2 cups Basmati Rice
1/2 lb.(250 gms) button mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tomato, finely chopped
3-4 cloves garlic
Small piece of ginger
3-4 green chilies
2 pieces of cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
2 bay leaves
5 pepper corns
1 masala elaichi (black cardamom)
4 green cardamoms
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp red chili powder
2 tsp garam masala/ biryani masala powder
1 tbsp yogurt (curd)
Finely chopped cilantro (coriander leaves)
Oil as required
Salt to taste
4 cups hot water
Wash and soak basmati rice in water for 1/2 an hour. Drain and keep aside.
Grind garlic, ginger and green chilies to a fine paste. Keep aside.
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add cumin seeds, fennel seeds ,cinnamon pieces, black cardamom, cloves, green cardamom, bay leaves and pepper corns. Saute for a minute.
Add chopped onion and fry till the onion turns soft. Add ginger garlic green chili paste and saute till the raw smell disappears.
Add chopped tomato, red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and mix well.
Saute till the tomato is soft. If adding other vegetables, add them now and cook with very little water, till they are half done.
Add sliced mushrooms and mix thoroughly. Saute for about 2 minutes.
Add drained rice, yogurt, chopped cilantro, salt and mix well. Fry for about 2 -3 minutes. Add the hot water and incorporate everything slowly so that the rice does not break.
Cover and cook on medium flame, for 8-10 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and the water is absorbed.(Add more water if needed).
Remove from the heat and let the pulao rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Serve hot with cucumber raita.
* You can add other vegetables like green peas, french beans, eggplant, potatoes etc.
* To add more flavor, add 2 tsp ghee to the rice when its half done and mix well.