On days when i just don't feel like cooking an elaborate meal, simple rice recipes come to the rescue. Cilantro rice or coriander rice is one such simple and delicious rice recipe that can be enjoyed for lunch or dinner. There are few variations to this simple rice dish. You can completely skip the spices & veggies or use the spices and make it like we make a normal pulav. Since i love using spices in most of dishes i make, i did the same with this and also added few leftover veggies from my fridge. Served with a simple raita (yogurt with cucumber, tomatoes and chillies), this dish is simple, light and delicious.
1 cup of good quality basmati rice (you can also use regular rice)
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds/shah jeera /jeera
2 pods of cardamom
1 black cardamom
1 bay leaf
1 inch inch of cinnamon stick
2 - 3 cloves
4 -5 peppercorns
1 carrot thinly sliced
1 cup of chopped cauliflower (washed and drained)
1 medium sized onion thinly sliced
1 1/2 - 2 cups of water
For the cilantro paste
2 -3 garlic
About 1/2 inch of ginger
1-2 small green chillies (adjust as per your liking)
1 cup tightly packed cilantro (coriander) washed & drained
1) In a blender/mixer blend garlic, ginger chillies and cilantro to make a fine paste. Try to use as little water as possible for making the paste. Keep this aside.
2) Wash the basmati rice in cold water 2- 3 times and soak it in water for 15 - 20 mins.
2) In a non stick pan/saucepan or kadai add oil. When the oil is hot add the cumin seeds/shah jeera and let it splutter. Add the rest of the spices and cook them for few mins until it gives out a nice aroma.
3) Next, add the thinly sliced onions. Cook the onions till they are a little towards golden brown. Now add the chopped veggies and the cilantro paste. Saute for few mins.
4) Drain of the water from the basmati rice and add it to the pan with the rest of the ingredients. Add water and salt to taste. Cover with a lid and let it cook in a low to medium flame for 15 - 20mins.
5) Cook until all the water is absorbed by the rice. Fluff the rice with fork and check for doneness.
Drizzle a little ghee or clarified butter on top and serve hot with pickles/achar or raita.
Note: You can use vegetables of your choice like green pepper/capsicum, green peas, french beans or potatoes. Also increase or decrease the spices as per your choice. This recipe is somewhere between mild to medium spicy.
If you are going to soak the rice for 15 - 20 mins you will only need around 1 1/2 cups of water. And if not add 2 cups of water.