Mint and Potato Pulao

July  2, 2012
1 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

When you look back, past always seems more pleasant than the present. No matter, how difficult the days were, you will have something memorable, something you hold onto. I went to college in a town in Southern India and it was not common in the 90s to find a restaurant, a decent one to eat out especially the fancy Biryanis and the Pualos. When I make and eat this now at home, my memories flood with my days in college, the friends I used to hang out with and the foods we used to like and share-

The inspiration for this dish comes from a small shop opposite to my college which used to have the best rice dish with nothing but freshly grown mint leaves,(Yes! grown in the owner's house), rice and spices.Oh! And Potatoes, I forget! —Shri

Test Kitchen Notes

Shri takes us to her memories of her college years and the meals she shared with friends. To my Western mind, her recipe is a meal that's partly exotic, but well in the realm of comfort food. The blandness of the potatoes and rice is enlivened and brightened by the mint and chiles, and a tasty range of whole spices. I added the onions with the ginger-garlic paste, quartered the potatoes and let it cook covered for 25 minutes. Next time I'll parboil the potatoes -- and I look forward to the next time. Don't skip the raita, or plain yogurt. It pulled all the parts together for me. —susan g

What You'll Need
  • 6 baby potatoes, scrubbed and halved
  • 1 cup loosely packed Mint leaves
  • 3 cups long Grained rice, soaked in 15 min
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 8 green chillies, cut vertically
  • 1 teaspoon cumin Seeds
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 tsp oil
  • 1 medium onion
  1. Cut the onion into two and peel it, then slice the onion very thinly into half moons.
  2. Heat oil in a pan. Add Cumin seeds an when they begin to lightly brown, add onions an green chiles. Fry for 2 minutes till the onions become translucent Add the cinnamon stick, cardamom, bay leaves and cloves. Fry for 3 more minutes
  3. Once fragrant, stir in the ginger garlic paste. Add potatoes and cook until they are tender when pricked with a fork, about 5 minutes. Add mint leaves and cook for until they wilt, about 2 minutes.
  4. Pour 4 1/2 cups of water and a healthy pinch of salt. (For every cup of rice, add 1 1/2 cups of water.)
  5. Bring to a boil, and then slowly add the rice and cook until the water evaporates and the rice is soft but the grains are separate.
  6. Let it cool slightly. Add the peas and fluff the rice with a fork. Serve with yogurt/raita if desired.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • boulangere
  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • Vicky K
    Vicky K
  • Shri

8 Reviews

boulangere August 1, 2012
Shri, I so enjoyed testing this, and want to share my notes with you:

I had to do a bit of reading between the lines with this recipe, but it was well worth the effort! First, the ingredients are listed in somewhat reverse order, and it wasn't clear when the onions should go into the pan. I used some common sense and added them to the oil before the cumin and green chiles. As for the green chiles, I wasn't sure how hot they should be, but I was pretty sure they should be the counterpart to the mint, so I went down the middle of the road and used Anaheims, and fewer of them because they're so large. I (regretfully, because it sounds wonderful) didn't have any ginger-garlic paste, so I substituted some fresh of each that I muddled in a mortar and pestle with some salt. I cooked the rice in a separate pot. To assemble the dish, I added the contents of the skillet, including the potatoes and mint, which I added when the rice was almost done, and fluffed it all together with forks. I served it with helenthenanny's Lazy Raita: I completely understand what a comfort this dish was to a young college student. It is to me now, too, both for dinner and as treasured leftovers.
Shri August 2, 2012
Boulangere - Yes, I missed mentioning the Onions part which I realized when testers from Food 52 emailed me. I could not make any changes at the time. But your common sense is perfect :-) We add onions along with Green chilies and cook till onions are translucent and chillies are soft. We add Cumin, Onions w/ green chillies (in order). For us, green chillies are of 2 types in Indian stores. I should have written in detail on Green chillies. But I think for those who do not have access to Indian stores, I prefer Jalapenos- seeds removed if too much heat is an issue. But I am sure Anaheims would well too. Fresh Ginger garlic will work well too,if not better!!
Thank You for testing it and I am glad you enjoyed making it and liked it!
Vicky K. July 25, 2012
I can tell by reading the recipe that it's delcious, but I think it needs some adjusting so that it presents in a more attractive way - at least if I were serving it to guests. For family it would be fine and I am likely to try it.
TheWimpyVegetarian July 25, 2012
This looks so good! I made a biryani for dinner last night and will be making this dish next time. Love it!
Shri July 25, 2012
Thank You!
Shri July 23, 2012
Thank you Susan for testing! I am glad you liked it:-)
Shri July 3, 2012
Thank you!!
boulangere July 3, 2012
Your story is lovely, and this sounds quite wonderful.