Monday, January 11, 2010

Curried Rice

This was a pressure cooker project for me.  I wanted to test out the pressure cooker I got for Christmas, which may very well be my new favorite appliance.  You can make this dish without the pressure cooker, but you will need to cook it longer, and possibly add a little more liquid.

The rice turned out great, and was a total success in the pressure cooker.  It has that spicy-sweet curry flavor TB and I love, offset by crunchy cashews, sweet raisins, and tart green apples.  It's a pet peeve of mine when recipes call for "curry powder," because there are thousands of spice blends all called curries, and they're as different from one another as cinnamon and mustard powder.  So for this recipe, I used a salt-free, mild yellow curry, which is an Indian curry blend with coriander, tumeric, cumin, and cinnamon, among other spices.  You could definitely use a spicier blend if you wanted more kick.

I used brown rice instead of the traditional basmati, which is why this dish doesn't quite have that signature bright yellow color (which comes from the tumeric, fyi).  But nearly all the nutrients in rice are found in the husks, which get removed in the process of refining the grains of white rice.  So I'll sacrifice the color and pop for nutritional value in this case.

Curried Rice
Adapted from Curried Rice with Raisins and Cashews on
  • olive oil, enough to coat the pan
  • 1/4 c. finely minced onion
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. yellow curry powder
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 cube vegetable boullion
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 c. uncooked brown rice
  • 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 c. water (according to directions on your rice for 1 c. rice)
  • 1/3 c. raisins
  • 1/3 c. cashews
  • 1/3 c. chopped, unpeeled green apple
  1. Heat oil in the bottom of a pressure cooker over medium heat.  Add the onion, and sweat it until it's translucent.
  2. Reduce heat to low, then stir in curry powder, garlic powder, chili powder, and pepper.  Fry briefly, until the spices become fragrant.
  3. Dissolve the boullion cube in the water.  Add the boullion and water to the pressure cooker.
  4. Add the rice to the pressure cooker and stir well.
  5. Turn heat up to high, and seal the lid on the pressure cooker.  Follow your pressure cooker's directions for cooking brown rice; mine takes 15 minutes from the time it fully pressurizes.  Reduce heat as appropriate to maintain a steady pressure, again according to the pressure cooker instructions.
  6. Once cooking time is up, remove pressure cooker from heat, and allow the pressure to neutralize.  Then remove the lid, stir in cashews, raisins, and chopped apples, and put the lid back on the pot for a few minutes.  The heat and moisture in the rice should help plump up the raisins, and just barely cook the apples.
Makes about 4 servings of curried rice.  Serve either hot or chilled.

This curried rice is a great side dish for any vegan meal, and is also a great introduction to curries for those who might be a little fearful of spice.  Go to a good spice store to get your curry blends - the quality is very much worth a little extra time and expense.  If you live in Denver, I recommend Savory Spice Shop.

Happy eating.

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