Bhutanese Red Rice Tawa Pulao Recipe
Okay, but I digress. Back to Tawa Pulao! So pav bhaji masala can easily be bought in any Indian grocery store. One of these days, I plan to try to make the pav bhaji masala myself at home – it has a very distinct taste so you simply cannot substitute other masalas (spice blends) in place.
I have decided to make my Tawa Pulao using Bhutanese Red Rice -- which is a medium grain, semi-milled rice from the Kingdom of Bhutan (located in the Himalayas). This variety of rice has a nutty taste & slightly chewy texture. If you unable to find Bhutanese red rice in your area, feel free to use Basmati or even brown Basmati rice. This is a great way to use leftover rice, so just use whatever you happen to have on hand.
BHUTANESE RED RICE TAWA PULAO (Fried Bhutanese Red Rice)
3-4 cups of cooked Bhutanese red rice
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 large carrots, peeled & diced
8-10 mushrooms (brown or white), quartered
2-3 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1½” piece of ginger, peeled & finely minced
2-3 small Thai green chilies, slit in half lengthwise (to taste)
½ cup green peas (frozen is fine, thaw before use)
½ cup corn kernels (frozen is fine, thaw before use)
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp turmeric (haldi)
½ tsp red chili powder
½ tbsp pav bhaji masala
salt & pepper, to taste
juice of ½ lime
2 tbsp ghee or oil (coconut, vegetable or canola)
freshly grated coconut for garnish
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
First, cook the Bhutanese red rice according to package directions. Usually, 1 cup of uncooked rice will yield 2 cups of cooked rice. If you do not have cooking instructions for the red rice, just rinse the red rice in a fine mesh colander until the water runs clear. Then add the red rice to a saucepan with enough water on top to cover by 1 inch. In general, the ratio is 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water. Then bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to low & let cook for 15-20 minutes. Let sit for another 5 minutes before uncovering the pan. With a large fork, fluff the rice and allow it to cool. I spread the rice out on a large baking sheet, making sure the rice grains are all separated.
In a large deep skillet or pan on medium high heat, add the ghee. When hot, add the cumin seeds & green chilies. Stir & let sizzle for about 30 seconds or so, then add the onions along with the garlic & ginger. When the onions start to brown, add in the carrots & let them cook for a few minutes until they have slightly softened. Then add in the peas & corn, let them cook for a few minutes before adding in the spices (turmeric, red chili powder, pav bhaji masala, salt & pepper). Mix well to combine all the ingredients together & allow the spices to cook for a minute or two. Then add in the mushrooms & let them cook until browned. Next, add in the cooked red rice & mix well to combine. Lastly, add in the lime juice. Now reduce the heat to low, cover & let cook for just a few minutes until all the flavors have mingled. Garnish with lots of freshly grated coconut & cilantro leaves. Serve immediately & enjoy!
Feel free to add your favorite vegetables to this dish such as baby corn, green/red bell peppers, tomatoes, methi leaves, shredded cabbage, diced zucchini…
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