Today’s ingredient swap was horsegram given to me by Usha. This ingredient swap with my blogging friends has been so much fun cooking with different ingredients that are not always staples in my pantry. Many different countries have a spiced rice dish called pulao. It is spelled in different ways depending on the country such as pilao, pelao, pilav and the variations go on. There are different methodologies to cooking this rice from stove top methods to baked versions. Horsegram is a brand new ingredient for me and I created this mildly spiced Horsegram Pulao with it.
I have seen many Indian recipes using horsegram, however, it is something I had not previously tasted or utilized. Upon further research, I learned that India is pretty much the only country that considers it a lentil for human consumption. In India, it is used in making everything from rice dishes to paratha. However, for the rest of the world, it is not used as an edible human lentil and instead used for horsefeed. This small lentil I found had a very mild taste and not starchy at all. I would definitely continue to include it in rice dishes or even soup I think it would make a great addition.
When Indians first started coming to the Caribbean as indentured servants in the 1800’s, they brought their cuisine with them. While many Caribbean foods have Indian names, there are slight differences in flavorings and methodology as always happens when foods get transported across oceans and continents. I used my knowledge of both Indian style and Caribbean style pulao to create this fusion pulao.
- 1/2 cup horsegram
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5 cloves
- 5 green cardamom pods
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon garlic paste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon red chile powder. cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3 cups Basmati rice
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup coconut milk
- Soak horsegram overnight in water.
- Cook horsegram in a pot of boiling water until tender, about 30 minutes.
- Drain horsegram, but reserve liquid.
- In a large pot, heat ghee. Add cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and cumin. Stir fry for 1 minute, until the cumin starts to change color. Add ginger paste and garlic paste. Fry for 1 minute.
- Add 3 cups of the reserved horsegram liquid and coconut milk. Add turmeric, chile powder and salt. Bring to a boil.
- Add rice and cooked horsegram. Stir to combine. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered until rice is tender, about 20 minutes.