Author Topic: Perfect pulao  (Read 21896 times)

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Online Peripatetic Phil

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Re: Perfect pulao
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2013, 06:01 PM »
Having followed Phil's lead with a sprinkle of this, a shake of that and a smidgeon of 'fungal spored grain weevil', my only parting from the original was forced by my lack of freeze dried garlic flake. This was substituted with a small sprinkle of garlic powder at the appropriate stage.
I think I would have substituted a few slivers of the real thing, but whatever.

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I would question the need for 5 minutes to melt the ghee unless there is an argument that this imparts additional flavour. ( Awaits comment ).
I found it did not fully melt in two; five seemed the next obvious number (both necessary and sufficient).

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On taking the finished product from the micro my first concern was the amount of water hanging on to the pyrex lid. Well at least it was on the lid and not in the rice. Lid carefully removed and water dispensed with, a quick stir revealed a still slightly tacky consistency but the rice was cooked perfectly. The tackiness did seem to go very quickly after removing lid and fluffing up. Again, lovely aroma. I have removed some of the whole spices ( then remembered that these may have been better left in if rice left overnight ) and stirred again to disperse the minimal colouring.
Ah, at this point you may inadvertently have deviated : did you remove the rice after 12 minutes at full power, or after 12 minutes at full power plus 20 minutes at 10% ?  It is not clear if you added the colouring after the 12 as recommended and then let it rest at 10% for 20 mins (or the same time in a conventional oven at 80oC).  I would not expect significant water on the lid after 12+20.

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Verdict? - this rice looks good and indeed tastes good. I like the use of black rather than white whole cumin. It does have a strong but not unpleasant aroma and taste of aniseed. Bit obvious I suppose considering 2 x whole stars PLUS fennel seed. Personally I love it. For those who may not then I would suggest reducing the quantities as much may be lost if left out altogether.
To put things in perspective, I don't use very much fennel; probably four times as much kala jeera as fennel.

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It has now been in the fridge for around 30 mins and all the tackiness has gone, due in part I think to me placing a clean tea towel between lid and bowl to absorb some of the steam residue. Not rocket science I know but think it helped although even over-cooked rice seems to firm, separate and benefit from a night in the fridge.
An optional extra : mine always gets eaten after the 12+20 minutes, and only what then remains gets chilled.

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My only 'downer' on this is the time it takes to cook for the amount of rice produced. I have not measured it out into trays as yet but Phil estimates 2 to 3 portions. I think I could increase quantities in the micro but not greatly.
I suppose what matters here is for how many you are catering -- I normally cater for one, two, three or very occasionally four; never more.  Almost invariably one or two.  In which case 44 minutes plus washing time doesn't seen excessive to me, since it all takes place while I am cooking the curry.

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Thanks Phil  - just waiting on the size of your ice cream scoop now but I suppose that depends on the mood you are in after lugging your compressor back to Lidl  ;)
D@mn your eyes, Sir, you have a confounded impudence : I will have you know that my microwave oven (which includes a 2Kw convection oven) came from Tchibo, as would any gentleman's.  The generator was intended for the servants' quarters : they were to receive one tankful of petrol at the beginning of winter, and could then use the resulting power as they saw fit, even using two bars of their electric fire if they really felt it necessary ('though a few years at Gordonstoun would soon have knocked that nonsense out of them -- that's the trouble with the lower classes these days, they're just too d@mn pampered by half . . .).

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Edit -  just measured my oxo good grips ice cream scoop - = 4 x tbsp  ;)
And here, Sir, is mine.  Also from Tchibo, of course.



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Have to ask though Phil - how much / many garlic flakes do you add? You seem to have omitted this information  ;D
Just sufficient, old chap : neither too many nor too few.  Toodle-pip.
** Phil.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 07:24 PM by Phil [Chaa006] »
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Offline RubyDoo

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Re: Perfect pulao
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2013, 07:54 PM »

Ah, at this point you may inadvertently have deviated : did you remove the rice after 12 minutes at full power, or after 12 minutes at full power plus 20 minutes at 10% ?  It is not clear if you added the colouring after the 12 as recommended and then let it rest at 10% for 20 mins (or the same time in a conventional oven at 80oC).  I would not expect significant water on the lid after 12+20.

Thanks for the response Phil.  Re the steam / water etc. I added the colour after the 12 mins and before the 20 mins on 10% - as recommended. I did fluff up briefly before adding colour as well as after the 20 mins. May be that my pyrex lid fits a bit closer than yours and traps more steam?

My self and my good missus have just had 2/3 of it with appropriate accompaniments and it still gets the thumbs up. Very nice indeed. I may even try and replicate the spice mix across to my 3 mug pressure cooker version for 10 portions and see how we go. If it fails it fails and I shall therefore be doing this again sometime.
A Guinness a day helps the belly to sway.


Online Peripatetic Phil

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Re: Perfect pulao
« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2013, 07:59 PM »
Thanks for the response Phil.  Re the steam / water etc. I added the colour after the 12 mins and before the 20 mins on 10% - as recommended. I did fluff up briefly before adding colour as well as after the 20 mins.

