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  Festival Recipes - Rice Is Nice!

Rice Is Nice!


Brown rice has antioxidants and phytonutrients that boost the immune system. The high fibre content of brown rice has a good effect on controlling cholesterol that is of prime importance in keeping away heart disease. It is also beneficial for stomach and intestinal ulcers, and for curing the dreaded case of diarrhoea. Moreover, it supplies important nutrients for the hair, teeth, nails, muscles and bones. Here are two recipes that transform brown rice into delectable delights.

Grilled Falafel


• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
• 1 small onion, finely chopped
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 30 gms chickpeas, drained and rinsed
• 1 cup flat leaf parsley
• 1 cup cooked brown rice
• 1 teaspoon curry powder
• 2 tbsp coriander leaves
• Ό teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
• Ύ cup breadcrumbs
• 4 pita bread, whole-wheat
• 4 pieces green lettuce
• 1 tomato slices


1. Heat oil in a medium, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Sautι onion and garlic until the onion is soft and the garlic golden. Let it cool.
2. Place the sautιed onion in a blender or food processor. Add the chickpeas, coriander, parsley, rice, curry powder and cayenne. Pound until all ingredients are finely chopped and evenly distributed. Turn the mixture into a bowl.
3. Add the lemon juice and 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs. Have the remaining bread crumbs ready in a shallow dish or bowl. With your hands, knead the chickpea mixture until turns into moist dough. Scooping up 1/4 cup at a time, form the chickpea mixture into patties. Coat lightly with remaining breadcrumbs. Repeat, making 3-inch patties.
4. Heat the grill, griddle, or cast iron skillet. Brush lightly with oil. Place the patties down an inch apart. Cook for 4 minutes, until brown in spots. Turn and cook for another 4 minutes, to brown lightly on second side. Serve immediately on whole-wheat pita with lettuce and sliced tomato.

Brown Rice in Scooped Tomatoes

• 2 teaspoons low fat butter
• ½ cup chopped onion
• 1 cup uncooked brown rice
• 1 cup chicken broth
• 1 tbsp lemon juice
• 3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
• 6 large tomatoes
• 3 tbsp low fat cottage cheese (paneer) crumbled
• ½ cup shredded low fat cheese

1. Melt butter in a heavy skillet over medium low heat; add onions and cook until tender. Stir in rice, chicken broth, and lemon juice; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until rice is tender. Remove from heat and stir with a fork to fluff rice. Stir in chopped parsley and crumbled cottage cheese.
2. Core tomatoes, removing some of the loose pulp from the centre. Fill each tomato with rice mixture then top with shredded cheese. Place in a large baking dish. Place stuffed tomatoes under broiler until cheese is melted. Serves 6.

Vara Chawal - Bridegroom's Rice

1. Wash the rice thoroughly in water and drain it. Add the Moong dal to the wet rice. Allow it to remain drying for 15 minutes.
2. Heat the pressure pan. Add pure ghee and lower the heat. Ghee should never be allowed to smoke - or else the flavour will be lost.
3. Add Lavang (Cloves) and Dalchini (Cinnamon) and stir
4. When the ingredients are slightly fried (do not brown it) - add rice with Moong dal. Keep stirring. Allow ghee to coat all over the rice & dal.
5. After 5 minutes add boiled hot water. stir well. Add turmeric powder and salt.
6. Close it with pressure pan lid. When the cooker steams, fix the pressure cap. Let the pressure pan whistle out for three times.
7. After the pressure is reduced, open the lid. Add two-teaspoon pure ghee stir slowly. Avoid stirring vigorously when the rice is hot. This will result in rice forming lumps.
8. Now your Vara Rice is ready to serve.

You could garnish this with ghee-fried cashew nuts, if so desired.

Masala Bhaath - Spiced Vegetable Rice

This is a meal unto itself, but you could add some curd, raita or chopped onions to add to the appeal. And even without these, the rice makes for a great meal all by itself.

• Long grain rice: 2 cups
• Potatoes: 2 nos (medium)
• Onions: 2 nos (medium)
Green chilies: 2 nos split and julienne
• Turmeric powder: 1/2 teaspoon
• Red chilly powder: 1 teaspoon
• Garam masala: 1 1/2 teaspoon (spice powder)
• Pepper corns: 10 nos
• Tej patta: 2 nos
• Curry leaves: 8 nos
• Lavang (cloves): 6 nos
• Dalchini (Cinnamon): two sticks
Cooking oil: 4 tablespoons
• Pure ghee: 2 teaspoon
• Salt: 1 flat teaspoon or as per taste
• Boiled water: 4 cups

For Garnishing
• Shredded coconut - 2 teaspoon
• Green coriander - 3 table spoon finely chopped

1. Wash the rice and drain off excess water. Allow rice to dry for ten minutes.
2. Peel potatoes and onions and chop into one inch cubes.
3. Add oil to a cooker pan, when hot, toss peppercorns, tej patta, cloves, cinnamom and curry leaves. Fry lightly and turn down the heat.
4. Add potatoes and onions and stir it for two minutes.
5. Add rice and stir the mix for sometime till the rice gets coated in oil.
6. Add garam masala and red chilly powder and turn on the heat.
7. Add water and cover the vessel, let the steam escape after a minute or so and now place a weight on the lid pressure cooking the rice.
9. After the third whistle, turn off the heat.
10. Add ghee and garnishing to the rice and serve.

Vegetable Fried Rice


1cup -- rice (uncooked)
100 gms carrots (diced)
• 100 gms French beans (diced)
• 50 gms cauliflower (diced)
1 cup peas (boiled)
• 50 gms celery (diced)
• ½ tsp Ajino moto
1 tsp sugar
• 3 tsp soya sauce
• Pepper as per taste
• Salt to taste

Boil rice till done and set-aside. Parboil carrots, French beans and cauliflower with some salt. Fry celery in hot oil (1 tbsp). Remove and keep aside. Fry carrots, French beans and cauliflower in hot oil (3 tbsp) for a minute. Add peas, celery, salt and pepper and keep aside. Fry the cooked rice in 2 tbsp oil, add Soya sauce, toss in the vegetables and serve hot.


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