31 January 2011

Rasika Dinner

Rasika is an Indian restaurant in DC at which I recently enjoyed a delicious meal.  It wasn't the standard Indian menu.  They had lots of unique offerings, like flash fried spinach with tamarind yogurt dressing.  I couldn't bring myself to do any frying last night, so we just had raw spinach with tamarind yogurt (yogurt mixed with samosa sauce.)  But the stand out dish of the evening was the Chestnut Fava Bean Korma.  Below is my attempt to recreate it.  It wasn't as quite as dreamy or nearly as creamy, but it was just the right compliment to the salad, aloo gobi, and black rice pictured above.
Clock wise from top:  Crushed almonds, shelled fresh fava beans, cardamon in and out of it's pod, shelled roasted chestnuts.   
Chestnuts are hard to find sometimes, but I hoarded a few jars at Thanksgiving time.  I've also had some success finding them at the Asian grocery stores.  Strangely, I never seem to have trouble finding fresh fava beans around here.  But if you do, the canned ones are fine.  The cardamon seeds are what you want.  Break open the pods to remove the seeds, and discard the pods.  A pinch worth of seeds is all you need, as this spice is quite strong in flavour.  Rasika used cashews, but I didn't have any, hence the almonds.
20 or so cardamon seeds
1 small onion, diced
20 or so roasted chestnuts
1 cups of fava beans
1 cup of chopped nuts (preferably cashews)
1 can coconut milk or cream
1 T oil, butter or ghee

In a saucepan, heat oil and toast cardamon seeds for a minute or two.  Add onions and saute for about 3 minutes.   Add beans, chestnuts, and nuts and cook until onions are brown.  Add coconut milk and allow to stew for about 20 minutes.  Keep on low heat until ready to serve.


LouBennion said...

Chestnuts in any form and fava beans are easy to come by in Provence, and the other ingredients shouldn't be too hard to find... This looks like the very definition of comfort food to me right now. One can only eat so much thyme and rosemary.

e said...

there you go then! get to work! i have a limit for rosemary, but thyme and i are buds.