vendredi, avril 13, 2007

Desi Arroz Tapado and catching up

Yay! I spent all of today, from dawn till midnight, locked in my room, doing laundry, blogging like a maniac, and otherwise getting caught up. I still have to cut my hair, do the dishes and maybe have a moment of rest, but getting rid of the blog backlog was quite the relief. If you haven't been checking this blog recently, you might not realize that the last two weeks were pretty much written in the last two days. I've been a busy, busy boy.

Rather than bore you with stories of assclowns in the laundry room and endless typing, here's a recipe for what I ate today, which is essentially an arroz tapado made with Indian-style ingredients. Arroz tapado, by the way, is a Peruvian dish that involves preparing rice and ground beef separately (in this case, I used beans), then layering them in a bowl and turning the bowl upside down on a plate. I don't know why, but this little aesthetic turn meant the world to me when I was a kid. It still does, really.

Desi Arroz Tapado


The "Meat"
  • 1/2-cup of butter (1/4 for frying, 1/4 for finishing)
  • 1-2 medium onions, chopped finely
  • 4 medium vine tomatoes, chopped finely (peeled if you have time)
  • 1 tbsp garlic, crushed or chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger, grated or chopped
  • 2 tbsp of chana dal mix or some other indian masala that you like
  • 1-2 cups of mung beans or lentils (no need to presoak, really)
  • 3-4 cups of water or stock
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
The Rice
  • 1/4-cup of butter
  • 1 tbsp each of whole spices--at least cumin, but also black mustard seeds and lovage, maybe cardamom too. NOT peppercorns, though...they burn!
  • 1 cup of rice (more if you like, but adjust water accordingly)
  • 2 cups of water or stock


The "Meat"
  1. Melt 1/4-cup of butter and sautée tomatoes and onions until they begin to form a paste.
  2. Add garlic, ginger and spices and wait for garlic to mellow out.
  3. Add beans (washed) and mix to coat.
  4. Add liquid until beans are well covered and leave to simmer.
  5. When the mixture is nearly dry, add more water and simmer again.
  6. Keep on doing this until the beans are soft and break open under the pressure of your spatula
  7. With the mixture still rather dry, remove from heat and mix roughly with a firm spatula or wooden spoon until some of the beans have opened up and created a bit of a paste.
  8. Add water, return to heat and allow to boil down one more time, being sure to stir more often.
  9. Remove from heat, stir in remaining butter and put aside.
The Rice
  1. Melt butter in saucepan and add whole spices over medium heat.
  2. Wait until the butter has stopped frothing and the spices have begun to render their aroma. Add rice and stir to coat.
  3. Add liquid and simmer uncovered until liquid has disappeared. Fluff with a fork and put aside.
The Plating
  1. In a bowl (preferably something smooth, like glass or plastic), lay down alternating layers of rice and beans/meat. the layers can be as thick or thin as you like, but there should at least be 3.
  2. Turn the bowl over onto a dish and give it a couple of sharp taps. The mixture should hold its shape on the plate.
  3. If you want to be really Peruvian about it, add a sliced hard-boiled egg.

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