Archive for ‘Food on Rice’

December 11, 2011

Massman Curry (of a sort)

Our version of Massaman Curry, served over rice in a blue handmade bowl.

Having once eaten mediocre vegetarian massaman curry in a college dining hall, I (librarian) recently felt inspired to concoct my own version of this dish.  After scouring our rural town’s minimal grocery stores for months, the recommended massaman curry paste finally appeared on the shelf of the natural food store a few weeks ago.  So I looked around the root cellar and the fridge for what vegetables we had to work with.  December isn’t the most inspiring time for vegetable eating, but I came up with sweet potatoes, Asian greens, onions, and garlic.  I swapped the usual tofu  for a can of chickpeas.  I also made the rice with my favorite new method:  crock-pot-as-rice-cooker.  Without further ado, here’s my version of vegetarian soy-free seasonal vegetable massaman curry.

4-6 servings (over rice) – Takes about 1hr20 for me to prepare, so you’ll probably be faster.


1 large sweet potato or 2 medium-sized ones
1 large onion
3-4 cloves of garlic
1/4 lb of Asian greens (Spinach or any other kind of cooking green will do – but Bok Choi, Mizuna, and the like are particularly great in this recipe; the amount of greens is completely flexible)
1 cup white rice (optional)

1 can of chickpeas
1 can of coconut milk (full fat, especially for this recipe)
1/2 can of massaman curry paste (about 2 oz. – see link above for what I used)
1 tablespoon of peanut butter (I like low-fi PB like Teddie but any kind will do)
1 teaspoon of brown sugar (omit if you’re using sweetened PB like Skippy or Jiff)
1/2 teaspoon of dried ground ginger, or chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
Generous handful of roasted peanuts (some for cooking, some for topping)
A bit of olive oil (for the pan)
A bit of butter or olive oil (for the crockpot rice-making)

Array of sauces and seasonings for the curry


1. Grease the bottom and (lower) sides of your crockpot with some butter or oil.  Put in 1 cup of uncooked white rice, a pinch of salt, and 2 cups of water.  Set your crockpot to high, cover it, and get to work on the rest of the curry.  I found that this dinner was timed nearly perfectly with the rice being done.

Rice cooking in crock-pot.

2. Peel and cube the sweet potatoe(s).  Set it/them up to boil for about 15-20 minutes in a saucepan.

Sweet potatoes in boiling water

3. While the sweet potatoes are cooking, wash and chop the greens.  Dry them and set aside.

4. While the sweet potatoes are still cooking, chop the garlic and onion.

5. Once the sweet potato cubes are cooked (easily pierced with a fork, but still holding their shape), drain them and put them into a large bowl.

6. In the saucepan you just emptied, put the following:


  • The creamy part of the coconut milk (at the top of the can; just scoop it out with a spoon)
  • 1/2 can of massaman curry paste  (put the rest of the can into a freezer bag and pop in the freezer to store)
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
  • Chopped onions
  • Chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar (if you’re using unsweetened/natural PB)
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • A handful roasted peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

7. Stir it all around and cook over medium-low heat for a few minutes.

8. Once the sauce is combined, add in the rest of the coconut milk.  Cook for about 5-10 minutes until the sauce is heated through.  Be careful not to let it burn – you may have to turn the heat down and stir quite frequently.

9.  Add back the sweet potato chunks and stir until covered in sauce.  Now is a great time to test the seasoning – I added a bit more soy sauce and sesame oil.  You might want to add a bit more curry paste if you like a spicier curry.

10. Add the chickpeas.  Once those are warmed and covered in sauce, check the status of your rice.  If it’s not nearly done, I’d recommend shutting off the heat to the curry.  Leave it covered while you wait for the rice to be done.

11. Check on the rice after about 1hr – 1hr15.  You might want to fluff it up a bit just before it’s finished.

12. When the rice is done, turn the crockpot to warm.  Stir the greens into the curry and cook over low heat until the greens are wilted and incorporated with the curry.

