“I’m into very colourful food. Obviously lots of flavour, but
I think we eat with our eyes first, so it has to look great.
The presentation has to be great.” – Giada De Laurentiis

There is something incredibly sumptuous about Pakistani food, steeped in history and mystery, teasing the senses with exotic flavours and delicious aromas. Yet, it does not mean that you have to spend hours in the kitchen to prepare it. This mixed vegetables and rice dish, very colourful and pleasing to the eyes, is essentially uncomplicated and no-fuss.

The very flavourful and aromatic sabzi pulao is a celebration of beautiful vegetables: Potatoes, peas, carrots, cauliflower, green beans and eggplants – to name a few you can choose from. It makes a complete and delicious family meal in one pot even without any curry to pour over it. All you need are some sides like yoghurt-mint raita, chutney or pickles to serve with it.

Load on some more chopped fresh greens like coriander, mint, spring onions and green chillies for garnishing, and this vegetarian gluten-free delight becomes irresistible!

Tips
-The harder vegetables that take longer to cook, like potatoes, carrots and cauliflower, add them first.
-Bell peppers and French beans get done even in the steam at the very end. Cooking them too long would make them mushy and lose their crunch and colour.
-To dress up the rice for a special occasion, you can add nuts and raisins to the dish too.

Ingredients:

2+1/2 cups long grain basmati rice
1 medium onion, sliced
2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
2 medium potatoes, peeled, cut in cubes
2 medium carrots, peeled, cut in cubes
1 cup peas
2 green bell peppers
1 cup green beans
1 teaspoon black pepper (kali mirch)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (zeera)
1 teaspoon coriander seeds (dhania)
2 black cardamoms (bari alaychi)
4 green cardamom seeds (choti alaychi)
1 stick cinnamon (dar cheeni)
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric (haldi)
3 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/4 cup vegetable oil
fresh coriander and green chillies for garnishing
peanuts or cashews for garnishing

This Is What You Do:

1. Heat the oil on medium heat in a deep, wide mouthed
pan. Add the onions and fry till golden brown.

2. Add ginger-garlic paste, all the dry spices and salt.
Sauté for a minute.

3. Add potatoes and carrots, and half cup of water. Cover the
pan and cook for five minutes or till the vegetables are
half done.

4. Add the rice and peas, and enough water to come an inch over
the rice. Cook covered on medium low heat for 12-15
minutes or till all the water is absorbed.

5. Reduce the heat to minimum, add bell peppers and green beans. Wrap the lid of the pan in a clean kitchen towel, and cover the pan.

6. Place the pan over a skillet and let the rice steam for 15-
20 minutes or till fluffy.

Garnish with fresh coriander, chopped green chilli peppers and peanuts or cashews.

Serve hot with yogurt, chutney or pickle of your choice and fresh salad.

Serves 5-6

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