Zaffrani Pulao with Vegetables, a mild pulao with a subtle hint of spices and mint, wonderful aroma of saffron and perfectly cooked rice garnished with fresh cilantro, is a great one pot meal and doesn’t need any elaborate side dishes as it’s balanced and filling on its own.
If you are probably looking for an easy, quick, nutritious, one-pot rice dish, then this is it! I often make this Pulao as it is a one-pot meal and I don’t have to worry about anything to compliment it. Especially days when I have some left over Sabzi/Curry from prev night, this is my go to recipe and I make some fresh salad/simple Raita, which makes it a wholesome meal.
There are many version of Zaffrani pulao in the internet, but I like to stick to this recipe for 2 reasons. One, I made this when I was in hurry and it tasted great. It was simple and quick, what more you could ask for a week day dinner! Second, it has vegetables. (I did check a few recipes with no vegetable at all, it was pure rice and saffron, aah!) We love any dish with lots of vegetables. I have added vegetables like beans, carrot, cauliflower and peas. Go ahead and add other vegetables like lima beans and capsicum. More vegetables in it, all you have to do is a simple Raita like onion-tomato/boondi and not worry about a side dish. But do check a few side dishes that will go extremely well with this Pulao ( I have linked them at the end of the post!)
Time: 30-35 minutes
Ingredients you will need:
1/2 tsp Cumin
2 small Bay leaf
2 1″ piece Cinnamon
3 Cardamom pods
1.5 cups Basmati Rice + 2 cups water
2 tsp oil
1 tbsp Ginger-garlic paste
3/4 cup| 1 medium size Onions, cut length wise
2 green chillies, slit
1 carrot Carrot
7-8 small florets Cauliflower
1/4 cup Peas
6 Mint leaves
1 generous pinch Saffron
3 tbsp hot Milk
1 tbsp Ghee
Salt – to taste
2 tbsp finely chopped Cilantro/Coriander leaves – to garnish
Pressure cook 1.5 cup of rice with 2 cups of water and 1/2 tsp salt (to taste) for 1 whistle. The rice will be 90% cooked. Mix gently with a fork so the rice doesn’t stick to each other and set aside. If you don’t have/want to use a pressure cooker, use a wide pan and cook rice closed on medium flame until the rice is 90% cooked.
Cut the vegetables and dissolve saffron in warm milk.
In a pan, heat oil and add whole spices: cumin, bay leaf, cinnamon, clove and cardamom.
As the spices begin to change in color, add ginger-garlic paste, green chillies and onions, cut in length wise. Sprinkle a little salt to help the onions cook faster.
Then goes in the vegetable in the order of: Beans first, as the take longer time to cook, Carrots, Cauliflower and Peas. Add salt to vegetables, remember salt was added to rice too, so don’t go over board!
Sprinkle saffron dissolved milk on the 90% cooked rice
Sprinkle freshly chopped mint, Layer the 90% done vegetables and add a dollop of ghee.
Sprinkle 1/4 cup of water (this will make sure the rice/vegetables don’t become dry) and Steam (cook in pressure cooker without the weight, similar to making idli/dhokla) for 15-18 minutes of low flame with lots of water between the cooker and the pan inside.
After removing from fire, Open the lid and do not mix immediately or the rice will begin to break. After 5 minutes, gently mix and garnish with fresh cilantro/coriander leaves and fried onions, yumm!