I love to cook and try out new recipes, techniques and flavours but only if I know my kids will eat what is put in front of them. That’s a tall order and it’s even more of a battle on days when there are only vegetables on the menu. Thankfully there are a few vegetables that my kids will eat with only a little cajoling. Carrots and Brussels sprouts are top of the list. This quick and easy rice dish incorporates these two headliners in a delicious one-pot meal that is perfect for rushed weeknights or when you crave comfort on a plate.
Vegetable Pilaf Topped With Crunchy Brussels Sprouts
Pilaf or Pulao or even Paella is a rice dish that incorporates different flavours and in this case vegetables into an aromatic and wholesome one-pot dinner. I have a light hand with spices when kids are at the table and also try to find healthy shortcuts. Delicious and speedy enough to get me outside enjoying the rest of my day? Perfect! And to satisfy my own urge for mirchi (spicy) my kids see me eating always with a side of fresh green chillies!
Traditionally vegetable pilaf or pulao is served with crispy onions on top to add a crunchy texture. Sadly one of my kids will not touch onions with a barge pole so I find I am constantly looking for options to onion – which believe me is tough in Indian cuisine. Crispy Brussels sprouts happened one day by accident and since then this vitamin and mineral-rich vegetable is a staple in our home.
Real Life Tips For A Quick and Easy Rice Dish
- Cut the vegetables for the pilaf in in equal sizes so that they cook consistently.
- Consider the hardiness of the vegetable and add the tough ones first.
- The vegetables should be only about half-cooked when you add in the rice, otherwise you will end up with a mushy mess at the end.
- You will know the rice is cooked when it has soaked up all the water and looks fluffy and light.
- Slice more Brussels sprouts than you think you need. They are popular and reduce in the cooking.
- 1 tbsp Canola oil
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 cup of thinly sliced Rainbow Carrots
- 1 cup of thinly sliced Potatoes or half Sweet Potatoes and half regular
- 2 cups Rice
- 4 1/2 cups of Water
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 2 cups of trimmed, washed and thinly sliced Brussels sprouts
- 1 tbsp of canola oil
- Salt and Pepper
- To the heated oil add the cumin seeds and the bay leaf and saute till you hear the seeds crackling.
- Add in the sliced potatoes and let them cook for couple of minutes. Add in the carrots and toss them to coat with the flavourful oil.
- In the meanwhile wash and rinse the rice a few times to get rid of dust and the excess starch that is on the rice grains.
- Add the rice into the pan and toss with the vegetables to help absorb the flavours.
- Add in the water and then salt. Stir gently. Any rough handling at this point can break up the rice grains and make the vegetables soggy at the end.
- Cook on high heat for a couple of minutes till the water starts to bubble and then turn the heat to a low simmer. Cover with a tight lid. It will take another 15 minutes before the rice cooks through.
- Turn the heat off, leave the lid on and move the pan off the hot burner and leave for a few minutes of rest before you bring it to the table.
- Take the lid off and the aroma is enough to bring the family to the dining table.
- Serve with yoghurt with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. And if you can stand the heat then sliced jalapeno peppers.
- Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat.
- Add in the Brussels sprouts and toss with oil.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper and continue to toss.
- Let the mini-cabbages cook on medium heat till they get a little colour and crispiness.
- Serve along with or on top of the pilaf. It will be popular and finish first. I promise!
From the top left the dishes are:
Rustic Apple Tart @ Red Cottage Chronicles
Spicy Vegetarian Chilli @ Allergy Girl Eats
Indian-inspired Vegetable Pilaf Topped With Crispy Brussels Sprouts @ Maple and Marigold
Maple and Oatmeal Ale Pulled Chicken Sliders @ Mommydo
Mushroom Hand Pies @ Dish ‘n’ the Kitchen
Maple Bacon Mini-doughnuts @ Everyday Allergen-Free
Chai-Spiced Apple Sauce, Apple Butter and Apple Leather @ Making Healthy Choices
Spaghetti Squash Bake @ The Inspired Home
Crock Pot Chicken Pot Pie @ It’s Just My Life