I am still debating whether this is really a pulav or briyani. Reason for that is I have used the help of yogurt mainly for the cooking process than for flavour and as yogurt is typically used in briyani, I am just wondering. We could remain neutral and just call it a delicious rice with a wonderful blend of spices. There are couple of reasons why I wanted to post an oven baked rice recipe (there are few more in the pipeline). Firstly, I know not all readers will have a pressure cooker at home so it may be a bit challenging to cook rice to the right consistency. Secondly, I love to have additional space on my hob especially on Sundays as I tend to fire up all four burners just to speed up my marathon cooking. I can get on with other stuff while the rice is cooking in the oven. I have used store bought pulav masala and it was good. Next time though, I may want to powder it further as I did not like to bite into the big pieces of spices. Alternately you could use whole spices like couple of cardamom pods, a cinnamon stick a bay leaf, couple of cloves and a star anise. Another option is to use garam masala powder. It is important to fry the spices in oil else the raw smell from them does not go away in the cooking process. Here is the recipe...
1 cup rice, uncooked
1-2 cups mixed vegetable
1 red onion, sliced
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste (optional)
2 tablespoons yogurt/curd
1 teaspoon pulav masala or whole spices as suggested earlier
Cooking oil or butter or ghee
2-3 green chillies, slit
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves, chopped
Rinse and soak the rice for 15-30 minutesin an oven proof dish. I used about 1.5 cups water for 1 cup rice, you may need more or less depending on the quality of rice. Soaking process helps in keeping the cooked grains separate.
In a skillet, heat some oil/butter/ghee and fry the onions along with some turmeric powder, ginger garlic paste and green chilly and add the vegetables once onion turns soft. If using frozen, cook until it thaws fully and loses some water becoming tender. If using fresh, cook until they just become tender.
Heat little oil in the skillet and add the masala and fry until aromatic
Mix well and cook covered in a preheated ven at 180deg C for 40-50 minutes and stir about twice in between.
Garnish with coriander and serve!