Be it biryani, pilaf or pulao, most one-pot dishes can be made in a jiffy and totally satisfy the rice cravings.
Whenever I need a quick fix for lunch, it is a pulao. When I’m looking for a comforting and wholesome meal, it has to be biryani. On some days, when my mother gets stuck at work and can’t reach home in time for lunch, she directs me to make a vegetable pulao and well, it turns out to be so easy-to-make that I love. Often, when I have some leftover rice, I stir-fry some onions and toss in the rice along with Schezwan chutney and Voila! My spicy rice is ready. Do you see what we see? Yes, that’s right, how versatile rice can be. From simple steamed or jeera rice to a veggie-filled nutritious meal, rice can be spruced up in a variety of ways.
In fact, the historical evidence suggests that pilaf and pulao are precursors to most one-pot rice meals, including biryani. Biryani is comparatively a lengthier and complex process, involving several ingredients and a distinct method of cooking. Pulao is easier to make and doesn’t require any time-consuming process or special ingredients. During a live session of a chef, she mentioned how pulao can be a great way to feed vegetables to your kids which they would otherwise fret at.
Wait, do you remember the commonplace argument for when someone says it’s veg biryani? The remark is usually retorted with a woh biryani nahi pulao hota hai. Now, let’s contradict that claim a little and load up our pulao with some of our most favourite meats.
Here is a list of delish pulaos that are purely non-vegetarian.
1. Mughlai Chicken Pulao
This one-pot rice meal is cooked with succulent chicken pieces, dunked in a heap of rice, along with several spices like black pepper, ginger-garlic paste, cumin, fennel etc. These not only enhance the flavour of the rice but also lend it a distinctive fragrance. Garnished with fried onions and chopped walnuts and cashews, this is truly a royal pulao.
2. Goan Prawns Pulao
Fresh from the sea, prawns are paired with rice in this Goan delicacy. Since Goa is known for its wide array of seafood and delicious meaty dishes, prawn pulao is just another addition to the list. Deveined prawns or shrimps are cooked along with long-grain rice in ghee. Peppercorns, cinnamon and bay leaves give the pulao a beautiful colour and aroma.
3. Andhra Chicken Pulao
Also known as kodi pulao, this Andhra specialty is made with fresh coconut, yoghurt, curry leaves and poppy seeds. This languorous preparation is dunked with big chunks of flavourful and spicy chicken.
4. Mutton Pulao
Cooked in rich coconut milk, the tender mutton is spiced up with cardamom and bay leaves. Sliced onions add a certain crunch to the whole dish while star anise lends it a distinguishable aroma. Made with basmati rice, the meat pulao is all things rich, filling and tasty.