Indian rice dishes are among the best out there, what with pulao and biriyani and bisibela and vangi bath, the list just goes on! But then there are the fiery latin and caribbean flavors that arouse all the senses - the paellas and beans'n'rice and arroz con something or the other!
Last night was definitely a rice night, after poking around Didi Emmons' book, we stumbled upon this yummy looking Jamaican rice mixup recipe that we morphed to work with what we had. Instead of using regular long-grain rice, we use this nutty rice and lentils mix that I found at PCC a few weeks ago. With 3 kinds of wild and brown rice as well as red lentils, it ends up bursting with flavor and blends really well with strong spices like cumin and coriander. All the stores seem to be teeming with squashes right now, so we settled for this Delicata squash - even as I cut it, it seemed to be redolent of sweet potato rather than squash. Well, wikipedia seems to think the same! :) We went with onions and spinach, but skipped the usual black beans since our rice mix already had lentils.
1/2 large red onion - minced
5 cloves garlic
1 delicata squash - peeled and diced
20-25 leaves of baby spinach - cut into long shreds
1.5 cups of wild/brown rice + red lentils
chives for seasoning
1 t coriander powder
1 t allspice powder
1 t saffron
Cook the rice in 2.5 cups of water. In the meantime, saute the onions in 1 T of olive oil. Grind up the ginger, garlic and green chillies and throw them in. Once the onions are translucent, add the squash along with 1/2 cup of water. Add the spices and simmer covered till the squash is cooked. Add the cooked rice along with the spinach. Stir in the salt and pepper and cook for 1-2 minutes longer.
Garnish? Chives fresh from the veggie patch :)
I was hankering for a side for this and wasn't quite sure what would go with it. We finally settled on a raita. Since this rice had strong flavors like indian food, the raita ended up being the perfect complement. And it took all of 5 minutes! One grated carrot and a spoon of mango pickle stirred into 2 cups of buttermilk. Done! :)