When in doubt with what to cook that is wholesome, easy and healthy, especially for the kids, I resort to making different kinds of Pulao and serve it with chicken nuggets 🙂
Pulao as most of us who like Indian food know is a dish made with rice and sometimes includes other vegetables, cooked in a spiced broth, covered and brought to a boil.
In India, there are mainly three kinds of rice dishes Pulao, Biriyani and Khichidi.
Pulao is a less complex, easy to make dish which can either be eaten as a side dish or a main depending on the ingredients used. It is generally made with whole spices when compared to a biriyani.
This particular vegetable pulao recipe can be eaten as a one-dish meal.
Biriyani, is a more complex rice dish. It uses a two-way process of cooking the rice and the curry separately and then mixing them in layers. The spices can be complex and intense or easy and simple depending on the recipe.
Khichidi, on the other hand is a one dish meal made with rice and lentils with the least amount of spices and almost runny consistency.
This multigrain pulao is made with a mix of different kinds of rice such as wild rice, brown rice and white rice and other whole pulses like black and green beans for a wholesome easy one dish meal.
If I were to go with a proper take on this recipe its more like a khichdi, which literally means a ‘mish-mash’ in Hindi, than a pulao.
I call the dish pulao, as it’s not as fluid and has spices not normally used in khichdi.
I think each county have their version of a one dish rice recipe. The most popular once which have become global and made in different households are the Spanish Paella, Middle Eastern Pilaf, Chinese Fried Rice and Italian Risotto.
All the dishes use a similar technique, which is rice boiled in flavoured broth and mixed with other ingredients to give it a unique taste and cultural flair!
I personally find pulaos and khichdi a very easy and quick one-dish meal for the days when you perhaps don’t have much food options in the fridge or freezer or perhaps just want to take it easy.
Its one of those comfort food that you can resort to on any down days.
In India, khichdi made with white rice and yellow pulses is a popular weaning food for babies! The soft boiled grains of rice and pulses in a semi-liquid form makes it a good first baby food. Vegetables, meat and mild spices are introduced or can be added as the baby’s digestive system evolves.
Khichdi is a dish most kids regardless of their background or social standing have eaten while they were babies.
As with all Indian dishes even khichdi has its own regional twists but essentially its a meal eaten all over the subcontinent.
In the north and west parts of India it’s perpetual accompaniment is cool plain yogurt and hot spicy pickle, while in the South of India its eaten with poppadoms and in the east its served with a mammoth of fried accompaniments like fried egg, potatoes, brinjal, pumpkin and whatever fired vege that takes your fancy!
As with most of my dishes which originated from a need to make something quick and healthy, this dish too was something I made for the first time while I was pregnant with my second.
I was told that my iron levels were too low so along with the supplements I also had to ensure that the meals were rich in Iron and protein.
I was a bit adverse to greens and meat during my pregnancy and was craving carbs.
Pulses seemed to be the best alternative and so I tried to experiment with different kinds of pulses.
I have been binging on ‘carbs only’ diet, as potatoes, bread and rice agreed most with my system and swings.
So, I bought a pack of wild rice which is not really a rice but a grass and a good complex carbohydrate. I mixed it with a handful of short grain sweet brown rice, a small handful of white rice and fresh spinach for the added iron dose.
You can add any kind of chopped vegetables or whole grains you like or prefer instead. Basically I got a bit carried away with whatever whole grains I found in my cupboard and came up with this heavenly healthy mix of whole grains which actually left me feeling that I have done something good to my body!
I like easy, simple quick recipes that add flavour in just a pinch! Do you think this recipe ticked those boxes?
|Wild Rice - 1/2 cup|
|Brown Rice- 1/4 cup|
|White Rice - 1/4 cup|
|Whole green gram - 1/4 cup|
|Whole black gram - 1/4 cup|
|Spinach,chopped - 1/2 cup|
|Tomatoes, chopped - 1|
|Ginger, grated - 1 tsp|
|Garlic,minced - 2 tsp|
|Sugar - 1 1/2 tsp|
|Vegetable stock or a stock cube dissolved in water - 3 1/2 cups|
|Salt to taste|
|Oil or ghee - 3 tbsp|
|Cumin seeds - 1 tsp|
|Cinnamon - 1 inch stick|
|Turmeric powder - 1 tsp|
|Red chilli powder - 1tsp|
|Cumin powder- 1 tsp|