Bhopali Pilaf with Peas and Carrots

This is from A Taste of India by Madhur Jaffrey, but she in turn acknowledges Naheed Anees for this particular variation of a common dish in the area.

The photo: honestly. Close your eyes. Imagine a bowl of cooked rice with bits of orange and green in it. Isn’t that enough?

Ingredients

Basmati rice: 450 ml in a measuring cup
1.5″ cube of ginger peeled and chopped
6-8 large cloves of garlic peeled and chopped
4 tblsp ghee (or oil)
4 cloves*
3 green cardamom pods*
1″ stick of cinnamon*
2 bay leaves*
1/4 teasp black cumin seeds*
1/2″ piece of whole mace*
medium onion peeled, cut lengthwise in half and then cut into very fine half-rings
2 small carrots peeled and chopped into about pea-sized pieces
1 cup of peas, fresh or defrosted
salt to taste

Method

Wash the rice and then soak it for half an hour. Drain for half an hour.

Put the ginger, garlic and 1 tblsp water in a blender, turn to paste.

Heat the oil in a heavy pan over a med-high heat. When very hot put in the whole spices (I have marked them). Stir once, put in onion slices and fry until they are reddish-brown. This takes quite a while and can’t be made quicker. Add the ginger-garlic and stir for a couple of minutes. Add the carrots and peas, stir to thoroughly mix. Add the rice and salt. Making sure the rice doesn’t burn – lower the heat as necessary – stir for 2-3 minutes. Next add 600ml water and bring to the boil. Cover, turn heat to very low and cook for 25 minutes.

The perfume of even such a small amount of black cumin makes a big impact on this dish.

I use chicken stock instead of water and salt if I have it to hand.

This is a lovely rice accompaniment, but good enough to eat almost on its own, for example with yoghurt and tomato. I’ll add that recipe soon.

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2 thoughts on “Bhopali Pilaf with Peas and Carrots

    • Hi Naheed. Well, not a typo, but this: she says ‘drain thoroughly’. In other rice recipes of hers I use where the rice is to be fried before liquid is added, she specifies thirty minutes, so for my own reference I’ve turned ‘drain thoroughly’ into an amount of time. I hope that is a sensible thing to do!

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