Saturday, September 10, 2011

Baked Rice, Raita and 3 Curries

I love Indian baked rice and was so happy to find the recipe I gave on last Monday's show. It takes a little time but is really worth it once you taste the various flavors.

Baked Indian Rice

3 cups while basmati rice
4 cups chicken stock
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cups slivered almonds
1 large onion, halved and cut into thin half moon slices
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, halved and sliced crosswise
1 teaspoon Garum Masala
1 teaspoon finely minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt

Wash rice in several changes of water until water is clear having removing most of the starch. Let drain for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Heat oil in a heavy, oven-proof pot over medium heat. Add almonds and fry until golden. Remove and drain on paper towels.
Add onion to pot and cook stirring until golden. Add garlic, jalapeño, garum masala, ginger and salt and cook stirring for one minutes.
Add rice, reduce heat and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
Add stock and cook at a lively simmer until rice becomes dry on top.
Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Removed from oven and let rest for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with almonds and serve.

A raita can be as simple as some plain yogurt with a little seasoning or can almost be an entire salad. The main ingredient is, of course, yogurt. There are so many kinds with so many different ingredients. I offered a simple one. To me, a curry without some sort of a raita is undressed.

Tomato and Onion Raita

2 cups yogurt
1 half medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 medium tomato, diced
1 small serano chili, minced
several mint leaves, minced
Salt to taste

Mix all ingredients and let stand, covered, in the refrigerator for several hours.

The next recipe is one I came up with when I wanted to combine a vegetable curry with one based solely on legumes. I have changed it from time to time but still prefer my original. Basmati rice and a simple raita makes this satisfying. Of course, some naan could not hurt it.

Legume and Vegetable Curry

half pound each of garbanzos, split peas and lentils
2 tsp tumeric
1 large onion chopped
med head of cauliflower divided into florets
2 largish potatoes chopped
3 tomatoes chopped
For Tempering Oil
1/3 cup veg oil
1 teas cumin seed
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
two inches of ginger minced
10 small dried hot chilies broken up
3 cloves garlic minced
3-inch stick of cinnamon
To Finish
salt to taste
2 tsp garam masala

Soak garbanzos overnight and then place in a large pot along with the other legumes.
Add tumeric and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 min.
Add chopped onion and simmer for 10 minutes longer.
Add chopped vegetables and continue cooking until tender.
In a skillet, heat oil and add garlic and spices stirring constantly to avoid burning for 2 min. If you find that they are starting to burn add a tablespoon or so of water and continue frying.
Pour contents of skillet into pot containing legumes and veg.
Cook slowly for 10 more min. after correcting for salt.
Add garam masala and cook a few more minutes.

Chicken Vindaloo was my introduction to Indian food and had me hooked after the first bite.

There are many good recipes out there but I am offering the first one I ever made and one which I return to now and again even though I have become quite a fan of Pork Vindaloo. (For a great recipe for this, check out Suvir Saran's Indian Home Cooking.)

Chicken Vindaloo

1 large onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoon butter
3 sprigs fresh coriander, minced
2 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon crushed dried red chilies
1 teaspoon dry mustard
One 1-inch peiced of fresh ginger root, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup or more distilled white vinegar
3 pounds chicken pieces

In a large skillet, sauté the onion and garlic in the butter until they are soft and golden but not brown. Grind the herbs and spices in a spice mill. Add them to the onion and garlic, stirring so they do not stick or burn. Add a little water if need be. Add enough vinegar to make a smooth paste. Cover the chicken pieces with the paste and marinade in refrigerator for 1 to several hours. (The longer the time the spicier the chicken will be.)
In a large skillet, place chicken and its marinade adding enough water to reconstitute the paste. Cook on low, covered, for an hour adding more water if needed.
Serve with rice and a raita.

The Quick Fix of the show was also a curry albeit one from Thailand instead of India. But every bit as good. On many a night when I hadn't planned ahead and found myself short of time, I have turned to this delicious curry which takes no more time to cook than the Jasmine rice over which you serve it.

Red Chicken Thai Curry

50 grams red curry paste (Mae Ploy)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Half pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips 3x1 inches
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
A mixture of sliced bamboo shoots, red onions and baby corn (about 6 oz)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
Thai basil (or regular if Thai basil is not available)

Fry curry paste in oil until melted.
Add 1 cup of the coconut milk and heat to simmering.
Add chicken and cook a few minutes.
Add the rest of the coconut milk along with 1/2 cup water and heat to simmering.
Add vegetables and cook until onions are tender.
Add sugar, remove from heat, add several sprigs of basil and serve with hot Jasmine rice.

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