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Monday, November 26, 2012

Spinach And Carrot Layered Rice

My son's homework for the long weekend was this sheet which had the picture of a plate marked out into partitions. He was supposed to fill out what he ate for thanksgiving feast. Our thanksgiving dinner was at a Chinese restaurant, with friends of course, though I am sure that filling out the restaurant menu was not what the teacher had in mind!

Well, the saving grace is that I did cook lunch for the family in the morning, so what if the family is just the three of us - kiddo, hubby & me! And I did bake something, so what if it was neither turkey nor tofurkey!



So, here ladies and gentlemen, is what I prepared for our cozy thanksgiving meal - Spinach & Carrot Layered Rice with Tomato Avocado Raita. Oh yes, there was pineapple jelly for dessert! Don't you dare scoff at the menu, after all, didn't Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (US writer & physician) once say -
"The true essentials of a feast are only fun and feed."

And let me assure you, both the essentials were present at our dining table :)

This recipe is adapted from a Tarla Dalal recipe book that I have. The original recipe does not use any of the spices. I thought it would taste rather bland, so I added the whole spices to the rice and nutmeg to the spinach. Also, the original recipe called for curry powder to be used for cooking the carrots, I did not have any handy, so I ended up using Sambar powder instead...

Preparation & Cooking: 30 minutes                          Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:
Parmesan Cheese - for garnish
Oil/Cooking Spray - to grease oven proof dish
For the rice:
Basmati Rice - 1 & ½ cup
Cardamom Pods (Elaichi) - 4
Cloves (Laung) - 4
Star Anise - 2
Cinnamon Sticks - 2
Cumin Seeds (Jeera) - 1 teaspoon
Ghee (Clarified Butter) - 1 tablespoon
Salt - to taste
For the spinach layer:
Spinach - 2 cups, chopped
Peas - ¼ cup
Onion -1 small, chopped
Green chillies - 1, chopped fine
Cumin Seeds (Jeera) - 1 teaspoon
Salt - to taste
Oil - 2 teaspoons
For the carrot layer:
Carrot - 1 cup, grated
Turmeric Powder (Haldi) - ½ teaspoon
Sambar Powder - 2 teaspoons
Oil - 2 teaspoons

Method:
  1. Cook the basmati rice with the whole spices, salt and ghee. I microwaved it, took about 10 minutes. Spread it on a tray to cook so that the grains don't stick to each other.
  2. Cook the spinach and peas in the microwave with the salt and nutmeg for about 4 minutes. In the mean time, heat oil and add cumin seeds. When the seeds crackle, add onions and green chillies and saute them till the onions turn translucent. Now add in the cooked spinach and peas and give it a good stir. Set aside
  3. Cook the grated carrots in the microwave for about 5 minutes. In another pan, heat oil and add the remaining cumin seeds. When they crackle, add the grated carrots, salt, sambar powder and turmeric powder. Cook for a minute and switch off the gas.
  4. Grease an oven proof dish. First cover the bottom with a layer of rice. Next spread a layer of spinach and peas. Once again layer the rice on top of the spinach and peas. Finally spread the carrrot curry over the rice layer. Top this off with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake in preheated oven at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

Nutritious, colorful layered rice is ready.

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