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Bell Pepper and Tomato Rice with Cashews – January 10th, 2012

Alamelu Vairavan

from “Healthy South Indian Cooking-Expanded Editon” by Hippocrene Books.

This hearty, flavorful, and nutritious rice dish is filling and delicious by itself. This recipe uses a large quantity of rice and keeps well in the refrigerator for many days. If a smaller quantity is desired, you may prepare the dish with half the stated amount of ingredients.

2 cups basmati rice

 4 tablespoons canola oil

4 to 5 small pieces cinnamon stick

1 bay leaf, crumbled

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 cup onion, cut lengthwise

1 cup tomato, cut in small chunks

1 green chili pepper, finely chopped

2 cups coarsely chopped green bell peppers

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 cup tomato sauce

1 tablespoon curry powder

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup cashew halves

1. Cook rice in 4 cups of water in a rice cooker, or cook rice in 4 cups of water following directions on rice package for fluffy rice but omitting salt and oil if included in the directions. Transfer cooked rice into a bowl and let it cool for about 15 minutes so grains do not stick together.

2. Heat oil in a wok or large fry-pan over medium heat. When oil is hot, but not smoking, add cinnamon stick, bay leaf, cumin, and fennel seeds. Brown for a few seconds.

4. Add 3/4 cup of the onion, tomato, and chili. Stir-fry for 1 minute.

5. Add bell pepper with 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder. Stir in curry powder and salt. Mix well.

6. Add tomato sauce. Blend ingredients well in wok. Cook, covered, over medium heat, until bell pepper becomesslightlytender(approximately 1 minute), stirring  occasionally. Do not overcook bell pepper.

7. Add cooked rice to wok and blend well with sauce. Immediately reduce heat to low.

8. Stir in cashew halves.

9. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup onion over rice. Fluff and mix the rice gently. Turn off heat.

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