Monday, August 15, 2011

Freedom from oil.....Tricolour Tiranga Pulao....Happy Independence Day!

This one is an independence day special. The typical way to make a tiranga/tri-color rice is to cook three types of rice separately- a palak/spinach rice for green, carrot rice for the color saffron and then combine it with some plain rice in the midle for the final effect. Looks really nice and goes well with the Independence day spirit.

I was a little short on time today. The Independence day lunch organised by the building committee was called off at the last minute, cook had her day off and yet I was quite determined to make the meal special.

So an oil free recipe it was( in keeping with the Freedom theme), a one dish wholesome meal( read Pulao) and three different colored ingredients- carrots, beans and baby corn. The combination was definitely a visual treat and nobody seemed to miss the oil/butter/ghee.

With lean cooking( I have Sanjeev Kapoor, Nita Mehta and Karen Anand to thank- picked up all my basic tips about low oil/no oil cooking from their books) there are two basic rules:

  • Be patient because a good part of the cooking needs to be done on low flame. Some steps may need constant stirring. Try and use a good non-stick cookware.
  • The food is low on oil but high on flavor so some of the dishes(like this one) need a lot of ingredients- basic everyday use ingredients but quite a few nevertheless.

Tri-colored Rice/Tiranga Pulao(No Oil)
Serves: 4/5


Basmati Rice( choose the long grained variety): 1.5 cups
Onions: 2, finely chopped. You could also use Shallots- about 8/10 peeled
Ginger: Finely chopped, 1 tbsp
Tomatoes: 2, finely chopped. Choose large ones, this is a key ingredient when you are cooking with no oil
Carrots: 1/2, cut into 1/2 inch long pieces
Beans: 8/10, 1/2 inch pieces
Baby corn: 4/5, 1/2 inch pieces
Bay leaves: 1/2
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Green Cardamom: 2/3
Lime juice: 1 tbsp
Water: 3 cups


  • Soak the Basmati rice for about an hour before you start cooking. Do follow this step for all Pulaos.
  • Heat a non-stick kadai/wok. Dry roast the bay leaves, cumin seeds and cardamom till fragrant.
  • Add the onions, ginger and tomatoes and cook for a few minutes till the tomato turns soft.
  • Add the vegetables, rice and mix well. Cook for a few minutes.
  • Transfer to a pressure cooker, add 3 cups of hot water( this prevents the rice from sticking, also helps cook faster) and the lime juice. Close the lid of the cooker and let it give out one whistle. Switch off the cooker and let it cool on its own.
  • Serve hot along with a cucumber-tomato- onion raita.
  • Enjoy.
Jai Hind!

Bon Apetit and Happy Cooking!


  1. inspired by the colours of ur tiranga pulao...i made tiranga upama today :):)