Yogurt rice with spices

I’m reposting recipes from my old blog so that I have them all in one place; this is one of them.

Indian restaurants rarely offer the kinds of dishes we cook at home, especially the vegetarian ones. This is a standard way of using up cooked rice. It is delicious served as a side dish with grilled meat, fish, or vegetables. Or just eat it on its own …

2 cups cooked long-grain white rice
1/2 cup plain lowfat or nonfat yogurt
1/2 tsp. black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/4 tsp. turmeric
pinch asafoetida
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 green serrano chile, seeded and minced
12 kari leaves
3 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
Salt to taste
2 Tbsp. canola oil

Heat oil in skillet, add mustard seeds. When mustard seeds start to pop, turn heat to low and add cumin seeds and asafoetida. Wait 30 seconds, then turn heat to medium-low and add onions and chile, sauté until onions are transparent and browned at the edges. Add turmeric, salt and kari leaves and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add rice and stir to incorporate all ingredients. Add yogurt, 2 Tbsp at a time, and mix thoroughly. Cover and cook on low heat for 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat, sprinkle cilantro over the rice and serve.

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Curried Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd’s Pie is a staple around here in the colder months, when we eat a lot of one-dish meals. The other night we were feeling lazy and wanting comfort food, but we were low on fresh vegetables. There was a package of ground lamb in the freezer, along with a bag of mixed frozen vegetables, so I thought, why not make a slightly spicier version of the lamb mixture to offset the fact that frozen veg are usually blander and mushier? TheHusband agreed that it sounded like a worthwhile experiment, so we went to work. He made mashed potatoes while I put the curried lamb together.

For curried lamb:

1 lb. ground lamb
3 Tbsp. canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
1 serrano chile, seeded and chopped finely
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
5 whole cloves or 1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 stick cinnamon
2-3 plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp garam masala
3 Tbsp flour
2 cups chopped vegetables (carrots, mushrooms, sweet peppers, zucchini, etc.) or 1 bag frozen
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup grated cheese (cheddar, manchego, whatever)

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