It’s Lent season at my house which means vegetarian food all day errday.
We don’t celebrate Lent for religious purposes in my house, but we do celebrate it for dietary purposes. My mom seems to strugglebus when it comes to cooking vegetarian sometimes, but I cook vegetarian like 85% of the time that I decide to make actual meals (not desserts), so of course it’s pretty easy for me to find exciting recipes to try out.
And of COURSE I got my ass on Foodgawker last night and this morning. Actual morning today because I got up at a semi-reasonable time. I was that excited about making rice.
I knew I wanted to make the rice before I knew what the “main dish” would be. But I found the perfect match – I wanted to do something with chickpeas again, but a little different from straight up Channa Masala.
So I found this great recipe for Moroccan Veggie Stew. I didn’t have saffron because that shit is expensive. And if I had known that pitted dates tasted so good in this recipe, I would’ve added WAY more than the 4 it calls for. My tweaked recipe can be found below, and you can follow the link to see the original.
Moroccan Veggie Stew
3 carrots peeled and chopped
3 celery stalks chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 baking or russet potatoes peeled and chopped
4 medjool dates, pitted and chopped (I recommend putting a fistful in there)
1 16 ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup (or can) of tomato sauce
2 cups of water
1 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
1 pinch of ground cumin
1-2 pinches of ground coriander
1 teaspoons of smoked paprika
A pinch of saffron (optional)
Olive oil/Grapeseed for cooking
Salt to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375
- Meanwhile, in a sauce pan (or dutch oven), saute the onions, carrots and celery on medium heat with some olive or grapeseed oil and a pinch of salt. Saute the vegetables until they start to soften – about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the potatoes, chickpeas, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, and saffron. Stir the ingredients and spices around for about a minute, being careful not to burn the spices.
- Add the tomato sauce with two cups of water. Stir in the garlic and the dates. Adjust the salt, cover the pot and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer the stew on the stovetop for about 10 minutes.
- Transfer to the stew to the preheated oven and cook for 30 minutes. I also transferred mine to a Pyrex bowl before I popped it in the oven. If you’re using a dutch oven with no plastic on it, you can leave it in your dutch oven pan.
As for the turmeric Basmati rice, I followed this Jamie Oliver video for how to make perfect fluffy rice because I literally always fuck up rice when I cook it. But LO AND BEHOLD, following this video actually worked for me. And the rice turned out great. I did have to add extra salt after it was done because my “pinch” wasn’t enough when I seasoned it at the beginning.
Turmeric Basmati Rice
1 cup Basmati rice
2 cups water
3 pods of cardamom
10 pieces of whole cloves
1/2 stick of cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
- Rinse rice in cold water to get rid of starch and imperfections.
- In a heated sauce pan, combine your rice, water, spices and salt.
- Cover and bring to a simmer-boil for 8-10 minutes (or until water is evaporated). Do NOT remove cover, but make sure the water doesn’t bubble over.
- Once all the water is evaporated, remove cover and remove cardamom pods and stick of cinnamon. Stir gently and serve.