3cupschopped mixed veggies(i used a mix of cauliflower, french beans, potatoes and carrots)
¼ to ⅓cupgreen peas- fresh or frozen
2cupswater or add as required
2small tejpatta(indian bay leaf) or 1 medium to large tej patta
2 to 3cloves
4 to 5black pepper
1piecesmall of stone flower(pathar ke phool or kalpasi or dagad phool) - optional
1black cardamom- optional
1 or 2single strands of mace
1star anise- optional
1teaspoonfennel seeds- optional
Rinse basmati rice in water till the water runs clear of starch. Then soak the rice in water for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes drain the water and keep aside. When the rice is soaking, chop all the vegetables, herbs and keep them ready.
making instant pot pulao
Switch on the ip and press the sauté button for 12 to 15 minutes on less mode. when the ip signals hot, then add 3 tablespoons oil in the steel insert.
Then add all the whole spices mentioned in the above list. Fry the spices till they become fragrant and splutter. Do not burn them.
Note that you do not need all the spices. The essential spices needed are cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and indian bay leaf. The other spices you can skip if you don't have them.
Then add thinly sliced onions. Set the mode to normal mode on sauté. press the sauté button once to get this option.
Stir and saute till the onions start to become golden. You have to stir often, so that the onions cook evenly.
Now add ginger-garlic paste, chopped green chilies and chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves (optional).
Saute for some seconds till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.
Then add the chopped tomatoes and sauté them for 1 to 2 minutes stirring often.
Later on the ip, press the cancel button and then add all the spice powders - turmeric powder, kashmiri red chili powder or cayenne pepper, coriander powder and a pinch of asafoetida (optional). For a gluten-free pulao skip asafoetida or use gluten-free asafoetida.
Mix the spices very well with the onions and tomatoes.
Now add the chopped mixed veggies and green peas.
Press the sauté button again and set the time to 2 to 3 minutes on medium mode. Mix the veggies with the spice mixture. Deglaze and stir so well so that the bits and pieces of onions, tomatoes stuck to the pan are removed. The moisture from the vegetables will help in deglazing.
Now add the soaked rice. Mix very well yet gently. sauté the rice for a minute. The oil or ghee should coat the rice grains. If possible deglaze also while sautéing rice.
Add 2 cups water. I do not prefer al dente texture in rice, so I add a bit more water while cooking. If you prefer an al dente texture, then add 1.5 to 1.75 cups water.
Season with salt and stir again. Check the taste and the water should feel a bit salty.
Cover the instant pot with its lid and position the valve to sealing position. Press the pressure cook button on high pressure for 5 minutes.
Once you hear the beep sound after 5 minutes of pressure cooking, then let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes give a qpr (quick pressure release). Keep a check of the 10 minutes. If kept even for 2 to 3 minutes longer after the 10 minutes time is over, the rice at the bottom starts getting over cooked.
Fluff the rice gently with a fork or spoon.
Serve spicy instant pot pulao with onion raita or cucumber raita or boondi raita or with a side vegetable salad. You can also accompany sliced onion rings, lemon wedges, roasted papad and a mango pickle by the side.
Chop the vegetables in small to medium-sized pieces so that they cook well and are not undercooked.
You can use ghee instead of oil.
Skip green chillies (or add less) and skip all the spice powders for a non-spicy pulao.
While sautéing, you can use both the low and normal mode of the sauté option in the ip.
Always deglaze after adding vegetables, rice and water.
You can add your choice of vegetables like carrots, green peas, cauliflower, sweet corn, potato, beets, bell pepper etc.
For an al dente texture in the rice grains, add 1.5 to 1.75 cups water.
For best taste and texture use aged basmati rice. You can also use any non-sticky variety of long-grained or medium-grained rice.
Mint leaves can be skipped.
Remove the steel insert from the ip after the pulao is cooked, so that the rice grains do not continue to cook further.
Do keep a check of the 10 minutes npr (natural pressure release). If kept even for 2 to 3 minutes longer after the 10 minutes time is over, the rice at the bottom starts getting over cooked.
Whole spices which can be skipped are fennel seeds, star anise, black cardamom, stone flower.
Instead of fennel seeds you can also use 1 teaspoon ground fennel powder.
Mint leaves can be skipped. 1 teaspoon of dried mint leaves or ground mint can be added.
Stovetop cooking in a pan or pot
Follow all the steps and then add 2.75 to 3 cups water if cooking in a pan or pot. You may add water as required.
Cover and cook till all the water has been absorbed and the rice grains have become fluffy and tender.