Vegetable Pulao is a dish that you will find in every decent Indian cook’s repertoire. It is so easy to put together and its a one pot dish! Plus what I like about making pulao is that you can vary the amount or types of spices, use different combination of vegetables to come up with variations of the pulao so that it is never boring. A vegetable Pulao is one item that always features in our potluck dinner gatherings with friends. It is one solid dish around which other curry dishes and appetizers truly become ‘sides’ but they all work perfectly well to complement each other !
In our home, at least every now and then on a weeknight, I tend to go the Pulao route. Mainly because of its ‘one pot’ quality. This past week when I thought of making the pulao mid-week for dinner, I wanted to make a variation. So I thought of the famous ‘Tawa pulao’ which was popularized by Pav Bhaaji stalls(vendors) in Mumbai. But it has quickly gained acceptance in other reputable restaurants too now. Tawa Pulao uses a large griddle (Tawa) to cook the vegetables using the spicy Pav Bhaaji masala and then cooked rice is mixed with these vegetables on the same griddle along with lots of butter. Another unique thing about the Tawa pulao is that the vegetables having being cooked on a griddle along with loads of butter tend to be a bit crispy/crunchy on the outside and have tons of flavor! I used extra virgin olive oil to replace the butter.
Pan Bhaaji masala is an unique blend of 15-18 different indian spices like cumin,coriander,dry mango,ginger etc. Tomatoes or tomato paste is one key ingredient when cooking the vegetables. Since I am avoiding tomatoes I used a few cranberries to get the tartness. And then on a whim, I decided to lightly sweeten the cranberries in maple syrup and threw in these sweetened cranberries also to top the pulao and to give it a thanksgiving feel 🙂