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Vegetable Curry and Black Rice


Serves 4

  • by from Cooking off the Clock

This is an American adaptation of the different spice blends of curry in India. You can jazz it up with black rice.

For the curry spice blend
  • 2 Tbs. ground turmeric
  • 1 stick cinnamon or 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. cardamom seed
  • 1/4 tsp. whole cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seed
  • 1/4 tsp. coriander seed
  • 1/4 tsp. fenugreek
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
For the rice
  • 1 cup black rice or basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp. salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 Tbs. brown butter, divided
  • 1 tsp. saffron threads
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
  • 1 small onion, cut into small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp. Curry Spice Blend
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. molasses
  • 2 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 3 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 rutabaga or turnip (about 10 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 head cauliflower or broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 4 sprigs fresh cilantro
To make brown butter, set a heatproof container in an ice bath. Put 1/2 cup butter, cut into small chunks, in a small saucepan over low heat. The butter will melt, foam and start to turn brown and smell nutty in about 8 to 10 minutes. As soon as it hits this fragrance and color, remove the pan from the heat and pour into the container in the ice bath to stop the cooking. Extra brown butter will keep for several days in the fridge.
For the spice blend

Grind all the ingredients in a spice grinder and store, covered, in a cool, dark place. The curry will keep for up to a year, but it loses flavor over time. You can use a Madras curry blend, but it won’t be as dramatic.

For the rice

In a small saucepan, add the rice, the 2 cups water, and a pinch of salt. Cover and bring to a simmer. Decrease the heat to low, and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. When done, stir in 1 Tbs. of the brown butter, the saffron, and the pistachios. Set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add the remaining 1 Tbs. brown butter and the onion. Sauté or “sweat” for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the garlic, ginger, the 1 tsp. salt, and the 2 tsp. curry blend. Stir for 1 minute to release the oils in the spices. Add the stock, sugar, molasses, and lime juice and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the potato, carrots, and rutabaga in a pot of cold water with a pinch of salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to a simmer, cook for 5 minutes, and add the cauliflower. Cook until the vegetables are easily pierced with a knife, another 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Add the coconut milk to the curry and then all of the vegetables. Simmer for another few minutes.

To serve, place 1 Tbs. of yogurt in the bottom of each of 4 serving bowls. Spoon some of the rice into the bowl and then arrange vegetables around and on the rice and add some of the curry sauce around the bowl. Garnish with the cilantro leaves and stems and lime wedges. Serve immediately.

Photo: Frankie Frankeny

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