This dish took me out of my cooking comfort zone, but it was delicious! Jon especially loved it. Erin got this recipe from an Indian cooking class and it is now a staple food for her family. They also eat this with naan (Indian flat bread).
Basmati Rice with Carrots
a delicate, fragrant Indian rice dish
1 c basmati rice*
1 small onion, diced
3 medium carrots, diced
1 bay leaf
4 black peppercorns*
¼ tsp cumin seeds
1 Tbsp light vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
2 Tbsp butter
2 tsp kosher salt
Wash the rice in cool water, squeezing gently with your fingers until the water runs clear.* Put the rice in about 2 cups of cool water to soak for 20 minutes. Strain soak water into a saucepan and heat. Leave rice to dry in strainer. Preheat oven to 350°.
While rice is drying, chop onion finely and set aside. Dice carrots and set aside. Measure spices into a small bowl. When rice is dry, heat oil in an oven-proof skillet or casserole dish over medium-high heat. Add spices. When spices become fragrant, add butter and onions. Cook until onions are tender and light golden brown. Add carrots and cook for 3 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring very gently for 5 minutes. Add salt and heated soak water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until water on top of rice has boiled off. Cover tightly and cook in the oven for 20 minutes at 350°. Remove from oven, let rest for 10 minutes, then serve with curry.
*You can find basmati rice from Costco ($1.15/lb), Winco ($1.58/lb), Macey's ($1.99/lb), or an Indian grocery shop. It is important to handle the rice gently so that the grains are not broken. It is also important to use whole spices; ground spices would overpower the rice.
Curry for Basmati Rice Pilaf* (New homemade recipe below)
½ c sour cream (or plain yogurt)
3-6 Tbsp Patak’s Tikka Masala curry paste (the more, the spicier)*
1 lb diced chicken breast (~7 tenders)
1 medium onion, diced
2 Tbsp vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
1 c canned tomatoes with juice (use petite diced w/o seasoning; if using fresh tomatoes, you may want to add up to 1 c water)
½ c sour cream (I forgot to add this at the end and it was still wonderful.)
Combine sour cream and paste. Add chicken. Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight. Sauté onions until golden. Add chicken and sauté until sealed. Add tomatoes with juice and simmer ~5 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Stir in sour cream just before serving. Serve with hot, cooked rice.
*You can find this curry paste at Target ($3.99) or Macey's ($5.19). It will make this recipe about 3 times.
Homemade Chicken Tikka Masala (from 71toes)
1 c plain yogurt
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ - 1 tsp cayenne pepper (originally 2 tsp)
1 tsp black pepper (originally 2 tsp)
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger (or 2 tsp ground)
1 tsp salt
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Combine all marinade ingredients, then pour over chicken and refrigerate for at least an hour. Grill or cook chicken and discard marinade.
1 Tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
½ jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (originally 1)
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika (originally 2)
½ tsp salt
8oz can tomato sauce
1 c cream
¼ c chopped cilantro
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for one minute. Add cumin, paprika and salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low until sauce thickens ~20 min. Add grilled chicken and simmer for 10 more minutes. Serve over rice and garnish with fresh cilantro and sour cream or plain yogurt, if desired.
I have made all of these recipes myself. I always try to show the original source of the recipe, but am constantly editing them to suit our tastes (so technically they should all say "Adapted from..."). The portions are generally small since my family doesn't consume much food in one sitting.
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*I have recently added a $ label to show that I've calculated the price of the recipe. All prices include 3% food tax.*