Sweet Curried Rice and Vegetables

With its curried rice, vegetables bathed in coconut milk, and sweet and crunchy toppings, this is a sublime and exotic dish.

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups brown basmati rice, soaked in water for 4 to 8 hours (see note)

3-3/4 cups water

2 teaspoons curry powder

2 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, lightly packed

2 tablespoons cold-pressed coconut oil

1-1/2 cups sliced cremini or button mushrooms

1 red bell pepper, diced

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 can (about 14 ounces) coconut milk

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon chili sauce, plus more as desired

2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick (about 2 cups)

1-1/2 cups diced fresh or canned pineapple (packed in juice if canned), or 1 apple, peeled and chopped

3 cups coarsely chopped spinach, lightly packed

1-1/2 cups diced bananas, mangoes, or peaches, for serving

1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts or raw almonds, coarsely chopped, for serving

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded dried coconut, for serving

1/2 cup raisins, for serving

Method:

1. Drain and rinse the rice. Transfer to a medium saucepan. Add 2 3/4 cups of the water, the curry powder, 1 teaspoon of the ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook undisturbed for 35 to 40 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

2. Set aside 5 of the basil leaves. Chop the remaining basil.

3. Put the oil, 1/4 cup of the water, and the mushrooms, bell pepper, garlic, and remaining teaspoon of ginger in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.

4. Stir in the coconut milk, the remaining 3/4 cup of water, and the salt and chili sauce. Decrease the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes.

5. Stir in the sweet potatoes and pineapple. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are almost tender, about 10 minutes.

6. Stir in the spinach and chopped basil. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 6 minutes. Taste and add more chili sauce if desired.

7. Stack and roll up the reserved basil leaves lengthwise, then thinly slice them crosswise.

8. Put the bananas, peanuts, coconut, and raisins in separate small bowls on the table.

9. Transfer the rice to a large serving platter. Top with the vegetables and sprinkle the basil ribbons over the top. Serve hot, letting everyone garnish their serving as desired.

Note: If you don’t have time to soak the rice, increase the amount of water for cooking the rice to 3 cups.


Recipe provided by Caroline Dupont