The Best Comfort Foods…Nostalgia

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We all have memories from childhood about some of the best meals we have had. It has something to do with Maa ke haath ka Khana.It may be a very simple dish like Dal and Rice,  but there is something special about it, almost magical. Whenever we have that meal anywhere, we become nostalgic, and are transported to that memory sub- consciously, and we get that feel good feeling all over. For me that meal is Masoor Pulao, a one pot dish that my Mom occasionally made.

So here is a recipe for the same

Masoor Pulao

Ingredients you need:

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 cups water for the rice
  • 1 and a half cup masoor
  • 3 tomatoes
  • Half cup curd
  • Ginger garlic chilli paste ( 2 table spoons)
  • 5 gms red chilli powder
  • 2 gms turmeric
  • 5 gms zeera powder
  • 4 potatoes ( peeled & fried)
  • 4 large onions
  • Salt to taste
  • A pinch of garam masala pwd.
  • 2 bay leaf, 3 cloves, 1” cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. shahjeera
  • Half cup coriander
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • Half teaspoon ghee
  • 4 boiled eggs (optional)
  • Pinch of saffron dissolved in water (optional)

Pre-Preparations:

Soak the rice for 20 minutes. Then boil in 4 cups water with salt as per taste, and 2 drops of refined oil. Drain and keep aside. The rice grains should be separate and long grains.

Take one cup of masoor, wash, and boil in two cups water with salt & a pinch of turmeric. Boil just enough till soft. Do not over boil.

Take 3 large onions out of the four, Chop them in fine rings, and fry them in hot oil, until brown, keep aside.

Peel the potatoes, with a knife or fork prick, soak in salt water, and deep fry in oil. Keep aside.

Method for cooking:

In a large vessel or biryani pot, Heat oil, add whole garam masala, bay leaf cinnamon, cloves and shahjeera, add the one remaining onion, fry till pink, add ginger garlic chilli paste, salt, turmeric, zeera and chilli powder, fry for two minutes, add finely chopped tomatoes, fry till oil separates, now add the boiled masoor, fry for a minute. In a mixie take half cup hung curd, add half of the fried browned onions, run the mixie, add this to the biryani pot, keep the gas on very low flame while adding curds, now add half rice, mix well, spread this properly, add fried potatoes, cover with another layer of drained basmati rice, sprinkle saffron along with 1/4th cup milk, in which saffron is dissolved. Spread the rice evenly. Sprinkle pinch of garam masala powder. Make a whole in the centre of the rice, fill it with ghee. Cover with foil paper, or a muslin cloth, Put lid. Put a bowl of water on the lid for even cooking, cook on flame for five minute. Then put the vessel on a hot tawa, for even cooking and to avoid burning. Cook for twenty minute. If covered with Muslin cloth, in twenty minutes you will see that it is wet with the steam. Put off the flame. Do not open the lid. Let it rest for twenty minutes.

Garnish with boiled eggs, halved, remaining fried brown onions, and coriander leaves.

Delicious Masoor Pulao is ready .Serve it with either boondi raita, or cucumber raita.

Ideal to be taken for outings, picnics and easy to serve for get together as this is a one pot meal.

-Article by Zarina Aslam

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