A Maharashtrian-style vegetarian rice pilaf
2 cups basmati rice
3 tsp. coriander seeds
2 tsp. cumin seeds
1-inch cinnamon stick
5 cloves (optional)
3 tsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, sliced
5 to 6 curry leaves
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. brown mustard seeds
Pinch of hing powder
3 green chilies, chopped
2 tsp. ginger paste
½ tsp. ground turmeric
2 tsp. goda masala
2 tsp. Indian chili powder
1 russet potato, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 cup ½-inch cauliflower florets
Kosher salt, to taste
3 cups vegetable stock or water
¼ cup diced fresh tomatoes
4 tsp. peanuts
1 cup peas
½ cup fresh grated coconut, for garnish
Cilantro leaves, for garnish
• Rinse the rice, then soak 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
• In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon stick and cloves until fragrant and beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool, then coarsely grind with a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, and set aside.
• In a large, high-sided skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the onions, curry leaves, bay leaves, mustard seeds and hing, and saute until the onions turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the green chilies, ginger paste and turmeric, and saute 1 minute. Add the goda masala and chili powder, and saute 2 mintues.
• Add the potato, cauliflower, a pinch of salt and ½ cup water, cover and cook 5 minutes.
• Stir in the reserved rice, then add the stock, tomatoes, peanuts and more salt to taste. Increase the heat to high, cover and cook 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and cook 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook 15 minutes, then remove from heat and let rest 10 minutes.
• Place the peas in a small, microwave-safe bowl and microwave 1 minute.
• Stir the peas into the rice mixture, garnish with coconut and cilantro and serve.