Monday, August 11, 2008

Cilantro Mixed Vegetable Rice (Coriander rice/Kothamalli saadam)

One of my absolute favorites in fresh herbs is cilantro.The fragrance of cilantro,the taste and flavor it imparts to food is really incomparable. There are a whole host of dishes I would not even attempt to make if I do not have cilantro at hand like tomato rasam or choley. Although cilantro is just for garnish in these dishes,the lack of this garnish makes a substantial difference to the final taste of this dish.

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.

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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 dish, although it can easily be made with white rice too. It was such an immensely flavorful and delicious rice, even when it was cooking the entire kitchen was so fragrant from the spices and cilantro that I just loved this dish even before I tasted it :)

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Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and method to make the cilantro mixed vegetable rice.
1 and 1/2 cup brown basmati (or long grained white rice, see notes)
1 large red onion ( cut fine )
 2 medium tomatoes cut fine
2 carrots grated fine (see notes)

1/2 cup mixed bell peppers (capsicum/ koda molagai) deseeded and cut fine (can be substituted with green peas)  (see notes)
1 cup packed chopped cilantro (coriander leaves/ hara dhania/ kothamalli )
1 inch piece ginger (adrak/inji)
1 tbsp oil
salt to taste

For the powder
2 tsp coriander seeds (dhania/ kothamalli virai)
1 and 1/2 tsp split black gram lentil (Udad dhal/ ulatham parappu)
1 and 1/2 tsp split chick pea lentil (chana dhal/ kadalai parappu)
4 tbsp freshly grated coconut (or frozen coconut thawed to room temperature)
3 dry red chillies (or according to taste)

Place rice in a bowl, fill with water swirl with hand and drain the water. Repeat this step a couple of times. Add 2 and 1/4 cup of water and allow the rice to soak for about 30 minutes. Place in pressure cooker/ rice cooker and cook until done. (The proportion of rice to water for brown basmati is usually 1 : 1.5 cups that is for every cup of rice you need 1.5 cups of water, adjust this according to the quantity of rice you are using)

Dry roast all the ingredients mentioned for the powder separately 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.
Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed pan, add onions to it and saute until onions are cooked and transparent. 

Add tomatoes and stir until tomatoes are cooked, soft and mushy. Add bell pepper and grated carrot if using, the pureed cilantro and ginger, salt to taste and simmer for a few minutes until the vegetables are cooked and most of the water from the puree has evaporated. If the vegetables aren't done when the water has evaporated, sprinkle a few drops of water and allow to cook for a few more mins.
Add the powdered masala and mix well. 

Add cooked rice and gently mix without breaking the rice. Adjust salt to taste, if required and mix again. Allow to heat through for a couple of mins.

Remove from heat and serve hot with any raita or plain yogurt or any gravy curry of choice.

Notes:
The bell pepper/ green peas/ carrots are completely optional. I just added them for some additional nutrition, you can just as easily make this with just the onions and tomatoes too.

For brown rice, I usually use a proportion of 1 : 1.5 ie for every 1 cup of rice, I use 1.5 cups of water. For white basmati in the pressure cooker I usually use 1.25 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice.

If you are using white rice for this dish, allow the rice to cool a bit before adding to the recipe, white rice breaks more easily. Brown rice seems to hold its shape so much better :)

43 comments :

ANJALI J. said...

Thanks for visting my blog.u have a gud collections of recipes.. thanks for the compliments :)

Trupti said...

Cilantro Rice looks very delicious Usha.

Cinnamon said...

The fragnance emitted when fresh herbs are added to a dish is always great!! Your recipe looks perfect!

srikars kitchen said...

Cilantro Rice looks very delicious Usha.
Thanks for visting my blog.

Vidhya said...

wow, rice looks yummy. I follow the same recipe to make this rice. BTW have added u in my blogroll

sowmya said...

I make this too!!
yours looks delicious..

Sukanya Ramkumar said...

This sounds healthy to me. Looks so good. YUM!

