Rinse basmati rice in fresh water for 2 to 3 times.
Then soak rice in enough water for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes drain all the water and set the soaked rice aside.
When the rice is soaking, rinse and chop the methi leaves and other veggies.
Crush ginger, garlic and green chilies in a mortar-pestle. You can also grind them in a small chutney grinder.
Sautéing onions and fenugreek leaves
Heat in a 2 or 3 litre pressure cooker and fry the following spices until they splutter and are fragrant - cumin seeds, cardamom, green cardamoms, cinnamon, cloves and single strand of mace (optional).
Then add thinly sliced onions. Stir often and sauté the onions until they start turning golden.
Then add the crushed ginger+garlic+green chilli paste. Stir and saute for a few seconds until the raw aroma of ginger and garlic goes away.
Now add the finely chopped methi leaves. Stir and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes on a low to medium heat.
Then add chopped mix vegetables and mix well. You can add veggies of your choice.
Add turmeric powder, red chili powder and coriander powder. Mix very well again.
Making methi rice
Add the soaked basmati rice. Stir and saute for a minute.
Pour water. Season with salt as required and mix. You can also make the methi rice in a pan or pot. Add 2 to 2.5 cups of water if making in a pan.
Pressure cook on medium to high flame for 2 to 3 whistles or 8 to 9 minutes. When the pressure settles down on its own, remove the lid. Gently fluff the rice.
Serve methi pulao hot with plain curd or raita. I served with aloo raita.
With raita: Serve methi rice with plain curd or raita. Methi pulao will pair nicely with most raita varieties like onion raita, cucumber raita, boondi raita or onion tomato raita.
With Dal: Even with a simple dal fry or dal tadka, methi pulao tastes delicious.
In a lunch box: Methi rice also stays good in the lunch box for some hours. When packing it in a lunch box, add a side of veggie salad or a mango or lemon pickle. You can also pack it for short travels.
I do not recommend to freeze or make a large batch for freezing. Cooked rice is better had fresh on the same day. If you have any leftovers than store in the fridge for a day only and not more than a day. Before serving, steam in a pan or Instant pot for 5 minutes.
Scaling: The recipe can be doubled or tripled to feed a large crowd.
Veggies: You can add vegetables of your choice or can make it without veggies. The veggies that make a perfect combination with fenugreek leaves in this pulao are - cauliflower, capsicum (bell pepper), corn, eggplant, broccoli, cabbage, button mushrooms, carrots and green peas.
Spices: Make a non-spicy methi pulao, by simply skipping the ground spices and green chillies.
Protein: Adding some tofu or paneer makes for a flavorful protein rich pulao. Lightly pan fry them and mix with the prepared methi rice before serving. Cooked chickpeas or canned chickpeas also make a nice addition.
Whole spices: If you do not have all the whole spices as listed in the recipe, then add whatever spices you have.
Rice: A short grained rice or even brown rice works well in the recipe. Simply add water as required with the kind of rice you have used.