So, today is a mid-weekday. I think time is just flying so fast.
A month ago it was New year, and then this month, the Valentine’s day. Half of the February is past already. And now I am so eagerly waiting for the spring to arrive. I am just fantasizing those wonderful pastel shades of nature we get in spring. A break from long snowy winter months would be over soon, and would bring a new SHINE of nature.
I am one of those who admire every single thing they have got. And the same law applies for seasons too. I idolize the beauty of nature in every bit. The touch of cold wind gives me the feel that I am alive. Summer makes me feel the warmth of nature. Everything around is so beautiful, and an absolute miracle of the UNIVERSE! 🙂
Spring would be here soon, and would come along with new beginnings and new hopes. This would also bring forward our favorite Easter. Wow! I am already feeling like Easter is coming soo
And in this post I am celebrating this spirit of the coming spring with ‘Carrot Zucchini Pilaf’. We all had too much of sweets in the past few weeks, and now it’s time to give some savory taste to our taste buds.
In my childhood I was never fond of Indian desserts which my mommy and granny used to prepare. Not even the very famous ‘Rice Pudding’, which every kid loves. Strange? Yes! I was a bit different in that sense! I only loved two Indian sweets, ‘Kajukatli’, and ‘Rasmalai’. And of course, I loved chocolates, and I still love chocolates, so wasn’t an exception in that sense at least. 😉
My granny was always worried about me. She used to say—’what kind of a kid are you, who doesn’t like sweets?’ If by any chance I tasted some sweet stuff, she would have been the happiest person at that moment. Well, I could not understand her LOVE for me at those times. But now I can totally co-relate how it feels when a child does not eat particular things. It’s such a huge pain for parents and grandparents.
But something has changed inside me since I got married. Now I love to eat all kinds of sweet stuff. Sometimes I just crave for sweet things. I don’t know how it happened, but it happened really so FAST. Now I am equally sweet & savory toothed, as I crave for both sweet and savoury stuff!! SADLY, I have lost my granny 4 years back. I wish I could tell her that now I love to eat sweet things, and I would simply eat it happily if she would prepare it for me. Sadly, it could not happen now. 🙁
Ufff! Me and my stories—I am so sorry if I made you sad.
Alright, let’s all get happy. Let’s talk about this gorgeous ‘Carrot-Zucchini Pilaf’ I made yesterday! A few mouthful of this flavorsome pilaf with natural plain yogurt, that is all you need to make a complete, comfy & cozy meal. If we want a simple yet exotic dinner, I often prepare this, and serve this pilaf to my family. This carrot-zucchini pilaf is a BIG HIT at my home.
This easy style pilaf has got flavors, veggies, spices, and rice! And this is also simple, quick, no pain all gain recipe! It’s extra warm and comfy. Most of us need something warm, and cozy these days. And this pilaf has everything to keep you feeling all warm. I am talking about spices, rice, and garlic—all real winter essentials.
It takes 30-40 minutes from start to finish, and feels like warm HEAVEN! With a spicy and slightly tangy flavour, it’s hard to believe that it’s made so fast. And I want to warn you here—this plateful of Pilaf is dangerously addictive stuff! If you try it once, you will know for sure what I mean! 🙂
Sometimes in the evenings we are tired to get-up and do not want to cook something which takes long time. And any salty chips or other snacks do not feel satisfying when you have savory cravings. The good news is that you don’t have to crave anymore! Because I have got the answer to the spontaneous feeling, ‘I want something comfy and spicy and savory, and I want it NOW!!!’
This plateful of pilaf would taste as if you went to a fancy restaurant and ordered a fancy meal. Nothing beats that! This is a kind of concoction between the biryani and pulav means double YUMMY! You don’t have to be an expert chef to make this AWESOME pilaf at home and to make your loved ones happy. For me, cooking is all about making my family happy. No fancy skills are required there!
I added some spicy curry powder to this recipe. However, if you don’t love curry powder you can replace this with red chili powder. While it takes less than an hour to make, it’s the perfect dish for a weekday night.
Take a heavy bottom pan. Add oil to it, and let it heat. Add cumin seeds, green cardamom, cinnamon stick, dried red chili, black cardamom, and star anise. Sauté for few seconds.
Add chopped onions, chopped garlic, and sauté for few minutes.
Now add tomatoes, green chilies and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add grated carrot, grated zucchini, salt and sauté for 5 minutes.
Add curry powder, garam masala powder, and mix well.
Add drained rice, and 2 cups of hot water. Mix well, and let the water come to boil. Cover and cook in low flame for about 10 minutes or until the rice is well cooked. Do not overcook the rice.
Then drizzle a tbsp of clarified butter on top, if you want. Garnish with coriander leaf, purple grapes, raisins and fresh salad. Serve hot with Yogurt and some pickle.
5-4-3-2-1-attack. Ummmmm, so so GOOD 🙂
Happy Cooking 🙂
- basmati rice (soaked at least for one hour in water) - 1 cup
- hot water - 2 cups
- grated carrot - 1 cup
- grated zucchini - 1 cup
- salt as per taste
- tomatoes, chopped - ½ cup
- onion chopped - ½ cup
- garlic, chopped - 2 tbsp
- green cardamom - 4 pods
- black cardamom - 2 pods
- cinnamon stick - 1
- star anise - 1
- dried red chili - 2
- cumin seeds - 1 tsp
- curry powder - 2 tsp
- garam masala powder - ¼ tsp
- coriander - 1 tbsp
- raisins - 2 tbsp
- purple grapes - ¼ cup
- olive oil - 2 tbsp
- clarified butter - 1 tbsp (optional)
- Take a heavy bottom pan. Add oil to it, and let it heat. Add cumin seeds, green cardamom, cinnamon stick, dried red chili, black cardamom, and star anise. Saute for few seconds.
- Add chopped onions, chopped garlic, and saute for few minutes.
- Now add tomatoes, green chilies and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add grated carrot, grated zucchini, salt and saute for 5 minutes.
- Add curry powder, garam masala powder, and mix well.
- Add drained rice, and 2 cups of hot water. Mix well, and let the water come to boil. Cover and cook in low flame for about 10 minutes or until the rice is well cooked. Do not overcook the rice.
- Then drizzle a tbsp of clarified butter on top, if you want. Garnish with coriander leaf, purple grapes, raisins and fresh salad. Serve hot with Yogurt and some pickle.
Camera: Nikon D7100
Lens: Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX Lens
Setup: Used natural sunlight coming from left, and a reflector on the right side of the frame.
Angle: I clicked these photos with 90°, 70°, 50°,
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