This was a dish that fell into place as I was going on. I had no idea what I was making until it was done and sitting on my plate. I started out with the intention of making a curry with Soy granules. It was a long time since I had eaten it and I suddenly had the cravings for them. I checked my kitchen closet, and dug out near 3/4th pack of it. Happy, I was :), So I went about getting the veggies ready. I diced some fresh carrots, capsicum, onions, all to match the size of the soy granules, and that meant tiny cubes(Why! Oh why !! It took me such a looooong time.) Once that was ready, I thought I was all set to get the curry started. I opened the pack of soy granules so I could soak them in water as the veggies got cooked. Surprise !! It had those teeny tiny insects in it .....eeks...it was way past its shelf life ! I threw out the whole pack and then cleaned the rest of the shelf. But after all that I was still hungry and had neatly diced, cute veggies with me. I had to come up with something using all of them and decided to make it into a curry that I could add rice to,hence making it complete meal on its own. The result of that experiment was this extremely delicious rice dish. It was so wonderful that I fell in love with it right from the first spoonful. This is a must try guys.
I had only recently discovered that coconut and garlic can be paired together and the act did not have to be termed blasphemous. We are brahmins and in our house...coconut was ranked high up ( atleast I felt so) and garlic was nearly an untouchable...and that is how my taste buds have been programmed. We use garlic and onions and garam masala very rarely. But after coming here for my Masters, that has changed. Most of my roomies and friends are used to having the first two of the three as the initial step of any dish. You first heat up some oil, saute some onions and garlic, and then look arnd for veggies to put into it !! hehe. I have kinda gotten used to it now, but comfort food is still something without any of those. I proudly proclaim that my mom would dish out a three course meal every single day for the whole of the 8-day Dasara celebration without using onions/garlic/masalas even once :) I need to get all those recipes from her now. But before that I need to reacord this recipe for future,
For 3 cups of cooked rice(cooled a little) you will need:
- 1/2 cup - Carrots, finely diced
- 1/2 cup - Capsicum, finely diced
- 1/2 cup - Onions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup - Tomatoes, finely diced (use fresh ones only or skip this)
- 3 nos - Green chillies, finely chopped ~1 Tbsp
- 2 nos - big Garlic cloves, finely chopped --finely diced, that is the theme today!
- 1/2 cup - Peas or Garbanzo beans or Lima beans (optional)
- 1/4 cup - French cut beans (optional)
- 1/2 cup - dessicated Coconut
- 1 cup - Coconut milk, I used the canned one
- 2 tsp - Turmeric powder
- 2 tsp - Garam masala
- 3-4 Tbsp - Oil, to saute the veggies
- 2 tsp - Mustard seeds
- 2 tsp - Cumin seeds/Jeera
- 1 tsp - Shah Jeera (optional)
- 2 tsp - Fennel seeds/ Saunf - I loved the layer of flavor they added (too much food tv ??)
- 4 nos - Cloves
- 2 nos - Cinnamon sticks, 1 inch pieces
- Salt to taste
- Coriander leaves for garnish (optional)
- Heat some oil in a wide pan. Once the oil is ready add the spices in the order mentioned.
- As they start giving out a nice aroma, add the garlic and chillies, 30 secs later the onions and turmeric go in. Saute them till translucent.
- Add the capsicum and the peas next. Once they get a crinkled exterior skin, add the carrots and after a minute add the tomatoes & garam masala and cook till the tomatoes get mushy and the oil starts to separate from the curry.
- Now add the dry coconut and lower the heat a little before you add the coconut milk (to avoid splitting). Add a little water too if needed.
- Add salt and let the curry cook for a few minutes until all the veggies come together.
- Add cooked rice and mix well without breaking too many rice grains. Garnish the coriander leaves and enjoy this fabulous dish with some plain old yogurt !