Pesto & Bell Pepper Rice

Lent, a solemn religious observance for Christians is a period that lasts approximately 6 weeks between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. During this time one is urged to give up vices or temptations of any kind. Most Christians make a personal decision to give up all or some kinds of non vegetarian food. While the focus is not on food I will try and post as many vegetarian recipes as possible this Lent. So, keeping the many requests in mind, here's a simple yet flavorful recipe for a one pot meal that you can put together in a jiffy. It is perfect for those who are in a hurry to cook a nutritious meal and can be made for your weekday dinner. All you need is some cooked rice and you can serve this in no time. I used homemade basil pesto sauce that I made from a ton of basil that I picked up at the farmer's market here. You can use store bought pesto or even make some using coriander leaves at home. I will post the recipe soon. 

This dish was born because I had half a bottle of pesto waiting to be finished and plus wanted to make something simple for lunch. I paired it with some grilled salmon sometime ago and it was just so flavourful! The bell pepper adds to the taste and if you like, you can simply serve it with some yogurt on the side! So do give it a try!

Pesto & Bell Pepper Rice
Prep time: 5-10 mins | Cooking time: 45 mins | Serves 3-4

1. Wash the rice till the water runs clear, about 2-3 changes of water. Then soak it in plenty of water for about 10 mins if time permits. Otherwise, bring the 2-1/2 cups of water to a boil in a pressure cooker and add the washed rice. Cover with the lid and cook on a full heat for 6-7 whistles. 
2. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for 25 mins. Remove the cooker from the heat and when it cools down to room temperature (whistle comes off easily), open, fluff with a fork and keep aside.
3. Heat oil in a wok/kadai or pan and fry the onions till they turn translucent (pale), then add the bell peppers and fry for a few seconds. Don't overcook them as we need them slightly crunchy and juicy. 
4. Add the pesto sauce and saute for a few seconds. Then add the cooked rice, salt and pepper to taste and the lime juice and give everything a quick mix. Adjust seasoning as required.
5. Serve hot!

1. If you have cooked rice, you may use the same. Instead of brown rice you can also use white rice - Cook it as you normally would and follow step# 3 onwards