|2 tablespoons||Butter or ghee (clarified butter; doesn't burn easily)|
|1||Hot green chili -or-|
|½||Bell pepper; finely chopped|
|¼ cup||Finely chopped onion|
|½ teaspoon||Finely chopped ginger|
|1||Stick whole cinnamon; broken into several pieces|
|(ground spices could be substituted for the above)|
|1 cup||White rice|
|1 cup||Fresh (or frozen) peas|
|¼ teaspoon||Turmeric powder; optional|
|1 teaspoon||Salt (optional)|
This is in response to requests I've seen here from time to time. The following recipes are from _Flavors of India: Recipes from the Vegetarian Hindu Cuisine_, by Shanta N. Sacharoff, reprinted without permission.
Comments in parentheses are mine, and I've paraphrased some portions. I've tried these and several other recipes from this book & highly recommend it! My favorite rice is basmati, for its texture and fragrance, but you can also use jasmine rice or ordinary long-grain white rice. You may want to wash and drain the rice. If you use converted rice, increase the amount of water accordingly.
Melt the butter in a large pot over a low flame. Add the pepper, onion, ginger, and whole spices. Heat and stir continually for several min. Add the rice and continue stirring so the rice gets coated with the butter and spices. (I like to saute' the rice long enough that most of it turns a dull white color and even begins to brown a bit.) Add the peas, the water and the salt and stir. If a yellow color is desired, add the turmeric. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat again, cover the pot, and simmer about 20 min.
until the water has been absorbed and the rice is soft and fluffy. If you use canned peas, drain them and add them during the last few minutes of cooking. Serve with the whole spices left in, but warn your guests not to chomp on them.
(You can add or substitute all manner of vegetables (diced carrots, cauliflower, red & yellow bell peppers, etc.) and nuts (pine nuts, pieces of cashews or almonds or pistachios) to this dish... be imaginative!) Serves 4.
(JILL M. NICOLAUS)
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