1 stephen ceideburg
2 cup basmati rice
8 oz paneer (see recipe)
4 tablespoon light vegetable oil
1/2 cup cauliflower florets
1 cup diagonally sliced carrots
1 cup chopped red or green bell pepper
2 tablespoon cashew halves
2 tablespoon raisins
2 bay leaves
1 inch piece cinnamon stick
8 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
3 cup water
3/4 cup canned tomato sauce
2 teaspoon salt
In the traditional version of this dish, the rice, paneer and vegetables all cook together. I like the vegetables to remain crunchy, however, so I cook them separately, then stir them into the rice toward the end of its cooking time. Serve this subtle pilaf lamb chops or spicy stews.
Wash rice thoroughly. Place in a bowl, cover with water and let soak 15 minutes. Drain.
Cut paneer into cubes. Brush with 1/2 tablespoon of the oil and broil 2 minutes per side. Set aside.
Heat remaining oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add cauliflower, carrots and peppers.
Stir-fry for 5 minutes, or until edges of peppers start to brown. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside.
Reduce heat to medium. Add cashews and fry until light golden; remove and set aside. Add raisins and fry until plump; remove.
Add whole spices to the pan. Stir and cook 1 minute.
Add rice, increase heat to medium-high, and stir fry until rice is well coated with oil and begins to glisten, about 5 minutes. Add water, tomato sauce and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 12 minutes. Uncover and gently stir in vegetables and paneer,
Cover and cook 5 minutes longer.
Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes,
Fluff rice gently with a fork and transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with fried raisins and cashews.
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