The winner of our dal + rice recipe is a warm, fragrant and comforting pulav that is as nutritious as it is delicious.
Last month, we asked you to send in your favourite dal and rice recipes, and boy did you deliver! Our favourite, however, is this pulav recipe by Arati Naik. Nutritious from three kinds of dal, and rich with coconut milk, it is as much a celebratory dish as it is a comforting one — basically, perfect for any occasion!
Arati writes, ‘This is my all-time favourite, most indulgent comfort food. In all honesty, it came together very serendipitously: I was eating my mom’s mutton pulav, and there was a bowl methi-masala dal on the table, for my sister who was vegetarian that day of the week. I simply ladled a big spoonful onto my pulav, and the flavours that came through were just so perfect! It also feels like an ode to my favourite Parsi mutton pulav and dal, but with the addition of methi. I'm also including a recipe for pomegranate raita that goes pretty well with this pulav.’
Recipe: Mutton Methi-Dal Pulav
1 kg mutton, bone-in cut into small to medium pieces
2 tsp of fresh ginger-garlic paste
1 green chilli, crushed to a paste
4 tbsp yogurt (if possible, sour)
1 tsp turmeric
4 onions finely sliced
3 pods of green cardamom
1-inch piece of cinnamon
6 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 tsp nutmeg powder
2 tsp coriander
2 tsp red chilli powder (Kashmiri red, since we don’t want it too spicy)
2 medium tomatoes, grated
1 cup methi leaves chopped finely
1 tsp kasoori methi
1/4 cup each of toor dal, masoor dal and yellow moong dal (soaked in water for 15 mins)
1+1/2 cup Basmati rice (soaked for at least 1 hour)
1 cup thin coconut milk (you can avoid the coconut milk and use water instead if you like)
3+ 1/2 cup hot water
1 tbsp + 1 tsp ghee
2 tbsp oil (olive, rice bran, sunflower or vegetable oil)
1 small bunch coriander leaves, chopped fine
1 small bunch mint, chopped fine
Salt to taste
First, marinate the mutton with ginger garlic paste, green chilli paste, yogurt, turmeric and salt. Try and keep this overnight, or at least for a minimum time of 4 hours.
Next, take a large cooker (at least 4-5L capacity).
Heat 2 tbsp oil and fry the sliced onions till they are nice and brown.
Take the onions out and keep aside.
In the reserved oil that is now flavoured with fried onions, add all the whole spices (cardamoms, cinnamon, bayleaf, cloves and black peppercorns)
Once they start to sputter, add the marinated mutton and fry on high heat till the meat is well browned. This will take a minimum of 15 mins. Make sure to keep stirring the meat as it will stick to the pan otherwise.
Once the water from the yogurt and mutton has more or less evaporated, add 3/4th of the fried onions, red chilli powder, nutmeg powder and coriander powder and fry for 5 minutes.
Next add the methi leaves, tomatoes and the 3 dals that were soaked earlier.
Mix everything well for 5-10 mins and cover and cook till more water is released. This will take 10 minutes.
Finally add the soaked basmati rice and mix well.
Now add the coconut milk and water. Once it comes to a simmer, add crushed kasoori methi, ghee and lemon juice, Check for seasoning and add more salt if required.
Top with chopped coriander and mint leaves and pressure cook for 5-6 whistles.
Wait till all the steam is let out, and carefully remove the pulav on a serving platter. Top with the remaining fried onions, and more fresh coriander and mint. Spoon just a teaspoon more of ghee on top and serve with a simple pomegranate raita or just as it.
Recipe: Pomegranate Raita
2 cups yogurt
1 tsp cumin powder + more for serving
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp black salt
1 tsp powdered sugar
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
Take about 2 cups of yogurt, beat it well and add 1 tsp roasted cumin powder, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp black salt and 1 tsp of powdered sugar. Next add 1/2 cup of red pomegranate seeds and top with some more roasted cumin powder before serving.
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