Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sabsige Soppu Pulao (Dill leaves Pulao)

It took me awhile to digest the fact that Dill leaves are native of Mediterranean region, South Russia, Scandinavia & not India. I have seen my mother, aunties cooking dill leaves since my childhood. I was assuming dill leaves to be our very own ;)

Dill leaves are consumed in abundance during the post pregnancy period. Dill is a soothing medicine that improves the functioning of the stomach. Not only that, my granny used to mention about numerous health benefits of dill leaves. Few of them as stated by her:

1. Helps in lactation
2. Prevents constipation (most common problem during first phase of post delivery)
3. Improves secretion & discharge of urine
4. Excellent source of iron & calcium.
5. Prevents bone loss. For more information: read this & this

Aren’t these sufficient for one to indulge in this leafy vegetable? Our grand moms and moms are indeed treasure houses of knowledge.

Recently when I cooked biryani, I ended up with a big jug of unused savory water. I wanted to use the water & found that I had dill leaves & frozen avarekayi (surti papdi) in my refrigerator. Hence, started experimenting with the available ingredients & the final result made me happy. Mild spiced rice with strong fragrance of dill leaves was loved by everyone at home. My husband was happy that he did not find cinnamon pieces & star anise in his plate :)

Basmati Rice: 2 cups
Dill leaves: 1 bunch (around 100-120 gms)
Avarekayi: ½ cup (I took very tender ones)
Savory Water: 4 cups
Yogurt/Curd: 3 tbsp
Onion: 1 thinly sliced
Ginger paste: ½ tsp
Green Chilli: 2 chopped
Pulao Masala: ½ tsp (I used MTR pulao masala, just for the flavor)
Salt: According to taste
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Dry coconut: 2 tbsp (optional)
Lemon juice: 1tsp (optional, one can relish with a raitha by skipping this)
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp oil

  • Wash the basmati rice thoroughly & soak it for 20mins.
  • Wash the dill leaves & chop them finely. Keep it aside.
  • In a broad pan, heat oil + butter. When hot, add cumin seeds followed by ginger paste. Saute for 10secs. Add onion & sauté till raw smell of onion disappears (no need to fry till brown). Add avrekayi & sauté again.
  • Add green chilli, soaked basmati rice & sauté for 20-30secs. Add savory water, salt to it & cover the lid. Cook the rice on a medium flame.
  • When rice is 3/4th cooked, add dill leaves, pulao masala, dry coconut, curd & mix it gently. Now start cooking this on a low flame for 10-15 mins or until rice is nicely cooked (grains should be separate).
  • Cool the rice for 10 mins, add lemon juice, mix gently & serve it with a raitha of your choice.

PS: If the avarekayi/surti papdi is not tender, boil it before adding.

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