Basmati rice- 1 1/2 cups
Baby corn- 1/4 cup, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
Carrot- 1/4 cup, peeled and cut into small cubes
Bell pepper- half of a medium pepper, chopped into small cubes
Green peas- 1/4 cup (I used frozen ones)
Ghee- 2 tbsp
Cinnamon- 1 inch stick
Cardamom- 2 pods
Bay leaf- 1
Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
Ginger garlic paste- 1 tsp
Garam masala- 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder- 1/4 tsp
Soup cube- 1/2 of one cube (you can use chicken, beef or vegetable cube)
Kasoori methi- 1/2 tbsp
Milk- 2 tbsp (use cream for a richer taste or just use water as well)
Salt- to taste
Boiling water- 3 1/4 cups
Lemon juice- 1/2 tbsp
Coriander leaves- to garnish
Rinse the rice well and soak till you slice and cook the vegetables.
In a wide pan, large enough to hold 3 cups of water, melt ghee and throw in all the whole spices-cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, bay leaf and cumin seeds.
Once they splutter a bit and the aroma comes through, add the ginger garlic paste and saute continuously till the raw smell disappears. Keep heat on medium and make sure the paste doesnt burn.
Tip in all the vegetables, garam masala, pepper and salt and cook on high for a couple of minutes, till the vegetables have slightly wilted.
Sprinkle the soup cube and kasoori methi and give a good mix.
Add the milk and scrape the bottom of the pan and loosen all thats stuck to the base.
Cover and cook till the vegetables are about 1/2 done.
Drain the rice and add to the pan. carefully mix with the vegetables.
Pour in the boiling water, lemon juice and enough salt (the salt should be standing forward when you do the taste test and only then will your rice be perfectly seasoned) and mix well.
Increase heat to maximum, cover the pan, and let the mix come to a boil. Let it boil for about 3 minutes.
Open lid, give a good stir, close and then reduce heat to low.
Cook for 10 to 12 minutes or till all the water has been absorbed.
Once the time is up, using a fork, check that there is no water at the base.
Sprinkle the coriander leaves and drizzle about half tsp ghee over the top and cover and leave aside for about 1/2 hr.
When ready to serve fluff the rice with a fork and serve.
Notes: You can use any vegetable of choice. Just make sure they amount to about 1 cup in total for that quantity of rice. I have previously used beans, cabbage, sweet corn and even paneer.
The pulao has a very distinct taste with the addition of kasoori methi. If you are not a big fan of that taste omit it.
You can also dilute the soup cube in the 3 cups water and use that to flavour the rice instead of adding it in the beginning. If diluting, then use an entire cube instead of half.