Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mango Cumin Rice

I'm off my game this week since I was out of town most of the weekend.  No meals planned, no grocery list made.  So far every meal has been an improvisation.  It's kind of refreshing in a way.

Tonight I had the luxury of a full 45 minutes to prepare dinner since the rest of the fam was running an errand.  (Hooray for the person who turned in the rented clarinet that one of my stepsons left on the city bus!). So I opted to not do the "one-pot-dinner" type meals that I usually rely on during the week when we're short on time.

This meal was inspired by the organic dried chili mangoes that I picked up at Willy Street Co-op in Madison last month.  They sounded divine, so I threw them into my basket on an impulse.  Alas, I wasn't that impressed with the flavor.  They tasted basically like regular dried mangoes, but were so sticky that they hurt my teeth.  So they sat unused in our dried fruit bin until tonight.  I figured they could be revived through cooking and that the mild flavor could be a blessing when cooking for the kids.

So here's how I used them.

Mango Cumin Rice

1 1/2 Tbsp. organic canola oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 tsp. whole cumin seed
1 tsp. crushed whole coriander seed
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/3 cup chopped dried mangos
1 1/2 cups white basmati rice
Scant 3 cups water
salt to taste
1/4 cup chopped pistachios

Heat oil in a heavy saucepan over medium high heat.  Add onions and stir frequently until onions are translucent and beginning to brown.  Add the cumin, coriander, cardamom and mangoes.  Stir to coat spices with oil.  Then add the rice and stir to coat.  Add a generous pinch of salt and the water.  Stir and cover the pan.  Bring the water to a boil and then reduce heat to low.  Simmer for about 12-15 minutes or until rice is tender and all water is absorbed.  Turn off the heat and then let rice rest for about 5 minutes with the lid on the pan.  Just before serving, adjust the salt to taste and sprinkle the pistachios on the rice.

I served this rice with a richly spiced red lentil dal and some sauteed lacinato kale with garlic.  Even Mike, the hater of all things that could be interpreted as as blend of sweet and savory, loved this dish.  According to one kid, "It might look disgusting, but it doesn't taste disgusting."  I think that might be a compliment?

1 comment:

Catherine said...

I would take that as a compliment! Dan's reply to that comment? "That's all that matters, right?" :)