Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Miloni Tahari (Mixed Vegetable with Rice) in a rice cooker

Have you met some one who plans their lunch/ dinner menu, days or sometimes even weeks in advance. I really admire such people, it must make life easier in respect to shopping for groceries and such..... I, on the other hand, have never managed to plan my lunch/dinner menu even a few days in advance, let alone weeks. Sometimes I do plan my dinner menu a day or so in advance but that is it, I have never yet planned my menu a week or weeks in advance except if it was for a party or I was entertaining friends or something like that...

Most days this is not a problem, I manage to come up with something that works for us. Sometimes though, I find myself staring at the veggie tray looking for inspiration. As if just by looking at the vegetables, some new recipe is going to somehow telegraph itself from the vegetable to my brain :-) One such day when I was looking for ideas on what to make for Sunday lunch and my brain was refusing to come up with ideas on its own, I turned to a cook book. More precisely Nita Mehta's cookbook on Indian vegetarian cooking. I found two items there that sounded interesting and which I thought would work well together.

The first one was this Mushroom peas curry that I posted sometime back. The second was this rice dish with the name Miloni Tahari. I have never heard of this rice dish before and frankly I have no idea what the two words mean, if any of you know the meaning do share. Anyway the recipe itself sounded very interesting and I decided to try it.  I tweaked the recipe slightly, used brown basmati instead of white, changed the spices a little and made it in the rice cooker instead of the stove top. The result was a very flavorful and delicious rice dish that was a great fit with the curry I mentioned earlier.


Here is another closer view of the mixed vegetable rice.......


Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and Method to make Miloni tahari

2 cups brown basmati rinsed and soaked in 3 cups of water for 30 minutes (see notes)
1 large carrot cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 head of cauliflower broken into florets
2 med to med large potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup fresh or frozen peas (if frozen thaw to room temperature)

2 tbsp oil
3 cloves
1 inch cinnamon stick
3 small bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp lemon juice
salt to taste ( I used approximately 1 1/2 tsp for this quantity)

Grind together
1 large onion
3 medium tomatoes
1 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 inch piece of ginger

Grind onion, tomatoes ginger and garlic in a blender or spice grinder to a smooth paste adding only as much water as is required to move the blades. Keep the paste aside.

Heat oil in a medium sized heavy bottomed pan, add the onion tomato paste and saute until it is dry and the onion loses its raw smell.

Add cloves and cinnamon stick and stir a few times.Add vegetables and saute for approximately five minutes or until all the vegetables are semi cooked.

Add garam masala,bay leaves, salt to taste and stir a couple of minutes.

Add these vegetables to the container that goes into the rice cooker. Add the soaked rice with water to the same container. Add lemon juice, mix everything well.
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Then set the rice cooker to either brown rice setting or white rice setting (depending on which rice you use to make this) and forget about it until done :-)

Just before serving, gently fluff up the rice and mix the vegetables if any that are settled at the bottom and serve hot with raita/ curry of choice.

Serves approximately 2 to3

I served this with raita and mushroom peas curry but this rice can be served like pulao with just some raita too.

You can substitute brown basmati with white basmati too, just follow the same steps as brown basmati. You may need to reduce the quantity of water by quarter to half cup when using white rice since it does not need as much water as brown rice.

Here is the latest bit of humor that had me in splits, check it out if you have a minute.........
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