soy chunks.Add the methi leaves and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add the drained rice and sauté for 2-4 minutes.
Add in the hot water, salt, sugar, green peas and bring it to a boil.
Cover, reduce the flame to low and cook for 15 minutes. If you are using a pressure cooker/ pan, do not use the whistle/ weight.
When done, fluff with a fork/ spoon.
Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves.
Serve hot with a raita/salad of your choice or by itself.
Cooking made easy:
The rice texture in any kind of pulao is one of the most important factors for making it a good pulao. Rice should neither be overcooked or undercooked.Each grain of rice should be distinctive, but cooked to perfection. This can be easily achieved if one pays attention to the following factors:
1. Soak the rice for 30 minutes so that the grain elongates.
2. Drain and dry for 30 minutes so that it is not easily broken upon sautéing.
3. Use hot water so that it can cook quickly.
4. It takes exactly 15 minutes to cook on medium-low flame. Do not open immediately. Let it sit for 15 more minutes after switching off the flame and before fluffing the rice.
5. Do not overmix the rice once cooked. Over mixing causes the rice grains to break.
Tip for healthy living:
Fenugreek has immense health benefits. It is potent in small amounts. It is not only a blood purifier but is also known to influence hormones in women. Lactating women benefit from the consumption of methi to increase the yield of milk.
Food for thought:
It's always too early to quit. Norman Vincent Peale