A quick to prepare rice dish, adapted from a recipe on one the cards in international culinary celebrity Kurma Dasa's 52 card set 'Quick Vegetarian recipes you can prepare in a hurry'. It is important to use pans with tight-fitting lids for this recipe. If you are not overly fond of peas or spinach, substitute them with a vegetable you prefer. But the green of the vegetables in this dish does contrast most attractively with the yellowish rice and the cashews.
- 2 3⁄4 cups water
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon turmeric
- 3 tablespoons ghee or 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1⁄2 teaspoon yellow asafetida powder (see notes below)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 1⁄2 cups basmati rice
- 1 cup peas
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves, chopped
- 1 cup toasted cashews
- 1⁄4 cup coriander leaves, chopped
- extra coriander leaves, for garnish
- In a small pan over a medium heat, bring the water to the boil; add the salt and turmeric; reduce to a simmer and cover tightly.
- In a larger - preferably heavy-based - pan, over a medium heat, heat the ghee or oil; add the yellow asafetida powder and chopped onion and stir to combine for 1-2 minutes, add the rice and sauté for about 2 minutes, or until the rice becomes whitish in colour.
- Carefully pour the simmering water into the pan containing the rice, stir briefly, and if the peas you are using are fresh, add them now; increase the heat so that the water is again boiling, then reduce to a very low heat and cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid.
- Simmer the rice for 15-20 minutes or until the water has been absorbed by the rice and the rice is tender and flaky; if you are using frozen peas, add them 5 minutes before the end of this stage of the cooking; stir through the rice quickly, and replace the lid as soon as you can.
- Remove the pan from the heat and leave it covered and undisturbed for 5 minutes to allow the grains to firm up.
- Fold in the cashews, chopped baby spinach leaves and chopped coriander leaves, and stir well to combine the ingredients.
- Serve hot, garnished with the remaining herbs.
- NOTES: (i) I have suggested adding the chopped baby spinach leaves in step six, as baby spinach leaves wilt very quickly once they come into contact with something like hot rice. If you would like your spinach leaves not just wilted but cooked, add them when adding the frozen peas towards the end of the cooking time in step four. (ii) The Zaar Kitchen Dictionary suggests that either garlic powder or onion powder are suitable substitutions for yellow asafetida powder.