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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Batata Poha-Pressed Rice and Potatoes

I admit it. I am a grocery whore. I love grocery stores of any kind. But, I particularly love any kind of grocery store where I can find new ingredients and experiment. 

We were visiting friends in Chicago this weekend, and we had some time to burn on Sunday, so they suggested we hit a couple of the many ethnic food stores they have in their area. I was all for that ! I ended up filling my suitcase with supplies from all around the world, many of which I had never heard of. Some people might think I am crazy, but that's fun for me ! 

This dish was created because I purchased a large bag of poha, which is pressed rice, commonly used in Indian dishes. I researched it's various preparations, and it can be cooked in both sweet and savory dishes. This dish, with potatoes, is often cooked for breakfast, but we used it as a side dish for our dinner. I made a massive pot of it, which was a good thing, because Ray couldn't stop eating it ! 

I took some liberties with the traditional preparation, so I could use ingredients we had on hand, and incorporate more of my new pantry items. 

Batata Poha-Pressed Rice and Potatoes 
2 cups pressed rice
2 tablespoons canola oil 
2 tablespoons butter 
2 teaspoons mustard seed 
1 medium onion, diced 
2 jalapenos, finely diced 
2 teaspoons cumin 
1 teaspoon dried safflower (you could also use tumeric here)
1 large potato, peeled and diced
1/2 cup vegetable stock 
1 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup dried, roasted chickpeas (peanuts could substitute) 
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
Handful of cilantro
Rinse rice thoroughly in cold water and set aside. In a large dutch oven, heat oil and butter together. Add mustard seeds, and cook over medium heat until they begin to pop. Add onions and peppers, and saute until soft. Add spices, and stir to combine. Stir in potatoes, and cover. Keep cooking over medium heat, stirring frequently, until potatoes are cooked through. Gently stir in rice, salt and vegetable stock. Cover and cook an additional 10 minutes until rice is thoroughly cooked. Add chickpeas, lemon juice and cilantro just before serving. 

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