Goan Pulao
Goan Pulao

A staple rice dish at most Sunday and celebratory meals in Goa, this simple Pulao is loaded with fragrant spices and forms the perfect accompaniment to spicy curries and side dishes. 

4 cups basmati rice
2 large onions (chopped fine)
2 large tomatoes (chopped fine)
1 large garlic clove (chopped fine)
2 green chilies (optional, slit in half)
2 inch cinnamon
8 cloves
8 cardamom
2 - 3 maggi bouillon cubes
1/2 tsp turmeric
7 cups water
1/4 - 1/2 cup oil
salt to taste (around 1 teaspoon)

1. Prep your spices before you begin to save time while cooking.

2. Finely chop the onion, tomato and garlic.

3. Heat the oil on medium heat in a deep oven safe pot and add the whole spices to the hot oil. Fry for a bit until they start to release their aroma.

4. Maintaining medium heat, add the onions and garlic to the oil. The onions should not burn. Adjust heat as required.

5. Add the turmeric to the onions and continue to fry them.

6. Add the bouillon cubes to the mix.

7. Add the chopped tomatoes while continuing to stir the spice mix.

8. Wash the rice and keep aside. Add the 7 cups of water to the pot, raise the heat and bring to a rolling boil. 

9. Once your stock is bubbling nicely, add the rice to the pot and let it come back to a boil. Turn on your oven and let it preheat to 350F (180C). 

10. One the rice mixture reaches a rolling boil, and the rice starts to cook, cover the pot and place it in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.

11. Remove from the oven once the time is up, and let it cool. Be careful while handling the pot and the cover, as it will be very hot!

12. Plate and serve with your favourite curry and side dish.

Note: Variations on this dish includes the addition of Peas or mixed vegetables or shrimp or, my personal favourite, Goa sausages. You can add any of these items to the rice just before you place the pot in the oven. They will cook with and/or flavour the pulao in the 15 minutes that the pulao cooks in the oven.