Author Topic: Towards a more aromatic pulao  (Read 3722 times)

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Online Peripatetic Phil

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Towards a more aromatic pulao
« on: March 29, 2020, 09:20 PM »
Once I started making pulao rice using a microwave oven, I never looked back, and my pulao is in most respects as good as I have eaten.  But when Ganesha opened in Bodmin, and I compared their pulao rice with mine, I was sure that theirs was better and I began to wonder why ...  I finally reached the conclusion that while the taste and appearance of mine was as good as Ganesha's, theirs was better in terms of aroma — when you lift the lid of one of their takeaway containers, the fragrance of the cooked rice is out of this world.  So this evening I tried to replicate Ganesha's rice in terms of aroma as well as taste and appearance, and I do believe I had some success.

What I did on this occasion (and what I have never done previously) is to prepare what I will call the rice "gravy" in advance of cooking the rice.  Normally I heat some ghee in a Pyrex casserole dish in the microwave oven, add the whole spices,  put the casserole dish back and cook for a further five minutes, add the rice, cook for further two minutes (max), add the water and then cook for 12 minutes at full power and 20 minutes at 10%.  On this occasion I bhooned the spices in a little oil in a saucepan, added what I estimated to be sufficient boiling water and some dried garlic flakes and Himalayan salt crystals (I could have used Kosher salt!), then cooked on a low heat for half an hour or so.  I then cooked the rice as above, strained the water onto the rice, picked out the cardomom and garlic flakes from the sieve with chopsticks, added them to the rice, gave it all a good stir and then cooked as before.  The results were excellent — when I lifted the lid off the Pyrex casserole, I was greeted with a wonderful smell of aromatic rice.  Not exactly the same smell as Ganesha's, I have to say — clearly some more analytical work on their rice spicing required — but an order of magnitude more aromatic than before.  If, like me, you like aromatic rice, do give it a try.

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« Last Edit: March 30, 2020, 12:27 PM by Peripatetic Phil »
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Offline mickdabass

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Re: Towards a more aromatic pulao
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2020, 12:05 PM »
Hi Phil

Thats a very interesting read.
Ive never tried to cook rice in a microwave. Must give it a go.
Seem to  have a bit of spare time at the moment lol
Reading your article reminded me of a ridiculously over complicated gravy recipe I tried about 10 years ago.
That included a spice stock to be added to the gravy at the latter stage of cooking. I seem to remember it completely ruined the gravy. I know the stock had another name so I googled it and found this recipe instead from Dan Toombs. Might be worth a look

https://greatcurryrecipes.net/2013/09/10/herb-and-spice-stock-for-that-perfect-curry/

Stay Safe
Mick


Online Peripatetic Phil

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Re: Towards a more aromatic pulao
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2020, 12:24 PM »
Thank for that pointer/link, Mick.  When I came downstairs this morning, I was greeted with the most wonderfully aromatic smell, which was almost certainly coming from the small quantity of pulao "gravy" that I had left over.  I thought as soon as that smell greeted me that perhaps there was a possibilty to bring a standard BIR curry up to another level by bhooning some whole mixed masala and then gently cooking it in the base gravy before adding the latter to the spices and meat, and your message seems to confirm this.  I shall certainly give it a go, and I shall also experiment with using panch phoran for making pulao rice, and with using whole mixed masala for the same, rather than making up a special "pulao rice" blend as I did yesterday.

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« Last Edit: March 30, 2020, 01:14 PM by Peripatetic Phil »
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Offline Secret Santa

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Re: Towards a more aromatic pulao
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2020, 05:08 PM »
Gotta try this some time Phil. I meant to do it the last time you brought up the microwave pilau subject but it inevitably got forgotten about. I must ask though do you (or anyone else for that matter) ever have plain rice from the takeaway or restaurant? I used to have only plain rice when I first started eating BIR curries and it always had a fantastic aroma. And it wasn't specific to any particular restaurant or takeaway they all had it. Never been able to figure that one out as plain basmati rice, and I've tried a fair few over the years, just doesn't have much aroma at all to me.

Also, panch phoran just doesn't seem right to me as far as pilau goes. You'd see the seeds and I've never seen them in a pilau.
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Offline mickyp

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Re: Towards a more aromatic pulao
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2020, 05:34 PM »
Quote from SS "Also, panch phoran just doesn't seem right to me as far as pilau goes. You'd see the seeds and I've never seen them in a pilau."

Ive cooked basmati rice after first frying onion/fennel/cinnamon in a bit of oil, mixing in the rice to coat it before adding the water, that imparts a subtle taste and nice aroma, and the mix is forever variable.

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Re: Towards a more aromatic pulao
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2020, 05:40 PM »
I sieve all the solids out, Santa, then use chopsticks to put back the ones I want (cardomom, garlic flakes).  And yes, good boiled basmati really does have a wonderful aroma all of its own, but whether "good" means "young" or "aged" I can never remember ...

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Offline romain

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Re: Towards a more aromatic pulao
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2020, 10:55 PM »
Hi Phil

Thats a very interesting read.
Ive never tried to cook rice in a microwave. Must give it a go.
Seem to  have a bit of spare time at the moment lol
Reading your article reminded me of a ridiculously over complicated gravy recipe I tried about 10 years ago.
That included a spice stock to be added to the gravy at the latter stage of cooking. I seem to remember it completely ruined the gravy. I know the stock had another name so I googled it and found this recipe instead from Dan Toombs. Might be worth a look

https://greatcurryrecipes.net/2013/09/10/herb-and-spice-stock-for-that-perfect-curry/

Stay Safe
Mick

Akhni stock?
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Re: Towards a more aromatic pulao
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2020, 09:10 AM »
I think you may well be right, Romain.  Fennel is certainly something I have experienced in pulaos in the past, and I was considering using it but did not do so on this last occasion.  But cassia bark makes the stock too dark, so I think I shall use real cinnamon next time (and hang the expense !).
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Offline mickyp

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Re: Towards a more aromatic pulao
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2020, 10:01 AM »
I sieve all the solids out, Santa, then use chopsticks to put back the ones I want (cardomom, garlic flakes).  And yes, good boiled basmati really does have a wonderful aroma all of its own, but whether "good" means "young" or "aged" I can never remember ...

** Phil.


Aged is better.

Offline mickyp

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Re: Towards a more aromatic pulao
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2020, 10:52 AM »
Hi Phil

Thats a very interesting read.
Ive never tried to cook rice in a microwave. Must give it a go.
Seem to  have a bit of spare time at the moment lol
Reading your article reminded me of a ridiculously over complicated gravy recipe I tried about 10 years ago.
That included a spice stock to be added to the gravy at the latter stage of cooking. I seem to remember it completely ruined the gravy. I know the stock had another name so I googled it and found this recipe instead from Dan Toombs. Might be worth a look

https://greatcurryrecipes.net/2013/09/10/herb-and-spice-stock-for-that-perfect-curry/

Stay Safe
Mick

Akhni stock?

I made a large batch of base using Adey Payne's recipe which requires Akhni stock, tbh not sure if i really noticed any difference, and i dont think many TA's will use a base that complicated, nice enough base though.


 

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