Easy Peasy Pilaf
Bored with white rice? Got 5 minutes?
With very minimal time and effort you can microwave your way to a classy veggie pilaf that is just light and fluffy enough to serve as a dressed-up side dish, but substantial enough to turn into a meal of its own.
Traditionally, pilaf is made by toasting raw rice grains in oil, spices, and sautéed vegetables, and then boiling the rice until fully cooked. This recipe shortens the process by skipping the sauté and prepping the rice, spices, and veggies altogether and then just plopping everything into the microwave while you go attend to other things!
I use baby carrots and frozen peas here because, well, you might happen have those things in your fridge. But if not, feel free to improvise! Skip the carrots and swap in onions. And any combination of frozen vegetables will work in place of the frozen peas.
Eat this with...
This pilaf is fairly mild, so you can eat it alongside a saucy curry or protein. (Any of the tomato or spinach based curries in Indian Cuisine for the Busy Vegetarian would be great!) But for a no-fuss meal, I just eat this pilaf warm, topped with hummus, mashed beans, or fried tofu or veggie meats.
10 baby carrots (or 2-3 medium carrots)
1 cup of white rice
1 cup of frozen green peas
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon of garam masala powder
1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon of sugar (a pinch)
1 tablespoon of oil
1. Cut the carrots into slivers.
2. Stir the carrots and all the other ingredients together with 2 cups of water in a large microwave safe dish. (I use a large 2.5-quart glass bowl.)
3. Cook in the microwave for 14-15 minutes on a standard setting. (If your rice is a bit dry once you take it out, just add a few spoons of water and cover the bowl for a few minutes to let the extra water absorb.)
4. After the rice is cooked, let it sit for a few minutes and then fluff it well with two forks.
To make this a bit more luxe: after the rice has cooked, stir in a big spoon of olive oil and season generously with salt and black pepper.