[philiptellis] I love food, and I like writing about food. Follow me as I follow my nose, seeking out gastronomic delicacies wherever I find myself

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Junglee Pulao

One of my favourite dishes as a child was Junglee Pulao. My uncle used to make it for us every now and then. The way he made it, the rice would be slightly overcooked and soggy, and I liked it that way. I wouldn't tolerate soggy rice in any other dish, but for junglee pulao, it couldn't have been any other way.

Today, waking up all groggy and hungry at lunch time, I started thinking about what to make. First thought about biryani. Then realised that I was way too hungry to wait till it was done. Decided to go the shortcut and try the famous junglee pulao. I used mushrooms and potatoes, but you can also use mutton and other vegetables. Stay away from sweet vegetables though, because they add weirdness to the taste.

Ingredients (serves one):

  • 2 tsp jeera powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp haldi powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp salt
  • pepper optional, to taste (I didn't include any)
  • 250gm curd
  • 1 cup rice, washed
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 cardamoms
  • 1 packet button mushrooms chopped up
  • 2 large potatoes cut into 6 pieces each
  • 1.5 tbsp sunflower oil


  1. Heat the oil in a pressure cooker
  2. Add the chilli powder, jeera powder, haldi powder and coriander powder
  3. At the same time, boil the water in a saucepan and add the salt to it
  4. Once the masalas have fried and you can really smell it, add the mushrooms and potatoes
  5. Mix it around a bit until the water from the mushrooms comes out and they start cooking in it
  6. Add the rice
  7. Add boiling water
  8. Mix and allow to boil for a bit
  9. Add curd and garam masala
  10. Close the pressure cooker and leave it on high flame for one whistle and then 2-3 minutes on medium flame.
Once all steam has escaped (you may need to let some of it out if you're ready to eat), open the cooker and serve.

Other variations include using mutton instead of mushrooms. In that case, you need to fry the mutton for a little longer before you add the potatoes, and leave the pressure on for 2 whistles, You may also want to fry onions and tomatoes and ginger-garlic paste with the meat/mushrooms. Experiment with different combinations for different flavours.

You can get interesting flavours by adding various kinds of nuts. My favourite would be pine seed, slightly roasted.

If you want it more spicy, add pepper.

Try it and let me know how you like it.