Colorful Rice


5 medium carrots, diced
1 tablespoon Vegeta (or Dafinka)
1 cup water
3 medium potatoes, peeled, diced, and fried
1 small onion, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups long grain rice, soaked in lukewarm water for 15 minutes
5 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tbsp for veggies+ 3 tbsp for rice
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon jerk spice
1 cup golden raisins, washed and dried
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped


Cook carrots in 1 ½ cup of water with 1 tbsp Vegeta (or Dafinka) for 5 minutes after it comes to a boil. Add frozen green peas and sweet corn, turns the heat off, cover, and let it stand for at least 10 minutes before draining. Peas and corn will become soft, but will be still bright in color. Do not discard the veggie “water” with, preserve it for rice cooking. You will need 3 cups of liquid for the rice cooking. So, go ahead and add as much of hot water as needed to the veggie “water” to obtain 3 cups of liquid. If you like you can also use chicken, beef, veggie stock or broth. It is up to you.
Heat a skillet over medium heat, pour in 2 tbsp of olive oil, add onions, garlic and sweat a bit with pinch of salt and dash of black pepper. Add crushed tomatoes and spices (crushed chili peppers, cumin, jerk spice, black pepper). Stir and add veggies too. Let everything simmer over very low heat for about 5 minutes. Set aside.
Into a pot over medium heat, put the remaining 3 tbsp of olive oil, 2 tsp of salt, and 1.2 tsp ground turmeric. Add the drained rice, stir, and sweat for 5 minutes. Rice will absorb the oil, become yellow in color, and shiny. Turn the heat to high, add 3 cups of liquid, and bring to a furious boil. Turn the heat down to medium high, cover the pot tightly, and let the rice cook for 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to minimum and continue to cook for additional 5 minutes. Turn the heat down, fluff the rice with a fork, cover, and let the rice rest for 10 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, it is time to prepare raisins. In a small skillet over medium heat, put the remaining 2 tbsp of vegetable oil. Let it become really hot. Add raisins and wait until they plump out. It won’t take long! Remove them from oil and immediately stir into the veggies. If you let fried raisins stand in the air for too long, they will become hard as a rock and inedible. Add walnuts, too! Stir and set aside.
Now it is time to mix all together. I usually layer rice, veggies with raisins and walnuts, and potato into a serving plate, and than carefully fold all together. Dish can be served as is with a side of salad, or you can cook your favorite meat, chicken, or fish, and serve it with this rice.
Bon appétit!


Now about the recipe. We cook rise pretty often (I always choose rice over potatoes), although potato is the most loved starch as far as my family is concerned! They could eat "any way" potato three times a day! Rice as rice, all white on the plate is not that inviting, so I always try to add some color to it: sometimes just by adding a dash of turmeric that will turned it light yellow, or some browned vermichelli pasta to give it some movement, but mostly I add colorfull veggies that really bring the rice to life. And as far as the flavor busting, well: "Spices to the rescue!"


48 servings


Saturday, February 26, 2011 - 12:18pm


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