In our last issue, we featured local Indian chef Jeff Leininger. He taught us how to make a few Indian dishes (that I have yet to try with out his tutelage). We had so many beautiful photos from that night and the food was so good we talked him into sharing another dish that he thought most could prefect on their own at home. These photos are from the meal he cooked for us!
(rice dish that will serve 4, as an accompaniment to entrees)
[You’ll need a wide, semi-shallow, heavy bottom pan with a tight fitting lid.]
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Vegetable Pulao Follows Up Our Indian Food Lesson
- Basmati Rice (grown in India/aged 1 year): ½ cup
- Ghee: 2-3 Tablespoons
- Salt: 1/2 Teaspoon or to taste
- Lemon/Lime Juice: juice of ½ lemon or lime
- Water: 1 Cup
- Sweet Onion: ¼ cup sliced or diced
- Mixed Vegetables: 1 & 1/2 Cups cut into small pieces (cauliflower/squash/carrots/green beans/etc.
- Saffron threads: 1/2 Teaspoon
- Green Curry Leaves: 5-6 (or 1/2 tsp dried green curry leaf powder)
- Fenugreek seed powder (Methi dana): 1/2 Teaspoon
- Asafoetida Powder (Hing): ½ Teaspoon
- Red Chili powder (Mirch): 1/2 Teaspoon or to taste
- Black Cardamom Pods (Kala Eliachi): 4
- Black Cumin Seeds (Shah Jeera): ½ Teaspoon
- Black Mustard Seeds: ½ Teaspoon
- Fresh Cilantro: enough to garnish
- Measure out the rice and water exactly and separately. Set them by the stove top, and add the lemon juice to the water. Do not rinse or soak the rice.
- Put the onion and vegetables next to the stovetop.
- Mix the powdered spices, and set them next o the stove top.
- To your pan, add the ghee, cardamons, and mustard seeds. Turn to medium/medium high.
- When the mustards seeds splutter, add the green curry leaves and cumin seeds and fry them for a few seconds.
- Add the onions and salt, and fry them until they just begin to take on a golden color.
- Add the powdered spices, mix in, then immediately add the dry rice.
- Fry the dry rice in the ghee for several minutes or until the grains of rice begin to take on a little color. Just flip the pan to get even frying; do not stir or the grains of rice will break.
- Add the water/lemon juice mix and stir several times to distribute salt, ghee, and spices. Turn the heat to high. At this point you can taste the water to see if the salt level is to your liking.
- When the water boils, add the vegetables, and boil the mix without a lid for several minutes, or until the water has reduced to the level of the rice.
- Sprinkle the saffron threads around evenly, cover tightly, and reduce the heat to low.
- Allow the rice to slowly cook for about 15-20 on this low setting.
- Turn off the heat and allow the rice to rest for an additional 15-20 minutes.
- Carefully fluff with a fork and serve, garnished with the fresh cilantro.