Pumpkin and Courgette Rice.

I like rice due to its versatility when it comes to flavours and the fact that it goes so well with many other dishes. It also cooks fast and is not hard to mess up.

My rice of choice is always basmati rice. I like the long grains, the aroma and that it doesn’t get sticky or clumpy. The preferred local rice here does have a lovely aroma and flavour, but I use that for rice balls as it is short and a bit sticky.

This is a simple rice pilau that uses pumpkin and courgette for flavour, colour and nutrients. It is a great lunch option for the kids’ lunchbox and also a way to ensure they are loaded up on those much needed vegetables.

We will need: One chopped onion, one grated courgette, 1 cup chopped pumpkin, some crushed garlic, 1 cup basmati rice, salt and pepper to taste. For spices I used one tsp whole cumin seeds, 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric and 1 tsp ground pilau masala spice blend. I have shared my pilau masala mix on a previous post here.

Heat your sauce pan and add one tablespoon of cooking oil as well as the cumin seeds. Once the cumin starts sputtering, add the onion and let cook a while then add some garlic and the spices. Mix well and let cook a while, make sure they do not burn.

Add your pumpkin next.

Let the pumpkin cook completely in the masala mix till it is soft and mashed up. Then add the courgette and mix well, as well as salt and pepper.

The pumpkin may not be seen clearly but the flavour and taste are still present in the dish.

Add your cleaned rice, mix well to make sure each grain is covered with the oil /masala mix. Then add your 2 cups of water. Cover and lower the heat to low.

The simmering ensures the rice cooks evenly and all the water is absorbed.

The rice is tender, full of flavour and well cooked with no clumps or rice sticking to the bottom.

Fluff with a fork and serve with your accompaniment of choice.

I had mine with chana dal and mince curry, mint potatoes and some avocado slices. Yummy and filling!

Another meal that is nutritious, colourful, filling, has a wonderful aroma and is very tasty which is all we want in a home cooked meal right?

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