This Curried Brown Rice is a faux kedgeree. It is great as a way to use up leftover boiled brown rice, or it can be cooked from scratch as below. Ajicito peppers look like... hot habanero peppers but are sweet. They bring the taste without the heat. Find them in Latino markets. Italian frying peppers or Cubanelle peppers are good substitutes. Add frozen lima beans for extra protein, or use frozen peas or any other preferred frozen vegetables.
In a heavy, lidded pot, bring the basmati rice and 2 cups water to a boil over a high flame. Add the slice of ginger, salt to taste and cover. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 35-40 minutes. Without lifting the lid, remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
While the rice is steaming, heat the oil in a wok or wide sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds. When they start to darken and become aromatic, add the minced ginger and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the garlic starts to color. Add the onion and peppers. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the curry powder and cayenne pepper to the vegetables in the pan. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute, until the spices are mixed with the oil and a paste forms. Do not let the spices burn! Add ¼ cup of water, mix, then add the French beans and lima beans. Cook until the lima beans have thawed and are bright green. Add another ¼ cup of water if it looks dry. At this point, the rice should be ready.
Add the cooked rice to the pan a spoonful at a time, mixing it into the vegetables as you go until well coated. Cook, stirring, for a minute, then add the shredded arugula. Cook, stirring, until it is wilted. Adjust for salt. Sprinkle with a little chopped cilantro and stir to mix. Serve immediately.
Adding arugula will bring the health benefits of its membership in the cruciferous family. If you don’t have arugula on hand, then add 2 cups shredded spinach, or 1 cup frozen, but be sure to include the cilantro.
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