On my last trip to the grocery store I bought a lot of cilantro with the plan of making some chutney for sandwiches,but as it often happens my plans for the week changed and this was one of those weeks that did not seem to be much for sandwiches.I have never used cilantro as one of the main flavors in a rice dish and thought it would be a nice change to attempt to use the cilantro in such a manner.
I had this recipe of methi rice that my mother in law had given me eons ago.That recipe has never been used by me since every time I get fresh methi it gets used in parathas/theplas rather than in rice.I decided to adapt the basic idea of the methi rice and use it in making the cilantro rice and gave it another twist by adding vegetables too, to make this a complete meal by itself.I used brown rice in this preparation and was very happy with the results of this dish.
Ingredients and method to make the cilantro mixed vegetable rice.
1 cup long grained brown rice (or long grained white rice)
1 large red onion ( cut fine )
1 cup packed chopped cilantro
1/2 " piece ginger
1 cup mixed vegetables cubed
water to cook the rice
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp oil
salt to taste
For the powder
2 tsp coriander seeds (dhania)
1 tsp split black gram lentil (Udad dhal)
1 tsp split yellow chick pea (chana dhal)
2 tsp coconut
3 dry red chillies (or according to taste)
Dry roast all the ingredients mentioned for the powder until slightly reddish. Cool and grind into a fine powder.
Wash the cilantro thoroughly and puree along with the ginger until smooth adding very little water do not make this puree watery.
Cook rice in a pressure cooker or rice cooker until done ensuring that each grain is separate and not mushy.
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add the cumin seeds.When it splutters add the onions and saute until transparent.
Add the mixed vegetables and salt and cook on a low flame until soft.
Add the pureed cilantro and ginger mixture and saute for a minute or two until it is a little drier.It does not have to become completely dry.
Add the rice and gently mix without breaking the rice.
Serve hot with raita or yogurt or any gravy curry of choice.
Tip for dry roasting the lentils for the powder,start with the split yellow chick pea, saute for a minute or two,then add the split black gram and saute for a minute or so,then add the coriander seeds and saute for a minute or so,then add the red chillies and saute for a few seconds ,then add the coconut and saute until coconut is slightly reddish.
I used about 1 1/2 cups of water for 1 cup of brown basmati rice and cooked the rice in the pressure cooker.
In case you try this with white rice try reducing the quantity of red chillies if you do not want it spicy.With brown rice this amount of red chillies made it mildly spicy.
Also I wanted to acknowledge that Taste Tinkerer has awarded me the Yummy Blog Award.Thanks so much TT I am thrilled. I have already received this award and my post on this award is here