I usually make this when I am tired of pulav and other varieties of mixed rice (think lemon, puliogare, coconut, biriyani or bisi bele baath). The reason I love this is because I make it infrequently and it is a very versatile dish lending itself to immense customization.
I called it vegetable rice because that is all it is – vegetables and rice.
Stuff you will need:
Rice – 1 cup (I use sona masoori)
Tomatoes – 5 small – chopped to fine pieces
Onion – 1 medium – Chopped to fine pieces
Ginger – 1/2 inch cube – chopped fine
Green chillies – 3 slit and halved
curry leaves – 2 sprigs – chopped roughly
Garlic – 2 pods – chopped fine
Carrots – 2 medium – chopped fine
Green pepper – 1 medium – chopped fine
Green peas – A handful
Oil – 1 tbsp
Cumin – 1 tsp
Mustard – 1 tsp
Asafoetida – 1 tsp
Turmeric – 1 tsp
How to make it?
Pressure cook rice with 2.5 glasses of water for 3 whistles and set aside to cool. In a shallow wok, heat oil. Add mustard. When it pops add cumin, asafoetida and turmeric. When cumin browns add ginger, garlic, chillies and curry leaves. Saute a bit and add onions. Saute till pink and add tomatoes. Cover and cook till tomatoes are formless. Add rest of the vegetables and cook till all moisture is absorbed into the vegetables and the mixture looks kind of dry. Turn of heat and set aside.
Now fluff the rice cooked earlier such that grains are separate. Now, slowly add the rice to the cooked vegetable mixture taking care not to make the rice grains mushy. The finished product should be reddish yellow, rice looking whole dotted with vegetables.
Try this basic recipe with different types of firm vegetables to get different flavors and tastes. This does not require masala powder but one can try and experiment by using other spices.