11. Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy bottom pan or kadai at medium heat. Fry the chili, cinnamon sticks and curry leaves for about 10 seconds each, one ingredient at a time. Set aside.
2. Add all the spices in the same oil, fry for about fifteen seconds or till seeds splatter, making sure they do not burn.
3. Add the chopped tomatoes, fry for another minute or so, till well incorporated in the spice mixture.
4. Add the vegetables to the spice and tomato mixture and fry for 2 minutes, until tender.
5. Add the rice to the spice, tomato and vegetable mixture and fry for a minute, constantly mixing.
6. Add water, reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until desired texture, stirring the pilau occasionally so it does not stick to the pan.
7. Serve the pilau hot, garnish with the fried chili, cinnamon and curry leaves.
Crispy, puffed rice is actually a type of culinary foam, but it doesn't take a lot of fancy equipment to make. In this episode of MDRN KTCHN, host Scott Heimendinger shows you how to make puffed rice snacks at home using only a microwave and some frying oil. Want to learn more? Come back every Sunday for a new episode of MDRN KTCHN, and check out Modernist Cuisine's new cookbook, Modernist Cuisine at Home!