Saturday, December 4, 2010

Mixed Vegetable Curry with Nut Pilau

As I've mentioned before, I try and make every Monday a day for "Meatless Monday" dinner. (Google it if you're interested in learning more about it, see who's participating, what you can make, etc.)

This recipe comes from India's 500 Best Recipes, a go-to in our house for Indian cravings. If you don't have all of the vegetables for this (or they aren't in season), you can always substitute a different hearty vegetable to keep the nutrient (and taste) level up.

Ingredients for the Curry:
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds (I only had yellow so I used those instead.)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds (I only had ground cumin, so I dashed that into the mix.)
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 curry leaves (again - just a dash of ground curry instead - Seeing a trend here?)
  • 1 fresh green chili, finely chopped
  • 1" piece fresh root ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp curry paste
  • 1 small cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 1 large carrot, thickly sliced
  • 4 oz. green beans, cut into 1" lengths
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 C frozen peas, thawed
  • 2/3 C vegetable stock
  • curry leaves, to garnish
Directions for the Curry:
  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy pan and fry the mustard seeds and cumin seeds for 2 minutes until they begin to sputter.  If they are very lively, put a lid on the pan.
  2. Add the onion and the curry leaves and fry for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the chopped chili and fresh ginger and fry for 2 minutes. Stir in the curry paste, mix well and fry for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the cauliflower florets, sliced carrot and beans, and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the turmeric, chili powder, salt and tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Finally add the thawed peas and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Pour in the stock. Cover and simmer over a low heat for 10-15 minutes until all the vegetables are tender. 
  6. Serve, garnished with curry leaves if you like.
Ingredients for the Pilau:
  • 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 large carrot, coarsely grated
  • generous 1 C basmati rice, soaked for 20-30 minutes
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds (or a couple dashes of ground cumin)
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • scant 2 C vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3/4 C unsalted walnuts and cashew nuts
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • fresh coriander (cilantro) sprigs, to garnish
Directions for the Pilau:
  1. Heat the oil in a karahi, wok or large pan. Fry the onion, garlic and carrot for 3-4 minutes. Drain the rice and add to the pan with the spices. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring to coat the grains in oil.
  2. Pour in the stock, stirring. Add the bay leaf and season well.
  3. Bring to boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer very gently for 10-12 minutes without stirring.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat without lifting the lid. Leave to stand for 5 minutes, then check the rice. If it is cooked, there will be small steam holes on the surface of the rice. Discard the bay leaf and the cardamom pods.
  5. Stir in the walnuts and cashew nuts and check the seasoning. Spoon on to a warmed platter, garnish with the fresh coriander (cilantro), and serve.
I apologize for not having any photos of this meal. Maybe this cute kitty that strolled up to my parked car window at the seawall will help you forgive me?

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