Tomato Soup with Rice | Chickpea & Spinach Rice Pilaf | Recipe | Veetee

March 09, 2017

Hailing from South India, I grew up on rice (our staple food) and I can still pretty much eat rice anytime of the day. It is also a comfort food in the household, there’s nothing like coming back home to some steaming hot rice, daal and ghee after a long vacation. So goes without saying that making rice is a no brainer and not at all a messy chore for me but it does take time to cook rice for sure. And now that I am pregnant, I neither have the time nor the patience to wait 20 mins for the rice to cook (because if I am hungry I NEED to eat right away, and the reason you haven’t been seeing any food related posts from me lately, is cuz when I am done with cooking, there's little to no patience left in me to style/take food pictures and all I want to do is, again, stuff my face).



This was especially true when we returned home close to midnight, from our recent trip to Victoria, BC and I was as hungry as a bear. The moment I walked in the door, all I wanted to do was ingest some hot and tasty food and it’s not until then I realized the value of having Veetee rice handy at home (#truestory)! All I had to do was put the rice in the microwave for 2 mins and it came out as fresh and tasty as any homemade Basmati rice (I would have never guessed it if I didn’t know better). I mixed this rice with premade Puliyogare powder (something we always have a stock of at home) and dinner was ready in exactly 3 mins.

Since then, I have been trying different recipes using Veetee rice - one is the delish Tomato Soup with Rice + Basil Yogurt Drizzle recipe from their website with a few variations (listed at the end of the post). And another, one of my favorite rice dishes that’s packed with nutrition and taste, Chickpea and Spinach Pulao (aka Chickpea and Spinach Rice Pilaf), recipe below.



Chickpea and Spinach Pulao (aka Chickpea and Spinach Rice Pilaf)

Prep and cooking time: 10mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:
  • One 10.6-ounce package Veetee Basmati Rice (makes 1 ½ cups)
  • 1 cup boiled chickpeas (soak chickpeas for 5-6hrs or overnight and boil. Not me, but you could also use canned chickpeas)
  • 3 tablespoons oil or ghee
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2-3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder (start with a little and adjust according to taste)
  • 1 medium sized potato, chopped and boiled
  • 2 cups spinach
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander and mint leaves (optional)
  • ½ lemon juice (optional)

Instructions:
  1. Heat oil or ghee in a pan. Once hot, add cumin seeds and bay leaves. As the color changes, add ginger-garlic paste, onion, turmeric powder and saute until translucent.
  2. Add tomatoes, garam masala powder, red chili powder, salt and cook for 3-4 mins.
  3. Now add boiled chickpeas, boiled potatoes and spinach and saute for a minute or two.
  4. In the meantime, microwave the rice for 2 minutes as per the package instructions and add it to the cooked vegetables and mix well.
  5. Remove from heat, add lemon juice and sprinkle coriander/mint leaves and mix well
  6. Serve with yogurt (or raitha - mix yogurt with finely chopped onion, cucumber, tomatoes, coriander and salt).

Note 1: Normally, I make pulao the traditional way by making fresh garam masala and a recipe that calls for using coconut and mint leaves while grinding, but that’s for when I have all the time and not as hungry as a bear, haha! But the pulao recipe I shared here is one of the quickest and easiest ways to make pulao as it uses pre-cooked and pre-made ingredients like garam masala and requires no grinding.

Note 2: Don’t restrict yourself to using chickpeas, potato and spinach, you can use any veggies you have at home.




Tomato Soup with Rice + Basil Yogurt Drizzle recipe

I love tomato soup and as we have already established, I love rice dishes, but never did I ever think of combining the two and I think it is genius.

Check out the recipe on Veetee’s website. Below are my variations to the recipe:
  1. I added 1 bay leaf, 1 small cinnamon stick, 2-3 cloves and sauteed for a minute before adding the onions. This is for added flavor and taste.
  2. I skipped heavy cream and used cashew cream instead as I always look for healthy alternatives while cooking.
  3. I also used cayenne pepper as I love the taste it brings out in soup.
  4. And no canned tomatoes (or canned anything for that matter), I always use fresh ones.




I am glad with how Veetee rice dishes turn out every time, so fresh and tasty inspite of using pre-made/packaged rice. And with their 12 varieties of fluffy rice, making quick, easy and unbelievably delicious food has become possible... you guys, you have no idea what a blessing it is, especially when you are pressed for time and still want to eat home cooked healthy meals.
What is your healthy and quick go-to meal?

Thanks to Veetee for sending me some of their rice varieties to try! As always, all ideas and opinions expressed here are unbiased and my own.

“Exercise? I thought you said extra rice.”
xoxo,
Kusum

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