Sreelu said...

Usha,

You have a good blog going on here too. Blogrolled you so we will stay in touch :)

Priti said...

Looks lovely..Yday we made pudina rice...cilantro yet need to try :)

Mansi Desai said...

thanks for your comment Usha! glad you liked my recipe!

cilantro rice sounds delicious! I generally add spinach and a hint of mint to it too..

Sukanya said...

Very nutritious and yummy....I have an award for you in my blog.

Lore said...

OOOOh, I love the sound of that powder!!! Congrats on your award too :)

Dershana said...

Usha, thanks a bunch for the advice dear. Did send my recipe over to the Original recipe event. Love cilantro rice, never tried it with veggies in. Will try this.

Hey, am tagging you on my blog. Scroll down http://thefootloosechef.blogspot.com/2008/08/tricolour-raita.html

Dibs said...

Is cilantro and corriander the same? Recipe sounds delicious!

A_and_N said...

Nice recipe! And you are so true about adding the chana daal before any other lentil. I cant count the number of times when I've burnt the other lentils because I added them before chana daal :)

Purva Desai said...

Cilantro rice looks really yumm....
I add mint to it....

easycrafts said...

Delicious rice variety..I have a small treat for you here...http://simpleindianfood.blogspot.com/2008/08/masala-puri-with-moong.html

VEGETABLE PLATTER said...

lovely rice .. your version is different .. shall try it .. i have posted a different version of coriander pulao in my blog .. have a look at that too

Trupti said...

hey Usha check my blog for small treat

Purva Desai said...

u ve a treat waiting for u on my blog...grab it

Purva Desai said...

frndship treat waiting for u....grab it from my blog

Usha said...

I am glad you got a chance to drop by Anjali,hope to see you soon again.


Thanks Trupti :)

Usha said...

I agree Cinnamon,fresh herbs are the best.Thanks for stopping by :)

Thanks Srikar's Kitchen

Usha said...

Thanks Vidhya


Thanks Sowmya

Usha said...

Thanks Sukanya :)


Thanks Sreelu :)

Usha said...

Thanks Priti :)

Thanks for dropping by Mansi,your idea of adding spinach and mint sounds interesting too,will try it sometime :)

Usha said...

Thanks for the award Sukanya,I am touched :)

Thanks Lore :)

Usha said...

Thanks Dershana,let me know when you try it,will try and do the tag soon:)

Usha said...

Hi Dibs,yes Cilantro and Coriander leaves are the same thing :)

Usha said...

Thanks A & N.That is so true,if the order gets messed up the lentils do not roast properly.Alternatively if I have time I roast each type of lentil separately :)

Usha said...

Thanks Purva,will try it with mint soon :)

Usha said...

Thanks so much for the awards EC, I am touched :)

Usha said...

Thanks for dropping by Vegetable Platter,will check out your version soon :)

Usha said...

Thanks for visiting Trupti and Thank you so much for the award :)

Usha said...

Thanks so much for the award Purva,it seems to be raining awards for me today I have received so many,thanks again :)

Sireesha said...

Cilantro Rice looks very delicious and awesome Usha.

Sireesha said...

I have small treat for u in my blog:))

Rajee said...

Looks yummy :-)

Suma Rajesh said...

looks yummy and loved the colour soo much..

Usha said...

Thanks Sireesha,Rajee and Suma for dropping by and your comments :)

jujubs said...

Hi usha..
Cilantro with brown rice a new combination...good idea..will definitely try it..
BTW i had posted comment in this for two/three times..but looks like it doesn't reach you..hope to get this message to you this time..
Jujubs

Usha said...

Thanks for visiting Jujubs..hope you like and enjoy this as much as we did...
I have no clue why your earlier messages did not reach me..thanks for making the effort to send me another comment I appreciate it :)

anubhavati said...

Hi Usha,

Loved your recipe ..I am also a corriander freak...I shall try this recipe over the weekend.

Rgds, Shobha

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