Cook's Hideout: Bagara Rice (How to cook Pulao/ Pilaf in Pressure Cooker)

April 24, 2013

Bagara Rice (How to cook Pulao/ Pilaf in Pressure Cooker)

Blogging Marathon# 27: Week 4/ Day 1
Theme: Miscellaneous - Tips to cook Pulao/ Pilaf in Pressure Cooker
Dish: Bagara Rice
We are in the last week of our Blogging Marathon# 27 and the theme for this week is 'miscellaneous" and 'arts & crafts'. I've to say that I'm a little crafty. No, I guess I have to say I was crafty more than 10 years ago and now I can't even think of anything fancy for my kindergartner's projects. 
When Valli announced that the theme for the last week is arts & crafts, I started watching a Telugu cooking show that had a segment on food carvings. I made note of quite a few and started trying out my crafting skills. After seeing my creations -- Tomato tulips/ Strawberry flowers & Cucumber Chinese fan, my husband decided to start cooking himself because of the amount of time and energy I was spending on trying to precisely cut the fruit/ veggie to get the right shape. Oh, mind you none of what I made actually looked what they were supposed to look like and it seemed waste of resources to the husband. After hacking away a week's worth of tomatoes for one trial, I had to agree with him and accept my failure.
So for the next few days, I'm going to post some quick and easy rice recipes. Also I'm planning to post  what I learnt in my Wilton Cake Decorating course later on in the week.
Bagara Rice
Today, I have a very simple and tasty rice dish. It is spiced with whole garam masala (spices), mint and cilantro. I cooked it in the pressure cooker. Recently couple of my blogging buddies have asked me how my pressure cooked pilaf/ pulao's come out so fluffy. There was a time when my pressure cooked pilafs were either mushy, burnt at the bottom or uncooked. So after some experiments, I think finally I've started to make some decent rice dishes in the cooker.
Bagara Rice
Here are some tips:
  • Soak rice for at least 10 minutes, the more the better.
  • When adding water to rice in the pressure cooker, always err on adding less than more. It might look like water is less and we get the urge to add more, stop yourself, add just the required quantity and no more.
  • I use 1:1¼ ratio of rice:water for basmati rice. For sona masoori I use 1:1½ to 1¾ rice:water.
Bagara Rice
Basmati rice - 1cup, washed, soaked for at least 10 minutes
Onion - 1 medium, thinly sliced 
Mint leaves - ½ cup, lightly packed, finely chopped
Cilantro leaves - ½ cup, lightly packed, finely chopped
Ginger + Garlic paste - ½ tsp
Green chilies - 2, slit
Bay leaf - 1
Cinnamon stick - 1" piece
Cloves - 3
Cardamom pods - 3
Shah Jeera - 1tsp
Salt - to taste

  • Heat 2tsp oil in a pressure cooker, add the spices (from bay leaf to shah jeera) and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Next add the onions and cook on medium flame until the edges start to brown. This has to be done low and slow to get the maximum flavor from the onions.
  • Add ginger+garlic paste and cook for 1 minute.
  • Stir in the chopped herbs and cook for another minute.
  • Drain the water from the rice and reserve the water. Add the rice to the pressure cooker and gently stir to get all the grains coated with the spice mixture, cook for about a minute.
  • Add the reserved water, salt and cook for 1 whistle. After 1 whistle, reduce the flame to low and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove from flame and let the pressure release naturally. Fluff the rice ans serve with your favorite side dish.
This rice is great when served with a gravy side dish and raita. I served with Shahi Baingan.
Bagara Rice
Playing around with different plate shapes & colors.

Lets check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked today for BM# 27


  1. You've taken on such a though one for the last week. Great tips .thanks and the pics are super

  2. Omg, thats wonderful atleast u tried your hands for food carvings Pavani,i dont even have guts to do it.

    Bagara rice looks delicious, love those prefectly cooked rice.

  3. That is interesting Pavani. I never tried cooking pulao in pressure cooker. My preferred one is always the rice cooker :)

  4. Looks lovely.
    And by any chance are you talking about Abhiruchi? If so, Chef Raju is my favorite. :)

  5. everything is welcome, rice dishes, wilton or failed projects, we are all aware of ur cooking talent, so i guess, dont mind seeing some initial carvings as well :) the rice looks scrumptuous

  6. today i am seeing so many rice yummy dishes , and now after seeing your pics i am feeling hungry again:)

  7. Oh that's bad, I know I can ask you to try more..afterall so much waste we shouldn't! guess some of us can't simply have the patience anymore is what I have concluded. As I said I was more artistic years ago, now I can hardly do anything...never mind Pavani. The rice looks awesome and the entire setup is so tempting..and I am so looking fwd to your cake decoration details..:)

  8. Oh it's true pavani I tried most of my crafts when my kids are in school, it takes lot of time nd passions.

  9. Your rice is perfectly cooked dear

  10. Thanks for the proportions of water. I will definitely try making pulao this way. Mine are generally on the sticky side. :)
    Would have loved seeing your failed craft too.

  11. ah!I failed terribly at vegetable carving too:-)...pilaf is delicious !!

  12. I tried to follow your recipe but it was slightly harder than I thought. Made it...but probably didn't turn out as good as what you would have made. Thanks for sharing your recipes though!

    For those looking to find a pressure cooker to try this amazing recipe: electric pressure cooker reviews.


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