Rice with Vegetables and Dried Currants
- Yield 4 to 6 servings
- 4 cups jasmine rice
- 1 large potato, peeled
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric (optional)
- 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
- 1 cup dried currants or raisins
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- Kosher salt
- Bring 4 quarts of water and 1/4 cup salt to a boil (it may seem like a lot of salt, but the goal is to cook the rice as you would pasta). Meanwhile, rinse rice in cold water; repeat until water is clear. Add rice to boiling pot and cook until it is almost tender but still crunchy in the middle, 5 to 7 minutes. Since you’re cooking the rice for only about 10 minutes, there will still be plenty of liquid remaining. When rice is al dente, drain in fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold water. Drain completely, then dump rice into a large bowl.
- While rice is cooking, slice potato into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Heat 1/4 cup of oil in Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot over medium heat. Stir in turmeric. Arrange potatoes in single layer at bottom of pot, making sure that all pieces fit snugly. Sprinkle pinch or two of salt over potatoes. Sauté them until crisp and golden, about 5 minutes, then flip them over to cook the other side, about 20 minutes altogether. Remove from heat.
- Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in skillet and add carrots, currants, and cumin seeds. Stir frequently and sauté until carrots are slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and scrape carrot mixture into bowl of rice and toss to combine. Transfer rice mixture to Dutch oven on top of potatoes, then drape kitchen towel over pot to prevent any steam from escaping. Place lid right over towel, gather ends of towel, and bunch them on top of lid.
- Place pot over low, low heat and cook until rice is tender, about 1 hour. You can serve this dish two ways—by inverting the entire pot of rice over onto a large platter or by scooping the rice onto a dish and then placing the potato slices on top.
Excerpted from Balaboosta by Einat Admony (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2013.