During a recent afternoon, my wife, Laurie Anderson, and I settled on an Indian specialty, biryani rice, paired with another spicy offering with a side of leafy greens, picked fresh from the garden.
Soon, we were already smelling a bouquet of rich, heady spices that flooded the whole house.
With this dish, I added a pork fry with sweet peppers, onion and wild celery. I coated the slivered pork with a slurry of corn starch and water, then fried it in a ½ cup of oil. Next, I added the veggies and a ¼ cup of stock, red chilis to taste, and a full teaspoon of tikka masala combined with a cup of coconut milk. This completes a satisfying repast, full of spice and oodles of flavor.
- 3 cups of Basmati rice
- 2 tablespoons of virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- One large onion, chopped medium-fine
- Six cardamom pods
- One small cinnamon stick
- A few whole cloves
- Four cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon of ginger, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon of Mae Ploy green curry paste
- A pinch of saffron or a teaspoon of turmeric
- 6 cups of homemade chicken stock
Wash and strain the rice. Heat the butter and oil and sauté the onion until golden. Add the saffron, curry paste and the spices. Next, add the rice and continue cooking until the grains color. Add the stock, a cup at a time. Stir until the liquid is absorbed. In this manner, add the rest of the stock. While still moist, cover with a tight lid and steam until the rice is soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. Raisins and slivered almonds are a wonderful garnish.
Laurie’s spicy greensIngredients
- 3 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- One large onion, diced
- Three cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons of minced ginger
- A large bunch of garden greens, such as spinach, collard greens, beet greens and kale; all chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ cup plain yogurt
Heat ghee or cooking oil. Add the black mustard seeds and heat until they begin to “pop.” Add the cumin seeds, coriander and turmeric, one at a time, stirring after each addition. Add onion and sauté in spice mixture until partially cooked through. Next, add garlic and ginger, stirring constantly over medium-high heat. Add the chopped greens and stir to coat with the spice mixture. Add two tablespoons of water and steam under a covered lid until greens are limp and cooked through. Add salt and cayenne pepper. Stir. Finally, to add a creamy texture, add the yogurt, stirring to combine.