you are what you eat

Lunch in the Park

In Islam, Friday is the most important day of the week. A special Jummua prayer is given in the Mosque, and many families return home, to enjoy a special meal with the family.This meal is most often one based on rice, and is often accompanied with a salad, something sweet for dessert and maybe a sweet starter.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we are away from home, and have tried to keep the Friday tradition going. The parks and beaches in and around San Diego are beautiful, safe and an ideal place to have a picnic! With the grass as our blanket and blue sunny skies above we feasted on a delicious, healthy meal followed by a fun game of tag…

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Packing our lunch into a basket and heading for Prayer is so exciting! Here is an easy rice recipe that packs well and still delicious if slightly on the cold side.

You will need:

– 1 cup long grain rice, rinsed and soaked for an hour or over night

– 150g lean ground beef

– 1 brown onion, chopped

– 1/4 cup chopped green pepper

– 1/4 cup sweetcorn kernels

– 2 grated carrots

– 1/4 cup green beans- cut into 2cm sized pieces

– 1/2 cup chopped italian tomatoes

– 2 tsp jeeru

– 3 tsp ground dhana

– 1 tsp arad

– 3 whole elachi pods

– 3 cloves

– cinnamon sticks

– 1/2 tsp salt

– ginger garlic paste

– red chillies (the amount depending on how much heat you want the dish to have)

– the juice of 1/2 a small lemon

– 1 T vinegar

– Saffron water


– Rinse and drain the mince. Rinse and soak the rice. Set these aside.

– Heat a medium sized pot with 1 T oil. By using non stick pots, you will need less oil as the onion wont stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the onion an jeeru, stirring until soft, lower the heat and add the mince. Stirring well, and removing any clumps with a spoon. Once the mince has changed colour, add the carrot, green pepper and the rest of the vegetables, mixing well before adding the tomatoes and spices.

– Lower the heat and close the lid, and allow the mince to stew with the vegetables. You will need less than 5 minutes- do not let the water or tomato to burn away.

– Throw over the rice, and drizzle with saffron water. Close the lid and let the pot steam.

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– Halfway through cooking you can stir the rice through the curry if you want to make sure its not burning at the bottom. If the water has burnt out, and the rice is not steamed yet, add a little bit more water as needed.

– I do sometimes add half a cubed and boiled potato to the mix, but very rarely. I know that with many traditional Indian meals, potato is a must- but remember that potato is a starch just like rice- and will contribute to weight gain if eaten in large amounts. Keep the potato to a small baby potato, and limit fried side dishes.

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– Once done, portion into containers, and pack together with a salad, a little dressing, yoghurt, cutlery and water to be enjoyed at your picnic!


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This entry was posted on November 17, 2014 by in Rice and tagged , , .
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