Rainbow Pulao by Mallika Basu
3 x 135g Basmati Rice
3 x 250ml hot water
3 teaspoon ghee
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 tablespoon tomato puree
Half teaspoon chilli powder
2 teaspoon garlic paste
5 cubes frozen chopped spinach (125g), defrosted (or 200g of fresh spinach)
1 tablespoon fresh coriander, chopped
1 black cardamom pod
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 bay leaf
1-inch stick cinnamon
Half teaspoon turmeric
Salt to season
Set a full kettle to boil and wash the first lot of rice in a sieve. In a lidded saucepan, warm a teaspoon of ghee on high heat. When it’s hot, stir in the ginger and the rice for a minute until the rice turns opaque.
Mix in the chilli powder, tomato puree and half a teaspoon of salt, then add 250ml hot water. Stir once, cover and simmer for 12 minutes until cooked. Turn the heat off but leave to sit covered for another five minutes. Fluff with a fork and tip the tomato rice into a glass bowl and cover.
While the tomato rice is cooking, get going with the spinach layer by washing the rice. In another lidded saucepan, warm a teaspoon of ghee on high heat. When it’s hot, mix in the garlic and the rice. When the rice turns translucent, add the spinach, fresh coriander and half a teaspoon of salt. Pour in 250ml of hot water, cover and simmer for 12 minutes as before. When it’s done, turn the heat off and leave to sit for another five minutes. Fluff as before, tip onto the tomato rice, smooth over the top, and cover.
Now, make the final layer. Wash the last portion of rice. Warm ghee in another lidded saucepan (I rinse and use the tomato one). When it’s hot, drop in the black cardamom, cumin seeds, bay leaf and cinnamon. As they sizzle up, mix in the rice and turmeric and stir through for a minute. Now add salt and hot water, cover and simmer for another 12 minutes, repeating the process until you get a final layer of turmeric stained rice in your bowl.
Leave the whole lot covered in the bowl for five minutes, then place a plate on top of the bowl and turn it upside down to get your dome shaped three-layered pulao.