Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Vegetable Pulav and Pan fried Tilapia

My goal every evening when I make dinner is to try to incorporate the food groups and I try to include 5 colors of vegetables in my cooking. I am huge fan of fresh food. Frozen, pre-made food, unless pre-made and frozen by me, don’t usually make it to the dinner table unless I have absolutely no other choice.

Vegetable Pulav Recipe:
I make this rice dish for my kids as it has excellent flavor and helps me sneak in their daily serving of vegetables.
I cook enough rice to where it will act as dinner for 4-6 people + lunch for 3.
This rice dish can use any and all varieties of vegetables with the exception of the green pepper which is a must. The green pepper is the star of this dish with everyone else along for the healthy ride.
Here are the vegetables that went into making the rice last night.
                                  Green pepper, colored peppers, sliced carrots, cabbage, zucchini

1 Large onion
3 Serrano peppers
Grated Ginger – 1 TBSP
Cumin seeds (1.5 tsp)
Turmeric powder (1 tsp)
Mustard seeds (1.5 tsp) (optional)
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 large green pepper – chopped – required ingredient
Chopped vegetables (1.5 cups) (your choice – I used carrots, zucchini, colored peppers, purple cabbage)
3 cups basmati rice
Cilantro, 2 chopped tomatoes and some shredded cheese for garnish
Olive oil – about 3 TBSP


1. Cook the rice with Salt. For 3 cups of basmati rice (from Costco) I used 1.5 TBSP of salt and 4.5 cups of water. The rice should not become too soft. Once cooked, the individual grains of rice should be long and firm.
2. While the rice is cooking, in a large sauté pan, add the olive oil. When it is hot (not too hot), add the mustard seeds and cumin. Once the mustard seeds pop, add in the turmeric powder. If not adding mustard seeds, once the cumin has been added wait about 20-25 seconds before added the turmeric. After about 10-15 seconds after adding the turmeric, add the onion, Serrano peppers and grated ginger.
3. When the onion is transparent add in the green pepper and the vegetables. Cook till the vegetables are done. Then add 1.5 TBSP salt. Mix.
4. Now add the cooked rice to this vegetable mixture. Mix thoroughly till the rice and vegetable mixture are completely blended. You may need some salt, depending on your taste.
5. Add the lemon juice and chopped tomatoes and mix again.
6. Let sit covered for 15-30 minutes before serving
7. Garnish with shredded cheese and cilantro just before serving.
8. In the mean time prepare the tilapia dish below.

Side note: This rice dish can be a meal by itself. You can add shredded chicken or shrimp or pork or beef right after sauteing the onion. Then add the vegetables and proceed as above. This is my variation for really busy evenings.

Pan fried Tilapia Recipe:

1/3 cup rice flour
1/6 cup semolina (rava)
1.5 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp asafetida powder (http://www.food.com/library/asafetida-355)
1 TBSP salt
1 egg – beaten
6 frozen tilapia fillets (I buy mine from Costco)
Fresh lemon juice
Olive oil

1. Defrost the tilapia by submerging them in hot water. I defrost enough to where I can easily get them out of the individual plastic bags they are wrapped in. No need to defrost too much.
2. Start warming up the frying pan. Add in the olive oil
3. Mix together the first 7 ingredients and pour into a large plate. Makes it easy to dip the tilapia.
4. Keep the beaten egg handy. Keep this in a large bowl so that it is easy to dip the tilapia.
5. Coat the tilapia in the dry mixture, dip in egg and re-dip in the dry mixture.
6. Fry in the pan. Since the tilapia is still frozen, I cook the fish uncovered and drizzle some olive oil on the top of the fish when I first add it to the pan, to avoid drying. Cook on both sides till the fish is firm to the touch in the center…about 3-4 minutes each side.
7. Once all the fish fillets are cooked, drizzle some lemon juice on top and garnish with cilantro

Serve the rice and fish with a side of fresh fruit and you have yourself an amazing dinner.

Below is a pic of just the rice dish and the tilapia.


No comments: