This is a quick and easy rice dish that is packed with vegetables and is one of those recipes I turn to again and again when I am in a pinch and need to make dinner fast. My Mom used to make this vegetable pilaf (called pilau in Hindi) with frozen mixed vegetables when she was late coming home from work and needed to whip something up fast, delicious, and filling – a one pot meal of sorts. I’ve pretty much been making my pilau the exact same way Mom taught me years ago. Why mess with a good thing? Especially if that recipe is quick, healthy, easy and delicious. All the pilau needs is a side of simple yogurt raita to make a complete meal.
Serve veggie pilau with raita and fresh fruit and this can even become a wonderful light lunch option with a friend or two. Give it a try!
Vegetable Pilau Lunch Menu.
A menu worth replicating
Fresh Cut Fruit
Mixed Vegetable Pilau
- 2-3 cups frozen mixed vegetables
- 2 cups long grain rice like Basmati rice
- 1 onion finely cut
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp garam masala. If you don’t have garam masala spice blend handy substitute with 1 cinnamon stick, 3-5 whole cloves, a few green cardamom pods gently crushed, 1 star anise and few whole pepper corns. Just add these whole spices to oil before frying the onions.
- Chili powder (optional)
- 2 Bay leaves
- In a large pot heat 2 tbsp oil. Toast cumin seeds and bay leaves in oil for a few seconds until the cumin aroma is released and the seeds are dark brown. Add cut onions and sauté onions until translucent about a minute or two.
- Next add the frozen vegetables and garam masala. Cook the veggies for 5 – 7 minutes until they are slightly tender.
- Add rice and mix into the vegetables and lightely toast the rice for a minute or two. Next add 5 cups water and salt to taste and bring the rice to a boil.
- Lower the heat and cover the pot. Cook rice for 15 minutes until the rice is cooked tender.
- Fluff with a fork and serve with a side of yogurt raita.