Bold seasonings and fresh vegetables turn ordinary rice into a spectacular side dish.
In a blender container or food processor bowl combine 1 cup cilantro, fresh ginger, garlic, jalapeno pepper, if using, and water. Cover and blend or process until mixture is nearly smooth. Set aside.
In a large saucepan heat oil; cook and stir onion in hot oil over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add vegetables, salt, cinnamon, and cilantro mixture. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 to 12 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in cooked rice; heat through. Transfer to a serving dish or spoon into halved green sweet peppers, if desired. Sprinkle with cashews and golden raisins; garnish with cilantro sprigs. Makes 6 side-dish servings.