13. Serve your delicious curry over rice!

May 10, 2011

Cilantro Rice Burritos

Starting at the bottom left:

Cilantro rice

  1. Cook 1 cup dried rice in neutral or olive oil until the rice grains start to turn translucent.
  2. Add water and cook rice as you usually would.
  3. When the rice is done, let it sit covered for 20 minutes to steam the rice.
  4. Stir in some salt, the juice of 1 lime, and 1/2 cup well chopped fresh cilantro

Re-fried beans with corn, peppers, & chives

  1. Put about 3/4 cup chopped red and yellow peppers to a frying pan with about 3/4 cup sweet corn.  Since ours is from our frozen veggie stock we cooked these lightly until fully defrosted, then poured the excess liquid off for our homemade veggie stock.
  2. Cook the peppers and corn for about five minutes, than add about 1/2 cup of roughly chopped chives
  3. Turn the heat very low, add the re-fried beans and cook, stirring constantly, until evenly warmed.

Sliced avocado (since we could never have got this kind of thing locally, we’ve made some exceptions)

Cheddar Cheese

Flour tortillas which we did not make ourselves


March 15, 2011

Saffron Rice

Faced with minimal veggies and a need for dinner, I looked through our cookbook collection and came across this recipe in Veganomicon.  Since we happen to be lucky enough to have a lot of saffron around–A’s mother works in Afghanistan and brought some back for us–this seemed like a good choice.


Saffron Garlic Rice

1 3/4 cup water

1 veggie bouillon cube (I used 1 can veggie broth-which is actually only 1 3/4 cup of broth, even though the can label says it is 2 cups)

pinch of saffron threads (5-6 threads)

2 tablespoons olive oil

5 cloves minced garlic

1 small yellow onion

1 cup white rice

Pinch of ground coriander (I used a large pinch)

Salt and pepper to taste

1/3 cup sliced toasted almonds


  1. In a medium sauce, boil the water/stock (if you’re using of bouillon dissolve it now).  Turn off the heat, add the saffron and set aside.
  2. Preheat a pot over medium heat.  Saute the garlic in the oil just until it starts to turn golden and softens.  About 3-4 minutes.  Next, add the onion and continue to saute until the onion is translucent, about 5-6 minutes.  Add the rice (uncooked) and stir for a minute.  This helps the rice adsorb the flavors.
  3. Now add the saffron broth water and boil it.  Stir the rice once and turn down heat and cover.  Let simmer 20-25 minutes until the rice is nice and tender and the liquid is gone.
  4. Let the rice stand for 10 minutes off the heat, then fluff it up with a fork and serve.


We ate this with black beans and “Spanish” seasonings and hot sauce (oregano, cumin, Spanish paprika, lots of black pepper)



January 30, 2011

Asian Greens and Tofu with Peanut Sauce

This has become a favorite of ours this winter because it’s simple, tasty, and more or less failsafe. It does call for several things we obviously can’t get locally, but none of these are produce. This is a good recipe for a few people to make, since it’s full of separate sections, but it’s also fairly straightforward alone.

1 cabbage or 4-5 cups of Asian cooking greens
1 block firm tofu
Peanut sauce
First, get your rice started, if it’s brown rice you need to leave more time than white rice, so keep that in mind
1. Cut the tofu into small cubes and lay them on a clean cloth to dry.
2. Fry the tofu in a little neutral oil until they start to turn golden brown, about 20-30 minutes depending on your stove. Try to avoid moving them more than you need to prevent sticking. When they are done, set them aside in a bowl.
Meanwhile, don’t lose track of the rice, and start the greens:
3. Chop the cabbage or Asian greens into two-inch long strips and set aside
4. Finely chop two shallots and three cloves of garlic.
5. Cook the shallots and garlic until they turn slightly translucent, then add the cabbage or Asian and a few tablespoons of water.
Meanwhile, make up the peanut sauce:

We like to use Mark Bittman’s peanut sauce from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian but you can use whatever peanut sauce you like. We’ve been using Ithaca Tofu, a delicious tofu brand made in Ithaca, NY.