Cooking rice has been hard for me. Generally speaking, it turns out a bit crunchy still and for the longest time I just made orzo instead. It’s taken me a while to get the hang of cooking rice in the first place, but I just wanted to make a pilaf that I could serve as a side dish instead of the ubiquitous potato. A pilaf is simply rice that is cooked in broth. Often people add vegetables or seasoning, but the broth will suffice. And I think that the broth makes the rice more tender in it’s own right. Since I make my own broth, minuscule bits of meat and the flavorings are also added into the rice. I made this to go with some Indian butter chicken the other night and Liam couldn’t eat it fast enough! In fact, Matt and I were long done with our suppers, just waiting for him to finish up so we could play! Recently, he’s been a little picky about textures, so I was super excited that he ate the peas as well. I made this dish with Indian flavors so it went well with our chicken, but you could leave those out, and put in some Cajun spices and have a totally different side! I love how versatile this dish is and have plenty of ideas for the future.
- 2 Tbsp. Ghee
- 1 1/2 c. Jasmine Rice
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 c. peas
- 3 c. Chicken stock
- 1 tsp. Turmeric
- 1 tsp. Garam Masala
- Cilantro, salt and pepper to taste
Melt the Ghee in the bottom of a 2 qt pan on medium heat. When the pan is coated, add in the onions and saute until tender. Then, add in the rice, turmeric, and Garam Masala and saute until the rice is coated with the spices and ghee. Carefully pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Once the rice boils, turn the heat down to a simmer, add the peas and cover. Cook, stirring from time to time for about another 20 minutes or until the stock is absorbed into the rice and is soft. When the rice is done cooking, fluff with a fork and season to your taste.
For your cheflet: This is a great introduction to spices for your little one! Depending on your tastes, you can use the rice and peas as a canvas to bring some variety into your little one’s palette. Since peas and rice are such simple foods, I would actually start this with a child as young as 6-8 months. Once they are at least 9 months, I would mince bits of tender chicken and add that to the mix as well. Warning: If you make this dish like I did, don’t be surprised if your little one’s clothes are stained yellow from the Turmeric. I always make sure Liam is wearing something dark and a large bib when we eat Indian food!