Aloo Taheri Recipe (Indian Potato Rice)

Aloo Taheri Recipe (Indian Potato Rice) Recipe

Taheri is to Indian cuisine what risotto is to Italian cuisine. In the Indian version, basmati rice is cooked in the same manner as Arborio rice would be in risotto.

I cooked a few vegetables such as broccoli, zucchini (freshly picked from our garden) and carrots with caramelized onions and spices, then pan-fried pre-boiled potatoes. Once the vegetable mixture is very fragrant, the grains of basmati rice are incorporated and cooked until softened. Unlike pilaf, the rice is pre-boiled separately, then steamed on top of the vegetables, this method provides a very flavorful rice.

Aloo is Indian for "potato". I initially planned this recipe for my first cookbook  Haute Potato but later decided otherwise. Taheri is a very common Pakistani dish. My husband's aunt, Phoopi, is an expert Pakistani cook as her in-laws are the owner of the delicious Shezan in downtown Mountain View, California. If you're searching for authentic Pakistani and Indian cuisine, stop by, say hi and savor mouth-watering, spicy food.

Ingredients

Yields: 6 servings

½ cup vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste (see tips)
2½ teaspoons salt, to taste
1 teaspoon red chili powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
¼ teaspoons garam masala
1 tablespoon ground coriander
3 red-skinned potatoes, boiled
¼ cup broccoli florets
¼ cup carrots, diced
1 zucchini, diced
¼ cup string beans, cut into 2"-pieces
juice of half a lemon
1 green chile, stemmed
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
½ teaspoon black pepper
3 cups basmati rice


Directions

For the rice: Wash and thoroughly rinse the rice in several water baths (three times). Place in a large bowl; cover with water. Add 1 teaspoon salt and soak for at least 1 hour. Drain as much water as possible.

For the vegetables: In a Dutch oven, heat ¼ cup oil. Add the onion, chili powder, turmeric, ground coriander and ginger garlic paste. Mix well, then add the carrots. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes until softened.  Add the broccoli, zucchini and the green beans.  Stir well and cook for 10 minutes. Add garam masala. Stir well. Transfer to a plate.

For the potatoes: Peel the potatoes and cut into 2"-pieces. In the same Dutch oven, heat the rest of the oil.  Pan-fry the potatoes until lightly golden, then return the vegetables to the Dutch oven.

Assembly time:

Preheat the oven to 200°F.

Prepare about 6¼ cups boiling water in a kettle.  Add 4 cups stock to the Dutch oven.  Add the green chile, lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, the vegetables and the potatoes.  Stir well, then add the rice.  Using a stainless steel slotted spoon (to keep from breaking the rice grains), gently stir the mixture.  Bring to a boil.  Check the liquid and periodically add 1½ cups to 2¼ cups of boiling water when all the previous liquid is absorbed.  Add cilantro.  Let simmer for 15 minutes. 

Note: you could also add a small mound of butter at the end if you like.

Seal the pot with an aluminum sheet and a kitchen towel; cover the pot. Place on the stove over high heat for about 3-4 minutes. Steam should escape from the pot. Immediately transfer to the oven with the towel and store until ready to serve. Allow the rice to set for at least 15 minutes. Do not remove the lid.

Gently fluff the rice using long chopsticks (or a fork) without breaking the grains of rice.

Serve immediately with raita (yogurt based sauce) and chutney.

Bon appétit!


Tips

Indian cuisine always calls for ginger garlic paste. It tastes great and is very healthy for you as well. Just clean the ginger, peel with a paring knife, then finely chop it. Place the chopped ginger and 5 cloves of garlic in a blender and add about 2 tablespoons (or more) of water for a smooth flow. Transfer to a small jar and store in the refrigerator. You can keep this paste for at least a week in the refrigerator.

If you're not serving immediately, just place the pot in the oven at 170°F (the lowest setting) until ready to serve.

Little reminder on how to make raita: In a mini-blender or a mortar and pestle, combine 1 clove, 1 stemmed jalapeño pepper (or more to taste), 1 clove garlic and 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro. Add ¼ cup of water (or more) for a smooth flow.  Season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to a bowl and add 2 cups Greek-style plain yogurt.  Whisk the yogurt until smooth (add more water if necessary). Chill in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve.

 

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on June 11, 2013.


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