I have always been an early riser and even though I stopped working over a year ago and no longer set a wake up alarm I still often awaken at 4:00AM. Since there is no urgency to get out of bed I sometimes, while not yet in a state of alertness and am reluctantly letting go of my dreams, consider the possible dishes I might create in the day ahead. In the early hours this morning I envisioned a dish that proved to be a winner. How does the saying go? Winner winner tofu dinner? No, that’s not it!. Not even close. Sorry! I can hear the neighbor’s chickens giggling.
How it went was: In a dry pan I toasted stick cinnamon (cassia bark), mustard seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom seeds, a clove, cumin seeds and ajwain seeds, all in small amounts since this is just to feed the two of us and I don’t want leftovers.
I pulverized the roasted spices in a mortar and pestle. This wooden mortar and pestle from Mexico has become my favorite. It works much better than the big one made of marble or the small ceramic one.
I sautéed the toasted and ground spices in a a little oil along with chopped curry leaves.
I then added onion and garlic into the skillet followed by frozen petite peas and shredded carrots.
Then I added precooked rice. I use Uncle Ben’s® Converted Rice.
I’ve been making a lot of paneer lately and the batch I made last night turned out very crumbly and more like ricotta, probably because I included nonfat Greek yogurt with the 2% milk. It was perfect for this dish.
I tasted at this point and concluded that flavor was lacking, so I added a generous amount of Madras curry powder.
As an afterthought, I mixed in chopped cilantro before stuffing the pepper halves with the filling.
The stuffed peppers were baked at 400ºF for about 35 – 40 minutes. I happened to use the Cuisinart® Oven Central® for the task. (Cuisinart didn’t pay me to say that, although I would love it if they would).
As you can see, the filing in the yellow pepper came in contact with the top heated lid. It was a delight to eat that crusty bit of goodness!
I mentioned at the beginning that this dish was a winner (no tofu involved). One of these pepper halves was enough to satisfy my hunger but we didn’t stop until everything was eaten.