Shital's-Kitchen: Rice Cooker Pilaf with Caramelized Onions

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Rice Cooker Pilaf with Caramelized Onions

Ah, my long awaited wait came to an end! Finally bought a rice cooker in 'after Christmas sale' from Macy's :)  This is another tool in my kitchen that I would love to experiment with not just cooking rice, but also other dishes.

Here is my Black & Decker 16 cup rice cooker. There was a small one and a larger one was available, but I just wanted to go with this mid sized one. There were other brands too, but this was the only one familiar to me :) So, I spent $30 on this, and it comes with a nonstick cooking pot with glass lid, steamer, measuring cup and spatula. When I saw this, the first thing that came to my mind was that this appliance is great for people who are not familiar with cooking, because the auto shut off function can prevent the food from over cooking and sticking to the pot. I like it!

I like to use whole grain Kohinoor Basmati rice.

Pour a tbsp. of ghee/ clarified butter in the rice cooking cooking pot.

Plug it in and you will see the indicator light for warm. When you push down the button, this is when the cooking light glows and cooking begins.

As the pot gets heated,  the ghee melts. Add spices of your choice and saute for a minute.

Cloves, pepper corn, star anise, cinnamon, green chillies, cardamom, bay leaf, cumin seeds.

With a bit of sauteing I did here, the indicator light automatically switched off to warm. I did not panic. I turned it on after adding veggies and rice :)

Add veggies of your choice. I just had carrots and peas in my refrigerator, but I do like to use green beans and beetroots.

Add in washed rice with double the amount of water and salt to taste. Mix well. Cover, turn the indicator switch to cooking mode and let the cooker do its job.

I was so excited about this new appliance, that I just stood there and watched it do its work. Meanwhile, I thought of caramelizing some onions for taste, texture, and garnish.

Heat 1 tsp. ghee or oil in a pan. Add sliced onions and saute on medium heat till they turn golden brown and sweet.

In exactly 20 minutes. The light went off to warm. This means cooking was done and now the rice cooker would keep the rice warm till we were ready to eat.

Just couldn't wait to take a taste this delicious warm rice.

In fact, I had to get some out in a bowl :)

Garnish with caramelized onions.

And, it was delicious!!

Remove the rest of the rice in serving bowl. Garnish with few peas and caramelized onions. I would also garnish with toasted cashews if I had some :(

My quick fix raita dip with ingredients I had in my pantry. 
Whisk 1 cup yogurt with a pinch of salt. For crunch, add Haldiram's fried Chana Dal snack and chopped cilantro.

Sliced tomatoes and veggie chips on the side.

A great appliance for quick fix meals without using various pots and pans. Another great part is the temperature control system which would prevent food from over cooking.

Keep all your ingredients ready in the pot. Just turn it on when your guests arrive, and while you enjoy some drinks and snacks with your guests, the cooker does the work for you in 20 minutes. It will also keep the rice warm to prevent reheating and microwaving.
A quick and delicious meal ready to be served!!

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