To be very guileless ,while I was a kid I didn’t like chire ( chira/flattened rice) at all . Maa tried to force me to eat this with ripe banana, milk, yogurt and sondesh (a special Bengali sweet), which I disliked the most. Though it was a much loved breakfast of my younger brother but I didn’t want to touch it even. Therefore she sometimes prepared an another variety of chire, which in Bengali we called Chirer Pulao. This was my most favorite. Even I simply love it till now.
It’s not only easy to make but also it is very healthy, filling, and tasty too. Moreover it’s an ideal brunch for a lazy holiday. Sometimes I pack my daughter’s lunch box with this and she really likes it. Not only that, one day after returning back from school, making her eyes wider, she told me that she shared her tiffin ( chirer polao ) with her non Bengali friends and everyone praised her saying, "what a yummilicious lunch you've brought"..!!!
Anyway, lets come to the point now. Here is the entire recipe of Bengali Chirer Polao:
- Flattened Rice/Chira/Chire: 2 Cups
- Water: 2 Cups.
- Green Peas: ¼ Cups.
- Any type of seasonal vegetables: Cauliflowers, carrot or any vegetables of your choice ( handful chopped, though this time I didn’t use none of these) .
- Potato: 1 small ( optional), peeled and cut in small cubes.
- Raisin: Handful
- Cashewnuts: Handful
- Ginger: 1 tsp. (grated)
- Salt: to taste
- Sugar: 2 tbsp ( preferably powder sugar, you may replace it with zero calorie sweetener too, adjust the amount according to your choice)
- Turmeric Powder: A pinch
- Cinnamon Sticks: 1
- Cardamoms: 3-4 nos.
- Cloves: 3-4 nos.
- Sha Jeera (Caraway seeds): 1/4 tsp.
- Bay leaves: 1
- Oil/Ghee: 1/4th Cup
- Garam Masala Powder (1-2 tsp of ground green cardamom, cloves and cinnamon) :1/2 tsp.
- Rinse the chire in water once and soak them in the water for just 4-5 minutes. Drain the excess water and keep it in a colander. At this time for a better result, mix little salt, sugar and 2 tsp of white oil with the soaked chire.
- Heat ½ of ghee in the pan and add the cinnamon sticks, cardamoms, cloves and caraway seeds and the bay leaves. Let the aroma come out and then add the green peas, cashew nuts and the raisins. On medium flame fry them little. If you are using any vegetables or potatoes add them at this time. Sprinkle little salt on them and fry them on medium flame carefully until they become soft.
- Add the grated ginger and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Now add the soaked chire. Mix in thoroughly. Add the rest of the ghee now. It will help to to keep the rice flakes separated from each other.
- Sprinkle little turmeric powder, sugar and salt. Stir well.
- Check the seasoning . Add more salt and sugar if required.
- Sprinkle the garam masala powder and mix.
- Turn off the flame and the pulao is ready now.
- Garnish it with chopped green chilies and coriander leaves and serve. You may sprinkle fried peanuts on the top.
Enjoy Your Food...!!!