I tend to go in spurts like this. It happens.
Anyway, I made a note of this recipe as soon as I saw it discussed on the CLBB. It looked like something we would love. Heck John would like anything with curry powder in it.
Boy was I right. It was devoured, and I mean devoured, by everyone at the table. Sammy had 2 servings of it—she never has 2 servings at dinnertime (she is more of a lunch kind of gal). This recipe is definitely being put in my fallback repertoire!
A note on the rice: the original recipe called for an American strain I had not heard of and a CLBB poster used Chinese Forbidden Rice, which I was game for but could not find. So I used my Thai sweet black rice, which is traditionally only used in desserts, but I have heard more chefs are experimenting with it in savory dishes. Either way, it was awesome, so I personally would continue using it, but don’t worry if you cannot find it—just find some other black (or frankly probably almost any brown) rice.
The Green Grape Chutney was my idea—not that it has to be green grape chutney specifically, I just don’t really care for storebought mango chutney, which is what the recipe originally called for, and ever since I discovered how incredibly easy and delicious it is to make homemade chutney I have been making them when I need them. I also like something tarter than mango chutney. I chose green grapes because I wanted something that was more in season—but still traveled well to the grocery store (i.e., not peaches or other strictly seasonally local-only fruits), because there is no local fruit in season right now, except strawberries, which were not appealing to me in chutney for some reason. The chutney is what really pulls the whole dish together—especially if you serve it with Basmati rice, as we did. However, I cannot call it particularly pretty, and the only photos of it were taken on the dish, not on its own.
Black Rice Curried Meatloaf with Green Grape Chutney
Adapted from Eating Well
½ cup sweet black rice
1 medium zucchini — shredded using the large holes of a box grater
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 T minced fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic — minced
1 medium yellow onion — finely chopped
2 celery stalks — finely chopped
1 T curry powder
2 t Worcestershire sauce
1 t salt
2 lbs ground beef (lean if you have it but I did not)
1 large egg — beaten
1/3 cup green grape chutney — plus more for serving
Put rice in a pot of water (much like you would for pasta) and bring to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer at the lowest bubble for 30 minutes and taste the rice–if it still chewy, continue simmering, up to possibly 50 minutes depending on the rice. Drain the water when done and set aside.
Meanwhile, squeeze any excess moisture from zucchini. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add onion, celery and the zucchini; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in curry powder; cook 1 minute. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and salt until combined. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan with cooking spray.
Spoon the cooked rice onto a clean cutting board and chop the grains into small bits with a large knife. Transfer to the bowl with the vegetables, add ground beef and egg and gently mix until just combined. Place the mixture on the prepared pan and shape into a loaf, about 10 inches by 5 inches. Spread chutney evenly over the top.
Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meatloaf registers 165°F, 1 hour to 1 1/4 hours. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with additional chutney, if desired.
Green Grape Chutney
Adapted from Recipes from From Curries to Kebabs: Recipes from the Indian Spice Trail, Madhur Jaffrey
2 t panch phoron
1 T olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1 T minced ginger
½ t salt
1 t ground cumin
½ t cayenne powder
1 t ground ginger
Juice of one lime (or 1 T amchoor powder if you have it but I did not)
2-3 T sugar, to taste (taste as you add)
1 bag of green grapes, washed and cut in half (I was lazy and mashed them as they cooked)
Whisk together the water, salt, cayenne powder, ground ginger, ground cumin and lime juice or amchoor powder. Set aside.
Heat the oil on medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the panch phoron, garlic and ginger and sauté briefly to flavor the oil. Add the water mixture and simmer on low for 10 minutes. Then raise the heat a boil vigorously for a minute. Add the grapes and one tablespoon of sugar. Reduce the heat to a brisk simmer. Leave the pot for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, taste for additional sugar. Mash the grapes if you did not cut them in half. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer to desired consistency (I like my chutney thickly syrupy—it took around 45 minutes more, but it could have been done earlier—it just would have been runnier).