Okay, okay, it’s not a pilaf in the classic sense of the term. This rice dish isn’t baked in the oven, but it is cooked in the amount of time it takes to simmer some rice, and cook off the vegetables. The carrot and courgette pilaf is a great way to use up a glut of vegetables, then sneak them into your family’s diet with mild curry spices. Each one of the three kids would sit down to a massive comforting bowl of this pilaf with a poached egg on top. I love cooking this kind of food that’s easy on the stomach, wallet, and senses.
The carrot and courgette pilaf came about because, go figure, I had a glut of carrots and courgettes.
Carrot And Courgette Pilaf
- 200g basmati rice (use any rice you like, just we like basmati)
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 1 vegetable stock cube (I like to use the Kallo variety because they’re low in salt)
- 2 tablespoons mild curry powder
- 3 medium carrots, peeled
- 1 decent sized courgette (about equivalent in size to the 3 carrots combined)
You will need a large box grater and 2 saucepans (I use 1 large saucepan, and 1 small saucepan with a lid) for this recipe. Get yourself all set up and ready to go because it literally takes 30 minutes from start to finish to dishing up.
- Pour the rice into a small saucepan and pour in cold water so that it sits about 3 cm above the rice. Stir to make sure that the rice isn’t stuck together. Put the lid on the saucepan, then put on the hob on a medium heat.
- Take the larger saucepan and place that on a medium heat also. Pour in the oil and add the chopped onion. Stir a little so that it begins to soften.
- While the onion is softening in the large saucepan, take the box grater and grate the carrots and courgette to the same grade. I use the chunkiest setting on my grater as anything smaller gets too wet.
- Once the onion has softened a little (this will take about 5 minutes or so), add the crushed garlic, and stir around for 1 minute. Crumble in the stock cube and add the curry powder to the large saucepan. Stir the contents of the large saucepan so that the spices begin to heat.
- Keep an eye on the saucepan of rice, if it has started to bubble, turn down the temperature to low and leave it covered. Don’t remove the lid!
- Bit by bit, add the grated carrots and courgette to the large saucepan and stir into the spiced onion mixture until you’ve added all the grated vegetables then keep on stirring. It will reduce in volume because the courgette is full of water.
- This final stage of reducing the volume of the vegetables in the large saucepan will take you about 5 minutes. In this time your rice should have finished cooking and you should have no more water left in the smaller saucepan.
- Finally, add the cooked rice to the larger saucepan full of cooked vegetables. Stir until they are both combined together and serve.