Green Chili and Cilantro Rice with Cauliflower & Peas

My friend Veena is the Rice Queen. I’ve known Veena for over twenty years now and over the years I have had the most amazing South Indian Tamil foods prepared by her. Anything and everything she cooks is outstanding.  One of her specialties is making the most creative rice dishes I have ever had. Her rice dishes are always flavored to perfection and positively delicious.

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Every time Veena comes over to my place or I head to her home, I am treated to one of her wonderful rice dishes.

Over the years I’ve had so many variations of rice made by Veena that I can post at least ten rice recipes from her rice recipe repertoire. Anything from lemon rice, black pepper rice, cauliflower rice, kofta rice, coconut rice, black lentil rice, tamarind rice, to simple yogurt rice taste scrumptious when made by Veena.

In this recipe let me share with you one of Veena’s rice dishes – Green Chili and Cilantro Rice with Cauliflower & Peas.  What makes this rice dish taste so good is the unique flavor that finely chopped green chili adds to the rice. Interestingly, I am one of those cooks who looks at green chili as something I add for some spicy heat, but in actuality what green chili can also add is wonderful flavor as well.  To mellow out the heat from green chilies, I sometimes remove the seeds so I can use the green chili for its unique taste and flavor.

Veena’s Green Chili and Cilantro Rice with Cauliflower & Peas

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Cauliflower florets – 2 cups
  • 1 green chili or jalapeno pepper seeds removed and finely chopped into small pieces
  • 1 bunch cilantro – 10- stalks finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Salt
  • Oil

Directions:

  • Cook rice and set aside.
  • In a microwave safe bowl cook frozen peas and cauliflower florets with 1/2 tsp salt for 10 minutes until vegetables are tender. Set aside.
  • In a mini food processor grind the chili, cilantro and garlic into a paste.
  • In a pan heat 2 tbsp oil and sauté chili -cilantro-garlic paste for 5 minutes to bring out the garlic flavor and to slightly cook the chili and cilantro. Add the cooked vegetables along with cooked rice, salt to taste, and toss together.
  • Taste test for salt and adjust accordingly.  Rice dish is ready.  Serve at room temperature with a side of raita or plain yogurt.

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