Thursday, December 13, 2012

Rice with Peas and Dill (Matar Aur Sooay Ka Pullao)

This Rice with Peas and Dill dish reminds me a little of the Persian rice, lima beans, and dill called baghali polo. My first roommate and I used to have occasionally have dinner at her aunt and uncle's house. Her uncle is Iranian, and used to make a delicious baghali polo with big chunks of chicken. He would often send a container-full home with us with  plenty of tahdig--the crispy layer of rice that develops at the bottom of the pot while it cooks. I am not ashamed to admit that my roommate didn't get very much of it--I would devour every bite that I could. 

Although different with the cardamom, cloves and garam masala instead of saffron, and peas instead of lima beans, it was still delicious and brought back some good memories. I served mine with some herb-roasted salmon, and, with plenty of leftovers I see some Indian-flavored fried rice in my future this weekend.

Jaffrey says, "This dish is just as good for the family as it is for dinner guests."

Rice with Peas and Dill (Matar Aur Sooay Ka Pullao)
Madhur Jaffrey's Quick & Easy Indian Kitchen
(Serves 5-6

2 cups basmati rice
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 whole cloves
4 cardamom pods
1 small onion (4 oz), peeled and cut into half rings
1 or 2 tsp salt, adjust if using unsalted stock or water
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill or 1 1/2 tablespoons dried dill
2 3/4 cups chicken or veggie broth or water
1 cup shelled fresh or frozen peas, cooked for 2 minutes in boiling water

Put the rice in a bowl and wash well in several changes of water. Drain and leave in a strainer set over a bowl.

Put the oil in a heavy saucepan and set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, put in the cloves and cardamom pods. Stir for a few seconds. Put in the onion. Stir until the onion is brown. Put in the rice, 1 teaspoon salt, garam masala, and dill. Stir for a minute. Now put in the stock and a second teaspoon of salt if needed, and bring to a boil. Cover very tightly, turn the heat to very, very low, and cook for 20 minutes. Put in the peas. Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes. Stir gently before serving.  

Notes/Results: Simple and really good. I kept the recipe mostly the same, just using veggie broth in place of chicken and reducing the oil by about half. I missed the "cut into half rings" on the onion and ended up chopping them. Whoops. The flavors in this are good and nothing overpowers so it can be served with lots of different dishes. Even with the full 1/4 of dill, I might have liked a bit more, and will add extra next time. There was a nice layer of crispy rice tahdig at the bottom of the cooking pot--the best part in my book. ;-) I would make this again.

It's Rice is Nice week at I Heart Cooking Clubs. You can check out the Madhur Jaffrey rice dishes everyone made by going to the post and following the links.


  1. I so rarely think to make a more involved rice dish like this. But look what I'm missing out on! This sounds great.

  2. Looks delicious! All of MJ's rice dishes looks very good. I have never tried cooking rice with dill before, sounds good to me. Serving this with your lovely herbed salmon is a perfect meal indeed, as dill really goes well with salmon!

  3. Looks delicious--especially with the fish. I laughed over your comments about the bottom layer of rice. I know people who fight over that.

  4. It always surprises me how good this recipe is. Dill and peas sounds odd to me -- maybe I'm not imaginative enough -- but the combination really works well together. This is a good go-with for all kinds of food.

  5. I wanted to go with this rice dish, but couldn't find any fresh dill. I bet the fresh dill really made this dish. I know your salmon paired perfectly with this rice dish. I have been craving salmon lately and would love to steal that piece right off the plate ;-)

  6. This looks delicious but simple. Best kind.

  7. That looks very delicious! I love rice and peas, need to try this. I often get my inspiration from Tilda's website for rice recipes, you should have a look

  8. This was delicious!! Nice subtle flavors and reminded me of the persian version of this dish.


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