Thursday, June 11, 2009

Pudinewale Lobia Pulao (Rice & Black eyed peas in Mint Sauce)




Couple of weeks before, we had to move to a new locality & during the move I decided not to buy any grocery; as moving the grocery along with the other stuffs would be a labor intensive activity. Everyday, when I happened to open the kitchen cabinet, a bag full of black eyed peas used to stare at me. I avoided it for many days as the only thing I used to cook using black eyed peas was huLi(sambar or curry). Finally a day arrived when my kitchen had nothing other than black eyed bean.

Stubborn, adamant, anti-social are the right words(according to me; black eyed peas lovers, please dont get offended) for black eyed peas/lobia/alasande kalu. Put in soup, sambar, pasta or in pulao, it stands apart & doesnot absorb the spices easily. I have seen few fellow bloggers using black eyed peas in pulao. I was little skeptical about the usage of this particular legume/grain as I personally feel that black eyed peas stand apart in most of the dishes it is put in. It doesnot absorb the spices easily unless skillfully cooked.So, I thought of defeating the black eyed beans with some very strong flavored spice/vegetable. The first thing that striked me was " Mint(Pudina)" followed by "Dill (Sabsige Soppu) leaves", "Garlic" & list went on. As mint was handy, I went ahead & prepared the pulao. Mint to a most extent succeeded to defeat the black eyed peas & wore the crown for that day. Three cheers to mint, he he..



Ingredients:

Mint leaves/Pudina: 1 cup (tightly packed)
Black eyed peas: 1 cup
Basmati Rice: 2.5 cups
Onion: 2 nos (1 finely chopped & the other coarsely chopped)
Cinnamon: 2 inch stick
Cardamom: 2 nos
Poppy seeds/Khus khus/gasagase: 1/2 tsp
Grated coconut: 3 tbsp
Ginger: 1 inch
Green chilli: 3 nos
Salt: According to taste
Water: 5 cups
Yogurt/Curd: 1/4th cup
Oil: 2 tbsp
Mustard Seeds: 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds: 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder: 1/2 tsp (optional)
Lemon Juice: 1 tbsp (optional)

Procedure:
  • Soak the black eyed peas in water for 8-10 hours.
  • Make a smooth paste of mint, cinnamon, cardamom, coconut, poppy seeds, green chilli, ginger, onion by adding sufficient water.
  • Heat a broad pan & add oil to it. When oil is hot, add mustard & cumin seeds.
  • When seeds crackle; add finely chopped onions & saute till onions turn golden brown.
  • Add the masala paste to the pan & fry till the raw smell of masala disappears (around 2-3 mins).
  • Add soaked black eyed peas, 1/2 cup of water & cook on a medium flame until the black eyed beans are almost cooked (it should still be firm & soft). It took a little more than 30 minutes for me to get the black eyed peas cooked.
  • Meantime, wash the rice in running water & soak it for 15-20 mins.
  • Add the remaining water, rice, salt, chilli powder to the same pan & cook it on a medium heat until rice is 90% cooked (Best indicator is : grains would be bigger & little soft. One needs to apply a little pressure between the fingers to press the rice). During this stage, add yogurt, gently mix & cook it covered on a low heat for another 7-10minutes.
  • Open the lid only when you need to serve the pulao. Add lemon juice, gently mix & serve it hot/warm with a raitha of your choice.

Notes:

  1. I would pressure cook the mint sauce with black eyed peas next time when I prepare this dish. I feel, this would reduce the cooking time of this pulao to a great extent.
  2. I have not added garlic in this recipe as I try to avoid it whenever possible. Feel free to use according to your choice.
  3. Adding yogurt at the final stage & cooking the pulao on a low heat gives the pulao a slight biryani touch & tastes great.