by Dahiza Umar
INTRODUCTION TO THE DISH
Pilaf is cooked with any main ingredients with rice. In this dish, rice is mixed with fresh green peas. Like Desi Pakistani pilaf, this dish has the addition of different spices for aroma and fragrance like cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves, green cardamom, black cardamom, black pepper cones, etc. In Pakistan, there are two famous rice dishes, one is BIRYANI and the other is PILAF. Biryani is usually a spicy and colorful dish with the use of meat content mostly. But pilaf is cooked even by vegetables and with meat also. The basic way to complete this dish is by making stock of the second main ingredient like in this dish, peas. Stock or Broth of any second main element is made with the use of spices for aroma. But in this dish, the use of spices is very mild. No or minimal spice is used like red pepper, black pepper, etc. Spicy is biryani and Mild is Pilaf.
Pilaf is a dish that is popular in the world. It is added to almost every cuisine as the national dish. Many regions have a special version of Pilaf in their cuisine. Sometimes, the method of cooking and different cooking skills are used in making the different pilaf according to that particular area. The availability of spices, utensils, and many ingredients can differentiate the taste of pilaf in the world.
Totally different spices and other ingredients like the use of nuts, raisins, almonds are also be added in some specific regional variety of Pilaf. In the world, we have many varieties of Pilaf, with an aspect of ingredient, cooking technique, regional differences, etc.
The complimentary items like salads, pickles, Raita, and more makes it even delicious when serve with it. This dish is the heart of the table when presented in the right way. Proper serving, with garnishing, is very important for any dish. The first look of the dish makes the impression of the dish. This dish is cooked at great gatherings, served at wedding events, for celebration, and Eid special dish. On eid celebrations, this pilaf is cooked with Beef meat and Mutton meat. The stock of mutton and beef meat is so rich and makes the pilaf very rich with the pulp of bonemarrow and soft tendered meat chunks.
NAMING OF THE DISH
This dish has many names with many meanings in different languages.
- Turkish pilav
- Persian pilāv
- Oxford English Pilaf
- North American pilau
- Hindi pulāv
- Sanskrit pulāka
- Persian pulaw (16th Century)
- Spanish Paella
In English, Pilaf means a dish made of seasoned rice and meat, vegetables, etc.
ALTERNATIVE NAMES FOR PILAF
HISTORY OF PILAF
During the Abbasid Caliphate, rice cultivation, cooking new dishes of rice were spread around the world. So dishes like Pilaf were the origin of that time.
In the 4th century BCE, Alexender the Great was impressed by the dish, SOGDIAN PILAF. According to A.K. Achaya, the dish was cooked by using rice, and meat is named Pilaf, or Pilav. He named it “pulao” or “pallao”
During the 10th century, Ibn Sīnā wrote many books on medical sciences. In one of his books, he explained the advantages and disadvantages of a few dishes and Pilaf was in one of the dishes. According to these hints, it is clear that pilaf is a very ancient dish and had prominence in every century with good aspects. Persians called Ibn Sina, the “father” of modern pilaf.
ORIGIN OF PILAF
Pilaf is considered to be originated from PERSIA.
This dish is popular in different regions of the world
- Central Asia
- Middle East
- East Africa
It is a staple food and a popular dish in :
- Kenya, etc.
STREET FOOD OF PAKISTAN
Pakistan is famous for its street food. This is the kind of food created by the roadside or over some stalls. The hawkers by the side created a burner and stove to prepare fresh food in front of people and serve it. The famous street food of Lahore is TAWA PULAO.
Tawa is basically a large flat pan and partially cooked rice is mixed with the second main ingredient either chicken or some vegetable and add some of the spices, sauces and toss it over the high flame and serve. This is like a very easy and ready-to-go dish. When everything is cooked we just need to mix it well over the large TAWA and serve it with the condiments.
REGIONAL LOCAL VARIETIES OF PILAF
The famous Afghani dish as a variety of pilaf is KABULI PULAO. Qabili pulao is one of the delicacies of Afghani cuisine. Kabuli pilaf is cooked with rice and Mutton meat and one of the best ingredients is the use of different nuts and dry fruits. This is like the royal dish with the use of many expensive ingredients:
- Banaspati rice
- Mutton chops
- Carrots shreds
In 1964, Rose Baboian wrote a book in which the Armenian Pilaf recipe, its ingredients are written. The use of Bulgur in making Pilaf of Armenia is common. There are a few following important ingredients :
- Meat or vegetables (optional)
Polao (পোলাও) is the famous Bangali dish cooked with many aromatic ingredients and served in the special ceremonies. This is called a Ceremonial dish. It is also known by other names, Fulao, or Holao. This is served by adding beresta (fried onions) over the top of the rice dish. They use many aromatic spices to make this dish fragrant and amazing.