So do I, in retrospect.

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May be that my pyrex lid fits a bit closer than yours and traps more steam?

Maybe; or maybe your 1/3" is a little more than mine.  Try a tad less water next time, maybe ?

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My self and my good missus have just had 2/3 of it with appropriate accompaniments and it still gets the thumbs up. Very nice indeed. I may even try and replicate the spice mix across to my 3 mug pressure cooker version for 10 portions and see how we go. If it fails it fails and I shall therefore be doing this again sometime.

I am delighted it all went well.  Tonight, for me, plebians' pie with home-made chips (par-boiled in slices, then chipped and deep-fried at 190oC).  Photos later, if the chips look good !

** Phil.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 11:37 PM by Phil [Chaa006] »
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Offline RubyDoo

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Re: Perfect pulao
« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2013, 08:12 PM »


Maybe ; or maybe your 1/3" is a little more than mine.  Try a tad less water njext time, maybe ?


Perhaps this is one of those times that the quantity of water should be measured as opposed to estimated? Once the optimum is found it can therefore be replicated time and again providing the other conditions remain the same?

Enjoy your chips.  ;)
A Guinness a day helps the belly to sway.


Offline DalPuri

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Re: Perfect pulao
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2013, 08:23 PM »
I am delighted it all went well.  Tonight, for me, plebians' pie with home-made chips (par-boiled in slices, then chipped and deep-fried at 190oC).  Photos later, if the chips look good !

** Phil.

A really good tip i thought of years ago(and still do to this day) is to buy a portion of chips from the chippy without salt or vinegar.
Spread them out when you get home and leave to cool.
Then deep fry hard and fast for a few mins.   
Perfect crispy chips.  8)


Frank.  :)

p.s. Theres always room for colour and a double fry with chips from the chippy because theyre usually quite blond.

Online Peripatetic Phil

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Re: Perfect pulao
« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2013, 08:40 PM »
Perhaps this is one of those times that the quantity of water should be measured as opposed to estimated? Once the optimum is found it can therefore be replicated time and again providing the other conditions remain the same?
To be honest (and serious, for once), I don't think measurement will help.  I forget how long it took me to master fried rice, but it may well have been getting on for twenty years, and during that time I tried every measurement in the book.  Then, one day, it just happened, and after that, it (almost) never went wrong again.  Causative formation (or formative causation) at work ?  Anyhow, exactly the same story with pulao rice (and probably almost the same timescale, perhaps a little foreshortend because the fried rice experience gave me a start); now I add the water by eye, adjusting for the length of time for which it has soaked, dried, and so on, and it is (almost) never too wet or too dry.  Can I communicate to others how much water to add ?  Only in the most general terms -- about 1/3"  -- it is then up to each individual to modify the amount they use on subsequent occasions in the light of experience, and very soon each will be able to make perfect pulao every time without the need to measure anything.

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Enjoy your chips.  ;)
Thank you, and here they are, accompanied by the wonderful plebians' pie.
** Phil.

« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 11:39 PM by Phil [Chaa006] »
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Offline Bengali Bob

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Re: Perfect pulao
« Reply #26 on: January 22, 2013, 08:57 PM »
Your pie looks great Phil.  But the chips look very iffy.

Rob  :)

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Re: Perfect pulao
« Reply #27 on: January 22, 2013, 09:02 PM »
Your pie looks great Phil.  But the chips look very iffy.

M. Fray & M. Bentos studied for fifty years at L'Ecole Gastronomique in order to learn how to create such perfection in a pie; what hope has a mere amateur when he places his humble offerings alongside theirs ?

** Phil.
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Offline Bengali Bob

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Re: Perfect pulao
« Reply #28 on: January 22, 2013, 09:18 PM »
Your pie looks great Phil.  But the chips look very iffy.

M. Fray & M. Bentos studied for fifty years at L'Ecole Gastronomique in order to learn how to create such perfection in a pie; what hope has a mere amateur when he places his humble offerings alongside theirs ?

** Phil.

I'd have garnished liberally with Harry Ramsden's mushy peas, and a couple of thick white bread slices on the side (buttered), cut diagonally.  Salt and vinegar. Heinz tomato ketchup. Perfection!

Rob  8)
No bagar, no taste.

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Re: Perfect pulao
« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2013, 08:39 PM »
As I mentioned last night that mastering (Chinese) fried rice was, for me, an important step towards mastering pulao rice, and as I cooked fried rice this evening (tenth anniversary of my late father-in-law's death, so important to put the right food on the shrine) I thought that some might be interested to see a picture of it.  There is, of course, no "recipe" per se : well-washed rice, 1/3" boiling water, 12 minutes, then fry omelette and shred, add rice, MSG, salt; keep moving; finally add finely chopped spring onion, fry a little more, dress with sesame oil and serve.

** Phil.
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« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 10:33 PM by Phil [Chaa006] »
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