Tag Archives: Indian food

Basmati Rice

I have to admit that more often then not I don’t take the time to steam my own rice on the stove top.  I love those rice packages that you stick in the microwave for 90 seconds and then wala! You have rice.  However, when I take the time to make a delicious curry, I take the extra 20 minutes to make this rice.  The subtle spices hint of exotic places and truly enhance any Indian dish it is served with.
It’s actually fairly quick and easy with only one extra step before starting the rice on a simmer.  The spices are all whole so do be aware of them when you serve the rice.  That cinnamon stick might be a little woody to gnaw on.
In a pinch I have used regular white rice in place of the basmati and 1 tsp of onion powder instead of the onion.  Both times it was still fabulous.

Basmati Rice

slightly adapted from Cooks Illustrated
1 Tbs canola or vegetable oil
2 inch piece of cinnamon stick, halved
2 cardamom pods
1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
2 whole cloves
1 cup basmati rice
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup water
1.  Heat oil in medium saucepan over high heat until almost smoking.  Add whole spices and cook, stirring until they pop.  Add onions and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes.
2.  Stir in rice and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.

3.   Add water and salt; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover tightly and simmer until all the water has been absolved, abut 17 minutes.  Let stand, covered, 10 minutes.  Fluff with a fork.

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Filed under Recipes, Side Dish

Curry with Sweet Potatoes, Eggplant, Mushrooms, and Chickpeas



I’m a big lover of Indian food but have to admit that I don’t frequent the local restaurants much.  Mostly because I have no idea what I’m ordering and am always worried I’m going to get something I don’t like.  Luckily, the wonderful people over at America’s Test Kitchen took all the effort out of searching the web for recipes to make at home.  Plus, if it’s from ATK, it has an 90% chance of being delicious.

I did slightly alter the recipe (I substituted mushrooms for the green beans) and chose not to seed the serrano chile (it was tiny and I like a little heat) but otherwise it uses all of their perfect portions of seasonings and cooking methods.  I would encourage you to do your own vegetable substitutions for whatever you have in the fridge.  Just add it at the appropriate cooking time (ie potatoes and squash take longer to cook then green beans).

The fragrance that will permeate you kitchen (and entire house) will make you think you were in your favorite Indian food restaurant.
Serve over basmati rice and/or with Nann.

Curry with Sweet Potatoes, Eggplant, Mushrooms, and Chickpeas

adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
makes 4-6 servings
2 Tbs curry powder
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
4 Tbs vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped fine
12 oz sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs grated fresh ginger
1 serrano chile, minced
1 Tbs tomato paste
12 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, pulsed in a food processor until nearly smooth
1 1/4 cup water
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1/4 cup heavy cream or coconut milk
1.  Toast curry powder and garam masala in small skillet over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until spices darken slightly and become fragrant, about 1 minute.  Set aside.
2.  Heat 3 Tbs of oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add onions and potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are caramelized and potatoes are golden brown on the edges.
3.  Reduce heat to medium.  Add remaining Tbs of oil, garlic, ginger, chile, and tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly for 30 seconds.  Add toasted spices and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.  Add mushroom and eggplant and cook, stirring constantly until spices coat the vegetables, about 2 minutes.

4.  Add tomatoes, water, chickpeas, and 1 tsp salt; increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to medium.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 10-15 minutes.  Stir in cream or coconut milk; continue to cook until heated through, about 2 minutes longer.


Filed under Main Dish, Recipes, Vegetarian