RICE PILAF WITH INDIAN SPICES (for four)
2 cups white, long grain basmati rice
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
¼ cup slivered almonds
1 large onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 small fresh jalapeno chile, seeded and thinly sliced crosswise
1 teaspoon garam masala (if you can’t find this on the spice shelf at your local grocery, see “spice blends” for a recipe)
1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
½ teaspoon salt
4 cups chicken broth
- Measure rice into a fine-mesh strainer and place into a bowl of cold water to soak for 30 minutes. Remove sieve from water and drain rice for 20 minutes. (Soaking and drying the rice thoroughly are important to remove the starch from the kernels before cooking. Otherwise, your rice may be gummy.)
- Heat oil in a 3-quart, heavy saucepan with a close-fitting lid. Saute almonds, stirring constantly, until golden, about 2 minutes, and transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Add the onion to the pot and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until pale golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic, jalapeno, garam masala, ginger and salt and cook, stirring frequently, 1 minute. Add the rice and cook over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, 3 minutes. Stir in the broth (Do not stir again until rice is finished) and simmer briskly, uncovered, until the top of the rice appears dry and the surface is covered with steam holes, about 8 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting, cover the pot tightly (use both a tea towel and the lid) and cook 15 minutes.
- (Alternatively, the rice can be baked in the middle of a preheated 325* oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed the liquid). Turn off the heat and let the rice stand, still covered, 5 minutes more.
- Remove cover, fluff rice with a fork and serve sprinkled with almonds.
Sauteed chicken cutlets with yogurt and mint salad
adapted from Gourmet Magazine, January 2002