Vegetable Pulao/biryani is a very common rice dish in India and this is something that you are sure to find on the menu of any self-respecting Indian restaurant 🙂 Over the years I have tried and made different versions of it and one of the reasons I like to change it up a little bit every now and then is because – I make it so often!!!. So this time I decided to give it a ‘Middle eastern’ twist… Of late I had been seeing a lot of pulao(pilaf) recipes with a middle eastern twist. Some of my blogger friends had posted different versions of vegetable pilaf dishes …I finally decided to make my version which is a combination of the different recipes that I had been seeing. I should state that this recipe is mainly inspired by the following bloggers’s recipes and I would like to thank them – Confused Bawarchi’s Moroccan pilaf and Savory and Sweet Food’s Mediterranean Pulao for the inspiration.! Ultimately whenever I embark on a new recipe, I invariably end up modifying the recipe …not because I simply want to but because of practical reasons ….I always like to work with what I have on hand in my pantry and in my fridge 🙂 Hence this version came about. So what were the main differences from the regular Indian vegetable pulao? Well, I decided to use some different spices (other than the usual garam masala that I use) – mainly ‘Harissa’ and ‘ras-el-hanout‘. I used store bought Harissa (dry powder) and ras-el-hanout (Did I tell you I got these as dry blends from Whole Foods and have been using them in so many different things? 🙂 ). But you could also make your own Harissa paste or make your own blend for Ras-el-hanout. ‘Ras-el-hanout’ by the way is quite similar to the Indian ‘garam masala’ with some slightly different proportions of the different spices which gives it a slightly different overall flavor. Then the other different thing I did was to use dried lime pieces and also added chickpeas to make it really a complete balanced meal.