Now if only Daughter Number One would tell me how to make my photo not look washed out.
Daughter Number One loves Indian food, but Daughter Number Two isn’t such a fan. But DNT went into London with her friend for New Year’s Eve, so I took the opportunity to make Indian for beloved older daughter (who had graciously offered to babysit later for our neighbors).
With the spicy rich korma I served, I wanted a lively rice dish, and this more than fit the bill. In fact, my husband, ungrateful for the bounty of food I’ve been putting on the table lately, insisted that this alone would have been enough for a meal. No need for the korma, the raita, the samosas, the mango slices, the naan, the chutney—Readers, you’ll never know how close I came to hitting him on the head with the cauliflower stump.
He did do the dishes.
For easy directions on how you can turn your Indian meal into a feast, keep reading.
Pilau Rice with Cauliflower
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon turmeric
6 whole cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 ½ cup small cauliflower florets (from one small head cauliflower)
¼ cup raisins
½ cup frozen peas
¾ cup basmati rice (or other long grain rice)
salt, to taste
1 ½ cup water
Heat the oil in a saucepan (the kind you’d normally use for cooking rice, not a sauté pan). Add the onion, and sauté until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and the spices, stirring it all around for a minute or two.
Add the cauliflower, raisins, peas, rice, salt and the water. Bring to a quick boil, then lower heat and cook for 15-20 minutes, until water is absorbed. Serve immediately.
Prep notes: There is a difference between chopped, finely chopped, and minced, with chopped meaning ½ inch pieces, finely chopped meaning ¼ inch pieces, and minced meaning smaller than that. To prepare the cauliflower, remove the stem as much as possible, then the leaves that cling to the florets, and with a small knife slice off the florets one by one, dividing the larger ones into two bite-sized pieces.
Use the smallest cauliflower you can find, or else find something else to do with half of a large one. (Save it to hit your husband over the head? Just an idea.) `