This recipe for Cauliflower Rice pilaf is simply good for many reasons. It nicely combines turmeric and cumin with caramelized onions, halved garlic cloves and a little heat from a jalapeno pepper. And, because this pilaf has a solid amount of cauliflower florets in it you're actually getting a serving of vegetable.
I skipped adding the cilantro in the rice pilaf and instead used it in our dinner's main dish- grilled chicken with a cilantro mint rub. Delicious!
Cauliflower Rice Pilaf (serves 4)
adapted from "Vij's: Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine" by Vikram Vij, Meeru Dhalwala
1 cup basmati rice
2 cups water
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1-2 tablespoons grape seed oil
1/2 onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, halved
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 jalapeno pepper, diced
handful of chopped cilantro
Prepare the rice according to the back of the bag. In a medium pot with a lid, combine rice, water and butter on high heat. As soon as the rice starts to boil vigorously, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 18 to 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, but do not remove the lid. Allow rice to sit for about 5 minutes, then remove the lid and set aside.
To prepare the cauliflower: In a separate frying pan or a wok, heat cumin seeds in oil on medium-high heat. Once seeds have sizzled for 30 to 45 seconds, reduce the heat to medium and add onions. Saute the onion for about 10-15 minutes or until the onions start to caramelize. Add cloves and continue to saute for a few for minutes. Then add turmeric, jalapeno and salt, and saute for another 2 minutes. Add cauliflower, stir well and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for another 5 to 8 minutes, until cauliflower is cooked but still firm and not too soft.
Add cauliflower to rice and combine well. Add cilantro and stir with a large fork until the rice is completely yellow from the turmeric.