Inspired by an Indian/Pakistani dish called Tehri, this brown rice and sweet potato pilaf is embellished with green peas and flavored with lots of ginger and cilantro.
In its original form, Tehri (here’s an all-veg recipe), white rice basmati rice is combined with white potatoes (there may also be a similar rice and potato pilaf and Thai cuisine). Though it sounds rather redundant, the seasonings and embellishments make it delectable in any case, a true comfort food.
I took the general idea of this classic pilaf recipe and revved it up to include the two main ingredients’ extra-nourishing counterparts—brown rice and sweet potatoes. Like any dish using brown rice, this will take about 40 minutes, but hands-on time is limited, allowing you to prepare any accompaniments at a leisurely pace.
Complete the meal: Steamed broccoli and a simple tossed salad are enough to round out the meal. Or, a colorful platter with an array of raw vegetables and a creamy vegan dip works nicely as a companion dish as well. Try Vegan Ranch Dressing or Vegan Blue Cheese Dressing.
In praise of sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes are one of the most ancient, nutritious, and valuable food crops of the Americas. Not to diminish the value of white or golden potatoes, but in comparison, sweet potatoes are substantially richer in nutrients.
They’re especially high in vitamin A and the major minerals. With their natural sweetness and glorious color, sweet potatoes lend themselves to simple preparations. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
- 2 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil
- 4 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced, divided
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups raw long-grain brown rice, rinsed
- 32-ounce container low-sodium vegetable broth or 4 cups water with 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (about 1/2-inch)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh or squeeze-bottle ginger, or more to taste
- 2 teaspoons good-quality curry powder, or more to taste
- 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
- 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro, or more, to taste
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Toasted cashew halves for topping, optional
- Sriracha, dried hot pepper flakes, or other hot seasoning, optional
- Heat the oil in a stir-fry pan. Add the white parts of the scallions and garlic. Sauté over medium-low heat until just turning golden.
- Add the rice to the pan along with the broth (or water with bouillon cubes). Bring to a slow boil, then lower the heat, cover and simmer gently until the broth is absorbed, 30 to 35 minutes. If the rice isn’t done to your liking, add 1/2 cup additional water and cook until absorbed; repeat as needed.
- Meanwhile, combine the diced sweet potato in a saucepan with just enough water to cover. Bring to a slow boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer gently until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse briefly under cool running water.
- Once the rice is done, add the cooked sweet potatoes, then stir in the ginger and curry powder. Turn the heat up to medium-high and cook, stirring, until the ingredients are well blended.
- Add the peas and cook, stirring frequently, another minute or two.
- Season with salt and pepper, stir in the cilantro, and serve. Pass around cashews and or hot seasoning for embellishing individual servings, if desired.
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