Tuesday, February 2, 2021


Pulao - simple and comforting food that you can whip up easily for a weeknight meal or weekend brunch, lunch or dinner, is quite filling and satisfying too. Though it is made with rice, other grains work well too. Once you have the veggies chopped, it all go-go to make it quick. Sometimes chopping can be time-consuming. When you have the veggies ready, it sure is a blessing! Frozen and canned veggies are great and give a helping hand to you in the kitchen to fix a meal quickly. Yes, that's the idea for this month in #FoodieExtravaganza! We have to make great food "Starting with a Can". One need not think "Oh! canned food!" It is possible to whip up a fancy meal starting with a can. 

Initially, I thought to make pulao only. But when I was checking my pantry, I did find a few other cans sitting in there. Time to use them...and made a complete meal with those. I don't usually buy canned goods. Have reduced those. Once upon a time, they were usuals. But during the lockdown and stay-at-home time, I had a few canned goods to minimize the grocery trips. Canned tomatoes make great tomato rice, soups, and the different bean varieties can be made into yummy curries and soups. The options are innumerable. Now, most of the time I buy Chaokoh coconut milk (for quick recipes) and cut baby corn (I don't find fresh baby corn in stores). 

For today's recipe, I used canned mixed vegetables, mixed beans salad, coconut milk, cut baby corn, canned mango pulp. I made vegetable pulao, baby corn kurma, raita, mango lassi all in 45 minutes and it was a great weekend lunch. Since the veggies in the can are already soft, the cooking time gets a little reduced. Soak the rice for 10 minutes, chop the onion, garlic, ginger, potatoes, and cauliflower, etc...  Start with the rice and curry. When they are getting ready, make the onion raita and the lassi. When the rice is cooking, there is plenty of time to fix a couple of sides. Though I prepped up the salad with a couple of lettuce and cucumbers, I forgot to picture them together. I am sharing the recipe for pulao today. Soon, I will share the recipe for quick baby corn kurma/curry (which is great with rice noodles too!), and our all-time favorite mango lassi. 

Wendy of A Day in the life on a Farm, is hosting this month's "Starting with a Can". Foodie Extravaganza is where we celebrate obscure food holidays by cooking and baking together with the same ingredient or theme each month. Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page.

Serves 4 people

Canned mixed veggies - 1- 14oz can
Coconut milk - 1/2 cup
Cauliflower florets - 1/2 cup
Potato - 1 small, diced
Basmati rice - 1.5 cups
Oil - 3 tbsp
Onion - 1.5 cups, sliced and halved
Ginger - 2-in. piece
Garlic - 4 cloves
Thai chili - 4
Bay leaf - 1
Cinnamon - 2-in, piece
Cardamom -2
Cloves - 4
Cumin -1/2 tsp
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
Water - 1.5 cups, plus for soaking
Salt - 1.5 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Mint leaves - 1/4 cup
Cilantro - 2 tbsp, for garnish
Water - 1 and 3/4 cups


Wash and soak the rice for 10 minutes. Grind garlic, cloves, two Thai chilies to a paste with a tablespoon of water and set aside.

Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add cumin, fennel seeds, cinnamon, bay leaf, cloves, cardamom, and sauté. Add onions and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the ground ginger-garlic-chili paste and continue sautéing for another 2 minutes till it is cooked and the raw smell disappears. Add the rice, sauté for a minute. Add the potatoes, cauliflower, mint leaves, two slit Thai chilies, and sauté for a minute.

Add salt, turmeric, water, and coconut milk. When it begins to boil add the canned veggies. Lightly mix, cover and cook for 5 minutes.

More than half the liquid would have been absorbed by now. Gently fluff the rice, lower the flame to low, cover, and continue to cook for another 10 minutes. Switch off the flame. Fluff with a fork gently and leave it covered for another 5-7 minutes. 

Garnish with cilantro and serve with raita and/or curry.

Check out the following links for creative recipes "Starting with a Can". Thanks, Wendy for hosting this event!


  1. Woohoooo I have another Meatless Monday meal to put on my menu. Thanks

  2. That looks fabulous! I can't wait to try it.

  3. This looks like rice heaven to me...so much flavor!!!

  4. What a wonderful meal, Radha! I haven't tried the baby corn in the can because I was so spoiled being able the buy the fresh ones overseas and even here in Houston (at select stores) before lockdown. I miss them.

    1. Thanks, Stacy. You are lucky to get fresh baby corn. I used to buy it in India, here still not finding it in nearby stores. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. That looks wonderful. What a great "clean out the pantry" dish!

  6. Great looking rice! I have a lot of cans for lockdown too, and it's important to know ways to use those in case we have to.

  7. What a spread super delicious and lip smacking!

  8. This looks so cozy and comforting! Yumm!!

  9. I absolutely love pulao but have never thought to look for a recipe. Thank you!