Chirer Pulao – Flattened Rice Pilaf

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Flattened rice or chindé is one of the most common evening snacks in Bengal. Whether its chindé bhaja (fried flattened rice) with roasted nuts or grated coconut or the chindé doi (sweet yogurt with flattened rice) – chindé has its own special place as the evening cha-er sathe ta. Chindé is so popular in Bengal that even grocery stores sale packed chindé bhaja.

Other than being such a hyped snacks dish, chindé is one of the many homemade remedies for keeping you cool during the summer months. Eating chindé doi for breakfast during the summer months is one of the many things which make a Bengali a true Bong. Probably because of its cooling effect you get to eat chindé doi on the very dawn of your wedding day. I remember y wedding day, my mom calling me at the crack of dawn and before I could understand anything she had wrapped a saree over my pj’s and t-shirt. And, there I was sitting in front of all relatives eating a bowl full of chindé doi.

The other very popular dish made with flattened rice is chirer pulao. This is almost similar to what rest of India calls poha or pohé. But, just like what happens when you say golgappa is better than Kolkata phuchka, the same thing happens here too. Ask any Bengali and he’ll surely say chirer pulao is far better than pohay. This is probably because a simple reason, the size and texture of the flattened rice that is available. Chira that we generally get in Bengal is a little smaller, softer and whiter than what the rest of India calls poha. While poha is made with roasted chillies, onions, mustard and cumin seeds and curry leaves, chirer pulao contains peas, cauliflower and the Bong favorite potatoes.

Chirer Pulao - Flattened Rice Pilaf

Snack, Indian, Authentic bengali recipe, Chirer pulao, Pilaf, Chinda recipe, Bengali poha, Poha recipe
Cooks in    Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 3cups chira
  • 1 medium size potato, chopped to tiny pieces
  • 1 floret of cauliflower, chopped to tiny pieces
  • ¼ cup of peas, fresh or frozen
  • A handful of peanuts, roasted
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped onions
  • 2-3 green chillies, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ teaspoon chilli powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch of sugar (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Directions
  • Heat the oil in a wok and throw in the onions, potatoes and cauliflower, stir fry till the vegetables are half cooked. Season with green chillies, salt and sugar if using.
  • Add the peas and cook till the vegetables are properly cooked. Add the chira and stir fry to mix the vegetables and chira together.
  • If you want the chira to be crispy, take it out of flame garnish with the roasted peanuts and lemon juice and serve. If you like the softer version, sprinkle some water and let cook for a minute or two and then serve.

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Paneer Pulao in Rice Cooker

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There’s nothing as nice. As a new Teddy Bear.
To tickle and cuddle, And take everywhere
To share all your secrets,Your laughter and tears
To keep by your side Through seasons and years.
There’s nothing as nice As a new Teddy Bear…
Except for an old one With memories to share.

~Jeannie Hand-Stuart~

Did any of you get a teddy today? Today is Teddy Day and as promised we are here with the third Valentine’s Week special recipe. There’s Matar paneer on Propose Day and Microwave Chocolate cake on Chocolate Day.

After these two it’s a simple and non-greasy preparation for the menu. You can have it with the spicy Mutton kasha, or the healthy Cauliflower curry.

Paneer Pulao

Serves: 2

Preparation time: 10min

Cooking time: 30min

Ingredients:

  • Long grain or Basmati rice (Chal): 2 cups
  • Farmer cheese (Paneer): 200gms
  • Peas (Matar shuti): ½ cup
  • Cumin (Jeera): 2 tablespoon
  • Onion (Peyaj): ½ cup, finely chopped
  • Water (Jal): 4 cups
  • Sunflower Oil (Sada tel): 5 tablespoon
  • Coriander leaves (Dhane pata) for garnishing
  • Salt to taste

Paneer Pulao

Preparation:

  • Wash the rice and spread them over a clean newspaper so that the water gets drained off
  • Cut the paneer in small square pieces
  • Heat 3 tablespoon of oil in a wok, and fry the paneer pieces till golden brown
  • Plunge them into warm water with little salt, keep aside
  • In the rice cooker pour the extra oil, onions, cumin and salt, mix well, turn on and cook for 2-3min
  • Add the rice and mix well with the sautéed onions, pour in 4 cups of water
  • Cook for about 15 min
  • Add the peas and cook for some more time, check in between whether the rice has been cooked well
  • Add the paneer, and cook for 4-5mins more
  • Serve with chopped coriander garnished

Paneer Pulao

Hot Tips – You can also prepare it over flame. Just follow the steps, but use a little less water and cook over low flame.

Further Reading – Paneer pulao, Zafrani Paneer Pilaf

What’s your Teddy Bear Memory?

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