Author Topic: Perfect pulao  (Read 22847 times)

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Online Peripatetic Phil

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Perfect pulao
« on: January 03, 2012, 03:09 PM »
Although in 2011 I experimented with the "don't wash, and dry-fry" approach to pulao rice, and was quite happy with the results, I did come to realise that while the technique most definitely works and produces very acceptable pulao rice, the one thing that suffers in the process is the colour : the rice just isn't white at the end of the exercise.  With this in mind, I have started 2012 by returning to the "Wash, soak and drain" method, but have modified my subsequent technique to use no stove-top utensils at all : all takes place in the microwave oven.  So here is a step-by-step guide to what I am now happy to call "perfect pulao" : it really does lead to perfection, and I don't think can be significantly improved much further.

Step 1: place one mug of rice in a very large kitchen sieve, and stand the latter in an even larger bowl so that the sieve hangs down into the bowl for the former's full depth.  Stand under the kitchen tap in the sink, and wash thoroughly, using hot water at first and then switching to cold.  Leave the water running while you do other things, and return from time to time to give the contents of the sieve a good stir.  When stirring no longer produces any signs of cloudiness in the water, turn off the tap and leave to soak for about 30 minutes, then empty the bowl and allow the rice to drain/dry.

Step 2 : into the base of a Pyrex [R] casserole with lid, put a little ghee (maybe 1/3 of an ice-cream scoop, no more) and on top of the ghee add your pulao spices : faux cinnamon, Indian bay, kala jeera, cardamom, fennel,  a couple of cloves, and -- most important of all -- some star anise.  Place in an 850W microwave oven and cook on full power with the lid on for five minutes.  Remove from the oven, add some freeze-dried garlic flakes and the drained rice, salt to taste, and then cover with boiling water to a depth of about 1/3".  Place in an 850W microwave oven with the lid on for 12 minutes.  Remove from the microwave oven, lift over gently, add a few drops of food colouring if desired (keep each colour separate) and either return to the microwave oven at 10% for about 20 minutes, or place in a warm (80C) conventional oven for about the same period, in both cases still with the lid firmly in place.  Gently lift over once more and serve.  The pulao is even better on the second day, when the rice has been in contact with the spices and garlic for a full 24 hours, but is nonetheless both edible and delicious when freshly prepared.

** Phil.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2020, 03:56 PM by Peripatetic Phil »
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Online Stephen Lindsay

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Re: Perfect pulao
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2012, 04:04 PM »
Hey Phil and Happy New Year to ya.

I've never seen a recipe for micro rice before, apart from those instant pre-made packets from supermarkets. It seems to me that one of the disadvantages of this method is time - 5 minutes plus 12 minutes whereas on the stove I give my basmati 10 minutes max. However I know one thing from exchanging banter with you and reading your posts on here - you are an astute chap and I imagine there must be other advantages that I've not thought of?

Steve
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Online Peripatetic Phil

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Re: Perfect pulao
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2012, 04:19 PM »
Hey Phil and Happy New Year to ya.

Thank you, Sir : and to you and yours.

Quote
I've never seen a recipe for micro rice before, apart from those instant pre-made packets from supermarkets. It seems to me that one of the disadvantages of this method is time - 5 minutes plus 12 minutes whereas on the stove I give my basmati 10 minutes max. However I know one thing from exchanging banter with you and reading your posts on here - you are an astute chap and I imagine there must be other advantages that I've not thought of?
For me, it is as much a matter of convenience as anything; by cooking the rice in the microwave oven (and then transferring it to the main oven, where the plates are warming), I leave the hob completely free for the curry, the sag aloo, the chapatti, and so on.  It is rather like my use of the induction hob : the more I can relegate to non-hob space, the more room I have to concentrate on the primary dishes.  And cooked in a microwave oven, the rice never /ever/ sticks !

