Last year for my birthday my aunt gave me a basket stuffed with the basic spices and whole seeds needed for Indian cooking…… You name it, it’s in the basket: whole coriander and cumin seeds, cloves, ginger, black cardamom pods, freshly ground cinnamon, garam masala, (“hot mix”), turmeric, ground mustard and some other earthy, fallish colored spices…..
The basket’s been sitting on top of my fridge since then, pulled down every now then, packets sniffed and admired. And while I’m proud of my basket full of spices, I’ve kind of been avoiding cooking with any of it’s components. Not because of any level of difficulty, but because of the level of commitment I perceive indian cuisine to bare…. (I made several ugly and failed attempts at home made yogurt (a major marinating ingredient) last winter which was quite demoralizing………… whatever).
So this afternoon I finally committed to making an effort to cook with the spices. Mostly because I’ve been desperately craving curative foods while battling this stupid cold: garlic, tomatoes, green tea, ginger ale, spices……. anything to heat me up and move the symptoms around………. so “indian rice” sounded doable.
Soooooo…….. Stir fried a bunch of whole cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom pods and onions in a pan. Added some already steamed rice and stirred that around for awhile…… To the rice in the pan, I dumped Garam Masala ands stirred it up enough to appear to be mixed in… Smelled really good, needed salt and maybe some chicken. Over all though, it was enough curative heat and depth i needed to get me through the afternoon…..