Friday, December 13, 2013

Green rice pulao with mint, cilantro and peas

You may consider me a tad bit weird when it comes to mind confessionals, but I have to tell you, I believe the Internet talks to me on a regular basis. Sometimes its more than once a day, repetitive reminders from my superbright screen. It boldly interrupts any productive, read:all, thoughts I have, setting offkey my routine and schedule, while  gladly straightloading customised ideas and plans for my day. It turns extremely vocal during this time of year, pointing out the need for 100 new cookie recipes, in an all favorite(!) cookie publication. Baking trays that have seen better days, got chumped over for the ones on my Amazon wishlist, with air venting and all, and should be at my door, tomorrow, right? Of course, I'd be saving myself a ton of money and trips to Michael's if I just weborder the massive supply of nonpareils (does it make a difference that they're neon?) now invading every nook of my kitchen floor. Imagine the creepy realization that your sidebar has a mind of its own, periodically suggesting the magnetic measuring spoons and itsasteal parchment replacing silicone liners. You see where this is going?
Even still, I wasn't going to be bullied into blatant consumerism (*ahem, cough, cough**) . That's when the Grinch put it into perspective. In all his antiheroness, he said it right... "Christmas doesn't come from a store (screen ones included), Christmas, perhaps means...a little bit more?"And yes though the meaning and the gift will never leave the very beings of my soul, even I require common thought intervention, away from the routineness of flour and baking soda.
And so it came to be, my revelation, maybe unconventional, this consideration of sharing colored rice that may put aside your baker's rhythm and steers the head clear lugging into its parallel a great grains frame of mind.
So people, let's talk about this, because that's all I want to do today. It's the rarelyconsidered main that can help you in your days leading upto and after Christmas menu planning. Perhaps it might stage its way into earning centerplace, where pegs of grinchcoloreed rice become noteworthy and trump mighty protein on any night's dinner prospect .

Empathize with me here. I'm a little overobsessive over rice, owing to a cerealandgrains genetic input, a salute to those worldparts where I'm from, places where its unimaginable to meal-do without it. And though there will always be a louder, more universal rant for big slabs of meat and servings of fish, my experience knows a heaping plate of hot rice can achieve greatness with some coercing, and can scream as much good cheer as a decked out pot roast. Do I hear any calls of agreement on that? Please?

This onepan dish is a result of a tremendous mishmash of my imagination. I could write a thesis on the many ways to flavor rice. And its a shame I haven't shared one with you here, except in the form of these stuffed sweetened spheres,  ground and battered for a breakfast, even taking the beaten form of an addictive snack. But trust me on this, I will dig through and present some gems from my many accidental imaginative kitchen discoveries in days to come.

For the matter at hand, today's rice story relies on a simple five ingredient merger: garlic, ginger, cilantro, mint, lemon juice, which become the foundation of a chunky dream sauce for each  kernel to hinge into, bite by bite. Thus, oryza sativa is brought to its higher calling, dazzling emerald beauty on a plate, surging with flavor and reaching its destiny of a dream-come-true in cereal preparation.

I say you should. Share some love. Your friends will consider it divine providence to be on your guest list with green rice on the menu. Not to stop there, because it will totally fit that inapinch dinner bill, you know, where you can't miss Linus narrating the Christmas story, so mesmerising that you unresistingly reach for recurrent helpings. 

Ingredients: 
  • 3-4 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1" piece ginger, chopped
  • 2-3 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 4-5 large sprigs cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 4 mint stems, with leaves, chopped
  • 3-4 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • 2 cups Basmati rice - rinsed 2-3 times
  • 3 ¾ cups hot water
  • 2 tsp salt or enough for flavor
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
Directions:
  • In a food processor or blender, pulse  garlic, ginger, lemon juice, cilantro and mint till blended with the consistency of thick paste, not too drippy.
  • In a deep set saucepan or dutch oven(large enough to cook rice), heat oil over medium heat. If using, add bay leaf.
  • If needed, reduce flame to medium-low and stir in blended green paste. Saute until ingredients are cooked through, about 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to burn.
  • Mix in cleaned, drained rice. Stir in with the ingredients until well coated.
  • Take heat to high. Add hot water and salt. Stir.
  • Bring rice to boil. Reduce flame to medium- low and keep rice covered. Simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Open lid and add the peas. Turn off heat. Cover tightly and allow the frozen peas too thaw and plump and rice to cook through (all water absorbed) with the remaining heat of the pan, about 10-12 minutes.
  • Fluff with fork before serving.
* You could swap 1 tbsp ghee or butter for the oil.
* What is pulao? Pulao, also known as pilaf refers to a steamed rice dish. It may include meats, seafood and/or a variety of vegetables. Its known for its fragrant aroma, due in part to the spices/herb ingredients and rice used.
To side this with plain yogurt would be great. To serve alongside masala fried chicken takes it to the phenomenal and beyond realm.

So pinterest just figured out how I should create some rustic love for our trees, at the same time covering lots of inbetween branch space.  Good times indeed, especially getting my midteen and almost twodigiter interested in putting together gnomes and bells. Hurrah, hurrah!

Your oven need not feel any neglect, since I have some Christmas appropriate cookies in the archives. Try the ultimate oatmeal cookies, sandwich cookies, or piped shortbread and snowcaps. Nomnomnom.
******
 "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times. " 
Micah 5:2

12 comments:

  1. I AM already so tired of feasting Christmas goodies with my eyes this grinchcolored rice is such a welcome break for me.Looks like jade scattered ..yummm.

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    1. What a pretty description- jade scattered:)) Thank you much, friend.

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  2. What a yummy looking rice Tisa.. and this is one of the rice I make often as we simply love it.. :-) I agree with Meena it looks like Jade scattered

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    1. Thanks Rekha. It's so easy too, right- one of the reasons why we like it here too:))

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  3. Ahhh...love that pulao...u have captured it so well that it is calling on to me to grab them from the screen...looks so yumm yumm

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    1. We live so close Anupa, you could come over to have a bite :))

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  4. what a relief!!! hehe... agree to what meena has said... we had something similar sometime ago when my office mates and I had gone to an eatery close by to our office... they had this green pulao which went so good with dal and chicken, u remind me of that... have to try your version when I am able to do it... :)

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    1. Thanks Rafee. I know, I love plain green rice like that :))

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  5. Hi Tisa, such a pretty looking rice. Loved all your posts and your beautiful blog. Happy to follow you.

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  6. Mouth watering clicks!
    www.sailajakitchen.org

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!