Perfect Pulao Rice

We have just returned from a week in Center Parcs – Sherwood Forest. I admit I’m not the sportiest person on the planet and running around the gym, isn’t my idea of fun so I spent most of the time in Aqua Sana or drinking/eating. In the spa Hubby & I had a fantastic treatment called Serail Mud Treatment. Essentially you smother each other in a clay/mud mix and sit in your own private steam room for 20 min. Very hot and very messy, but left us both with baby soft skin.

The food in Center Parcs can be very much hit or miss, but their Indian restaurant Rajinda Pradesh is fantastic. Ok, it’s not as cheap & cheesy as Balti Towers (yes that is the name of my local Indian!) down the road, but it is a great place for a posh curry.

Whenever we eat at Rajinda Pradesh we go a bit mad. Our order included:
Shuruati Jugalbandi – A selection of starters including bhajie, tandoori chicken, deepfried okra (far nicer than I was expecting!) and mini shish lamb kebab.
Pappadums with various dips and chutneys
Chicken Passanda – Chicken in a red wine, cashew, tomato and cream based sauce flavoured with garam masala
Chicken MakhaniTandoori chicken in a creamy sauce with coconut butter.
Tandoori Naan bread
Pulao rice

All washed down with a bottle of Hardys “The Riddle” Chardonnay-Semillion and liquor coffee. Heaven!

Just before we went on holiday I manged to cook the perfect pulao rice. Has been many years in the making, but I got there eventually!

Perfect Pulao Rice
Serves 2

200g basmati rice
1/2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 cloves
2 cardamom pods
1 inch cinnamon stick (don’t break it up, or it’s a pain to fish out!)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
300ml boiling water
1/4 tsp lemon juice

1) Heat oil and add whole spices. Cook gently for 1 minute until you can smell the spices.

2) Stir in bay leaf, salt, rice and water. Cover and cook on low for 10 min.

3) Take rice off heat and leave for 5 min.

4) Fish out bay, cinnamon, clove and cardamom then serve.

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