Last week I sang the praises of one-pot meals. Just last evening, I enjoyed a one-pot meal of spicy Indian descent from Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen. I got this wonderful book from my niece for Christmas a few months ago. So far, every single recipe I’ve made from it has been a winner.
The ingredient lists of Indian recipes can look intimidating—longer than most recipes. Don’t let the list length intimidate you though. The list is longer than usual because it contains small amounts of various spices. If you mix these up beforehand, the cooking process is pretty quick.
As the author suggests in the recipe, I used dried black-eyed peas instead of canned. They cook relatively quickly, so they’re worth the slight bit of extra effort (soaking them for an hour beforehand). Always make sure you discard the water once your beans have finished soaking. The soaking water contains sugars that make beans hard to digest, giving beans their rather odious reputation, which is why it’s important to soak dried beans before you cook them.
Meatless Monday: Spinach Rice with Black-Eyed Peas
- 2 t safflower or other neutral-tasting oil
- 1 cup sliced red onion
- 1 small hot pepper, seeds removed and diced
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup dried black-eyed peas, soaked for one hour and drained
- 2-1/4 cups water, divided
- 2 packed cups spinach
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1-inch knob of ginger
- 1 t Garam Masala
- 1/4 t cinnamon
- 1/4 t cardamom powder
- 3/4 to 1-1/4 t salt
- 3/4 cup white basmati rice
- lemon juice for garnish
- cilantro leaves for garnish
Place spinach, tomatoes, garlic, ginger and 1 cup of water in a blender. Purée until smooth. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Sauté the onion and pepper 6 to 7 minutes, until soft. Remove 1/3 of the onions to use as garnish.
Add 1-1/4 cups of water and the black-eyed peas to the skillet. Cover and cook over medium heat for 25 minutes.
Add the spinach mixture, salt, garam masala, cinnamon and cardamom to the skillet. Cover, bring to a boil and cook for 8 minutes.
Add the rice to the pan and mix well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat.
Stir to keep the rice and beans from sticking. Cover and cook for 10 minutes over medium-low, or until rice and beans are tender.
Garnish with cilantro, lemon juice and the reserved onions. Serve hot.
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