Basmati Rice Pilaf with Caramelized Onions and Broccoli
Do you think there is an old school vegan cuisine?
Stereotypical tofu, broccoli and brown rice? Nutritional yeast?
What’s the new school vegan?
Kale, quinoa and Brussels sprouts? Miso?
I say what’s not the new school vegan? Variety is key! Everything is fair game!
I may choose chickpeas day in and day out for a few months (you have been warned, hehe), then I am loving lentils the following month and the next bit is all about black beans. By the time I eat chickpeas again, I have forgotten how wonderful they were and the cycle repeats itself ad nauseum.
Out of all the vegetables, we buy broccoli fairly routinely. Rob loves it. Steamed, it is a simple side for any meal Rob wants to healthify. Rob also loves adding broccoli stems to besan chilla and tofu scrambles and creamy broccoli dal continues to be one of our favourite meals.
However, as rated by my most popular tags on the blog, broccoli does not even make my sidebar!
Thus, it is time to diversify our broccoli uses.
This is a rice pilaf from 1000 Indian Recipes which is basically old-school vegan gone Indian! Brown rice and broccoli fragrant from Indian spices with sweet caramelized onions. Savoury spices like cardamom, cinnamon and cloves infuse the rice as it cooks and a tarka (spiced oil) is used at the end to get the mustard and cumin seeds to pop. Sadly, I didn’t find this dish as flavourful as I anticipated and was a bit disappointed. Next time, I would increase the spices and perhaps decrease the amount of rice. And likely add some beans for a complete meal.
What’s your take on broccoli? Common vegetable often in the shadows?
Other broccoli favourites on my blog:
Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad with Lime and Cilantro (Whole Foods Detox Salad)
Lemon-Balsamic Glazed Chickpeas and Broccoli
Quinoa Falafels with a Cheezy Broccoli Bowl
Buddha Veggie Bowl with a Ginger-Miso-Lime Dressing
Confetti Veggie Salad with Mustard Curry Dressing
Forty Clove Chickpeas and Broccoli
Kelp Noodles, Baby Bok Choy, Broccoli and Red Pepper with a Coconut-Peanut Sauce
Spicy Peanut Udon Noodles with Tofu and Broccoli
Creamy Green on Green Pasta (aka Raw Kelp Noodles and Broccoli with a Creamy Lemon-Basil Whipped Avocado Sauce)
Broccoli and Red Pepper Stir Fry with Peanuts
1.5 cups brown basmati rice, rinsed
2.75 cups water
1 tsp + 1 tbsp coconut oil, or oil of choice, divided
6-8 green cardamom pods, crushed lightly to break the skin
1 1-inch stick cinnamon
6-8 whole cloves
3 small onions, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
2 small heads broccoli (290g), cut into 1/2-inch florets, stems cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1. In a medium bowl, soak the rice in the water, about 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat, heat 1 tsp of oil and cook the cardamom pods, cinnamon and cloves, stirring, about 30 seconds until fragrant. Stir in the onions, sprinkle with salt and cook, stirring as needed, until golden, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and continue to cook until they are dark brown, at least another 15 minutes.
3. Once you have caramelized your onions, I removed half and let the rest continue to caramelize for another 30 minutes or so as I cooked the rice. Don’t forget to remove the cardamom pods and cloves.
4. Meanwhile, in a large pot, place the rice and its soaking water along with a pinch of salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until all the water has been absorbed. Add half of the caramelized onions once they are ready.
5. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the remaining 1 tbsp of oil. Add the cumin and mustards seeds, cover and allow to pop. Once the popping stops, add the broccoli and a touch of water, cover again and allow to steam for 4-5 minutes, until tender crisp and a brilliant green, stirring occasionally. Stir into cooked rice. Garnish with remaining caramelized onions.