Dienstag, 18. Mai 2010

more Indian food: saffron-asparagus khichadi and spinach-paneer pulao

We just love Indian food in all guises. I am also very much interested in Ayurveda, and the following kichadi comes from Amadea Morningstar‘s "Ayurvedic cookbook". Both saffron and asparagus make it a very sophisticated dish. It is apparantly excellent for reproductive health. To me, it seemed balancing and soothing to my whole person. As usual, I adapted the quantities for our taste.

a generous pinch of saffron strands
2 tbsp ghee or oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp fenugreek
a handful of curry leaves
1 medium onion, chopped
1/8 tsp asafetida
1/2 cup mung dal
1 cup basmati rice
1 bunch fresh asparagus
1 tsp salt
5-6 cups water
1/2 tsp ground cumin

The original recipe dry roasts the saffron. I found that it easily burned and didn‘t increase the flavour, so I‘d suggest soaking it in a little milk and adding with the asparagus.
Heat the ghee or oil. Brown the cumin and fenugreek, then add onion and curry leaves. Add the asafetida and stir in dal and rice. Pour over the water (the quantity depends on your lentils, your hob, and how mushy you like the dish). Bring to the boil and cook till soft. When the dal is about soft, add the asparagus (you can add some boiling water at this point if all the initial liquid has been absorbed). Finally, season with salt and cumin. Serve with pickle and yoghurt.

This spinach-paneer rice comes from one of my favourite Indian cookery books: Yamuna Devi's "Lord Krishna's Cuisine, The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking". I love her anecdotes, and all I‘ve cooked from this tome so far has been a delight. The recipes are easy to follow, too, but even if you are a seasoned cook in Indian-vegetarian fare, I am sure you‘ll find lots that‘s new.

3 tbsp ghee or oil
1/3 cup cashew bits or halves
125g paneer, cut in cubes
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp black mustard
2 tbsp sugar
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 cup basmati rice
3/4 tsp turmeric
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp chilli powder (this dish can really handle a bit of heat- if you can! if you can‘t, substitute with paprika)
1 1/2-2 cups water
250g baby spinach
2 tsp lemon juice

Fry the cashew bits in the oil, then remove. Fry the paneer, and when it starts to brown, add the cumin and mustard seeds. Add the sugar and allow to caramelize if you can without burning the spices. Add the tomatoes before this happens! Add the ground spices and fry for a little bit, then add the rice. Pour in water and salt. Bring to the boil, cover and cook until almost soft. Stir in the spinach and allow the rice to soften over very low flame/rest of heat in e-cooker. Fold in the nuts and lemon juice.
This goes well with pickle too and is one of those nice one-pot meals.
The original recipe recommended removing the paneer after frying, and only then frying the spices. I find it soaks up the flavours nicely if left in the pot, but it impairs the caramelizing process - which I didn‘t mind in the final product.

Keine Kommentare:

Kommentar veröffentlichen