Amma was recently cleaning her kitchen inside out, and I was helping her at it. We were screening the attic and our hands landed on one really heavy carton. We excitedly brought it down, knowing fully well it had a lot of long-lost crockery in it ‘cos the carton read “Fragile, handle with care” in Amma’s beautiful handwriting. Though we knew that crockery was what was inside the laden carton, we had forgotten which ones exactly, and we carefully opened the carton with nimble fingers. And what did we see inside? Loads of crockery indeed, wrapped in old, old, newspaper. Curiosity got the better of me and I pulled out one such newspaper-wrapped piece nimbly, taking care not to break anything else in the process. I saw the date on the newspaper, and it read “January 25th, 1999”. “Whoa! That was around when we moved into the apartment”, Amma squealed. “Gosh, that means, all these lovely pieces of crockery haven’t been used in all this while”, I said.
Now, you’d be wondering what I unearthed when I unwrapped the one single piece that I pulled out, wouldn’t you? And you must have guessed too by now…yeah? I knew it! Let me still tell you, all the same. Yes, it’s the lovely white ramekin you see in the picture below. And Amma had two of them, which someone had gifted to her back in the 80’s, when I didn’t know even the spelling for Ramekin! But today, I’m crazy about them! I begged and pleaded with Amma to let me borrow them for the blog. What a nice pretext I have now to whack such classics from Amma, see!! 😉 Aah, for the simple pleasures of a food blogger! And so, when I made us some Methi Pulao the next day, I couldn’t help whipping out this ramekin and using it for the photo-shoot. And gee, was I happy, or was I happy?!! 😀 Now, let’s move on to the recipe.
- Onions – 2 nos (finely chopped)
- Garlic – 5-6 pods
- Ginger – 1″ sized piece
- Green Chillies – 2-3 nos
- Fresh Methi leaves – 1 bunch, (big-sized bunch, cleaned, chopped, and rubbed with salt, to keep from turning bitter) (Note: You could even use Kasuri methi, but the taste is always better with fresh methi leaves)
- Pulav spices (cinnamon, clove, marathi moggu, anananas flower, elaichi, bade elaichi, bay leaves) – 1 to 2 nos each
- Basmati Rice – 2 cups (washed and drained of all water) (Note: If you do not have Basmati rice, you could even use regular white rice)
- Ghee – 2 tbsps
- Oil – 2 tbsps (I used olive)
- Salt – to taste
- Water – 4 cups
(I prepared this in my rice cooker; you could adapt this recipe to the way you normally make pulao)
- Heat 1 tbp ghee and 2 tbps olive oil in the rice cooker vessel. Once hot, add all the dry spices and fry a minute or two.
- Once the spices turn fragrant, add the chopped onions and saute till golden brown.
- In the meanwhile, grind the ginger-garlic-green chillies into a paste and add to the rice cooker vessel (Sure, you could also use your store-bought ginger-garlic paste, but then, like I always say, don’t blame me if it doesn’t taste as good).
- Add the methi leaves and salt, mix well and fry till the raw smell of methi leaves is gone.
- In the meantime, fry the washed and drained basmathi rice with 1 tbsp ghee in a non stick pan, till the grains start sticking to each other and all the water content has evaporated from the rice.
- Add this fried rice to the rice cooker vessel. Mix all contents well and fry for half a minute.
- Now add 4 cups of water (use the same cup that you used to measure the rice)
- Cover the rice cooker till the rice is properly cooked.
- Serve hot with some refreshing raitha garnished with cilantro, for a yummy one-pot meal 🙂