Sunday, September 23, 2007

Savoury rice bake

A few days ago, when I went through this recipe in my inbox, my first thought was that the dish when finished would look about as unappetising as a train wreck. But I went ahead and tried it anyway, because it was a TNT (Tried 'N' Tested) recipe... which meant that the person who sent it to the food group must have tried it and liked it. The second reason was that I wasnt in the mood to make anything elaborate and this one-pot dish was just a god-send.

I'm glad I did try it, because it tasted wonderful - the top layers of cheese and ripe red tomatoes was like pizza... but then the rice layer came into its own, luscious with vegetables and loaded with flavours! The one change I would make the next time I make this, is to substitute flavoured cream cheese (garlic-chive, most probably) for the cottage cheese as originally specified in the recipe. It tasted fine, but I have to say the cottage cheese didnt look very nice because of its lumpy character. I ended up with little bumpy white flecks all over and I have to say that it was not what anybody would call "eye candy".

But the savoury bake tasted fantastic - and when you can get your carbs, veggies and proteins all from one easy dish, I for one wont be complaining! Along with its simplicity, the versatility of this dish is also something I like - you can add pretty much any vegetables you like as long as you make it two cupfuls. If you need to feed more than 3 people, just scale up the recipe as you feel fit, add an extra egg or two, and so on. The possibilities are many!

Recipe for:
Savoury rice bake


2 cups cooked or leftover rice
1 egg, beaten
2 cups mixed chopped vegetables (I used onions, bell peppers, spinach and fresh corn)
2-3 ripe red tomatoes, sliced 1/2cm thick
3/4 cup cottage cheese (or use cream cheese if preferred)
1/3 cup + 2 tbsp low-fat cheddar cheese, grated
3 tbsp sharp parmesan cheese
1 tsp smoked paprika powder
1 tsp black peppercorns, powdered
2 green chillies, minced (optional)
2 tbp fresh herbs to taste, minced (oregano, basil, parsley, etc)
Salt to taste


1. Heat the oven to 180C.

2. In a lightly greased casserole dish, put in the rice, vegetables, cottage/cream cheese, 2 tbsp cheddar, 2 tbsp parmesan, the smoked paprika, black pepper, green chillies (if using), the fresh herbs and salt to taste, and mix well.

3. Check seasoning and adjust to taste, then pour in the beaten egg and mix again.

4. Smooth the top of the rice mix.

5. Now layer the sliced tomatoes in overlapping circles to cover the top of the casserole.

6. Sprinkle over the 1/3 cup cheddar cheese and the remaining 1 tbsp parmesan cheese.

7. Bake at 180C for about 45 minutes or till the cheese is bubbling and golden.

Allow the casserole to rest for 5 minutes, then serve hot along with steamed vegetables.


Asha said...

Looks delicious, makes a great Sunday brunch!:))

sra said...

Like the beans-y decoration, Shyam! Giggled when I read about the bumpy little white flecks - we are hopeless at PR, that's for sure, I give such descriptions too, or say this dish proved too expensive to make, not good. But the last photo is really appetising!

Happy cook said...

It looks delicious. Especially the last pic

bee said...

i like them bumpy white flecks!!!

Shyam said...

Asha: Thanks!

Sra: Yes... PR isnt my forte :) Besides, there's no point trying to gloss over the bad stuff - people are just going to think "ooh you liar" eventually... esply if they try the recipe! :)

Happy Cook: Thank you! The cheese is a nice way to cover up the less nice bits :D

Bee: You're kidding me! :D

Rajitha said... does look good and one pot meal..

Shyam said...

Thanks, Rajitha! :)

TheCooker said...

Those bumps look ok to me ;)
Cream cheese in a rice bake...that sounds good too!

Suganya said...

What is there to complain? They look perfectly good to me. Love the baked top. I will have only that :D

Priyanka said...

Lovely recipe Shyamla...easy and yummy..however i will substitute the eggs with white sauce. and congratulations on ur 250th post. it is really an achievement. great going:)

Shyam said...

The Cooker: It did to me too! I wish I'd thought of cream cheese before I used the cottage cheese :)

Suganya: I'm not complaining, exactly... just - um, whingeing a little :) And you've gotta have the whole shebang, not just the top layer :D

Priyanka: Do let me know if the white sauce variation works.

Vidya said...

Shyam, Thank you so much. This morning i was getting on my husband's nerves that i was bored adn wanted to eat something nice for lunch. then my littlest one was slightly under the weather, I discovered this dish on your blog, and threw in all leftovers and stuck it in the oven. As I type, lovely smells are wafting through the house. Thank you for my totally inspired lunch! keep them coming.

Shyam said...

Hi Vidya, Thanks for the comment! It's always so nice to know when someone finds something useful on my blog :)