The word “pilaf” (natively called as “pulao” – pronounced pa-lau) is a flavored rice that may have meat or just veggies along with a base made from ground spices. The original recipe is from back home (Bangalore) where my mom and aunt would make boatloads of this pilaf especially on Sundays and we would sit together as a family and enjoy it with accompaniments (crunchy savories and raitha). Awww! This brings back such fond memories!! 

Well – I will try to recreate that fun memory for my family today! My recipe for mint pilaf is a hearty version that uses ground mint  (optionally cilantro) and spices as a base. Along with that, I saute and add a lot of colorful veggies and edamame. While a typical pilaf is usually made with white basmati rice, I use brown basmati and super grains (like Freekeh, Quinoa) to keep it wholesome.This recipe is quick, easy, flavorful and quite filling. My kids love it with raitha or just yoghurt.

My version of this is made with flavors appealing to the mind,body and soul.So let’s begin to get it GREEN

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil – 5 tbsp
  • Grated Coconut –   frozen or fresh 1/2 cup
  • Mint – 1 bunch (leaves)
  • Cilantro – 1 bunch  (leaves)
  • Green chilies – 4 (add more if you want it super spicy) I prefer to use Thai green chilies
  • Ginger – about an inch
  • Garlic –  5 cloves
  • Onion – 1/4
  • Garam Masala – 3/4 tsp( If you like and wanna try from basics- Cardamom – 3, cloves – 4, Cinnamon powder – 1/4 tsp, Poppy Seeds – 1/2 tsp )
  • Bayleaf – 1
  • Cumin – 1/2 tsp
  • Veggies – Purple potatoes,carrots, edamame,onion,cauliflower,bell peppers and mushrooms or any firm veggies:)
  • Salt – to taste
  • Brown Rice – 2 cups
  • Freekeh – 1 cup
  • Quinoa – 1 cup
  • Water  –  8 cups (to cook the rice/super grain) make sure to cook it through, it shouldn’t get clumpy

PS: The secret to a good pilaf is in cooking the rice/freekeh, quinoa. The grains should be cooked just enough so that it does not clump together i.e. you should be able to see the individual grains and yet cooked well

 Process:

  • Add the water to Brown rice,freekeh and quinoa. Let it cook in a heavy bottom pan or in a rice cooker. I prefer the latter because it cooks about right and I do not need to “baby sit” the whole process
  • Blend together, coconut,mint,cilantro,green chili,ginger,onion, garam masala (cardamom,cloves) poppy seeds,garlic, 1 tbsp olive oil with a little bit of water to a smooth consistency. This is the base for the pilaf

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  • Pour this raw b