Vegetable Pilaf

Rice can be thought to be quite boring- you know when you just have to eat it plain with a curry. Add to that it is pure carbs in your diet. So I decided to make it a little interesting for lunch by cooking  some Pilaf. Now we do know that Pilaf or pilau is rice cooked in spices and vegetables. It can also be cooked with poultry and fish but I have never tried that. The vegetable pilaf is very popular especially in the Asian sub-continent and the middle east. The Turks, the south Asians, the Italians, the Greeks, the Persians all have different variations of this dish. This recipe I have substituted the white rice with brown rice. Also I had a bunch of fresh coriander so I used that up with the initial spice mix – It gave such a distinct lovely flavor.It turned out really good and the flavor of all the spices was  so predominant. I have used lots of vegetables and different spices. You should be able to get the spices in any Indian or Persian store. I guess the below pilaf can also be cooked with any meat that one might wish.

Ingredients:

1 cup brown rice

3-4 cloves of garlic crushed

1 large pink onion sliced

A bunch of coriander leaves

1 green chilli chopped

2 handful of peas (frozen or fresh)

1 carrot diced and chopped

I bell pepper diced (whichever color you want)

A few cubed pieces of paneer (I just felt like using some paneer and you can skip it as well)

2-3 dried bay leaves

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

7-8 cloves

2-3 cinnamon sticks

4-5 black cardamoms

5-6 cardamoms

Salt to taste

1 spoon cooking oil

Pour oil in a deep non-stick pan and heat it. Separately soak the rice in some water and set aside. Add the garlic cloves, onions, bay leaf, cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamoms and green chilli in that order in the heated oil until they all crackle in the heat. Saute for a few minutes. Next add in the bunch of chopped coriander and cook until the leaves start becoming a little limp. Then add in all the remaining vegetables. Sprinkle some salt and cook for a few minutes. Then add in the rice and water. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 20-25 min until the rice is cooked completely. Serve with yogurt and mint chutney (I mixed my mint – coriander chutney with yogurt in a bowl and it was super yum 🙂 )

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