This fluffy cashew and pea pulao is my pulao of choice for a nice weekend lunch when the family has time to sit around and enjoy the meal at leisure! This side dish will stand out when adorned on any dining table. I have added it to my list of easy recipes as even a novice cook will look like a pro.Jump to Recipe
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Key steps for fluffy cashew and pea pulao
I am sharing my tips on how to make fluffy cashew and pea pulao. To create this gorgeous pearly green pulao, there are a few key steps that you need to follow.
Your choice of rice grain matters a lot if you want a great pulao that is fluffy and not stodgy. Different varieties of rice will give a different product. For example, pudding rice or risotto rice will not work at all. I have used white Basmati rice in this recipe. You may opt for brown Basmati, long grain rice or even a mix of wild and brown Basmati. Good quality Basmati rice is the key to a great pulao.
Prepping for fluffy rice
Follow these tips whilst preparing your rice for any pulao.
- Wash the rice in several changes of water till the water runs clear. Then soak for at least 30minutes. Do not skip this step if you want your rice to turn out fluffy and not stuck together.
- Use a heavy-bottomed, deep pan with a snug lid or a casserole.
- When you saute the rice, stir gently. Avoid vigorous stirring to stop breaking the grains, as soaked rice is softer and more brittle.
- When it comes to the quantity of water, the general advice is to add double the amount of rice, but I have found 1.5 times of water to be more than sufficient. Any more water tends to make my rice stodgy.
- The amount of salt you add to the rice water will depend on the number of vegetables added. The best way to check if the salt is okay is by tasting the water just after the first boil.
- Once you’ve covered the pan, let the water come to a boil. And then lower the heat completely and cook for about 12-15 minutes. I usually put a timer as soon as I lower the heat. For me, it comes out perfect at 14 minutes every time.
- Once the rice gets cooked, let it rest for a couple of minutes. Then fluff the rice using a fork. Do not use a ladle or spatula!
- If you find that the top layer of rice is partially cooked, gently cover the top layer with cooked rice from the bottom. Put the lid back on and let it rest for at least 5 minutes or till it is served. The steam from the hot rice will cook the partially cooked rice.
- However, if the rice is slightly on the softer side, fluff it with a fork as advised, do not put the lid back on completely. Leave a bit of a gap to let the excess steam out.
So, here is my recipe for the Cashew and Pea Pulao.
Fluffy Cashew and Pea Pulao
- Heavy-bottomed pan or casserole
- 1 cup basmati rice washed and soaked for 30 minutes
- 1 & ½ cups water
- ¾ cup green peas fresh or frozen
- ½ cup cahews
- 1 brown onion finely sliced
- 2 inch cinnamon stick
- 3-4 cloves
- 2-3 green cardamoms
- 1 black cardamom
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil or ghee (clarified butter)
- ¼ cup blanched peas for garnish (optional)
- salt to taste
- Heat oil or ghee in a heavy bottomed pan or casserole.
- Lower the flame and add cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves, green and black cardamoms. Stir till the whole spices give out their lovely aromas.
- Add the sliced onions. Stir fry till they are soft and translucent( you may add a pinch of salt to soften the onions)
- Add the cashews, peas and salt. Stir fry for about 3-4 minutes.
- Add drained rice and mix gently. Pour 1&1/2 cup of water, raise the heat and let it come to a boil.
- Cover and cook on very low heat for about 12-15 minutes from the first boil.
- Once done, let it rest for a couple of minutes, then fluff with a fork.
- Sprinkle blanched peas on top.
- Serve it as a side dish to your favourite curry – veg or non-veg!
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