Saturday, April 11, 2009

Eat Healthy, Live healthy: Brown rice pilaf

Some of you may remember that I undertook to eat healthy a while ago. I know, I know, I swayed. But now I am getting more serious about healthy eating and healthy living. I read health blogs, wake up early and go to the gym, and have been watching my diet. Indian cooking typically is pretty rich and it's easy to end up using high fat ingredients such as ghee (butter) to add flavour. I have been training myself to eat brown rice for an year now. I would cheat and mix brown rice with white. But I today made a major shift by preparing rice pilaf with only brown rice.

Brown rice is also known as hulled rice. It was supposedly eaten by the poor in the olden days and white rice was consumed by the elite. In the modern world, brown rice is eaten by the health conscious because it is a natural grain that remains unbleached. Although many types of brown rice contain more fat than white rice, the main differences between the two forms of rice lie in processing and nutritional content. When only the outermost layer of a grain of rice (the husk) is removed, brown rice is produced. To produce white rice, the next layers underneath the husk are removed, and white rice is produced. Several vitamins and dietary minerals are lost in this removal and the subsequent polishing process.

Brown rice needs more water and takes a longer cooking time. Some people find it difficult to eat brown rice because of the texture and taste. A colleague suggested adding olive oil and salt in the water while cooking olive oil. This was my first experiment while cooking brown rice so I was more concerned about how it turns out rather than noting the recipe. Please excuse me for that. Here are the vague memories while cooking this dish:

1. Red pepper, sliced and diced
2. Fresh curry leaves
3. Red onion, chopped finely
4. Ripe tomato, chopped
5. Turmeric powder
6. Salt to taste
7. Frozen mixed vegetables
8. Mustard seeds
9. Cumin seeds
10. Ginger
11. Garlic
12. Garam masala
13. Red chili powder
14. Water
15. Olive Oil
16. Brown rice, washed and soaked for half an hour.

1. Heat oil in a pan.
2. Add mustard seeds. When the splutter, add cumin seeds.
3. Add garlic, ginger, onion, curry leaves. Saute.
4. Add tomato.
5. Add frozen vegetables and red pepper.
6. When al dente, add turmeric powder, garam masala, red chili powder.
7. Add water to make a spicy and flavoured vegetable broth. Add salt.
8. Add brown rice and cook until done.

Serve hot with Raita.

Sharmi and CFK
Tongue Ticklers and Red and Green


Lavanya said...

yup..even my mother used to say these words abt brown india my parents are using brown rice ..but i am not dare enough to try only i thought of buying brown rice again i stopped it..i have to eat brown rice yaaar..after seeing your rice..tempting me to buy n use brown rice..looks yummy :)

Saritha said...

Tempting dish, never ate brown rice.

Unknown said...

The pilaf looks delicious and healthy ..but i don't know whether i could eat brown rice..

Trupti said...

never tried brown rice but pilaf looks mouthwatering

Pooja said...

Never tried with brown rice..sounds healthy..looking delicious..

Neha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Neha said...

Thought of trying brown rice many times, but couldn't do it till now... :), urs looks tempting.., Thanx for sending...

Sophie said...

I eat brown rice so much, I love it. I need to add veggies to mine, this sounds like it has a lot more flavor :).

anudivya said...

It has been 3 years since I switched to brown rice, just because it is an healthier option. I make my mixed rices, biriyani (I think I even did a post on Egg Biriyani with brown rice) and for pongal varieties.
It takes time to get used to it, but once you do, you would never g back to white rice.

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