Laal pulav

Red rice pilaf, one of my mother’s specialties. This was her go-to recipe when my father invited Very Important People to dinner. She has many such recipes, from creamy dal makhani to crisp spice-stuffed okra, but this is one of my favorites.

Incredibly simple, fresh, cheerful, it has no spices, relying instead on the combination of fruits and vegetables for color and flavor. It works beautifully. The picture above is missing her finishing touch of carefully applied vark– edible silver foil- an uncommon garnish, but one befitting the crowning glory of my mother’s table.

To serve four:

1.25 cup long grain basmati rice

1/2 beet, peeled and slivered

1/2 cup French beans, sliced on the bias, parboiled

1/2 cup fresh green peas, parboiled

1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

1/2 a sweet apple, peeled, sliced, tossed with lemon juice

Sections from one small orange, the white membranes removed

A handful of sliced cashews and almonds

– In a non-stick saucepan, bring 1 cup rice to boil with two cups of water. Cover and simmer on low heat until all the water is absorbed. Gently fluff with a fork.

– In a smaller non-stick saucepan, combine the beet slivers with 1/2 cup water and 1/4 cup rice. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until the water is absorbed. Again, fluff with a fork.

– At the time of serving, lightly combine both types of rice, salt, vegetables, fruits and nuts. Serve warm.


About purplesque

Psychiatrist, cook, bookworm, photographer. Not necessarily in that order.
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10 Responses to Laal pulav

  1. THAT was one of the dishes we had at the older daughter’s MIL’s holiday party! It was delicious, and oh so pretty to look at. My only kvetch is that she likes to throw in an extra chili pepper to make it spicy. I’ll try your recipe—it sounds sweet, rather than fiery hot.

    • purplesque says:

      šŸ™‚ Different version of pulao are a prerequisite at any ‘formal’ meal. Sometimes, I will make pulao with ‘mota masala’- whole spices- cumin, cinnamon, a whole red chilli pepper, cloves, black cardamom. Your daughter’s MIL sounds like a fabulous cook.

  2. I’m inclined to throw in some cayenne like Hangaku’s MIL simply because we prefer spicy, but your recipe sounds fabulous. I’m going to have to give it a try. šŸ™‚

    • purplesque says:

      Laurie, you certainly could use some whole spices- saute the white rice in cumin, a whole dried cayenne pepper, whole black peppers, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom- that’s the standard flavor profile for rice, and one I really like. Thanks for visiting!

  3. aussie emjay says:

    That looks so pretty! I would like the spicier version. šŸ™‚

  4. Lurkertype says:

    I’m having a spell of trouble with my stomach, so the bland version strikes me as magnificent. Plus there’s nothing there the husband doesn’t like or love. I’d need some cinnamon to make the beets tolerable to me.

    • purplesque says:

      I hope your stomach is doing better.

      Yay for cinnamon, and for husbands who like food. Mine just left, and I realized I’ve done more cooking this weekend than I did in the past two weeks!

  5. mizunogirl says:

    This I have to make! If and when I ever get any time.

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