Tuesday, 17 May 2016

A pulao, uh huh tahiri, for a weekday

We Indians love making up words. When we call forward a meeting, we say we have preponed the meeting, as against postponing it. I discovered recently that another term we've made up and used lovingly for decades is vegetarian pulao.

Apparently, there is no such thing as a vegetarian pulao. The right name for a pulao-like preparation that doesn't use stock or meat is Tahiri.

But whatever the name, it's delicious. And in my version, the rich tahiri has turned into a single pan meal, robbed of a lot of its richness, but still fragrant, and complete with carbs, protein and veggie goodness.


1 cup of rice (washed, soaked for 30 minutes and drained)
1/2 cup of split chickpeas or bengal gram, soaked overnight and drained
3/4 cup of mixed diced vegetables (I used diced carrots and tiny cauliflower florets
1 stick of cinnamon
1/2 tsp peppercorns
3 cardamom pods, bashed gently with a rolling pin
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp butter
1.5 tsp oil
Salt to taste


Put butter and oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add spices when the butter melts. 

Stir for a few seconds and add the rice and drained dal. Stir for a minute or so to coat the grains with fat. 

Add enough water to top the rice and dal mixture by less than the first digit of your finger (about 3/4ths of an inch). 

When the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer covered, for about 5-7 minutes. Add the veggies and salt, and continue to cook, covered, until the rice is done and the dal is tender. This should take another 7-8 minutes. 

This tahiri tastes great with a curd and diced cucumber raita or on its own. 

Leftovers taste even better the next day as the spices percolate even better into the tahiri.