Start by grinding your masala paste. Add the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside
Prepare your vegetables and set aside.
In a pressure cooker, add the oil and ghee and allow to heat gently.
Add the cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, star anise and bayleaf and stir for a minute to infuse into the oil.
Add the onion and saute on medium heat until translucent, do not brown.
Wash and soak the rice.
Now add your prepared masala paste and stir on high heat, until some of the water has evaporated and it changes color slightly.
Now add your vegetables and a little salt, just for the vegetables.
After a minute or so, add boiling water. The amount of water will be 1.5 times the amount of rice.
Add salt to the water and allow to come to a rolling boil.
Now add the rice and stir well.
Close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook for 2 whistles on medium high heat.
Allow the pressure to come down naturally and then open the cooker and fluff the rice gently.
Serve hot with Raita or gravy.
Tips for Cooking
Coconut generally does not blend fine in a mixer grinder. To ease the process, add only the coconut, ginger, garlic and chilli with a little water. Blend on high speed until the mixture is smooth. Then add the coriander and mint. This ensures that the coconut is blended and that the paste doesn’t turn black in color due to the leaves.
Sona Masoori rice only needs to be soaked for about 10-20 minutes. Any longer and it will disintegrate in the pulao.
You can add or omit any vegetable of your choice. Beans, green peas, cauliflower, corn etc can be used.
Do not use extra virgin olive oil, since it has a strong smell and low smoking point. Instead use Olive pomace oil or Virgin olive oil, which is more suited for cooking.