Recipe supplied by Pasand restaurant in Irving and Richardson.

Basmati Rice With Peas and Carrots

2 to 3 tablespoons clarified butter (ghee; available in Indian markets)
1 stick cinnamon, coarsely ground
3 whole cloves, coarsely ground
3 cardamom pods
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 medium onions, chopped
salt to taste
1 cup basmati rice
1 teaspoon ground red chile (not chili powder)
10 fresh green beans, sliced in thin rounds
1 medium carrot, sliced in thin rounds
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
several sprigs cilantro, chopped (for garnish)

In a large, heavy, nonreactive skillet or saucepan, heat the clarified butter over medium-low heat and sauté the ground cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom pods to release their flavor. Add the cumin seeds and onion and sauté until the onion is golden, 10 to 15 minutes.

Add salt, 2 cups of water, and rice to the skillet, tightly cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until rice is tender, about 25 minutes. About 5 minutes before the rice is done, add the ground chile, green beans, carrots, and peas and cook for 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.

Masala Sauce

3/4 cup chopped onion
up to 1/4 cup ghee (clarified butter)
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 teaspoons ground red chile (not chili powder)
2 teaspoons ground coriander
3 1/2 tablespoons ginger paste (available in Indian markets)
3 1/2 tablespoons garlic paste (available in Indian markets)
2 teaspoons red chile paste (available in Indian markets)
3 1/2 tablespoons cashew paste (available in Indian markets, or nut butter of your choice)
3/4 cup tomato purée

Sauté the onions in 2 tablespoons of the clarified butter over medium-low heat until light golden brown. Add cumin, ground red chile, and coriander and mix it thoroughly. At any point, you may add more clarified butter if the sauce becomes too thick, but be cautious, because this recipe can easily become extremely rich.

Add the ginger paste and garlic paste and cook for a few minutes. Add the red chile paste and cook for a few additional minutes, then the cashew paste and tomato purée. Cook over low heat, stirring, until thick. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to add chicken.

Grilled Marinated Chicken

1 cup plain yogurt
5/8 cup mustard oil
1/2 cup ginger-garlic paste
3 1/2 tablespoons red chile paste
1 1/2 tablespoons cumin powder
1 1/2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 1/2 tablespoons “black salt” (a pinkish salt with trace minerals, available in Indian markets)
2 tablespoons garam masala powder
1 pound boneless chicken breast, cut in bite-size pieces (as near in shape to cubes as you can manage)
salt to taste
1/2 cup light cream
1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves or 1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek

Mix the first 7 ingredients plus 1 1/3 tablespoons of the garam masala powder, add chicken, and marinate for 6 to 8 hours.

Preheat a charcoal grill and cook the marinated chicken on skewers, turning periodically, until almost cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes depending on the heat of your grill.

Before serving, add the parcooked chicken, the remaining 2 teaspoons of garam masala powder, and salt to the masala sauce. Simmer for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking. Just before removing from heat, stir in the cream and fenugreek. Present with the basmati rice. Serves 4 to 5.

Recipe from Pasand, Irving