Cumin flavoured rice with brocoli and cottage cheese(jeera rice with brocoli and paneer)


Jeera rice, Risotto, Pallea, Biryani, Pulao,Pilaf, Masala Bhaat, Nasi Goreng, and many more dishes across the world represent or connote the same basic ingredient ..RICE…All of them are rice dishes made differently across cultures/countries representing different cusines..However all of them are equally pallable and salivating to most rice eaters across the world..In fact its the epitome of home cooking of  many cultures and comfort food.

I love rice and culturally having  been born into a rice eating community ,  any kind of rice serving across the world  suits my taste buds and is enough to satiate my hunger…Nothing satisfies better then rice.. There are myriad ways that you can  come up with rice, most often it is so simple that its almost impossibe to fathom considering the outstanding results taht the prepartion injects into the dish..

So today I would like to write about an extremely simple and easy way to just transform your steamed rice into a glorified exotic version ..This one is actually not a thought about elaborate recipe but just to break the monotony of the steamed rice, yet comes out a neat stupendous dish worth some lavish praises.

This was invented once when I had guests over. I  had conceived a  brocoli and paneer dish but had no time to make the dish with the guests having already arrived..So I told myself that with one dish lesser in the menu, I will have to beautify the rice maybe,and give it a dressing over to make a comforting dish in itself..Unfortunately the rice was already done..steamed rice was ready, hence all I could do was add these veggies to the rice with herbs and , believe me, it become  a meal in itself and took the form of pulao..Apart from a visual treat it lends a flavorful taste to the steamed rice..And it needs absolutely no preparation..So here it goes..

Steamed rice-1cup
brocoli florets-10-15
Paneer-10-15 cubes
onion-1 small chopped
cinamon- 1 small stick
garlic-4-5 choppedfinely
coriander powder-1 tsp
oil/butter- 2 tbsp(I used both)
cumin seeds(jeera)- 1 1/2 tsp

In a pan drop oil and butter..I most often use both oil and butter for an aromatic flavour..Butter lends a beautiful rich aroma associated  with opulent gourmet cooking ..Add jeera , cinamon , cloves and drop the chopped garlic and fry till its brown.Add the chopped onions and fry..Add the brocoli florets ,coriander powder and salt and stir fry. Add the paneer cubes, and add the steamed rice and adjust the salt.Stir just for a minute or so till the veggies and the oil coats the rice ( dont keep frying or stirring for long coz chances that the rice may break or become hard)..Just before switching off the stove, add a tempering of extra jeera with oil or butter on top..
If you want a total indian version, you could replace the oil and butter with ghee, but i suggest keep the butter instead coz ghee and brocoli somehow maybe would not be the right combo.

But this preparation is more of a technique then a dish in itself, coz once you get a feel of what ingredients go into the rice, a whole new world of dishes open up..Also, getting a flavour out of a plain base is the challenge since plain rice is the hero here. You could add caramelised onions, or mushrooms, or sausages, or chickpeas or peas, shrimps,and add mixed herbs or any other combination of flavours and texture that suit your fancy ..You could also boil the rice in chicken broth…So variations manifold…

Isnt that easy?? Its the same steamed rice  tweaked to give an excotic feel ..A simple way of breaking away from your regular plain rice and infusing a flavour to it thus breaking the monotony..No cream, no stock/broth, no ghee, no dry fruits,no milk, no wine, no cheese,no short just a simple recipe ,very light on the stomach with healthy veggies and the calcium of cottage cheese alongwith.. Iron and calcium with carbs minus the spice and calories…..Now who wouldnt want to try such a dish?? Its an exotic way to modify your regular steam rice and serve your guests..Almost a dish in itself…

Its so satisfying and easy to prepare that it will never fail to impress your guests..So what are you waiting for??



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