I absolutely love talking about how I used to be a picky eater. I didn’t eat most vegetables when I was a child and I particularly hated anything green! I would pick out every single coriander and curry leaf out from my rasam but not after I threw a fit about it being in there in the first place! All that changed once I got older of course and you can now find me actively seeking out the tempered curry leaves in my chutney. That’s where the flavour is! I’ve seriously become one of those people who lecture unassuming children about how ‘one day you’ll realise that all vegetables are delicious!’ So basically, I’ve become my grandmother.
This mint and coriander rice is an ode to my bumpy journey with green leaves on my plate! I used the Wonderchef Easy-Lock Pressure Cooker to make this family favourite rice. Most mint rice dishes are made with leftover rice, but I’ve chosen to start from scratch with this one. The rice is infinitely more flavourful when you cook it with the mint, coriander and the vegetables. The Easy-Lock Pressure Cooker is also perfect to make these one-pot dishes. It’s got a really wide base that’s perfect for sautéing. I also love that the Easy-Lock comes with a glass lid. However, the biggest pull of this cooker is the lid. You can place it any way and simply turn it clockwise to lock it in place. No more fidgeting around for the correct position. It’s not called the easy-lock for nothing! It’s not just convenience that it brings to the table but also safety. The Easy-Lock comes with a pressure safety lock, safety valve and gasket release system to ensure the safest possible cook in the kitchen.
I’ve been using my Easy-Lock Pressure Cooker for months now and the one thing that surprised me was how it’s managed to still stay so shiny. I’ve noticed a few of my old cookers lose their new-from-the-shop sparkle after a few weeks of continuous cooking. Even more so when I’ve lost track of time and inevitably burnt a few things in it! While that’s definitely reduced since I’ve gotten the Easy-Lock, I did have one or two mishaps. However, they had no effect on the cooker and it still looks as good as new. I’ve got the 3 Litre cooker but if you have a larger household, the Easy-Lock also comes in a 5 litre version that would be more suitable for you.
The only annoying part of this recipe is chopping the mint and coriander leaves. Since you’re using a fair amount of both, it can get a bit hard to evenly chop them. The Electric Nutri-Chop has made life SO easy for me! Clean the leaves, add them to the Nutri-Chop and whiz away till they’re nice and even! Add them straight from the Nutri-Chop to the pan and you’ve saved yourself so much trouble.
The masala I’ve used is made from scratch but you can 100% just use garam masala as well. Some days you have the time but some days you don’t. I get it. Homemade spice mixes are great because you can adjust the ratios to suit your own taste. Don’t like cardamom? leave that out! Want a stronger hit of clove? That’s cool too. Wonderchef’s Easy Spice Masala Grinder makes this entire process effortless. It’s even got a detachable jar which collects the freshly ground masala. No matter your choice I guarantee you’ll love this rice! I’ve used beans and carrots as my vegetables but you can add whichever vegetables you like, including potatoes, cauliflower and peas.
Serves: 3-4 people
Time: 30-45 minutes
For the Spice Mix:
- 15 cloves
- 2 inch piece of cinnamon
- 2 cardamom pods
- ½ tsp fennel
- 1 mace blade
- 1 star anise
For the Mint Rice:
- ¾ cup Mint Leaves
- ¾ cup Coriander Leaves
- ½ cup Chopped Beans (about 8-10 beans)
- ½ cup Chopped Carrot (about 1 medium carrot)
- 1 Large Onion
- 1 Tbsp Ghee
- 1 Tsp Grated Ginger
- 1 Tsp crushed Garlic (about 3-4 pods)
- 2 Green Chillies
- 1 Tsp Homemade Masala (or Garam Masala)
- ½ Tsp Turmeric
- 1 to 1 ½ Tsp Salt
- 1 Cup Basmati Rice
- 2 Cups Water
For the Spice Mix:
- Begin by gathering and measuring all your spices for the masala.
- Place a small pan on medium heat and add the cinnamon, star anise, cloves and mace and dry roast for 1 minute.
- In the meantime, crush the cardamom pods in a mortar and pestle. The spices should start to smell great by now.
- Add the crushed cardamom and fennel and continue to roast for another minute. Be sure to not let the spices burn.
- Once the spices are done, transfer them to a plate and allow them to cool completely.
- Grind the spices in a spice grinder and set aside.
For the Mint Rice:
- Begin by washing the basmati rice thoroughly. Add enough water to cover the washed rice and let it soak for 20 minutes.
- Prep all your vegetables. Wash and clean mint and coriander leaves. Chop the leaves finely by hand or use a chopper. Chop the carrot and beans into a medium dice. Finely chop the onion and green chillies. Grate the ginger and garlic if using whole.*
- Place your pressure cooker on medium heat and add the ghee
- Once hot, add the onions and sauté until translucent.
- Add the ginger, garlic and chilli and sauté till they don’t smell raw anymore. About 2 minutes.
- Add the vegetables and sauté for a minute.
- Add the masala, turmeric and salt and mix well.
- Add the chopped mint and coriander leaves and mix well.
- Discard the soaked water and transfer the rice to the cooker. Mix gently.
- Add the water to the cooker and taste for salt. You can add more salt if you want to.
- Place the pressure cooker lid on and increase the heat to high.
- Cook for one whistle and reduce the heat to low and cook for about 3-4 minutes or until the rice is done.
- Once the pressure releases, open the cooker and give the rice a gentle but good mix to distribute the mint and coriander leaves evenly.
- Serve and enjoy!
*You can also use 1 tsp each of ginger paste and garlic paste or 2 tsp of ginger garlic paste.
Author: Sneha Sundar is the creator of You Dim Sum, You Lose Some; a philosophy she adopts both in and out of the kitchen.