As much as I love Spanish food (obviously), sometimes you just feel like trying something different. In this case, my roommate shared one of her recipes from home: orange saffron basmati rice with black bean mango salsa. For us, this meant a trip to Lavapiés, which is Madrid’s ethnic neighborhood, to buy some different spices and try them out. We heaped up the rice restaurant-style:
left a few saffron threads lingering on top:
and paired it with the salsa for a full dose of Indian deliciousness:
This dish was light and refreshing because of the citrus, mango and cilantro, but it’s also satisfying thanks to the black beans. In theory it might be more suitable for a summer dinner, but for me it was just perfect for a February night in Madrid.
Orange Saffron Rice, slightly adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook. With the beans, serves 5-6.
1 1/2 c. white basmati rice
2 tsp. vegetable oil
2 tsp. freshly grated orange peel
1/3 tsp. turmeric
1/3 tsp. ground cardamom
3/4 tsp. salt
generous pinch of saffron
2 1/4 c. water
1. In a small, heavy pot, sauté the rice with the oil, orange peel, turmeric, cardamom, salt, and saffron from 1-2 minutes. Stir constantly to coat the grains with oil and to prevent sticking.
2. Add the water and bring to a boil; then reduce the heat, cover, and cook on very low heat until all of the water is absorbed, about 25-30 minutes.
Black Bean Mango Salsa, a suggested pairing by the same cookbook
1 1/2 c. cooked black beans (15-oz can, although we used fresh)
1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
1/2 c. diced red bell pepers
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 minced fresh green chile, if desired (we opted out due to lack of availability)
1 garlic clove, pressed (which we forgot, and all was fine)
1/3 c. orange juice (we used the juice from the orange that we zested for the rice)
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1. If you’re using canned beans, rinse them thoroughly and drain well.
2. In a large bowl, toss all ingredients thoroughly. Enjoy!