Tag Archives: Basmati rice

Vegetable Rice Palao

Vegetable Rice Palao

Palao, Polao, Pilaf….whatever way you want to pronounce it, it basically means “yummy rice” (that’s my translation).  I’m Asian, which means I make a lot of rice, eat a variety of rice and think of ways to incorporate rice into stuff that probably shouldn’t have rice.  We love rice so much, we even make pasta out of it!  That’s good news for all those trying to eat Gluten-free.  This is a simple go-to vegetable rice dish.  It can stand alone as a main dish or is great eaten with any Egg Curry dish or even a Chicken Korma.

Ingredients at a glance

Wash the rice until the water runs clear

Saute onions with Cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves before adding the turmeric, cumin, chili and the garlic/ginger paste

After adding vegetables and golden raisins to the sauce mixture ~ add the cashews last

Add in the washed rice and stir gently to mix

Add water, cover and set the heat to low until all the water is absorbed and rice is cooked, about 10-15 minutes.

Vegetable Rice Palao

So yummy with Egg Curry

Here’s the recipe:

Vegetable Rice Palao

3 cups uncooked Basmati Rice

6 cups water

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup raw cashews

1 pound frozen mixed vegetables

5-6 Cardamom pods

5 whole cloves

2 Bay leaves

2 Cinnamon sticks

1 medium onion, chopped

2 tsp Turmeric

1 1/2 tsp Red Chili powder

2 tsp Cumin

5 whole garlic cloves and 1 1/2 inch ginger – grate together into a paste (I usually make a large quantity and keep it in a mason jar in the fridge)

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/3 cup vegetable oil

Wash Basmati Rice until the water runs clear, this gets rid of the excess starch and makes a better end product.  Set aside.  Heat oil in a large 5-6 quart heavy bottom pan, add chopped onions and cardamom, cinnamon sticks, cloves and bay leaves.  Stir fry until fragrance is released.  Add salt, cumin, turmeric and chili and stir fry a few more minutes.  Add the garlic and ginger paste last so that the garlic doesn’t burn.  Add frozen vegetables, golden raisins and then the  cashews (keeps the cashews from breaking into little pieces) and saute an additional 2-3 minutes to incorporate the flavors.  Add in washed Basmati rice and gently stir to incorporate all the spices without breaking any of the rice grains.  Add the water and bring to a gentle boil, turn down the burners on low and cover.  Let rice cook on low until all the water is incorporated and rice is tender, should be about 10-12  minutes.  Turn off heat and fluff gently with a serving spoon to incorporate all the vegetables evenly.  Serve warm.

Kitchuri

Kitchuri

Kitchuri is a very Bengali dish.  Made with rice, lentils, vegetables and sometimes even some meat thrown in.  It’s  the South Asian version of a casserole.  The variety of “kitchuri” is as limitless as each cook’s imagination but two things remain a constant, rice and lentils.  Growing up in Bangladesh, eating Kitchuri was a delight because we usually ate it at picnics or outings, sometimes cooked over an open fire.  Often the kitchuri would have seasonal vegetables, or leftovers from the day before added to it.  I knew whenever I smelled Kitchuri cooking that good things were going to happen that day.

On a recent trip back to Bangladesh, Kitchuri took on a new meaning.  We visited Child Sponsorship Programs and villages where lives were literally being saved.  Children ate one meal a day during school, often it was their only meal.  The meal always consist of Kitchuri because of the high nutrient content and an additional source of protein such as eggs or chicken or fish.  Cooked in a giant pot, the humble Kitchuri had taken on a super hero role!

2 cups Basmati Rice

1 cup red lentils

1 whole spanish onion, chopped

3-4 serrano chillis, chopped

2 whole cinnamon sticks

3 bay leaves

4 cardamom pods, crushed

3 whole cloves

2 tsp turmeric

2 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp red chili peppers

4 fresh garlic cloves, finely minced

1/4 cup oil

salt to taste

4 cups water

1 1/2 cup Assorted chopped vegetables , such as zucchini, shredded carrots, English peas, yellow squash

Wash rice and lentils thoroughly until water runs clear and set aside.  Heat oil in a large 5-6 quart pan and add onions and Serrano chilis.  Saute 2-3 minutes.  Add cardamom, cloves, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks and stir fry another 3 minutes or so until all the flavors are released.  Add 1 tsp of salt, turmeric, cumin and chili powder along with garlic and stir fry another 2 minutes.  Add all vegetables and 1/2 cup of water and stir fry for a minute or two before adding the rice and lentils and the rest of the water.  Bring mixture to boil, stir then turn down temperature to low and cover pan.  Let simmer and cook until all water is absorbed about 10-13 minutes.  When all water is absorbed, rice and lentils should be nice and tender if additional water is needed, add it at this point and cover pot for another 5-6 minutes until liquid is absorbed.  Take out cinnamon sticks and bay leaves before serving.