3 cups water.
1 tsp of grated ginger.
2 cups fresh paneer / Indian home made cottage cheese or store bought. cut into cubes (you could saute in butter to get a better flavor)
1 green chilli, slit length wise
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds or cumin seeds if you prefer.
2 cloves cardamom
1/2 inch cinnamon stick
1 clove, 2 bay leaves
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon ghee/ butter
mint leaves for garnishing
salt to taste
2 tbsp of spinach , cilantro pesto which is made by blending spinach leaves around 1 1/12 cups with some cilantro leaves, 2 pods of garlic, 1 green chilli, and some walnuts.
Cook the Basmati rice with the required amount of water and cool it.
In a wide bottomed pan, first put 1 tbsp of butter/ghee/oil, when heated , put the cumin seeds to lightly brown , Add the green chilli, grated ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, bay leaves and add the rice, Stir well and add the salt and the spinach pesto. Add another tsp of butter if you wish and cook covered till the rice absorbs the spices .
Meanwhile cube the cottage cheese , around 12 pieces and lightly shallow fry them till golden and add it to the covered rice.
The Pilaf is done when the rice is nicely coated with the spices and becomes aromatic.
Remove from the gas and garnish with mint leaves.
This can be served with fresh yogurt or any raita of your choice.
The Pilaf can be made by adding some vegetables like juliennes of carrots, thinly sliced onions, cooked green peas.