Ingredient: mint leaves

Delicious Summery Fresh Cherry Mint Chutney with Orange Peel

Delicious Summery Fresh Cherry Mint Chutney with Orange Peel

Exotically different from most chutneys, the fresh Cherry Mint Chutney has a refreshingly sweet, slightly tangy taste, subtly flavoured with orange peel

Curried Chilli Zucchini Soup – Spice Up Your Evening

Curried Chilli Zucchini Soup – Spice Up Your Evening

Easy and flavourful curried chilli zucchini soup with fresh chillies, herbs and a touch of turmeric with walnuts to add extra health and nutrition.

Easy Healthy Pudina Rice – fragrant mint rice with capsicum

Easy Healthy Pudina Rice – fragrant mint rice with capsicum

This Recipe for making Pudina Rice or Mint Rice,  is dedicated to H.U.G – Humane Universal Good Deed Network, who had undertaken to generate and distribute  200,000 meals for the needy and the underprivileged at Bangalore, during the Daan Utsav between 2nd and 8th October 2016. A menu had been planned with simple rice items which could be easily cooked even in large quantities, in the micro kitchens established by H.U.G, and by volunteers who came forward to help in this endeavour. Follow  H.U.G and the hashtag #HUGFeedWithLove, on Facebook to know more about the event. One of the items on the menu was a Pudina Rice, and here is my recipe for preparation of the same.
There are two ways of making Pudina rice. One way is to make a paste of the mint along with the other ingredients,  sauté the mint paste to a thick sauce,  add  the rice to the sauce and cook. The other method is to cook the rice separately, and then mix in the sautéed mint sauce. My daughter Mridula suggested that I follow the second method, as it is easier to manage the proportion of rice to mint mixture, and also as it helps retain the lovely green colour of the mint. I’m glad I followed her advice, the pudina rice looked gorgeous and tasted delicious.
In both methods, you need to grind/ blend the ingredients into a smooth chutney or pesto like consistency.
I have a little potted plant of mint which is the sole occupant of my herb ‘garden’. It’s been sitting in my balcony for the last 8-10 months, and I haven’t done anything to help it grow, except water it faithfully. This plant has decided it wants to be a bush, and it has been overflowing its large pot. The leaves have a stronger minty aroma than the pudina I get from the market, and the leaves are smaller than the regular ones too. I was glad to be able to pluck a cupful of leaves for making the pudina rice, but it doesn’t seem to have a made the smallest dent in the abundance that remain.
In all honesty, I have never liked pudina rice. I had tasted it somewhere a long time ago, and perhaps it was not properly prepared, as the taste was slightly bitter and raw. It was enough to put me off this green rice for all the years since I first tasted it. The pudina rice I prepared yesterday was totally different, and I feel sorry I had missed out on such a tasty dish, which is so easy to prepare too! With my flourishing mint plant offering me fresh leaves whenever I need them, I’m sure I will be making the rice frequently.

I made the rice with Basmati rice, a fragrant one that I had bought in Punjab when I last visited. I followed the guidelines given in the blog Spice up the Curry, to some extent, and the rice was cooked perfectly, with the grains remaining separate without getting mushy. I cooked it in a covered vessel rather than pressure cooking it.

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Kitchen Hints for making Pudina Rice:

i. Regular raw rice may be used to make the pudina rice, instead of Basmati, in which case the rice may be pressure cooked as in the instructions below.
ii. Peanuts may be substituted for the cashew nuts in this recipe, to add a little protein and to make it more practical for bulk cooking and distribution.

iii. Vegetables such as potatoes or peas may be added to the rice. I put in capsicum slices to give some texture and for its fresh taste. If using potatoes, boil and peel, cube and add to the mint paste when you are sautéing it.

The garnish of browned onions is another idea from the blog Spice the Curry. I had been caramelising onions for another recipe, so all I had to do was take some of the onions and add them to the pudina rice before it was served. It added just the right touch of flavour and texture. I’m going to keep some browned onions in reserve, it gives such a delightful finish to most  savoury dishes.

Boondi Raita goes well with this Pudina Rice. Check out my recipe on this blog:

http://www.pepperonpizza.com/boondi-raita-yogurt-chickpea-fried-recipe

The link below is to a vendor to whom PepperOnPizza.com is affiliated. If you click and purchase through the link, I will earn a small commission. I only promote brands and products that I trust.

 

Chilled Pink Watermelon Gazpacho with Homemade Basil Oil

Chilled Pink Watermelon Gazpacho with Homemade Basil Oil

Refreshing Chilled Pink Watermelon Gazpacho – a cold soup with tomato, cucumber, mint and homemade Basil Oil – Just right for summer

Herby Roasted Tomato Couscous Salad

Herby Roasted Tomato Couscous Salad

Roasted Tomato Couscous Salad with tomatoes of many colours and sizes, fresh basil, oregano, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice for a healthy refreshing salad

Fattoush Lebanese Bread Salad with pomegranate molasses

Fattoush Lebanese Bread Salad with pomegranate molasses

Fattoush Salad – A fresh delicious bread salad, where the herbs are not meant just for garnish but are significant ingredients in the dish. Three ingredients normally used in Lebanese cuisine are featured here, i.e. flavouring the pita bread with za’atar, dressing the salad with sumac mixed with extra virgin olive oil and vinegar, and adding pomegranate molasses to lift the salad to sublime heights. The za’atar is sprinkled on the pita bread or other flat bread, and the bread is baked or grilled before it is added to the salad.

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Watermelon Arugula Feta Salad with Strawberries Cranberries and Pomegranate

Watermelon Arugula Feta Salad with Strawberries Cranberries and Pomegranate

A classic Arugula Watermelon Feta salad enhanced with cranberries, strawberries and pomegranate along with healthy greens such as Swiss chard and Red sorrel, for a salad bursting with Cancer fighting goodness and great taste.

Couscous Salad with Beans, Tomatoes, Figs in a Lemon dressing

Couscous Salad with Beans, Tomatoes, Figs in a Lemon dressing

A colourful salad bursting with flavours and textures. Couscous with Roasted heirloom tomatoes, Peppers and Figs in a cherry tomato sauce, mint, parsley and purple basil and a dressing of lemon juice and white wine vinegar.

Zafrani Saffron Linguine in herbed spiced Moroccan style Butter

Zafrani Saffron Linguine in herbed spiced Moroccan style Butter

Yotam Ottolenghi’s ‘Plenty’ Cookbook was a gift from my daughter several months ago, but I hadn’t got around to trying out any of the recipes since they all seemed to need ingredients not ready available in my kitchen.Armed now with a cupboard full of every possible ingredient, (most of them again gifted by my thoughtful daughters) the recipes are mine to conquer. One of the first that I tried out was a Saffron Linguine in spiced Butter sauce, adapted from Ottolenghi’s Saffron Tagliatelle in Moroccan Butter.

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Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Herbs and delicately Spiced

Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Herbs and delicately Spiced

Broccoli Cheddar Soup of fresh broccoli with a sharp cheddar cheese, freshly ground pepper, nutmeg and paprika, basil, thyme, sage & garnished with mint leaves