I had planned to make dinner at three in the afternoon, but you know what happened? I couldn’t for the life of me find the bay leaf! And I needed that bay leaf! I searched high and low for it and came up empty. So instead I had to wait for 5 o’clock to roll around so I could ask mom where she had hidden it.
Well when she came she too could not find the packet of bay leaves. It is as though they have gone missing!
Well luckily dinner is super-fast and easy tonight, with our without the bay leaf! So I just started dinner at five, two hours later than I had hoped. But I can tell you I did make some homemade raita at three-ish. That can hint off the theme for tonight’s meal.
But if you are not so culturally experienced in cuisines, tonight’s theme of a meal comes from India! And you know what? It fits with Meatless Monday!
I love Indian cuisine. So much that I told my parents the other day that I should fall in love with an Indian so that his mama and I can be in the kitchen together so I can learn proper traditional Indian food. Sounds good does it not? I guess I should go down to Durban for that. Apparently that is where all the Indians are located in South Africa.
Anyway, I got the recipe from here, but pretty much followed the recipe except for the fact that I didn’t have a bay leaf. This fact really annoys me.
- 1 ¼ cup (250g) Jasmine rice
- 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
- 1 cup (170g) frozen assorted vegetables, thawed
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small tomato, chopped small
- 1 Large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 green chili, chopped finely
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- Juice from one lemon
- A handful of fresh cilantro, washed and chopped
- Salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon Tumeric
- 1 teaspoon Red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon mango, baked
- ½ teaspoon Garam Masala
Wash and soak rice in water for a half hour, while soaking add all spices excluding cumin and Garam Masala together in a small bowl and set aside.
In a large pan, heat oil and cook cumin until its aromatic (10 seconds)
Add minced garlic, ginger, and green chilies to oil and cumin mix, fry for a minute and then add chopped onion and cook until lightly caramelized.
Once onions are lightly browned, add spices in small bowl to mixture as well as thawed vegetables. Mix and cover and cook for five minutes.
Add chickpeas and chopped tomato to mix and combine.
Now add strained rice and 1 ½ cups water to mixture and gently fold in. Allow mixture to begin to boil at medium heat and cover and turn to simmer. Cook rice for 10-12 minutes or until rice is cooked completely.
Once rice is cooked, add lemon juice and stir lightly. Turn heat off and add Garam Masala to the mix.
Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and raita to lessen bite.
Pretty easy right? Yum yum. But do you know how to make raita? If not here is the recipe:
- ½ cucumber, grated
- 1 cup (250ml) Greek yoghurt
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon, Garam Masala
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
Grate half a cucumber (with skin on) and press until dry with paper towels. Once drained place in a small bowl.
Add minced garlic and yoghurt and mix thoroughly.
Sprinkle Garam Masala and mix well.
Once ready to serve, sprinkle chili on top and enjoy!
So the recipe for the raita I got from here, but it didn’t have garlic in it and well I LOVE garlic (plus isn’t raita meant to have that spicy kick that garlic makes?) so I added that key ingredient.
If you checked out the original recipe for the pilaf you would have noticed that it called for Mango Powder. If you were anything like me you would have wondered what the hell that was. Well I googled to see how to make it and was pretty bummed to find out it takes five days to create. BUT if you are interested in creating it click here to find the recipe.
I know I did.
So if you make this meal I hope you do enjoy.
As they say in Hindi:
अपने भोजन का आनंद लें or
Apanē bhōjana kā ānanda lēṁ