Monday, November 23, 2015

Cranberry Rice; Meatless Monday

Thanksgiving is the only time of the year when we get cranberries. I didn't know what cranberries were until I came to this country. Then I only knew of cranberry juice, which I love and cranberry sauce that comes in a can. Until last year, I had never brought home cranberries as I didn't know what to do with them. Everything changed last year. I made cranberry pecan bread, cranberry chutney, cranberry wild rice pilaf and it all turned out good. This year I am expanding my horizons even further. I made this cranberry rice which was delicious. I tried it with the organic Mekong brown rice from Lotus foods and it came out delicious! I really like their brown rice! It cooks within 30 minutes to a perfect consistency. The texture is great and not chewy. I, who would not eat brown rice before, now look forward to it! No,Lotus Foods is NOT paying me to say this or to write this post. This is entirely my opinion. You have to give it a try to know for yourself if what I say is true. Last time I made Thai Salmon basil fried rice using their organic brown rice and it turned out delicious! I wanted to check if that recipe was what was making it taste so good by using a recipe that was vegan and with no sauces in it. I made this cranberry rice using very few ingredients and with the primary flavor coming from the cranberries. It is a very simple and quick recipe which gives you a delicious meal! 

Servings: 3 ( 1 cup per person)


Lotus brand organic brown rice : 1 cup
Water: 1 3/4 cup
*Cranberries purée: 1/4 cup
Cooking oil: 1 tbsp ( I used coconut oil)
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Curry leaves: 1 sprig ( optional)
Urad dal(Split matpe beans): 1 tsp
Chana dal ( split chick peas): 1 tbsp
Peanut halves: 2 tbsp ( optional if allergic to nuts)
Green chillies: 2, chopped fine( can be adjusted based on individual spice level)
Ginger: 1 inch, minced
Asofoetida ( hing) powder: a pinch
Sugar: a pinch
Salt: as per taste


* to make cranberry purée, heat 1 cup fresh cranberries with 1 tbsp water until soft around 7-10 minutes. Cool it. Blend when cooled.

In a saucepan, bring 1  3/4 cups water to a boil. Add the brown rice to it and bring it to a boil. Then reduce the flame to low , cover and cook for 30 mins. When the 30 mins are up, fluff the rice with a fork, keep it covered for another 15 mins.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a sauté pan . Add mustard seeds. 

Once the mustard seeds splutter, add curry leaves, urad dal, Chana dal,green chillies, ginger, hing and peanut halves one after the other. 

Sauté for a couple of minutes until the lentil and peanuts turn slightly golden in color.

Add the cranberry purée, salt and sugar and sauté for 2 more minutes.

Now add the cooked brown rice and mix gently but thoroughly.

Garnish with freshly grated coconut and/or coriander leaves ( cilantro). This last step is optional. 

Serve hot. I am bringing this to the wonderful Angie's Fiesta Friday #96.

Cooking made easy:

I always look for ways to make my weeknight dinners more efficient. One of my tricks is to make cranberry rice using Cranberry Chutney. I make a big batch of cranberry chutney and use it instead of the cranberry pulp in the above recipe. You can find the recipe for cranberry chutney here.

Tip for healthy living:

Cranberries is a superfood that is a powerhouse of antioxidants. They are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. They are a rich source of vitamin C and dietary fiber. It is known to prevent and help treat urinary tract infection.


Food for thought:

All great achievements require time. Maya Angelou

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