Three rice and vegetable bake

by Sunita on November 19, 2008

The fever bug certainly seems to have made it’s nest in our house. Last week, it was Agastya, and now it is Rengoni. The poor girl has been at home for the last couple of days. With quite a few exciting things happening in the class, she is obviously disappointed to have to miss all that action. But, at least, she is much better than yesterday, touch wood. Dinesh is no better, and has been sneezing quite a lot too.

On the kitchen front, I have been making dishes which are quite easy on the tummy. One such dish, which got the thumbs up from even the invalids, is the following three rice and vegetables bake.

To be honest, this was made with the odd bits and bobs of vegetables that were lying around. With not much shopping done over the weekend, this dish was a last minute resort. The remains from a pack of mixed rice and lots of vegetables , and finished off with some cheese, made this a very wholesome dish. It was neither a khichdi nor a risotto (no oil or butter was added, no sweating of onions and frying the rice)…somewhat similar to the two, but even easier, and did not compromise on the taste front. It needs a little bit of time, but it’s worth it.

What’s needed-

2C mixed rice(I used brown basmati, wild and red rice)
6C of chicken/vegetable stock(may need more)
2 bay leaves
1 tblsp +1 tsp crushed red chillies(more or less)
2 tblsp dried oregano
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 large carrot, chopped into small pieces
3 medium sized potatoes, chopped into small pieces
1/3 C of small butternut squash pieces
2 C of broccoli florets
2 C of grated mature cheddar cheese
1 tblsp sesame seeds
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

How to-

  1. Mix together the stock, rice, bay leaves, oregano, 1 tblsp crushed red chillies, onion , garlic and season with salt and freshly ground pepper in a pan over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and cook for about 15 minutes.
  2. Raise the heat to medium and add the carrots, potatoes and squash. Simmer for about 15 more minutes. Stir every now and then.
  3. Add the broccoli, and simmer for another 15 minutes. Stir every now and then.
  4. Pre heat the oven at 220 deg C and ready a baking dish .
  5. Add 1/2 of the cheese to the pan and simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously. Remove from heat.
  6. Transfer the contents to the baking dish (it should be a little watery …add a little more stock, if it dries up too much at this stage). Mix together the sesame seeds, remaing cheese and the 1tsp of crushed red chillies. Sprinkle this mixture over the top.
  7. Place the baking dish in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes or till the top is nicely browned and the mixture is hot and bubbly.
  8. Serve hot.

We had ours with some lightly steamed green beans on the side. These were meant to go into the bake too, but I forgot, so it formed a crunchy side to the softer main. The vegetables were not added all together, due to the variations in their cooking times. As mentioned earlier, the dish is quite watery when removed from heat (mainly because of the kind of rice used; arborio or other glutinous rice will make it quite thick by this time ) but upon baking, the liquid dissolves further and maintains a creamy thickness…the main reason for popping it into the oven. Moreover, the crust adds a lovely touch too.

This was something which everyone enjoyed, and hands reached out for seconds and even thirds. The simple nutty flavours from the rice and the crisp topping were a delight and every vegetable left their own mark. No extra oil or butter is needed. Moreover, what better way to clean up your fridge too. As for me, I love adding an assortment of vegetables to my dishes anyway…the more, the merrier :-)

Am sending this over to dear Srivalli for her Rice Mela.

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Arundathi November 19, 2008 at 10:53 am

that looks amazing, sunita. what a great idea. thanks


2 SMN November 19, 2008 at 11:00 am

Sunita it will be a feast for me and my hubby if prepare it at home.. very nice


3 Kitchen Flavours November 19, 2008 at 11:26 am

Unique and one of its kind recipe. Looks yum.


4 Happy cook November 19, 2008 at 12:19 pm

That is a beautiful and colourful baked rice. Atleas tthe sick has comfort food .
Here hubby is also sneezing and runny nose and he is just hoping it stops there so he can contine working.


5 Curry Leaf November 19, 2008 at 3:02 pm

Amazing and yes very easy on tummy.I love it.


6 Srivalli November 19, 2008 at 5:05 pm

thats bad..feel worse when the kids are down with fever!..take care…

rice looks amazing lovely..thanks for sending it across!


7 Suganya November 19, 2008 at 6:09 pm

Even simple rice and vegetables looks glamorous when you bake in a casserole dish. How many blocks of Cheddar do you consume a month? :D


8 Priya November 19, 2008 at 9:26 pm

lol @ Suganya’s question :) )) but she got it right :D I haven’t yet ventured into cooking wild rice, its next on the list, soon after I make room for it in my over-sized pantry ;)


9 Deborah November 19, 2008 at 9:30 pm

This looks delicious – definitely something I would love!


10 Ramya Vijaykumar November 19, 2008 at 10:06 pm

whoaaa dish looks great and carefully selected ingredients and perfectly baked…


11 sunita November 19, 2008 at 11:08 pm

You’re most welcome :-)

Have a feast then :-)

kitchen flavours,
Thaks :-)

happy cook,
Thanks…it’s not very nice to have your dear ones under the weather, is it ?

curry leaf,
Thanks :-)


12 sunita November 19, 2008 at 11:18 pm

You’re most welcome :-)

Usually 1 (400gms), rarely 1 and 1/2..there now you know ;-)

:-D …Do try wild rice…I love the nutty texture :-)

Thanks :-)

Thanks :-)


13 breadchick November 20, 2008 at 2:14 am

That just looks so awesome!


14 Nirmala November 20, 2008 at 4:09 am

Lovely bake! Hope Rengoni is doing fine now. Take care.


15 Priya November 20, 2008 at 8:59 am

Delicious n scrumptious bake with colourful veggies n rice…


16 Rosa's Yummy Yums November 20, 2008 at 10:10 am

That dish looks extremely good! A wonderful idea!




17 Susan November 20, 2008 at 11:43 am

This has all the best features of comfort food: starch, cheese and texture. Sorry your family has been unwell lately. Hope everyone is on the mend now.


18 sunita November 20, 2008 at 1:12 pm

Thanks :-)

R is much better now, but not completely ok….at home still.

Thanks..we did love it :-)

Thanks :-)

Thanks for your wishes…things are definitely improving :-)


19 Grace November 20, 2008 at 3:17 pm

so this is what gets created when you have leftovers? it’s spectacular! frankly, it’s perfect for thanksgiving and would definitely impress my family. :)


20 Sharmi November 20, 2008 at 6:48 pm

a very nice and different recipe for rice mela. looks so good.


21 Mandira November 20, 2008 at 7:34 pm

last minute idea… sunita, this looks beautiful and delicious like you had this planned :)


22 Usha November 21, 2008 at 2:09 am

Wow, its amazing that you came up with this amazing dish with bits and bobs….looks delicious..


23 Jo November 21, 2008 at 5:18 am

Sunita, this looks so delicious with such colours and texture! Now I’m wishing I had this for lunch.


24 sunita November 21, 2008 at 11:41 am

aww, thanks sweetie, but they are really the little bits of this and that vegetables :-)

Thank you…hope you’re doing well :-)

We buy quite a range of vegetables as I love adding as much as I can(also love the colour)…so there are usually little bits of various vegetables in the fridge.And when I run out of time and ideas, I usually make dishes like this…so, no, it was not planned…improvised as i went along…love doing it, though it does get a bit too far at times ;-)

Thank you :-)

Come over, will make it for you ;-)


25 Aparna November 25, 2008 at 12:09 pm

Looks beautiful, Sunita.
The perfect one dish meal (cheese and my daughter doesn’t mind the vegetables) and great to finish of the veggies in the fridge.


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