Tawa Pulao

Tawa Pulao

Mumbai Tawa Pulao is the perfect street food for the fast-paced life of Mumbai, one of the busiest cities on the planet. It is a filling and complete meal of rice and veggies, made spicy and tangy with native Mumbai flavors from the Pav Bhaji masala and a generous helping of tomato ketchup. Just like the city of its origin, Mumbai Tawa Pulao is no-nonsense, utilitarian and time-saving - no wonder it is almost as popular as Mumbai's Vada Pav or Pav Bhaji!

Mumbai Tawa Pulao is great for preparing at home. A quick, easy-to-prepare and filling 1-pot dish that can be rustled up on-the-spot for guests that drop in unannounced, or for those times when you don't want to spend much time in the kitchen, or even to turn leftover rice into a tasty dish. And oh so kid-friendly - kids love the ketchup, and it is a great excuse to get veggies into their system.

I must confess - I stumbled onto the Mumbai Tawa Pulao recipe through trial and error and by simply following my taste buds. As a kid, I would add ketchup to enhance the taste of the Tomato Pulao that my mom would lovingly serve - I even got my younger sister hooked to it. The habit followed me into my adult years - and when a friend suggested I add some Pav Bhaji Masala to my ketchup-pulao preparation, the astronomical improvement in taste made me think that I had invented a new great recipe... till I found millions in Mumbai were consuming it by the truckloads every day. Accident, coincidence, or cosmic connection - either way, the outcome is a one-way ticket to tasty-land :)

Bombay Tawa Pulao Recipe / Tomato Pulao Recipe

Serves : 3-4

    4 cups cooked Rice (preferably long-grain)
    1 tsp Cumin seeds
    1 tbsp minced fresh Ginger
    1/2 tbsp fresh Garlic paste
    1 cup cubed Red Onion; layers separated
    1 cup cubed Tomatoes
    3/4 cup cubed Bell Pepper (of your choice)
    1/4 cup Green Peas (fresh or frozen)
    1/2 cup cubed Cottage Cheese (Paneer), optional; available in Indian Grocery Stores
    1-2 Serrano Green Chillies or to taste; destemmed & finely chopped
    2 tbsp finely chopped fresh Cilantro (Coriander) leaves
    1/4 tsp turmeric powder
    1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder or to taste; optional
    1 tbsp Pav Bhaji Masala; available in Indian Grocery Stores
    Salt to taste
    1/3 cup Tomato Ketchup
    1 tbsp Oil
    1/2 cup water

    How to make Tawa Pulao

      1. Microwave the peas till soft. Keep aside.
      2. Heat oil in a deep non-stick pan. Add cumin seeds. Once the cumin seeds begin to change color, add garlic paste & ginger. Sauté for 15 seconds.
      3. Add cubed onions and sauté till the onions are translucent.
      4. Add cubed tomatoes. Sauté till the tomatoes are soft but not mushy.
      5. Add cubed bell pepper. Sauté till the bell pepper is cooked but crunchy.
      6. Add tomato ketchup, pav bhaji masala, red chilli powder, green chillies & turmeric powder. Mix well. Sauté for a minute.
      7. Add cottage cheese, salt & water. Mix gently
      8. Add cooked rice and mix gently. Add chopped cilantro leaves & green peas. Mix well. Let the rice get heated through.
      9. Your Tomato Pulao is now ready. 
      10. Serve hot with Cucumber Raita.

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