Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Indian Rice Salad with Cabbage Poriyal

I finally cut into that head of cabbage that's been sitting in my fridge for over a week.  That means I'll be hurrying to find a recipe (probably Greek) to use up the rest in the next couple of days. 

I also happened across this basmati rice salad recipe for the complementary beans/rice dish and wondered why I hadn't used it since I got my Indian cookbook.  Then I read through the reviews, a couple of which talk about how bland it is.  When I read the quantities of each spice, I couldn't help but agree.  As Indian food and Emeril's cooking go, this recipe is kind of bland.  Maybe that's why I hadn't made it in five years.

Until tonight.  I substituted brown rice for the basmati since we've pretty much switched to that here, used half the rice and kept the spice quantities the same, in effect doubling up on the spices.  If you like spicy food, try it this way.

"Poriyal," according to the authors of Healthy South Indian Cooking, is a type of stir-fry dish to which unsweetened shredded coconut is added at the end.  The ingredient list was relatively short:

2 tbsp canola oil
4-6 curry leaves (I chop mine to distribute them further through the cabbage)
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 dried red chilis
2 tsp urad dal
4 cups chopped cabbage
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut.

I started this when the rice was almost done because it comes together fast and you don't want it sitting around getting soggy while your rice or whatever else is still cooking.  Just heat the oil in a frying pan, add the next four ingredients and cook until urad dal turns brown and mustard seeds pop, then add the next three ingredients, stir and cook just until the cabbage wilts, then turn off the heat and stir in the coconut. 

Easy and delicious!  And if you use the basmati rice, it should be done in about 15 minutes, during which you can whip up the cabbage and coconut poriyal. 

Off to watch the last few minutes of Jeopardy.  Good night!

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