Brown Rice Vegetable Pulao is an attempt at making the the traditional vegetable pulao more healthy without impacting the taste too much.
Pilaf or pulao is probably one of the oldest dishes that seem to have existed through large parts of the world, in particular in central Asia, in the old Persian empire, and in the later Ottoman empire. In the ancient world, basmati rice which is native to India travelled westwards, where it became entrenched in the Persian culinary tradition.
How is Pulao different from Biryani?
Pulao is made by sauteing the ingredients (rice and meat or vegetables) together,then cooking in pre- determined quantity of water. Biryani (see picture) is a dish where the rice and meat or vegetable is first partially cooked separately them layered and cooked/matured on low flame with other ingredients. Biryani is more complicated than pulao because of layered cooking process. According to Wikepedia, the word “biryani” is an Urdu word derived from the Persian language, which was used as an official language in different parts of mideaval India.
Back to my healthy pulao. You can cook this pulao two ways- one way is to cook vegetables and spices in a pan, cook brown rice by itself in a rice cooker, let it cool and then mix the two in a large bowl. By this process you can control the amount you want to cook the vegetables. Cooking them for a shorter time will help retain nutrients and also leave them crispier. The other method (described in this recipe) is to cook everything together- in this case you’re sautéing the vegetables in the pan for a very short while, adding rice and then cooking all ingredients together in a rice cooker. Rice and vegetables blend better with the spices in the second method. Both these methods are simple and the pulao turns out delicious and nutritious.
The hull and bran in brown rice provide “natural wholeness” to the grain and are rich in proteins, thiamine, calcium, magnesium, fiber, and potassium. The combination of vegetables used here also brings in a wealth of nutrients.
Brown Rice Vegetable Pulao
- 1/2 Cup Brown Rice Long Grain
- 1/4 Cup Green Beans Cut to 1/2 Inch pieces
- 1/4 Cup Carrots Cut to 1/2 Inch pieces
- 1/4 Cup Tomato Small Pieces
- 1/4 Cup Potato Small Pieces
- 1/8 Cup Onion Small Pieces
- 2 Chilis Green Chili Pepper Large, Blended
- 1 Tablespoon Ginger Grated
- 1 Pinch Turmeric Powder
- 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt Or To Taste
- 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil Extra Virgin
- 1/4 Cup Mint Leaves
- Soak brown rice for about 5 to 6 hours. Wash and drain rice. Chop green beans, tomato, onion, green chili and ginger.
- Wash fresh mint leaves
- Using a motor and pestle or a blender for larger quantities, smash or blend ginger and green chili to a coarse mix. Saute green beans and potato in one tablespoon of oil along with onions for a couple of minutes, add the chili ginger paste and continue to saute for 2 to 3 minutes on medium flame
- Add rice and salt to the pan
- Continue to saute gently for 5 minutes on medium flame
- Add 8 ounces of water. Cook either in a rice cooker (turn off after the setting goes to 'keep warm' mode) or in a thick bottom vessel on the stove until all the water has been absorbed. Fluff with fork before serving