I have grown up eating freshly cooked food for every meal. Leftovers were really not preferred and I guess after once you get the estimate of cooking for the number of people right, you land up with less left-overs. The freezer to microwave concept never existed at home and I am not too fond of it myself. But wasting food has always been discouraged, so if there are left-overs, then its creatively modified or had as is, but it cannot go waste.
On a regular day, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, specially in the mornings starting at 5.30am. First breakfast for my son, then his lunch to be packed. Their school is very particular and only home cooked food is allowed, no packeted food, and they prefer rotis and a sabji with some fruits. Then it breakfast for TH and me, we are not big on cereals and oats, so its usually a typical Indian breakfast with poha, upma, dosa, idli, parathas.
Lunch, evening snack for my son and dinner for all of us. So that makes it about 6 times in a day.
I hadn't heard of this tava pulao till TH had it from one of the street food stalls in Bombay / Mumbai many years back. The thelas or food stalls that usually make pav bhaji in the evenings, dish up this tava pulao for lunch near the crowded office areas of the Fort area in Bombay. The vegetables and the masala used in Pav bhaji are cooked on the tava and then the cooked rice is added to it. Lots of butter and some clang-clanging of mixing the rice with the masala are you are handed over this plate of hot delicious rice.
We are typically rice-eaters and I am consciously trying to cut down our rice intake at nights. I had some left over rice from lunch, a few veggies stocked up and some pav bhaji masala that has been languishing in the pantry, waiting to be used.
I do make pav bhaji but it isn't that often and I prefer to use up these masalas soon enough, definitely before its expiry date.
I remembered TH's description of that tava pulao and decided to convert this left-over rice
Its really tasty because of the pav bhaji masala. A squeeze of lemon juice and a little butter add a lot to this dish. Served with some raita and you have a complete meal in about 10 mins.
What you need -
2 cups cooked rice
(Add more vegetables if you like)
1/2 cup shelled peas
1-2 tsp pav bhaji masala
1/2 a lemon
coriander leaves to garnish
1 tbsp butter
What you do with it -
Chop the capsicum, onions and tomatoes
Boil the peas with a little salt for 5 mins
Heat a little oil in a kadhai/wok or a deep tava/pan
Add the onions and fry for 2-3 mins on a high flame
Add the tomatoes, capsicum and peas
Add the pav bhaji masala and salt and 2-3 tbsp water
Once the vegetables are almost cooked, add the rice
Stir well ad then add the butter
Fry for 2-3 mins
Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over it and garnish with coriander leaves
Serve hot with raita / curds