Cashew Rice with Diced Potatoes

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Cashew Rice with Diced Potatoes

Although one might not think to serve rice and potatoes together due to their starch content, this recipe for cashew rice with potatoes from Yamuna Devi's Lord Krishna's Cuisine may cause you to reconsider that assumption. Ms. Devi says the starch content of the two foods is about the same, so combining them really only yields the same amount of starch as a portion of rice. And this dish uses a fresh garam masala made with coconut and dry toasted spices that elevates both ingredients. Top it off with some fried cashews and I'm in side dish heaven.

The fresh homemade coconut garam masala is really quite essential for this dish, but if you're pressed for time you can substitute 1 tablespoon of ready-made garam masala and 2 tablespoons of dried shredded unsweetened coconut ground to a powder. For a complete and satisfying vegetarian meal, serve with a legume dish, such as Indian-spiced black-eyed pea soup with corn and dill.

Cashew Rice with Diced PotatoesCashew Rice with Diced Potatoes
Recipe by
Adapted from Lord Krishna's Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking
Cuisine: Indian
Published on March 19, 2008

Rice and potatoes with fried cashews and a fresh coconut and toasted spice garam masala — a delicous side dish

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes

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Coconut garam masala:
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2-inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons dried shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 4 tablespoons ghee, butter or oil
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, broken into pieces
  • 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 1 to 2 fresh green chilies, seeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • small handful of fresh or dried curry leaves
  • 1 large potato, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh or dried shredded unsweetened coconut for garnish
  • small handful of fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish (optional)
  • Start by making the coconut garam masala. In a small heavy frying pan, toast the peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon stick, coriander seeds and cumin seeds over low heat for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and break the cinnamon stick into small pieces. Grind together the toasted spices, sesame seeds and coconut in a coffee grinder or small food processor until you have a fine powder. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

  • Thoroughly rinse the rice and soak for 30 to 40 minutes in 2 1/2 cups of water. Drain over a bowl, reserving the water, and let the rice dry in the strainer for 15 to 20 minutes, tossing occasionally.

  • Heat 3 tablespoons of the ghee, butter or oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. When hot, toss in the cashew pieces and fry, stirring frequently, for 5 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

  • Raise the heat under the saucepan to medium and add the ginger, green chilies, cumin seeds and brown mustard seeds. Stir for 30 to 60 seconds or until the mustard seeds turn gray and begin to pop. Add the curry leaves, stir once, and then add the potato. Stir for 6 to 8 minutes or until the potato is nicely browned. Now add the rice, turmeric and salt. Stir for 1 minute to coat the grains with oil and spices.

  • Pour in the reserved rice soaking water and stir in the coconut garam masala and fried cashews. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed — about 20 minutes.

  • Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Add the remaining tablespoon of ghee, butter or oil, and fluff with a fork.

  • Serve hot garnished with coconut and parsley if desired.

Makes 4 to 5 servings

Cashew Rice with Diced Potatoes


Lucy said...

Yesk, well, now I KNOW there's some weird connection between us Lisa.

I made it last night, this exact recipe, I kid you not, and thought, 'I must let Lisa know how bloody good it is, both book and recipe'...

Can't quite believe it - it's a huge book!

Lisa Turner said...

Lucy! Oh my! You are right, it is a big book and it's the first time I have tried that recipe and I've owned the book for practically as long as I have been a vegetarian! And you, well, you have not had it long, but you choose this recipe! Weird indeed :) It would have been even eerier if I had made the dish on the exact same night as you!

I'm so glad to hear you are enjoying the book as much as me.

Astra Libris said...

Ooooh, this sounds incredible! I do adore cashews...

zlamushka said...

Lisa, I am simply in love with your spice combo. I have bookmarked this as a must-try :-)

Katie Zeller said...

I've paired potatoes with pasta - why not with rice? And anything with cashews is high on my list...
Love the spice...

Laura Paterson said...

My sister has mashed potato sandwiches - on white bread... This is comparatively starch free ;)

This looks gorgeous Lisa, and I bet it would be good cold the next day for lunch too!

Peter M said...

Yum, yum, yum, pass me some! I'd love this with a grilled fish.

Neen said...

So here's a question for you -- do different Indian cookbooks give different recipes for fresh garam masala, or is there some sort of standard? I was surprised to see that Lord Krishna's Cuisine included shredded coconut and sesame seeds -- those flavors definitely don't come out in the store bought versions! Do the costal parts of India use garam masala more than the interior, or is that cookbook from a costal part? (Can you tell that I'm really hung up over this coconut inclusion? :) ). Looks great in any case!

Lisa Turner said...


There are many different variations on garam masala. The most traditional blends usually contain cinnamon, roasted cumin, cardamom and cloves. You can find a few recipes here.

Lord Krishna's Cuisine features recipes from all over India. Garam masala is common to Indian cooking, but it originated in the colder Northern regions.

test it comm said...

I have yet to try making my own garam masalam, though it is on my todo list. The rice sounds tasty. The potatoes in the rice do sound interesting.

Anonymous said...

Rice and potatoes sound great together!

Kalyn Denny said...

The logic does make complete sense, and it sounds delicious!