Vegetable Rice Pilaf

Pilaf also known as Pulao or Pilau is a middle eastern dish made with seasoned long grain rice and vegetables or meat. In the US, I have seen pilaf served as a side with meat entrées. In India pilaf  is served for main course.  Whether served as a side or main course, this aromatic dish will make people go back for seconds and even thirds. Its a great comfort food which can be put together in under 30minutes. Make this on a Sunday night when you need a “pick me up dinner” to eat away the Monday blues:)

Ingredients

1 cup basmati rice or any type of rice

1/4 cup diced carrots ( I used shredded carrot)

1/4 cup green peas

1 medium size onion finely chopped

1/4 cup tightly packed mint leaves finely chopped

1/4 cup tightly packed cilantro leaves finely chopped

2 teaspoons oil

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

1inch cinnamon stick

1 bay leaf

1 green chilli slit vertically

1 clove

1 cardamom

Salt

Method

1. Wash and clean the rice thoroughly and soak in 2 cups of water for about 15 minutes.

2. Take a heavy bottomed pan and add oil.

3. Once oil is hot, add fennel seeds, cinnamon stick, cardamom, bay leaf and clove and sauté for few seconds.

4. Add the chopped onions and green chilli and cook till it turns translucent.

5. Add chopped mint and cilantro leaves and cook till the leaves start to wilt and a nice smell fills your kitchen.

6. Add vegetables and salt and cook for 5 minutes.

7. Drain the soaked rice and add it to the vegetable/spice mixture and gently sauté for 5minutes. Take care not to break the rice grains.

8. Add 2 cups of water and bring it to a boil.

9. Cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes.

10. Rice should be done at this stage. If there is still some water left, cover and cook for few more minutes.

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