Every time I make this wonderful dish, nostalgic memories rush back from my teenage days. My mother would lovingly make coriander pulao for us, especially on Sundays. We would rush to relish this dish, as soon as it was cooked! We were in love with this tasty dish. My mother always followed exactly the same procedure which was shared by my wonderful and patient, elder sister, Nagalakshmi. Akka introduced this dish to my mother, during my college days. I am really thankful to her for sharing this recipe. As this is now, my signature dish!
Everyone who cooks, has a signature dish.
What is a ‘signature dish’ ?
A dish which they can cook well, a dish which always turns out good! A dish which can be prepared effortlessly and which does not let you down, which can be whipped up effortlessly and served to guests. A dish which needs no written down recipe.
I checked the actual meaning of ‘signature dish’. The following was listed in Wikepedia: A signature dish is a recipe that identifies an individual chef. Ideally it should be unique and allow an informed gastronome to name the chef in a blind tasting. It can be thought of as the culinary equivalent of an artist finding their own style, or an author finding their own voice.
How aptly described!
Indeed cooking is equivalent to art – of an artist finding their own style, or an author finding their own voice.
After marriage, I learnt to make this dish from my mother and continued to make this dish with some adaptations.
I started experimenting by reducing the number of steps to be followed. To make life easier, I added finely chopped coriander leaves instead of ground coriander leaves. To do away with picking up each of the spices, for my daughter and in-laws, I introduced powdered spices, instead of whole spices. Whenever spring onions were not available, I switched to onions instead. Have I mastered the art of coriander pulao making? Not yet.
Nevertheless, the taste is delightfully somewhere close to the making of a perfect dish. I always cook this dish on Sundays, for dinner. And when I am cooking this dish on a Sunday evening, the rich aroma wafts through the neighborhood. My daughter comes running into the house and exclaims: Are you cooking pulao? Amused at her enthusiasm, I ask her how does she know? She says excitedly, ‘Mom, all of my friends are saying that some wonderful pulao is being cooked somewhere. And then I tell them proudly, ‘It is my Mom, cooking coriander pulao’!
Even my mother in law who prefers dishes without garam masala, likes this pulao.
How does coriander pulao taste?
Ambrosial, soft, spicy with a surreal aroma that fills your senses with immense peace and satiates your hunger. Cooking coriander pulao on Sundays in my kitchen has become a family tradition!
What could be more delicious and satisfying than a piping hot bowl of coriander pulao! The whole pulao eating experience is more of a ritual and rejuvenates one’s soul!