This is the third and penultimate recipe in my first party menu series. This recipe is from the book "India's Vegetarian Cooking-A Regional Guide" by Monisha Bharadwaj. It's a great book, with delicious-looking recipes. The photograph for this recipe was particularly yummilicious (in the book) but unfortunately, my photography skills could not do justice to the dish, so please bear with me.
This is a very simple and flavorsome rice preparation. Even though I stuck with the ingredients given in the book, I made modifications regarding the method of cooking the rice. In the book, it says to add the coconut milk in two stages, and did not require the rice or vegetables to be stir-fried. I stir-fried the rice and vegetables and added the coconut milk all at once, partly because that's the way I always do it and partly because I was short on patience and time (with my lil impish baby-turned toddler standing at my feet demanding my attention-after all, how much can you keep a 16-month-old occupied with playing with pots and pans and assorted toys!). I also did not use fresh coconut milk-I almost never do, for any recipe. But if you want to, there would be nothing better to bring out the authentic taste of this dish!
To serve 6
- 3 cups basmati rice, washed and soaked for 15 minutes and drained well
- 6 cups coconut milk (use fresh or tinned-I used 6 tablespoons coconut milk powder dissolved in 6 cups water)
- 3 tablespoons sunflower oil or ghee
- 1 medium onion, sliced thin
- 10 black peppercorns
- 3 cloves
- 3 green cardamom pods, crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 capsicum, deseeded and sliced
- 3 tablespoons fresh or frozen green peas
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 2 tablespoons cashewnuts
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil/ghee.
- Add the onions and fry till golden brown.
- Add the whole spices and bayleaves and stir for 1 min, until they pop and sizzle.
- Now add the rice and stir-fry on high heat for 1 minute, or until the rice starts popping here and there.
- Add the capsicum and green peas and fry for about 30 seconds.
- Now add the coconut milk and salt. Let it boil and bubble, then reduce to simmer and cover until cooked through and all the fluid has been absorbed.
- To garnish, heat 1 tablespoon oil/ghee in a small saucepan and fry the raisins and cashewnuts until golden brown. It's better to do this on a low flame, one after the other, as the raisins get to the golden stage much quicker than the cashewnuts.
- Pour this over the rice and serve hot.
The recipe listed green capsicum, but I used red, as I thought it would make a prettier visual contrast to the green color of the peas.
For the other recipes in this menu series, please see: