This holiday season has been extremely busy for us with parties everywhere, at home and at work. The theme for one of the office parties was organic & vegetarian. I jumped up with excitement and decided to make this curry and rice dish.
I thought of adding paneer, but wasn’t sure if my co-workers would like the texture, so kept it simple with mixed vegetables. For the rice dish, I wanted to make something that wasn’t too spicy and I found this nutty pilaf recipe in Raghavan Iyer’s “660 Curries”. This rice is a keeper and goes well with any spicy side dish. Both the dishes were a hot at the office holiday party.
Mixed Vegetable Curry:
- Heat 1tbsp oil in a saute pan; add half the onions and cook on medium high flame until browned along the edges. Remove from pan and allow to cool before grinding into a smooth paste.
- Heat 1tbsp oil in the same pan, add cumin seeds and once the seeds start to splutter add the remaining onions and saute until lightly browned, add ginger+garlic paste and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Next add tomato paste & tomato puree along with the ground masalas, salt and ¼ cup of water. Cover and cook until oil starts to separate on the top, about 5 minutes. Add another ¼ cup of water, cover and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Next add the onion paste and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Now add the mixed vegetables and cook covered on medium flame until the veggies are fork tender, but not mushy, this will take about 15 minutes.
- Once the veggies are cooked through, add heavy cream, mix well and cook until heated through.
This curry goes well with rice or roti.
* Note: Zucchini, Peas, sweet potato, broccoli, capsicum are some other veggies that will taste great in this curry.
Nutty Rice with Cashews, Almonds & Fresh Mint:
- Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes.
- Heat ghee in a medium saucepan or in a pressure cooker over medium high heat. Add onions, almonds, cashews and bay leaves. Stir fry until the nuts turn reddish brown and the onion is light brown around the edges, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the drained rice and coat the grains with the onion-nut mixture by mixing gently.
- Pour in 1½ cups of water and salt. Stir well and bring to a boil; cover and cook on medium-low flame until all the water is evaporated and rice is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the pan stand for at least 10 minutes. If using a pressure cooker, cook for 1 whistle on medium-high flame.
- Remove the lid, fluff the rice with a fork. Remove the bay leaves and stir in chopped mint leaves and pepper. Serve hot.