Herb rice and lentil cakes

Rice being a staple in most South Indian homes, it needs a makeover at times. I cook it plain or as a watery gruel called kanji (Kongee). It is alternatively cooked as pulav, biriyani or Chinese fried rice. Instead of loading it with spices and sauces or going plain, this time, I gave it a gentle touch by adding some lovely herbs.

Herb riceI know many friends and family members, who have to eat rice everyday or else they feel unsatisfied, including my mother. I think, it is a matter of habit. Our family has moved away from rice-everyday schedule and now, it is almost once in a week.

Paddy fields This is a normal sight when I travel in Kerala. Lush green large paddy fields…tender saplings in watery fields with fish…croaking frogs…singing birds and some occasional snakes. Young rice plants dance in waves as the breeze brushes past. I love to look out and take in as much of it as possible. Our extended family back home, was into agriculture, growing rice and coconut palms, but things have changed now.

I remember walking on small mounts of earth made into bunds in between fields to lock water in, as rice grows. It used to be a balancing act for me to walk on the narrow bunds, extending hands to the sides, because, on slipping I would have a clumsy fall into soggy dirt.

The picture changes as rice plant grows and milky sap inside turns into grains. Water is drained out of the fields and it looks all brown and dry. Mature plants bend down with the heavy cluster of grains swollen inside their hard husk. When sunlight kisses, golden grains glisten…that is the precious gift! I miss those paddy fields and a lot of fun time looking for tiny fish swimming in muddy water.

Rice, has always been one of the oldest foods that graced our dinner tables. It is a delicious and versatile grain grown in many countries. When rice has its bran intact it is called ‘brown’ rice. Eating brown rice, sometimes containing the germ part, is the healthiest way to eat this grain. So, I chose brown rice for this recipe. It is not a particular recipe but a free flow of ingredients that tasted good, all put together.

IMG_0404I have many herbs growing in my little garden and harvesting them fresh, adds better flavour. Including them in some dishes is the whole idea behind growing them.

Last year, I grew lime thyme and now it is spreading and has taken up a larger area. I think, I may have to check it to keep it under control. It is a low growing herb acting as a  ground cover so I don’t mind if it spreads a bit. I have parsley, growing well in 3 pots so they were on hand too. This was an exercise to take these herbs to the table.herbs Lime thyme and parsley added a very interesting flavour to this rice making it a gourmet dish.

Ingredients

Herb rice

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 3 cups vegetable broth + 1 cup water
  • one large crushed garlic clove
  • salt, pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 a lime
  1. Cook rice by adding 3 cups broth and add 1 cup hot water little at a time.
  2. After water reduces a bit add garlic, salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Let rice cook and absorb all the liquid. (Add more water if needed.)
  4. After cooking rice, add butter to coat grains.
  5. Finely chop parsley, lime thyme and mix into hot rice.
  6. Serve it hot with a good squeeze of fresh lime.

You can use a heavy steel or aluminum pot with a strong lid to cook rice on medium heat till the liquid boils and then reduce to low heat. But, a rice cooker makes life considerably easier. I cooked rice with more water as brown rice is different from white rice, add more hot water if you feel it is necessary. Obviously, it takes extra time to cook but retains a certain crunch after cooked.

Herb rice and lentil pattiesThis is a very easy way to prepare rice and add some delicate flavors to enhance it. Brown rice has a nutty taste and is quite chewy. I had some lentil cakes as a side and garlic, yogurt sauce to make it a complete meal. Wait for tasty lentil cake recipe coming up next!

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About coconutcraze

I'm obsessed with coconuts!
This entry was posted in Brunch, comfort food, Easy recipe, Gluten free, Main dish, Pack-and-go lunch, Rice, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Herb rice and lentil cakes

  1. I loved your lyrical description of the paddy fields, Sridevi. There is a poet hidden in you somewhere. 🙂

    I used to be one of the everyday rice eaters you talk of and I love my Masala Bhat which in Maharashtra has just tempering. 🙂 off to make some now with leftover rice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. coconutcraze says:

    Rice is addictive! I cannot stay away from it for long! I know a friend who carried a small rice cooker on a European tour to survive…haha! Enjoy your rice dish!

    Like

  3. polianthus says:

    where is the lentil cake recipe? the dish looks lovely, the rice paddies – take me back to my trip in Kerala

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Lentil cakes | Coconut craze

  5. I can’t live for a day without rice.. Such a simple and flavorful rice.. U r a grt photographer grt cook grt writer Sridevi:-)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love rice and have been trying to eat more brown as I know it is better for you. You’ve made a very simple rice but adding the fresh herbs really makes your version special. I have lots of herbs I grow and thyme is a favorite. Your lentil cakes look good too! Thanks for coming to Angie’s Fiesta Friday and sharing with us 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jhuls says:

    I could almost smell your rice from here – smells awesome. 😀 Happy FF. xx

    Like

  8. sarahjmir says:

    this sounds incredibly delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That rice sounds delicious! I do love rice, it starts out so ordinary but you can do such wonderful things with it – your choice of herbs sounds just perfect, I wish I could get my hands on some lime thyme (it’s fun to say too haha).

    Thanks so much for bringing this to share at Fiesta Friday!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. coconutcraze says:

    Lime thyme is so refreshing! I made some scones with them and add them in some drinks. I too like repeating the name as it is so musical! Thank you very much!

    Like

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