We enjoyed our monthly dinner this afternoon with a group of friends. We have been doing this for at least 30 years. These friends have become part of our family and it is always a treat to spend some time with them. It was our turn to make the main dish and so we decided to make something that we could enjoy today and later this week when we needed another meal. Paula is working four days this week and so having something already prepared would be a good thing. Anyway, the recipe that we made is called Tahiree Vegetable and Rice Casserole.

Combine 1/4 cup of canola oil, 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon of whole peppercorns, 1/2 teaspoon of cracked peppercorns, 1/2 teaspoon of coriander seeds, 9 cardamom pods, 6 whole garlic cloves, 3 bay leaves and 3 dried chiles (if desired for a little heat) in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, about 2-3 minutes or until cumin starts to brown. Add 1 large thinly sliced onion and 1 teaspoon salt.  Sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 of a cauliflower that is chopped into florets, 2 large red or Yukon Gold potatoes that have been cut into 1-inch pieces, 2 sweet potatoes that have been cut into 1/2-inch pieces and 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric. Reduce heat to medium, and cook for 1 minute. Add 2 cups of basmati rice. Cook another minute, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1 cup of frozen green peas and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Stir in 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff and serve immediately.

We made more of this recipe than I wrote above. I added a entire cauliflower, 3 sweet potatoes (not 2) and 4 Yukon Gold potatoes along with additional quantities of the spices since we wanted to have this meal twice. We also added some chopped rotisserie chicken to the recipe for those who like meat. It was not hard to increase the quantity. Everyone enjoyed the meal and I have no doubt that it will be delicious when we eat it again on Tuesday.

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