It is needless to say that rice is a permanent cereal for most people in the world. However, it's consumption is more in the Asian continent. Within the passage of time the variety of recipes and method of preparation of rice have evolved. However, one of the greatest innovation in cooking rice based dishes was done by Toshiba Corporation , Japan who introduced Rice Cookers. Later it was joined in the market by other competitors. It revolutionized the way the rice being cooked from conventional pots on gas or coal to electrified method. This not only reduced the time but also added to the convenience by doing away with disposing of the excess starch. Now, it also meant that you could include veggies, soyabean etc. in the cooker and prepare a pulao for added taste. It has been more than a decade since I started using rice cooker and trust me till date it always performed to my satisfaction.
Today I am posting Vegetable Pulao in Rice Cooker with just 2 tbsp Ghee. For the best results I have found that when I cooked rice with the same soaking water it yields me the best aromatic grains of basmati rice ever to come out of my kitchen !
What else your rice cooker can do :-
1) I prepare steamed dumplings, momos....Yes you heard me right in that same rice cooker just put water into the bottom and place the dumplings in the steamer basket (it is a separate item so doesn't come with all rice cooker brands).
2)Steaming vegetables takes less effort, only thing is keep an eye on timer as rice cooker boils water faster than bringing water to a boil in a stove pot. Wghcih eventually saves time and provides good results. The rice cooker turns off the heat automatically to prevent burning the rice or anything that may scorch inside the cooker.
3) You can also make soups in it. If rice cooker have been given enough water and time it will create long simered dishes without scorching or boiling over.
Today's Rice Cookers have a feature "keep warm" with the automatically shut off feature. To help you more most Rice Cookers come up with recipe books so you can know what else you can do except cooking rice in it !!
2 cups Basmati rice
1 cup Green peas
3/4 cup chopped French Beans
3/4 cup chopped Carrot
1 " Cinnamon stick
5-6 Black pepper balls
2 Bay leaves
1 tsp Biryani masala powder
2 tbsp Ghee
5 cups of Water (rice:water proportion should be double like here we have taken 2 cups rice so 4 +1 cup water)
Salt to taste
Pour the measured rice into a bowl and add plenty of water and stir the rice in circles with your fingers to loosen the starches. Pour the starchy water down the drain and rinse two more times with fresh water till the water is almost clear. Now soak the rice with double amount +1 cup extra water and let this sit for almost 20 minutes. For the precise measurement use measuring cups later when you become an expert you can reply on an eyeball measurement !
Keep ready your rice cooker by placing the separator plate at the bottom(see above pic where I am showing). Add rice (except water), all the vegetables, all the raw spices and bay leaves.
Mix lightly with a long spatula. Add the water which was used for soaking, ghee, biryani masala powder and salt.
Stir thoroughly. Close the lid of rice cooker (make sure the lid is firmly fitted) and switch on the button.
Cooking time will depend on the rice quantity and quality. So try not to open the lid to see the progress in between. One or two times is ok to check. Again don't leave the lid open for too long while checking as it may bring down the inside temperature.
|The steamy rice after I opened the lid...|
Once the rice is cooked automatically it will turn "warm" mode from "cooking".Also a word of recommendation, if you watch closely you would notice that there is a keep warm light which automatically goes on once the rice is fully cooked ( pic below)
It is required not to take out rice for immediate serving rather than to wait for 10-15 minutes in the keep warm mode so that the excess steam is vented out. This would ensure that the rice is not sticky and soggy and the grains are distinctly separated from each other. Enjoy with your choice of curry.
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