Winter is a time of grounding vegetables that warm the heart and please the tongue. As the sun reaches further and further down towards the horizon, plants cling to the Earth for warm and nourishment. Winter vegetables such as carrots, beets, radishes, celery, and cauliflower (when grown right) have a rich, earthy flavor and strong aroma. This dish highlights those grounding vegetable flavors, and uses heating and healing herbs to keep the body fit for winter. It’s also easy to make and can use up some of the vegetables that have been sitting in the fridge or the garden too long. We hope you enjoy it!
Chef’s Note: This dish can be made with any seasonal vegetables. We used what we had in the garden and from the farmer’s market. It’s a good idea to include a variety of colors.
– 5 cups cooked brown rice ~ use leftover rice or make ahead of time and allow to cool
– 1/2 cup diced carrots
– 1/2 cup diced celery
– 1/2 cup diced cauliflower
– 1/2 cup diced winter squash (we prefer kabocha)
– 1/2 cup diced snap peas
– 2 tsp black mustard seed
– 1/4 cup oil ~ we use grapeseed or organic ghee
– 1.5 tsp turmeric
– (optional) 2 sprigs or about 12-15 curry leaves ~ available from The Growing Hom
– 1/4 tsp asafoetida ~ available at Indian Markets
– to taste, salt
– 1 to 2 tsp coconut sugar or your favorite sweetener
– (optional) red chili powder, to taste
– 1/2 cup toasted peanuts
– 1 lime or lemon
– 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
– 1/3 cup chopped green onions or chives
Warm up a heavy-bottomed pan (or whatever you have available) on a medium-low heat. Add oil and mustard seeds. Roast the mustard seeds until they turn black and start to pop. Then add asafoetida and let it sizzle in the oil for just a few seconds.
Add the turmeric and curry leaves to the pan. Let the spices sizzle for a few seconds until the curry leaves look a bit crispy.
Now its time to put in the veggies. Add in your chopped cauliflower, carrots, celery, peas, and pumpkin (or whatever other vegetables you chose).
Stir with a open lid for a few minutes on a medium-low flame until all the spices are evenly incorporated throughout the vegetables.
Lower the flame to low and cover your pot with a lid. Every few minutes, open the lid and stir the ingredients thoroughly. Make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan. Repeat until the vegetables are soft and tender (usually 10 to 15 minutes).
Add the cooked brown rice into the pot. Stir the contents of the pot until all contents are evenly distributed. Then cover and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Squeeze half to a full lemon or lime into the rice. Add your sweetener and salt to taste. Stir and continue cooking on a low flame. Taste to make sure salt and sugar is evenly distributed.
Turn the flame off. Now add in your garnish of green onion, peanuts, and cilantro, reserving a little of each for topping the dish off. Stir all ingredients together.
Transfer your finished rice dish into a serving bowl, and add remaining garnish to the top of the dish (we added a few pomegranate seeds for color too!).
This highly aromatic, flavor and nutrient-rich dish is traditionally served with yogurt and papad (a fried lentil crisp available at any Indian grocery store, tortilla chips can substitute). It is fast and easy to make, and is traditionally eaten at breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
For breakfast, serve with an egg. For lunch, serve with a salad. For dinner, trying serving with a hot soup.
This dish is best when eaten by hand and licked off fingertips.