I really like Indian food but haven't cooked it because, well, I don't really know the herbs and spices used so I have a hard time looking at a recipe and trying to figure out if it'll be any good. So I cheated a bit and picked up a cookbook at the library, one that looked simple and showed pictures of the ingredients. It is "Pure & Simple Homemade Indian Vegetarian Cuisine" by Vidhu Mittal. I've made a couple of things and what I've discovered is that I love the combination of cumin and tumeric. I've been making variations of this recipe, basically swapping out the peas for whatever vegetables I might have floating around the house and have had generally good results...with modifications of course. First, the modifications. I cook the rice first, not completely, but enough that I'm not tapping my foot and waiting for the dish to be done. Let's say about 2/3 of the way done. And I add the peas near the end because the first time I made them they turned that horrible shade of green I associate with canned peas.
Mixed Vegetable Pilaf
1 c brown basmati rice, cooked about 2/3 of the way through
2 potatoes, medium size, cut into cubes
1 c cauliflower
1 c green peas
1 T ghee
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp tumeric
About a cup of water
1 1/2 tsp salt
Heat ghee in a pan on medium heat for about 30 seconds, add cumin seeds and tumeric. Add potatoes and cauliflower. Cook for a minute.
Add water and salt. Bring to a boil and cook, covered, until the potatoes are soft. Add the rice and additional water if needed. Add peas. Cook until rice is tender.