When you look back, past always seems more pleasant than the present. No matter, how difficult the days were, you will have something memorable, something you hold onto. I went to college in a town in Southern India and it was not common in the 90s to find a restaurant, a decent one to eat out especially the fancy Biryanis and the Pualos. When I make and eat this now at home, my memories flood with my days in college, the friends I used to hang out with and the foods we used to like and share-

The inspiration for this dish comes from a small shop opposite to my college which used to have the best rice dish with nothing but freshly grown mint leaves,(Yes! grown in the owner's house), rice and spices.Oh! And Potatoes, I forget!

Ingredients

6 baby potatoes, scrubbed and halved
1 cup loosely packed Mint leaves
3 cups long Grained rice, soaked in 15 min
1/2 cup peas
1 cinnamon stick
4 cardamom pods
2 bay leaves
2 cloves
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
8 green chillies, cut vertically
1 teaspoon cumin Seeds
3 tablespoons plus 1 tsp oil
1 medium onion

Directions

Step 1
Cut the onion into two and peel it, then slice the onion very thinly into half moons.

Step 2
Heat oil in a pan. Add Cumin seeds an when they begin to lightly brown, add onions an green chiles. \r\nFry for 2 minutes till the onions become translucent\r\nAdd the cinnamon stick, cardamom, bay leaves and cloves. Fry for 3 more minutes

Step 3
Once fragrant, stir in the ginger garlic paste. \r\n\r\nAdd potatoes and cook until they are tender when pricked with a fork, about 5 minutes. Add mint leaves and cook for until they wilt, about 2 minutes.

Step 4
Pour 4 1/2 cups of water and a healthy pinch of salt. (For every cup of rice, add 1 1/2 cups of water.)

Step 5
Bring to a boil, and then slowly add the rice and cook until the water evaporates and the rice is soft but the grains are separate.

Step 6
Let it cool slightly. Add the peas and fluff the rice with a fork. Serve with yogurt/raita if desired. \r\n