This is an extremely easy and tasty dish – especially quick to put together if you have leftover steamed white Basmati rice (or even ordinary white rice) sitting in the fridge. I had fresh cut vegetables and mint sitting in the fridge waiting to be used. The mint was particularly fresh and aromatic, so I wanted to make a simple dish that would showcase the freshness and zing that you get from mint. After some thought, I decided to make an easy, but great tasting Mint-Cucumber Yoghurt, or ‘Raita’ as it is called in Hindi.
Raita is a condiment – something that goes along with a main dish or snack to cool down the palate. So generally someone would decide what the Main/appetizer would be, and then decide on the accompaniment of raita or chutney to suit the main. I went the other way round today; I decided that I’d make the Raita first and then figured that if I made a quick Mixed Vegetable rice it would go well with the Raita 😀 Also, bonus that I used all leftover vegetables in the fridge in this dish 😉
Read on for the recipe!
For the Mixed Vegetable Rice
- Basmati Rice – 1 cup
- Carrot – 1, cubed
- Green peas – ½ cup
- Broccoli – 5 or 6 small florets
- White button mushrooms – 5 or 6, halved
- Red and Yellow Bell Peppers – ½ each, cubed
- Babycorn – 2, cubed
- Coriander powder – 1 ½ tsp
- Kashmiri Chilli powder – 1 tsp
- Cinnamon – 1 inch stick
- Bay leaf-1
- Ginger paste – ½ tsp
- Sugar – ½ tsp
- Salt to taste
- Cook the basmati rice in an open pot or microwave oven with the ratio 1: 1.5 (Rice to water). Set aside to cool.
- In a wide bottomed pan, add the oil. Let it get hot on a medium flame.
- Add the bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon stick and sauté for a minute.
- Add all the vegetables (except mushroom) and sauté well for a minute. Add water to just cover the veggies and let it cook for 5-7 minutes on a medium flame. Check occasionally. It is done when vegetables are tender to the touch but still retain their shape.
- Now add mushroom and give it a quick mix.
- Add chilli powder, coriander powder, salt and sugar. Mix well with the vegetables. Add little water to prevent the spices from burning.
- Let this cook on medium-low flame for 2-3 minutes.
- Now fluff the cooled rice gently with a fork so that the grains are well separated.
- Add this rice to the pan and mix gently so that the vegetable mixture coats the rice evenly. Take care not to mix the rice too much or too forcefully, else the rice will break.
- Add chopped coriander to garnish if preferred.
Mint – Cucumber Raita
- Cucumber – 1 (finely chop one half and grate the other half for texture)
- Chaat Masala – ½ tsp
- Salt to taste
- Sugar – 1 tsp
- Fresh Coriander – ½ cup
- Fresh mint – ½ cup
- Yoghurt – 1 cup
- Green chillies – 2
- Ginger – ½ an inch stick
- Grind all the items under the label ‘ to grind’ with very little water.
- Nicely beat the yoghurt with a spoon or whisk until smooth.
- Add the ground paste and mix well with the yoghurt. Add the salt, sugar and chaat masala. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.
- Finally, add the cucumber and mix well. Cucumber tends to make the raita watery if allowed to sit for sometime. Hence it is best to add it just before you want to serve.
I served the Rice and Raita with a side of potato chips for some crunch. It was yummy and filling. Try it!