Sunday, March 7, 2010

Herbed Rice with Mixed Vegetables

This is a quick and easy recipe made with fresh ginger-flavoured stock. This rice is fried with whole spices in ghee or vegetable oil, then cooked in the stock until tender. Vegetables, either fresh or frozen, are then folded into the pilaf. The whole spices are not meant to be eaten, so remove them when fluffing rice prior to serving.

Serves: 2

Basmati rice - 1 cups
Firm Ripe Tomatoes - 3 medium
Black Peppercorns - 6
Water or unsalted vegetable stock - 3/4 cup
Fresh Ginger Root - 2 tsp, scraped, finely shredded
Ghee or vegetable oil - 2tbsp
Cinnamon stick - 2 inch piece
Whole cloves - 6
Green Cardamom pods - 4 large, slightly crushed
Bay leaf - 1
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Mixed Vegetables(corn, peas, carrots, zucchini) - 1 cup, steamed until tender
Lemon wedges or twists - 6, for garnishing

1. Wash, drain and soak the basmati in warm water for about 10 minutes
2. Cut the tomatoes into quarters. Place the tomatoes, peppercorns, water or stock and ginger root in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce the heat to low, cover and gently boil for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the heat, mash the tomatoes and force them through a strainer to remove the seeds, skins and spices.
4. Add enough water to the remaining tomato stock to make 1 3/4 cups. Set aside
5. Heat the ghee or oil in the pressure cooker over moderate heat until it is hot but not smoking. Toss in the cinnamon stick, whole cloves, cardamom, and bay leaf. Fry for just a few seconds.
6. Then pour in the rice and stir-fry for about 2 minutes.
7. Pour in the tomato stock, turmeric and salt and pressure cook for one whistle.
8. Remove from the heat, uncover and sprinkle the steamed vegetables over the rice. Cover immediately, and let the rice sit for 5 minutes to allow the fragile grain firm up.
9. Remove the cover, gently fluff the rice and mi in the vegetables.
10. Garnish each serving with a wedge or twist of lemon or lime.

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