28 September, 2020, 17:30

Green Pea Masala With Spiced Plum Chutney & Basmati Rice

If you’re like me, you’re a lover of fine ethnic food. This week, our featured dish will fill your home with aromatic scents as you pan roast a variety of spices.

Adding the spiced plum chutney brings more Indian authenticity to this meal as a whole. The thought of cooking plums never crossed my mind until a neighbor delivered a bag of fresh plums to my doorstep. I wasn’t sure if this was a sign from the Harvest Gods, but I knew it was definitely the ideal opportunity to create something different.

Ultimately, the chutney is easy to make and takes center stage. Most importantly, for this particular meal, leftovers are highly recommended. As flavors gradually become more enhanced with each passing hour, the following day will certainly give you a satisfactory encore, but please don’t take my word for it.

If bona fide Indian food is what you want, but prefer to leave the cooking to the professionals, The Twisted Tandoor is an absolute favorite. Mukhi and Roop Singh source the finest quality ingredients for Tucson locals and even impressed many after switching all of their oils out two years ago, sourcing only Non-GMO oils, Pink Himalayan Sea Salt and homemade herb & spice blends in all their dishes. You can find them at the Heirloom Farmers Market every Sunday morning from 8am to noon.

Many thanks to Forever Young Farm, Food Conspiracy Garden, High Energy Agriculture, TTT, Garden’s Best Farm and my neighbor for providing all of the locally grown ingredients for this meal.

Green Peas Masala or Curry

  • 1 cup of peas*
  • 1 onion, diced*
  • 3 tomatoes, diced*
  • 2 cups water or vegetable broth*
  • 1 tbsp olive oil*
  • 1 tsp whole fennel seeds*
  • 1 tsp whole coriander seeds*
  • 1 tsp curry leaves*
  • 3 whole cloves*
  • 2 inch ginger, sliced in half*
  • 1 chili pepper, diced*
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced*
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric*
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns*
  • 1 tsp garam masala(TTT)*
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Saute all whole seeds, peppercorns and curry leaves in oil on low-medium heat for five minutes. Add ginger, onions, pepper and garlic. Saute another five minutes. Add tomatoes, salt, turmeric for five minutes. Add peas and water, bring to a slight boil, lower heat, add garam masala powder and cover to simmer for 10 minutes or until peas are perfectly plump. Cool and serve with rice. (Removing whole seeds and leaves are optional before eating)

Aromatic Basmati Rice

  • 2 cups basmati rice, rinsed well*
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil*
  • 1 cinnamon stick*
  • 1 bay leaf*
  • 2 whole cloves*
  • pinch of sea salt

Saute cloves, bay leaf and cinnamon stick in oil on low-medium heat for three minutes. Add rice, saute and stir for two minutes. Add water, salt and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover to steam on low for 25 minutes. Allow to cool, serve.

Spiced Plum Chutney

  • 6 small plums, sliced in quarters*
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar*
  • 1 medium onion, diced*
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced*
  • 1 inch ginger sliced in half*
  • 1 cinnamon stick*
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns*
  • 4 whole cloves*
  • 4 whole cardamom buds*
  • 5 dates, soaked & blended into syrup*

Boil all ingredients for two minutes while stirring. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, cool and strain excess liquid. Serve or store overnight in refrigerator for intensified flavor.

* indicates organically grown

Jaime Hall is a Tucson based vegan, GMO-Free speaker, and healthy lifestyle advocate. Keep up with her at gmo-freetucson.org.