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.
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
- 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.
- Raise the heat to medium and add the carrots, potatoes and squash. Simmer for about 15 more minutes. Stir every now and then.
- Add the broccoli, and simmer for another 15 minutes. Stir every now and then.
- Pre heat the oven at 220 deg C and ready a baking dish .
- Add 1/2 of the cheese to the pan and simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously. Remove from heat.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.