Baked Rice with Vegetables & Mozzarella

This appetising dish appeals to adults as well as children. If you have trouble getting your kids to eat their vegetables, this is one of the surest ways!


1 cup/220g parboiled rice, washed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus extra to grease the baking dish
2 medium onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
3 fresh green chilli peppers, finely chopped
¾ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
8-10 French beans, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
1 medium bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons frozen green peas, thawed
Salt to taste
250g grated mozzarella cheese

1. Cook the rice in a large pot of salted boiling water for 10-12 minutes, until just tender. Drain and leave to cool.

2. Heat the oil in a medium pan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent.

3. Add the garlic, green chillies and cumin seeds and stir until fragrant. Add the turmeric and mix.

4. Add the tomato, carrot and beans. Add 2 tablespoons water, cover the pan and cook until almost done. Add the bell pepper, peas and salt to taste. Mix well and remove from the heat.

5. Combine the rice with the vegetables. Taste and add extra salt if required.

6. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C. Grease a deep ovenproof baking dish with oil.

7. Spoon half the rice and vegetables into the baking dish. Cover with half the mozzarella cheese. Top with the remaining rice and vegetables and the remaining cheese.

8. Bake for 20 minutes or so, until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown.

9. Serve hot.


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