When the ambrosial combination of rice and peas is offered to you, a lot of perseverance is required on your part to say no to it. Under the influence of its distinctive sweet aroma and pleasurable taste, you are compelled to devour it as soon as it is served.
With gravy-based vegetables and curd, the dish tastes even more delectable. In India, it is served as a main course meal and forms nitty-gritty of almost every celebration. Be it a marriage party or birthday bash, you will always find peas rice adorning the food counters and alluring the guests. A short recipe will let you through the basics of how it is prepared.
A cup of rice
½ cup of peas
Salt to taste
A tsp or more margarine or butter
A ginger root
¼ tsp sugar
1 ½ -2 cups water
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp cumin powder
2-3 green chilies
½ tsp red chili powder
Wash rice and keep them soaked for about 10 minutes. If the peas were kept refrigerated, soak them too for some time.
In a kadhai, pour a tablespoon of butter or margarine. Light the gas flame and let the butter melt. Stir a bit.
As the butter is all melted and becomes warm enough, add chopped green chilies and allow them to saute. Add washed cardamoms, cloves, and cinnamons too. Stir a little. After about a minute, add the cumin powder, black pepper, and red chili powder.
Now, add minced ginger pieces. Mix all of them well with a spatula.
Crumble down an onion and add its pieces to the contents of the kadhai. Let them fry for about 2 minutes. As they change color to golden brown, add ½ tsp sugar. Do remember to add salt as per your taste.
Add soaked peas and blend them thoroughly with other constituents. After 5-6 minutes, add rice too. Add 2 cups of water and bring the mixture to boil. Now, reduce the gas flame and let the peas rice get cooked for another 15-20 minutes. If you are not sure when to shut the gas off, place a flat plate full of water over the kadhai. Wait until all the water gets evaporated.
Making peas rice in a pressure cooker is even simpler and it takes comparatively lesser time. Place all the contents in cooker. Close the lid and let the cooker blow a whistle. Lower the flame. It takes another 7-10 minutes for the peas rice to get properly cooked.
Instead of using garam masala while cooking, you can pour it over the rice once they are all cooked.
You can add a bit of turmeric powder if you like-it will impart a golden-yellow hue to the dish. For garnishing, you can saute some curry leaves separately and mingle them with rice while cooking. If the peas are too hard to be cooked with other ingredients, you can partially boil them in a separate container and then mix them with rice.
Enjoy hot with your favorite vegetable gravy and/or curd.
Photo Credit: Indianfoodsco.com