Curried Brown Rice
This is a faux kedgeree. It is great as a way to use up leftover boiled brown rice, or it can be cooked from scratch as below. Ajicito peppers look like hot habanero peppers but are sweet. They bring the taste without the heat. You can find them in most Latino markets. Italian frying peppers or Cubanelle peppers are a good substitute if you can’t find them. We’ve added frozen lima beans for extra protein, but you can use frozen peas or any other frozen vegetables you like.
- 1 cup brown basmati rice, washed
- 2 cups water or stock, plus an extra ½ cup
- 1-inch chunk of ginger root, peeled and finely diced, plus 1 slice for the rice
- 1-2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
- 4 green ajicito peppers, finely diced or 1 medium green Cubanelle pepper, finely diced
- 2 teaspoon mild curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
- ¼-pound frozen or fresh French beans, cubed
- ½ cup frozen baby lima beans
- 2 cups shredded arugula or spinach
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (optional)
- Sea salt, to taste
1. In a heavy, lidded pot, bring the basmati rice and 2 cups water to a boil over a high flame. Add the slice of ginger, salt to taste and cover. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 35-40 minutes. Without lifting the lid, remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
2. While the rice is steaming, heat the oil in a wok or wide sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds. When they start to darken and become aromatic, add the minced ginger and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the garlic starts to color. Add the onion and peppers. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes.
3. Add the curry powder and cayenne pepper to the vegetables in the pan. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute, until the spices are mixed with the oil and a paste forms. Do not let the spices burn! Add ¼ cup of water, mix, then add the French beans and lima beans. Cook until the lima beans have thawed and are bright green. Add another ¼ cup of water if it looks dry. At this point, the rice should be ready.
4. Add the cooked rice to the pan a spoonful at a time, mixing it into the vegetables as you go until well coated. Cook, stirring, for a minute, then add the shredded arugula. Cook, stirring, until it is wilted. Adjust for salt. Sprinkle with a little chopped cilantro and stir to mix. Serve immediately.
Adding arugula will bring the health benefits of its membership in the cruciferous family. If you don’t have arugula on hand, then add 2 cups shredded spinach or 1 cup frozen, but be sure to include the cilantro.