Mint leaves Pilaf

This is a delicious one-pot dish that can be cooked within 30 minutes. Serve this with a yoghurt-based salad on the side.


1½ cups/300g Basmati rice
1 cup/30g fresh mint leaves
½ cup/40g coarsely chopped coriander leaves
2 fresh green chilli peppers
2 tablespoons fresh grated coconut
3 medium garlic cloves, peeled
1-inch/2.5-cm ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 medium carrot, cut into ½-inch/1-cm cubes
½ cup frozen green peas
½ teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1¼ teaspoons salt, or to taste
Toasted cashew nuts to garnish (optional)

1. Wash the rice and soak in water for 30 minutes. Drain and discard the soaking liquid.

2. Make a smooth paste of the mint leaves, coriander leaves, green chillies, coconut, garlic and ginger using an electric blender.

3. Heat the oil in a medium pan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook until golden, stirring frequently.

4. Add the cumin seeds and stir gently until fragrant. Add the paste from the blender and mix. Let simmer for 3-4 minutes, until fragrant.

5. Add the carrot, peas, garam masala, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well.

5. Add 2½ cups/625ml water and bring to a boil. Add the drained rice and return to the boil.

6. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and cook until the rice is tender and the water evaporates, 12 to 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Leave the pan on the warm stove for 5 minutes.

7. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve hot.


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