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Vegetable Pulao (Tehri)
- Duration: 30 minutes
- Serves: 4 to 5 people
Spice Level: Zero
To get that perfect taste, do not pressure-cook the Tahiri. Instead, cook it in a thick-bottomed vessel with a lid. The proportion of water to be added will depend on whether the rice that is being used is new-crop or aged. For new-crop rice, the amount of water should be 1.5 times in proportion to the rice. If it is aged, then the amount of water should be double than that of the rice.
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Tahiri is Uttar Pradesh’s signature Diwali dish. Its traditional preparation coincides with the coming of winter, so its recipe includes winter-time vegetables like green peas and gobhi along with the regular aloo. This dish was originally developed for the Hindu book-keepers of the Oudh Nawabs. The Tahiri became especially popular during World War II, in which period the price of meat sky-rocketed and led to its replacement in the Biryani with the humble potato.
- Basmati rice (1 cup)
- Potato, cubed (2)
- Fresh green peas (2 cups)
- Cauliflower florets (gobhi) (2 cups)
- Ginger-garlic paste (2 tsp)
- Onion, thinly sliced (3 medium)
- Fresh coriander, for garnishing (¼ cup)
- MTR Haldi Turmeric Powder (½ tsp)
- MTR Lal Mirch Chilli Powder (1 tsp)
- Salt (to taste)
- Garam masala (⅓ tsp)
- Water (3 cups)
- Ghee (4 tbsp)
- Bay leaves (tejpatta) (1)
- Cumin seeds (jeera) (1 tsp)
- Cloves (laung) (2)
- Wash and soak the rice in adequate water for 20 minutes.
- Heat ghee in a thick-bottomed vessel. Add the jeera, laung and tejpatta and stir-fry on a medium flame till the jeera turns dark brown.
- Toss in the onions and stir-fry till they turn translucent.
- Add in the vegetables and stir-fry for 3 more minutes.
- Next, add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté for a few seconds.
- Drain out the water from the soaked rice and add the rice to the vegetables. Gently sauté for about a minute.
- Add in water and mix gently. Cover the vessel with a lid and allow the Tahiri to cook on a medium flame for 6 to 7 minutes.
- Open the lid and run a fork through the Tahiri. Press a rice grain between your fingers to check if the rice is cooked.
- If done, put the lid back on, let the vessel be on a low flame for a minute more and then turn off the flame.
- Serve hot with hara dhaniya chutney and pyaz-kheera raita.