The time-consuming part in this version is marinating the veggies, longer it stands better it tastes. I like to marinate a whole bunch of veggies at a time, use half for immediate consumption and store the other half for another day. I normally freeze the unused portion and it stays good for 3-4 weeks. Once you have the marinated veggies ready, the masala takes just about 20-30 min to cook, which is normally the time it takes for rice to get done. Cook the rice just three quarters way through initially as it gets completely cooked at the end with the veggies.
2 cup rice (mix rice with 2 cardamom, 4 cloves, 1 bay leaf)
1 small onion
1 big tomato
1 tsp cumin (jeera)
1 inch stick cinnamon
2 bay leaves
2 cup mixed veggies (carrots, cauliflower, beans, peas, potatoes, bell pepper, mushrooms, zucchini)
2 tsp oil or ghee
Garam masala powder, to taste
Salt to taste
Grind together: 1/2 cup mint, 3 green chillies, 1 inch ginger, 3 cloves garlic
For Marinade: 2 tbsp yogurt, 2 tsp red chilli powder, 2 tsp Coriander-cumin powder (dhaniya-jeera powder), 1 tsp dried mango powder (amchoor), 1tsp sugar, 1 tsp turmeric
Garnish: cilantro, fried cashews or peanuts (optional)
- Mix all the ingredients for the marinade and stir in half of the ground paste. Add veggies to this marinade and let it rest for 1 hour or so.
- Cook rice + whole spices mixture with 2 cups of water for 20 min .
- Add 2 tsp oil in a big saute pan. Add cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaves, cloves, jeera and the onions. Saute until the onions are brown. Add tomatoes, remaining half of the ground paste and saute for 2 more minutes.
- Now add the marinated vegetables along with the marinate. Saute for 2 more minutes.
- Add 1 cup of water and cook until the veggies are tender but firm and all the water has been absorbed.
- At this point, add the cooked rice to the veggies. Mix well. Add salt and sprinkle some garam masala powder.
- Sprinkle a few tablespoon of water, close the pan and let it cook for 5 - 10 minutes in a low heat (take care not to burn the dish).
- Garnish with cilantro and serve with raita.