** Phil.
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Online Stephen Lindsay

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Re: Perfect pulao
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2012, 06:38 PM »
Am with you now Phil and I can appreciate the hob problem, with only an 4 burner electric ceramic hob (not induction) I have to plan ahead. I usually drain my rice then pop it in a casserole and then later put it into the micro to dry off and heat up although the actual cooking is done in a saucepan with plenty water (not reduction method). This works for me but of course this is a plain basmati rice and not pilau. I can see how your method is attractive and stress free!
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Offline RubyDoo

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Re: Perfect pulao
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2012, 02:38 PM »
An interesting alternative method which I may have a go at sometime but could you provide more info as to amounts of the spices etc and is it veg ghee or butter ghee that you use? Thank you.
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Online Peripatetic Phil

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Re: Perfect pulao
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2012, 03:09 PM »
An interesting alternative method which I may have a go at sometime but could you provide more info as to amounts of the spices etc and is it veg ghee or butter ghee that you use? Thank you.

Butter ghee, Ruby, but no particular quantities of spices; I simply shake them into the palm of my hand and add them when it looks as if I have the right amount.  Probably two star anise, two or three Indian bay leaves, at most two cloves, 8 to 10 little-finger-nail size pieces of faux cinnamon,  8 to 10 green cardamom, 2/3 teaspoon kala jeera, 1/3 teaspoon fennel and maybe 1 1/2 teaspoons freeze-dried garlic flakes.  But I really must emphasise that all of these are guesses -- I have never measured how much I use, and just use visual judgement to guide me.

** Phil.
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Offline RubyDoo

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Re: Perfect pulao
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2012, 03:18 PM »
An interesting alternative method which I may have a go at sometime but could you provide more info as to amounts of the spices etc and is it veg ghee or butter ghee that you use? Thank you.

Butter ghee, Ruby, but no particular quantities of spices; I simply shake them into the palm of my hand and add them when it looks as if I have the right amount.  Probably two star anise, two or three Indian bay leaves, at most two cloves, 8 to 10 little-finger-nail size pieces of faux cinnamon,  8 to 10 green cardamom, 2/3 teaspoon kala jeera, 1/3 teaspoon fennel and maybe 1 1/2 teaspoons freeze-dried garlic flakes.  But I really must emphasise that all of these are guesses -- I have never measured how much I use, and just use visual judgement to guide me.

** Phil.

Thank you for that, I understand.. I have recently been using the pressure cooker method for 3 mugs of rice quantity. Assuming my pyrex and micro is large enough, IF i doubled or trebled your quantities do you think I would keep the same cooking time or would that need to be increased proportionally?

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Online Peripatetic Phil

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Re: Perfect pulao
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2012, 03:53 PM »
Thank you for that, I understand.. I have recently been using the pressure cooker method for 3 mugs of rice quantity. Assuming my pyrex and micro is large enough, IF i doubled or trebled your quantities do you think I would keep the same cooking time or would that need to be increased proportionally?

I think you might need a catering-size microwave oven to accommodate three mugs of rice after cooking !  I normally cook one, which is more than enough rice for two people; I do not think my Pyrex casserole would hold two mugs after the expansion that takes place as the rice swells, and certainly not three.  As regards timing, we are not talking pro-rata; I would start with the 12 minutes recommended (certainly if using boiling water rather than cold), and test it at 12 minutes; if it is not ready, give it one or two more minutes and try again.  My suspicion is that we are probably looking at something like a square-root law, so if one cup requires 12 minutes, two cups would require at most 12 x 1.414 = 17 minutes max.  Don't forget to let the rice rest for 20 minutes, either at 10% power or in a conventional oven at 80oC : this will both help to dry it and also to set the colour if you are using liquid colouring.

** Phil.
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Offline RubyDoo

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Re: Perfect pulao
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2012, 04:42 PM »
Ok I think the answer here is to do the smaller amount to try it out.. Three mugs in a 7 l pressure cooker doesn't even come to half and gives me a good 9 / 10 portions but may be a bit too much for the micro.

Now you got me getting the books out as I have never used 10% power for anything as it has a preset defrost etc. Seems like our micro is 1000watt on high. Has a warm setting of 100 watt so that is fine me thinks.  :D  ;)

Will report back but it will be a while as we are dining out this weekend  ;) ruby of course.
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Offline RubyDoo

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Re: Perfect pulao
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2013, 11:53 AM »
Phil.
Going to have a go at this today pending an answer to this.
A mug of rice? Am I splitting hairs to ask what size that is or does it not matter as long as the water is enough to cover it by 1/3" ?
Also note that you use pyrex dish. I have a couple of these with proper lids but would not say they are a tight fit like some pans. Does this matter?
Ta.
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