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.


Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer


I’ve made this dish off and on over the years, with frozen and fresh spinach, and with uncooked and fried paneer. I like it best with fresh, relatively mature spinach and with fried paneer. I cheat and get the frozen fried paneer available in my international grocery store. You can also fry paneer yourself; for that matter, you can make paneer from scratch, but I’m happy with the store-bought stuff.

There are many ways to make palak paneer, including using a different type of greens, such as chard or mustard greens, in which case it is more properly called saag paneer. You can cook it quickly or for a long time, use fresh or tinned tomatoes (or no tomatoes at all), and of course you can vary the spices. This version tastes pretty close to the kind you get in north Indian restaurants, but it’s not as rich or greasy, and I don’t pulverize the spinach. I find that cooking it for a longer time gives me a similar consistency and flavor without having to drag out the food processor.

1 lb. fresh spinach (not baby spinach)
3 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp gresh ginger
1 hot green chile
1-2 plum or vine tomatoes, peeled
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt
8 oz. fried paneer
3 Tbsp full fat yogurt or cream

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RECIPE: Quadruple-C soup

It’s been seriously busy at Casa RWV the past couple of weeks, so I haven’t had time for much writing of any kind. But last night we made a spur of the moment soup that turned out really well. TheH insisted I write it down before I forgot it, so where better than here, where I said I would post recipes?

Both of us have had horrible head and chest colds so we’ve been craving soup. But the only things left in the fridge were a head of cabbage and some frozen chicken thighs. No carrots or celery to make chicken soup, but why not make a cabbage soup with chicken broth? We found a can of coconut milk in the pantry, and I always have garlic and ginger on hand.

You could probably substitute vegetable broth (or water) and tofu to make it vegetarian, and if you leave out the yogurt and add lemon juice you can make it vegan.


3-4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 small or 1/2 large head cabbage
4-6 scallions or 1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
3-4 slices and 2 Tbsp fresh ginger
1 serrano chile
1/4 cup cilantro or 12-18 curry leaves
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
3 Tbsp canola oil
6 peppercorns
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1 cup yogurt
1 can coconut milk

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