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Monday, January 17, 2011

Verde Arroz

Green is my favorite color and rice is my favorite ingredient to cook with. For those looking for something global, let me clarify that the name can be misleading for it is a mere translation of “green rice”. Combining rice with one of the most nutritious plants on this earth and a whole lot of other fresh ingredients, here’s my “greener” version of the popular recipe cooked in a measly half a spoon of oil.

Long grain rice – 2 cups
Fresh/frozen spinach – 3 cups
Peas – 1 cup
Red onion – 1 medium
Tomato – 1 medium
Green chilies – 3
Ginger – 1 small piece
Garlic – 2 cloves
Oil – half tsp
Cumin seeds – half tsp
Pulav/garam masala – 3 tsp
Cinnamon powder – 1 pinch
Cardamom powder – 1 pinch
Salt and pepper
Water – 4 cups

Cook the rice in water adding little salt. Set aside to cool. In a medium pan boil spinach, ginger, green chilies and tomato for five minutes. Make a puree out of it. In a large non stick pan add oil and cumin seeds. Put in thinly slice red onion once the cumin seeds crackle. Stir and cook till the onions are done. Add finely chopped garlic and peas and cook for another minute or so. Add the spinach puree, cinnamon and cardamom powders, pulav masala ,salt and pepper.  Close the lid and let the mixture cook slowly for twelve minutes. Now is the time to finish the dish. Lower the heat and add cooked rice, stirring and mixing it as softly as possible. Turn the heat off and let the whole thing rest. Extra liquid if any will be soaked away in no time. Serve it warm with a cool raita and papad. If both are missing, plain yogurt and some vegetable chips always work for me. Till then, food and more food…

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