Vij's at Home: Relax, Honey: The Warmth and Ease of Indian Cooking
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Pull up a chair—Meeru and Vikram invite you to dinner.
because, despite its name, it is not actually sautéed. The dish has a kick to it, but not a spicy one, unless the Mexican chili powder you buy is spicy. The cardamom pods make this sauté a nice accompaniment to almost any of the oven-cooked meat dishes. If you don’t like celery, use green bell peppers instead. We like our celery cooked yet still crunchy, but if you prefer yours softer, cook it for an extra minute. Be sure to add the green onions at the last minute—if you make this dish ahead
the bean curries. During farmers’ market season, the beans are replaced by whatever vegetables we buy there. Our dinner routine also changed. Rather than cooking for the girls, Meeru started cooking with the girls and sitting down with them for a proper meal at the dining table. Vikram discovered candles in a big way and before he went to work made sure that they were set for our dinnertime enjoyment. As the girls tuned into the fact that they had our full attention around the dining table,
can also serve this dish with chutneys. Place rice in a medium bowl, wash it well under cold water and drain. Repeat the washing and draining once more. Add the 3 3/4 cups of water and soak for 20 minutes. In a medium pot with a lid, combine rice and soaking water, butter and 3/4 tsp of the salt on high heat. Once rice starts to boil vigorously, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 12 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow rice to sit, covered, for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the lid,
Heat oil in a medium pot on medium-high for 1 minute. Add cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle for 45 seconds, or until they are a darker brown. Add garlic and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until brown but not burned. Stir in tomatoes, then add ginger, coriander, turmeric, salt and cayenne. Stir and sauté masala for 5 minutes, or until oil glistens. Add water and mung beans, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice. Taste beans to make
from either red cayenne peppers or jalapeño peppers. This chili powder goes well with many Indian curries, and you can add it to most of the meat curries in addition to the other spices as you would paprika. Some chili powders have paprika and cumin in them, and we try to avoid these. The best type with Indian food is the Mexican chili powder made from mild ancho chilies. Nutmeg Available fresh or ground, nutmeg is a spice we use in our garam masala only. We use it sparingly as it has a