This is a great vegetarian party dish. Really quick to throw together, the end result is super tasty, fragrant and very rich. I served it with my granny’s tomato pachadi.
- 8 baby eggplants (leave whole, cut an X into the bottom of each eggplant)
- 1 medium onion (chopped finely)
- 1 medium tomato (chopped finely)
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- 1 green chilli (sliced in half)
- 1/2 cup mint leaves (chopped roughly)
- 1/2 cup coriander leaves (chopped roughly)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 mace
- 1/2 teaspoon whole black pepper corns
- 1 star anise
- 4 cardamom pods
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 tablespoon red chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 tablespoon cashew nuts
- 1 tablespoon yogurt
- 2 cups basmati rice (washed and drained)
- 4 cups water
- salt to taste
In a large pot, heat 1/2 cup oil and fry eggplants until the skin blisters and the eggplants are half cooked. Remove and drain on a kitchen towel.
Pour out most of the oil leave, just leaving about 1 tablespoon behind, add ghee. Fry cashew nuts until golden brown. Remove and drain.
Add onion, tomato and ginger garlic paste. Fry until fragrant. Add chilli, bay leaf, mace, star anise, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and cumin seeds. Stir well.
Add red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and stir well. Add mint leaves and coriander leaves and then add rice. Stir until rice grains turn translucent.
Add water and stir well. Arrange eggplants and fried cashew nuts on top. Cover and cook on a medium heat for 15 minutes. Rice will fluff up and absorb all the liquid. After 15 minutes, remove the pulao from the stove, leave the lid on and allow to sit for about 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!