It is has not been the sunniest of summers. I have recently dared look back at a few 2011/2012 summer posts (hiding behind my hands) and saw words like “the sun is splitting the rocks,” and “long, warm days” and, my personal favourite for its high cringe factor: ” it’s el scorchio here at casa food to glow.”
So, bearing in mind the less than inflated temperatures of late (summer really was on a Tuesday; sometime in May, I think), salads have had to compete with soups, bakes, cooked grains and seared proteins for our affection.
Speaking of cooked grains, I had oat porridge this morning, accompanied by fuzzy socks and – this is no word of a lie – a scarf. Andrew came downstairs early this morning, bleary eyed and slightly befuddled before his shower, to be greeted with me sat on the sofa, cat on my lap, warm bowl of peachy porridge in hand, and a scarf around my neck. The trail of scarves in our bedroom as I pulled one away in the dark should have prepared him.
In this Malaysian-inspired and easily knocked-together dish the brown, whole grain rice is cooked with coconut milk and toasted coconut, then topped with seared and spiced vegetables and paneer – that deliciously high-fat Indian cheese that barbecues and griddles so well. I have cheated with bought sambal oelek, but the cheese is homemade and nearly as supple as its doppelgänger, tofu – the latter of which you could use instead. And the baby vegetables are quite cute, but if you have none to hand then of course do use sliced vegetables. One hint on the cooking: start a bit hot to get those glorious grill marks, then lower the temperature to cook the vegetables all the way through. Or slather veggies in the sauce and lay on crumpled foil and bake in a 200C/400F oven to glistening perfection: no kebab sticks required.
How has your summer weather shaped up? Are you hot and bothered, or cool as a cucumber? What recipe best epitomises your summer weather and mood? Share your best link.
Malaysian Griddled Paneer and Vegetable Kebab Bowl with Brown Coconut Rice
I’ve used paneer here, but why not change out the paneer for tofu or tempeh? Can’t find sambal oelek? Use good ol’ sweet chilli sauce, Chinese garlic chilli sauce or sriracha as options. Oh, and the amounts of everything here are really up to you: what’s listed is a minimum!
You will need: 4 skewers and a stovetop griddle pan, or foil-lined baking tray; small lidded pot for hob or oven (I bake my rice)
8 okra OR baby sweet peppers
8 baby zucchini/courgettes OR 10 rounds of larger ones
10 cherry/grape tomatoes
120g paneer cheese (half a usual pack, or my recipe) OR firm, pressed tofu or tempeh – cut into 8 cubes
1 tsp runny honey – optional (only use if the sambal has no sweetness)
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp liquid coconut oil or other oil of choice
1 medium carrot, grated or spiralized
½ onion, finely chopped
1 tsp coconut oil or oil of choice
½ c brown rice or brown and wild rice mix (I use the latter) – or quinoa if you don’t eat grains
½ cup coconut milk
¾ cup water
1 lime leaf or strip of lime peel
¼ cup toasted coconut – optional
Extra lime, to serve
1. Mix the sambal oelek with the honey, lime juice and coconut oil. Wipe the griddle pan with a little oil and heat over a medium-high. You could also do this on the barbecue.
2. Thread the vegetables and cheese onto the skewers and paint with the sambal oelek sauce, keeping the extra sauce handy to dab on as needed.
3. While the griddle pan is heating sauté the onion in oil, add the rice, lime leaf, coconut and cover with coconut milk and water. Bring to the boil, then lower to a bare simmer and cover. Cook very gently until the liquid is absorbed – about 45 minutes. I do my rice in a cast iron pot in the oven, starting it on the stove/hob and baking in the oven for about 45 minutes at 200C/400F.
4. As the rice is cooking griddle the kebabs, basting with more sauce and turning frequently to prevent burning. Serve over the cooked rice with a large pinch of spiralised carrot and a really good squeeze of lime.
Note: This recipe is easily doubled or tripled. You may cook the kebabs ahead of eating (the day before is fine) and gently warm in the oven while you cook the rice. I don’t recommend reheating rice, especially brown rice. This is why. I know from painful experience that this warning is valid.
Grain Bowls and Paneer on Food To Glow:
Related Recipes from Others:
Kale and Tomato Brown Rice Bowls – Amuse Your Bouche
Paneer Malai – Kavey Eats
Kale Rice Bowl – 101 Cookbooks
Paneer Amritsari – Indian Healthy Recipes
Baked Sriracha Tempeh Bowls – The Muffin Myth
Barley, Tomato, Paneer, Channa Dal and Cashew Nut Salad – Deena Kakaya
I have popped this over to a few sharing blogs: