Vegetarian pilaf with an Indian touch

A perfect dish to bring out colors and flavors and add warmth to rainy days and melancholy moods. It is based on an Indian variation of this recipe because of the spices, but it also makes me think of a dish that is common in my native area in Russia, a vegetarian pilaf. So when I was cooking it, it had a transmuting quality where my origins met new flavors and blended into a whole new recipe. This alchemical process always amazes me! I wonder what it will bring out in you, when you try it. 

The spices I used were based on what I had at home. It is very important to connect every recipe to your own environment, your mood, what you have in your fridge and the spice rack and open up to the power of this creative process. So that at the end you can fully enjoy the result of such creation without comparing it to anything, appreciating its uniqueness. 

For 4 servings. 


1 cup of rice (white or brown, I used white for this)

1 cup of chopped carrots

1 cup of chopped fresh green beans

1 onion

5 large cloves of garlic 

3 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Optional: fresh coriander leaves 1/2 cup

Whole spices: 

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon cardamom pods

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

4 cloves

1/2 cinnamon stick

3 bay leaves


Powdered spices: 

1/2 teaspoon turmeric 

1 teaspoon coriander 

salt to taste

Optional: 1/2 teaspoon red chilly powder, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg



Rince rice and soak it for 30min with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. 

Heat up a large deep pan with oil. Keeping it on low-medium heat, add all whole spices first, let them sizzle for 1min. 


Crush garlic in a mortar (or crush it with a knife and chop it coarsely) and add to the spices. Add chopped onions.


Rince rice again and add it to the spices and garlic. Mix everything together. Let it infuse for 2min.


Add all vegetables, powdered spices, salt and lemon juice.

Add 2 and 1/2 cups of boiling water if it is white rice and 3 cups if it is brown rice. Cover everything and let it cook for 20min if it is white rice and 30min if it is brown rice. 

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