There are different types or styles of cooking rice in India. There are several types of cuisine and each cuisine has its own way of cooking. Tahari or Taharee or Tahiri or Tehri is supposed to be a type/style of Biryani and is popular in Uttar Pradesh and nearby areas which were courtyards of Awadhi or Mughal cuisine . It is supposed to be a part of Pakisthani cuisine as well. One definition of Tahiri is that it is the vegetarian or meat free version of the biryanis and pulaos in these cuisines.
Anyways, I was thinking Mughal cuisines always used lots of spices and were rich in fat and subsequently heat. Such dishes are suitable during winter. But come summer, then I would prefer something quick to make, and not that heat producing.So while going through Nita Mehta's Mughlaai Khaana cookbook, I was surprised to find the very simple Aloo Matar ki Taharee (atleast thats the name by the author) which had used just bay leaves and turmeric but was excellent in taste. Something simple yet hearty for a hot night.
Basmati Rice: 1 cup (soaked for an hour)
Ghee/ Butter: 2 tbsp
BayLeaves: 1big or 1 tsp
Ginger: 1/2 inch piece grated
Turmeric: 1/4 tsp
Onion: 1 medium finely chopped
Potato: 1 cubed or sliced
Peas: 1 cup
Water: 2 cups +/- as needed for cooking
Fresh Coriander/Cilantro: 1 tbsp+ more for garnish
Soak rice for an hour in water.
Heat a deep pan or wok at medium heat and saute the onion in the ghee or butter till it starts browning. Add the bay leaves ,ginger and turmeric. Cook for 1 minute till the raw smell goes. Then add the potatoes and peas and stir fry over low heat for about 2-3 minutes.
Add the drained rice and mix everything together so that each rice grain is coated with ghee/butter. Add chopped fresh cilantro/coriander and water. Bring to a boil. Lower the temperature and cook covered ,for about 10-15 minutes or until the rice is done.
Serve warm/hot with a cooling raita garnished with more coriander.
A simple one pot meal with easily available potato and peas. The recipe mentions new potatoes or small potatoes sliced into rounds but I have used potato cubes and also increased the coriander while cooking.A life saver when you are short of time and too famished to out and gorge. :)