Brown Rice Kimono Balls

“I cook, I roll 
Wrap it up nice,
Like a pretty little doll
That has no vice.
With ribbons of red
A bite fulfilling,
This bundle of joy
Is a gift worth giving.
Soft and comforting
With a crunch outside,
No bake, no fry
Just some fuss-less rice.”
For the rice
¾ cup brown rice
½ cup chickpeas, boiled
1 small potato, cut into cubes
½ onion, diced
½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup grated carrots
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon amchoor (dry mango) powder
½ teaspoon garam masala
2 cloves, crushed
1 bay leaf
1 green cardamom
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt & pepper
For the Kimono covers
1 cup puffed rice or rice crackers, crushed
Red pepper ribbons, using a potato peeler
Heat oil in a deep pan and add the cardamom, cloves, bay leaf, garlic, ginger, onions and cumin seeds and cook till onion turns transparent. Add the brown rice and stir till well so that all the grains of rice are coated with oil. Add the remaining ingredients, except the amchoor and spinach leaves, along with 3 cups of water. Cover and cook on low-medium flame for 40-45 minutes, till the rice is really soft and all the liquid has been absorbed. Add more water in case the rice is not cooked or if required. Add the spinach leaves and amchoor and cook for a few minutes on high flame till the spinach just wilts. Remove from heat and discard the bay leaf, cardamom and pieces of cloves (if you can find them!) Keep aside to cool. You'll be amazed how flavorful the rice is since it cooked in the fresh vegetable broth- no more bouillon cubes. Hurrah!
Put a teaspoon of the rice in your palms and roll into small balls. Coat with the crushed rice puffs -I wanted a little texture so I only partially crushed the puffed rice. The finer you grind, the more even the coating will be. Wrap in a red pepper ribbon and serve immediately. A bite sized snack or a complete meal if you can't stop yourself at a few!

Don't they look cute?!