Indian-style vegetable pilaf is ideal for vegetarians or those who are fasting. And if you think that the non-meat version of the famous dish is bland and boring, you are deeply mistaken: the garlic, cilantro and turmeric in the composition provide the treat with a bright taste and rich aroma. By the way, what we call ‘pilau’ is called ‘pulao’ in India. It is a similar word and so are the cooking principles! However, Indian-style vegetable pilaf is much easier to digest than traditional pilaf, so it can be served for dinner, especially since it is easy to prepare and not too long.
360g basmati rice
3 medium carrots
100g green beans
1 medium onion
1-2 garlic cloves
2 sprigs of coriander
650 ml vegetable stock or water
40 g clarified butter or vegetable oil
5-6 g turmeric
salt to taste
Step by step recipe
Rice for vegetable pilaf, rinse thoroughly, pour cold water over it and leave for 30 minutes. Then strain. Slice the carrots into thin lengthwise strips, then finely chop. Break off the tips of the beans, then cut into 1 cm chunks.
Chop the onion and garlic for the pilaf. Wash and dry the cilantro. Then separate the leaves from the sprigs. Place in a mortar. Add the garlic and turmeric and grind to a paste.
Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan and fry the onion, 5 minutes. Add the mixture prepared in a mortar, stir-fry for 2-3 mins. Add the rice, stir, reduce heat and cook, stirring gently, for about 5 minutes. Salt, add carrots and beans, cook, stirring for 5 mins.
Pour in the warm stock or water and bring to the boil over a high heat. Then reduce the heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave the vegetable pilaf under the lid for a further 15 minutes. Stir gently before serving.
If you’re not particularly fond of green beans, add frozen green peas or green beans to the vegetable pilaf. There is no need to thaw them: simply open the packaging and add them to the pilaf as directed in the recipe.