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Indian Night

February 24, 2011
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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!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Wendy Sherman permalink
    February 24, 2011 8:14 PM

    Looks and sounds yummy Jamie. I think I’ll have to try it. Thank you.

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