They have more Polao varieties as,
- Akhni polau
- Hajir Biriyani, etc.
Brazil is famous for the dish known as SHREDDED CHICKEN RICE. This is a modified form of traditional pilaf, but they made it by their taste and ingredients and named it arroz pilau.
It is cooked by :
- Cubed bell peppers
- Courgette cubes
- Shredded chicken breast
- Green peas
- Tomato sauce
- Brocollini flowers
In Persian culinary techniques, the rice of Pilaf is cooked in stock and makes it embedded in the stock for proper flavors. There are four basic rice cooking forms in Iranian cuisine :
Lubia Pollow is a famous Persian dish cooked in Iran.
PILAF VARIETIES ACCORDING TO THE INGREDIENTS
- Mutton pulao
- Chicken pulao
- Beef pulao
- Prawn pulao
- Fish pulao
- Aloo pulao ( potato rice )
- Chinese pulao
- Aloo Matar Pulao (Peas, potato rice)
- Mixed vegetable rice
- Peas Pulao
- Capsicum pulao
- Channa pulao (Chickpea pilaf)
- Black beans pulao
- Yellow lentils pulao
- Split pulses pulao
- Mixed Lentils pulao
COMPLEMENTARY SALAD SERVED WITH
- Kachumbar salad
- Onion and tomatoes chopped salad
- Tomatoes slices with cucumber slices
- Mixed vegetable salad
COMPLEMENTARY SAUCES SERVED WITH
- Green chili chutney
- Mint Yogurt
- Zeera yogurt
- Mint sauce
- Tomato Raita
- Plain yogurt
- black pepper yogurt sauce
COMPLEMENTARY PICKLE SERVED WITH
- Mixed vegetable pickle
- Mango pickle
- Lemon pickle
- Green chilies pickle
- Preparation time : 20 minutes
- cooking time: 40 minutes
- Total time : 60 minutes
- Calories : 230
- Protein : 20 grams
- Carbohydrates : 17 grams
- Fats : 10 grams
INGREDIENTS OF PILAF
- Banaspati Rice : 1 kilogram
- Green peas : 250 grams
- Onions : 2 (sliced)
- Tomatoes : 4 (sliced)
- Ginger paste : 4 tbsp
- Garlic paste : 4 tbsp
- Green chilies paste : 4 tbsp
- Cumin seeds : 1 tbsp
- Coriander seeds : 2 tbsp
- Black pepper powder : 1 tbsp
- Salt : 2 tbsp
- Cinnamon stick : 2
- Cardamon : 2
- Cloves : 6
- Star anise : 2
- Garam masala : 1 tsp
- Yogurt : 1 cup
- Oil : 1 cup
- Parsely : few leaves
- Mint : few
- Green chilies : 4
- Lemon slices : 4
- Lemon juice : 4 tbsp
METHOD OF COOKING
- Take a large cooking wok and add oil in it, turn on the flame and add onion slices into it. Fry onion slices into oil until they turned into brown color. Dnt burn the onions just get the right amount of color and add tomatoes into it.
- Turn down the flame to the lowest so the juices of tomatoes released and makes the onions soft.
- Now add garlic, ginger paste and mix the onions, tomatoes mixture well.
- Fry all the things together and add 6 glass of water into this mixture.
- Add the whole spices like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, star anise and add peas into the water and bring it to boil.
- This is now peas stock is preparing with the aromatic spices and peas.
- When peas are tendered enough and water is reduced to 4 glass, add other spices like salt, pepper and cumin seeds.
- Add soaked rice 2 hours before and yogurt into the peas stock.
- Bring all the ingredeints into one pot and high up the flame until the water is dried completely,
- When water is dried, add green chilies, parsely and mint and cover the lid, reduce the heat to minimal and let it on the dum for 20 minutes.
- This is necessary part to makes everything assembled together.
- After 20 minutes, serve with sauce and salad and enjoy.