In any event, it was here that I really learned about Afghan and Persian flavors. The blend of cardamom, rice, and simply grilled meats. Leek popovers and coriander wafting through the air. A mashed pumpkin dish with garlic-yoghurt sauce. Cooked raisins and braised carrots that fit with their surroundings. Hearty food for austere places. It was delicious.
And then I raided my pantry today, steeled in my resolve to spend no money (except iTunes of course), and to not leave the apartment (except to run to the car to raid the meter change drawer for purposes of laundering).
Here's what I found and did...
- 1 1/2 cup brown lentils
- 1 cup long-grain rice
- 1 can chick peas
- 1 bag frozen lima beans, about 2 cups
- 1 can peeled, diced tomatoes
- 1 can low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2 T tumeric
- 1 T coriander
- 1 T cardamom
- Rice, broth, and turmeric go into the rice cooker. If you don't have one, just make rice, use 1+ cup of rice and 1 3/4 or so cups of broth. All the tumeric.
- While that's going, throw the cocunut milk and a can full of water in a heavy saucepan. Add the coriander and cardomom and stir through on medium heat.
- Add the lentils, tomatoes, and chickpeas (drained and rinsed, of course) to the pot and bring it to a gentle boil for 20 minutes or so. Taste the lentils after 15, they're the key tender check you need to be looking at. Salt and pepper go here.
- When the lentils are tender (I added a couple cups of water along the way to keep it a bit on the soupy side), add the limas and heat through on low heat.
- Serve the lentil goop over the turmeric rice.
If I had a grill and some lamb, oh the places this dish would have gone.
Yes, I would have sauteed onions in a perfect world. Remember, not leaving the apartment today.