I have a quick and easy recipe today. Light, refreshing, intensely aromatic and totally unified with the aura of spring.
Since I almost always have the Green Chutney in my refrigerator, it is breeze to make this and has often been the last minute dish – lunch, potluck, parties, picnic, whatever occasion you can think of. Served with a side or salad and some raita, it makes a complete meal, or the Green Rice may always be served on the side.
With the advent of good weather, I am spending a lot of time outdoors. Walks, nurseries and of course the backyard. The warm weather arrived later than usual, which in turn got me delayed in preparing and weeding my vegetable patch. Seems like this is going to another low and slow growing season. But I already have plenty of mint and am planning of growing my own coriander.
And now to announce the winner of the Giveaway… It is Michele. Congrats! Michele I have sent you an email. Please send me your address and the book will be mailed to you soon. Enjoy!
(I have used Random.org to draw for the Giveaway. The random pick was comment no. 14)
If you are familiar with the Mexican cilantro rice, you might be able to relate to the flavors of this dish. The impression here is much stronger and way more intense. However that can be adjusted to your liking and made mild.
Hara Pulao/Green Rice or Cilantro Mint Rice
Ingredients: (serves 4-6)
- 1 bunch cilantro (approx. 2-2.5 cups packed)
- 1/4 cup packed fresh mint
- 6 large cloves of garlic about 1/6 cup peeled
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- salt to taste
- as much water needed to make a consistency of something a little thinner than a paste
- 2 -4 small hot chili pepper like Thai bird or maybe substituted with jalapeño
- 2 cups (8 oz cup) uncooked Basmati rice + a little less than a 3 cups water (or as much water needed to cook your rice)*
- a fistful of vegetables (optional)
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 1-2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
[*Notes: You can use any white rice of your choice. We use Basmati as our everyday white rice, so I have given the measurements for the Basmati.
The amount of "green" and the intensity of flavor depends on the amount of the cilantro mint mix you use. Adjust to how much or how little you want it.
If you are looking to make this a tad bit healthier, you may add spinach or any other green, but make sure it is not too much to kill the flavors of the mint and cilantro.
If you are looking for a brighter green hue for the rice, add the green mix in the later stage of cooking the rice, once the rice is almost done. There will be a slightly raw taste to the mix, but that is surprisingly nice and fresh. ]
Wash the rice well until the water looks clear. Soak the rice in cold water for about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Process the first 6 ingredients + half the amount of the fresh chili peppers in a blender or food processor until smooth. Set aside. You may use all of the mix for strong flavor or only part of it for a lighter flavor. Adjust amount to your taste.
Heat oil in a pan/pot with tight fitting lid. Slit the rest of the chili peppers and add them to the oil. Cook until they start to . Add the drained rice to the pot and quickly stir (gently) for the oil to coat the grains. Cook at medium to high heat while tossing until some of the rice start to get light brown. Toss them gently as the grains will break.
Now add the cilantro and mint mix (as much or as little you want) to the pan. Quickly stir it in for it to be combined well with the rice. Increase the heat and cook until some of the liquid has evaporated. Give it a final stir, add salt and the vegetables(if you are using) and then add the water. Increase the heat to max and let it come to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook uncovered until the liquid is gone from the top and you can see the grains of rice. There will still be liquid underneath. Reduce the heat to the lowest and cover the pot with a tight fitting lid. After 5-7 minutes switch off the heat, but the pot covered until ready to serve. You can take a peek to see that all the water has been absorbed. The rice should be cooked but not mushy and you will see the rice grains on the top, long and sticking up! (if there is still liquid left, cook uncovered for a while and leave it uncovered).
(Adjust cooking time/process depending on the kind of rice you are using).
If rightly done, uncover and fluff the rice and finish off with lemon juice if you want just before serving.
Preparation Time: less than 15 minutes
Cooking Time: Less than 30 minutes
Difficulty Level: Very Easy
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