One Pot Lunchbox Rice with Zucchini and Potato
I hope your weekend is going great!
Remember? I told you about Indian Nine days of Navratri Festival going on in India! Indians in every part of world celebrate this time by fasting and worshiping. Vishal, and I also were fasting Thursday and Friday, and Saturday was Idol Worship (Ram Navami Pooja). This day we make homemade food and sweets, and complete fasts by offering food to God and praying. So, Saturday went making preparations, cooking, worshiping, and then visiting a near-by temple. On top of it, my computer was giving me some hiccups since Friday..... so remaining time went into fixing that.... all in all, pretty busy few days of the week for me.
Indian festival feasts are often rich foods, packed with sugar, spices, and fried breads. After feasting, I just wanted to hibernate for few hours but couldn't due to temple visit. To our surprise, Saturday, roads were so so busy...... may be due to Easter shopping time..... but it took us good 3 hours to even reach temple! Since we have shifted our apartment, the old temple we used to visit is now good one hour drive..... and in traffic, it got stretched to 3 hours! Can you believe this? Three hours instead of one! By the time we came home, it was late evening and whole day felt like just flew-away.
Today, I wanted to do nothing.... but still had to finish errands and then decided to relax and recharge for weekday. To help myself, I made this quick one-pot rice for lunch. I love making variations of one-pot rice for quick lunch whenever I'm tired or don't have time in general or just feeling lazy ;) In-fact, whenever I have not planned lunchbox for Vishal, these one pot rice are my saving grace! Always ready in 12-15 minutes, one pot rice are self-sufficient with good serving of vegetables! What I love the most: these are also lite on stomach.
One pot rice are often very forgiving. No matter what you add to them, they will taste good. My favorite one-pot-rice always have veggies, herbs (mint and cilantro today), spices, and perfect seasoning! The ONLY thing a good, one-pot-rice need is: the perfect seasoning! I mean: salt, pepper, and also the acidity. Just like cooking pasta, it is not-so-great to season rice after cooking (at least for pulav/pilafs and one-pot recipes). If you can just master the art of seasoning rice before cooking, trust me, you will wow your family every-time!
Here is, how I make sure rice are always seasoned perfectly?!
Once you have combined rice, water, spices, and vegetables of your choice. Stir well, then take a spoon and taste the water. If it tastes a little more intense flavored than what you expect your cooked rice to be, then rice will come out perfect! On the other hand, if it tastes bland or just right seasoned, you must add a little more seasoning.
NOTE: Only taste rice water BEFORE adding raw protein. Never ever taste water which has raw chicken/fish/meat. Got it? thank you for listening my friends :)
You can cook these rice any way you like. Here are few of my favorite methods:
Rice Cooker: Combine rice, vegetables, spices, and water as per recipe instructions below, then place lid of rice cooker. Select white rice option and enjoy a delicious one-pot rice after 12 minutes (Cooking time for long grain white rice on most Rice Cookers is 12 minutes. )
Heavy-Bottom Pot: Combine rice, vegetables, spices, and water as per recipe instructions below, bring to rolling boil, stir once, then place lid of pot, reduce the heat to medium-simmer and cook until all water has been absorbed. (7-10 minutes)
Pressure cooker: Combine rice, vegetables, spices, and water as per recipe instructions below, bring to rolling boil, stir once, then place lid of pressure cooker. Bring first whistle, then reduce the heat to medium-simmer and cook for 5 more whistles. OR follow instructions of your pressure cooker.
Cooking these one pot rice is so easy that I decided to skip the step pictures today. Also, a little blame goes to my busy schedule. In case of any questions, feel free to drop a line. However, I promise to post step pictures whenever I cook one pot rice with zucchini and potato again.
Oh! Just forgot to mention, these vegetable rice are Vegan, Gluten Free, and also Nut-free.
Have a great day!
Here are few more easy Lunchbox Rice Ideas:
One Pot Lunchbox Rice with Zucchini and Potato
- Herb Blend (or my Garlic Mint-Cilantro Chutney)
- 8-10 Mint (leaves)
- 1/2 Cup Cilantro (a small handful, leaves and stems)
- 1 Lemon (juice, about 2 tbsp)
- 1 Garlic (clove)
- 1 tsp Salt (or per taste)
- 1/2 inch Ginger
- 1 tbsp Canola Oil
- 1/2 Jalapeno
- Zucchini and Potato Rice
- 1 Cup Rice (long grain white rice, such as Basmati)
- 1 Zucchini (halved, and then sliced)
- 1 Potatoes (yukon gold,small diced )
- 2 Cup Water
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper (adjust per taste)
- 1/2 Jalapeno (sliced, optional)
- Strawberries (sliced)
- Yogurt (as per liking)
- 1. Combine all ingredients of herb blend in a food processor jar and pulse until pureed or a paste forms.
- 2. In a deep heavy bottom pan, add herb blend and cook for 3-4 minutes until herbs are dark green in color and water almost evaporates. Then add rice, zucchini, potato, sliced jalapeno (if like little spicy or skip this one), water. Stir well, taste and adjust seasoning (salt, lemon juice, or black pepper). Close the lid and cook until all water has been absorbed.
- 3. Serve immediately with side of yogurt or pack in lunchbox with side of some fresh fruit and yogurt.
To make lunchbox healthy, add a serving of rice with some fresh fruits and yogurt on the side.
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