Last fall I harvested two shopping bags full of turmeric and kept them indoors all winter. I replanted some of them the other day, some I cleaned up to keep for use in the kitchen, the rest I tossed into the leaf litter at the edge of the woods where the hosta grows just to see if they would plant themselves and grow. Turmeric plants are just as pretty as a hostas.
So, with turmeric on my mind I decided to use some in a rice dish. I also wanted to flavor the rice with recently purchased paan (betel leaves).
I finely chopped a few betel leaves and added them to the salted water in which the rice was cooked.
While the rice was cooking I dry roasted some raw peanuts.
I wasn’t sure if Faye would like the pronounced fragrant flavor of paan so I included plenty of other strong flavors in the dish so it wouldn’t be so conspicuous.
In a hot oiled skillet I sautéed chopped curry leaves, asafetida and an assortment of spices which had been coarsely ground with mortar and pestle:
- coriander seeds
- mustard seeds
- cumin seeds
- cardamom seeds
- stick cinnamon
- fennel seeds
To the sautéing spices I added onions, garlic, green chilis, sweet red pepper and kosher salt.
Next I added thinly sliced turmeric and carrots.
After a few minutes I mixed in the roasted peanuts followed by the cooked rice.
The paan flavor and aroma was quite intense after cooking with the rice, but it blended in nicely with the flavors of the other ingredients and spices.