Monday, March 20, 2006

Jewels of Denial

I had other plans for cooking this weekend, but by Sunday evening, all I wanted to do was to use up some of the vegetables sitting in the fridge.

They weren't old or wilted or anything like that... a little past their prime, perhaps... dare one say, mature?

Ah yes, welcome, my friends, to the Land of Denial... that legendary ancient river of flowing excuses.

So, what does one do, you may ask, when faced with a refrigerator full of asparagus, broccoli, carrots, snow peas, and chick peas that need to be used up?

In looking around, I found I also had some fresh tofu, a can of pistachios and almonds and cashews (courtesy of my Fabulous Aunt, who knows how much I love these nuts), and just enough brown basmati rice to make one of my favorite Indian recipes, nine-jewel rice.

This rice dish is a nice change of pace from other Indian dishes because the spicing is very mild. Once you've sauteed the onion and garlic and ginger, you only add cinnamon, cardamom, and salt and pepper to give it its sweet but savory taste.

On top of that, once you've prepped the vegetables, it's a breeze to throw together because everything gets thrown into the same big skillet to sit and simmer for a nice long time before sprinkling it with a mixture of nuts.

It's a wonderful dish that can last you well into a week, depending on how many people you have dipping into it. But since there's just me, well, I needed help.

I called my Opera-Loving Friends and had no difficulty persuading them to join me for dinner this evening, sharing this dish along with an Indian-spiced potato salad and some of my delectable chai spice shortbread for dessert.

There's still some left in the fridge even after that impromptu dinner party, but at least I think I'll be able to polish off the rest before those vegetables meet an untimely demise.

After all, there's no denying this is good food.


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