This Indian Burrito Bowl with ground turkey, cauliflower, chickpeas, peas and caramelized onions (among other goodies) is the best kind of weeknight cooking!
This post has me thinking… or more to the point, getting the pictures ready for this post has me thinking. About the different ways of viewing a blog, and especially a food blog. I know bloggers for whom their entire site, all of its posts, are a complete work kind of like a cookbook is a complete work. All recipes triple tested and all photos perfect–and if not perfect at the beginning, they are replaced with perfect photos later.
There is nothing wrong with this approach.
But I like to think of my blog as a living, evolving being of sorts. Living and evolving at any rate. I have left up my earliest, scariest attempts at food photography (indoor flash! what was I thinking?) and all of the subsequent, slowly improving shots inbetween then and about a year or so ago, when I finally really started figuring it out. Likewise, I have shared recipes that do not work and I have shared dishes without recipes. This is me, it is what you get. Hopefully you find it interesting enough to stick around. But anyway, I was thinking about this because…
Now you guys get to live through me tinkering with Photoshop. If the collages and captioned photos are not to your taste, just scroll past them. I will never know and we will still be friends.
This burrito bowl is weeknight cooking at its finest. It started with a Southwestern burrito bowl that I made the week before. Amusingly, I made it because I had been planning a south Indian sambal (curry) but Alex had a sleepover coming and I was afraid that would be a little too exotic. So I made up a quick black bean and southwestern sautéed vegetable bowl with rice and garnishes.
The little girl hated her bell peppers (her whole family does she claimed), didn’t eat rice, and was decidedly–but good naturedly–mystified by dinner! So much for my good intentions!
But anyway I still had burrito bowls on the brain the following week when I started thinking about how Indian Burritos were a “thing” (even though I have never had one) and how maybe that would be a fun flavor theme for a burrito bowl.
Genius. And honestly more colorful than the Southwestern version! Don’t hesitate to substitute different veggies–a vegetarian version with lentils or split peas, mushrooms would be gorgeous–if only I had had any, I would have added them for sure! You get the idea.
One note about the chutney. I used my Cranberry Chutney because I still had it from the fall (it lasts forever). But a tamarind chutney would also work beautifully, and in a complete pinch just add some sugar to the ground turkey and use lemon or lime juice.
- 2 cups uncooked Basmati rice, cooked in salted water
- 4 medium onions, caramelized with salt and ghee
- 2 T ghee or vegetable oil
- 2 t mustard seeds
- 2 t cumin seeds
- 1 small onion, minced (I did not use but wished later I had, optional)
- 2 T minced garlic
- 2 T minced ginger
- 1 t turmeric
- 1 t paprika or cayenne pepper
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 1 t ground cumin
- 2 t ground coriander
- 2 t garam masala, divided
- 2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped (if using seasonal fresh tomatoes do not bother peeling)
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- juice of half a lemon or lime
- 1 10-oz bag frozen peas, defrosted
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- cranberry chutney, see notes above
Cook the rice and the onions at the same time--when they get to the stage that they can be ignored, start the last part of the dish. (If you are new to caramelizing onions, Simply Recipes has a great basic how-to--just use ghee.)
Heat the ghee in a large skillet with the mustard seeds. Place a lid over the pan, ajar, to allow steam to escape. When the mustard seeds slow their popping, add the cumin seeds and let roast until darkened in color--keep an eye on them as cumin seeds can burn quickly.
Add the minced onions (if using) and garlic and ginger. Cook until fragrant and starting to brown.
Add the turmeric and paprika or cayenne pepper and stir for one minute. Add the cauliflower and toss. Turn the heat down and cover the pan. If the ingredients seem dry, add a tablespoon or 2 of water but I did not need to.
Let cook for 5 minutes. Then raise the heat back to medium and toss in the ground cumin, ground coriander and one teaspoon of garam masala. Let cook for one minute. Then add the tomatoes, toss, and cover the pan again on a lower heat.
Let cook for 5 minutes again. Then turn the heat back up to medium and add the ground turkey with a hefty (to taste, about a teaspoon would be my preference) pinch of salt. Toss and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, on the high heat until the turkey is browned.
Add the chickpeas and cover the pan, again reducing the heat. Let simmer to merge the flavors and make sure the cauliflower is cooked through, 10-20 minutes. Stir in the last teaspoon of garam masala and the lemon or lime juice and taste for salt.
Mix the cooked rice into the cauliflower-ground turkey mixture. Serve topped with defrosted peas, chopped cilantro, the caramelized onions and preferably some kind of sweet and sour chutney.
I love this!! I’ve been a little burrito bowl obsessed also since posting one a few weeks ago and I LOVE this flavor profile, as you know!
I was thinking of you when (somewhere lol–facebook? the caption on the pinterest?) I pointed out it could easily be done with split peas or lentils. 🙂
Melanie | Melanie Makes says
Such a clever take on a traditional burrito bowl!
eat good 4 life says
Loving this idea. So healthy and I bet delicious. Right up my alley!
What an interesting take on a burrito bowl. Your photos look great! I appreciate your come-as-you-are approach to your blog. Bravo! It’s supposed to be a playground where we intrepid cooks get to explore our obsessions, curiosities, questions, and love for cooking. Not everything turns out perfect. And we grow as cooks, writers, photographers, and bloggers over time. For me, it’s all about the opportunity to learn and grow. Happy to join you, Laura, in this adventure. 🙂
Completely agree! And thank you for your kind words re my photography. It was a long time lol but I am finally feeling like I have learned a little bit of this food photography business.
Linda Omura says
What an interesting idea to make an Indian Burrito Bowl. It’s healthy and looks good too.
Joanie @ ZagLeft says
Such lovely flavors and very pretty too. I also love seeing how our blogs evolve and I’ve left my earlier posts and pictures up, yes I cringe when I look at them but it does help to see how I’ve grown.
Kim - Liv Life says
Oh my goodness!! Your story about the sleepover guest had me laughing out loud! So many different ways of eating around. I once had a girl over and had made chocolate chip cookies for her. Her comment was “Oh… I like the homemade ones better” I explained that that’s what these were, and she replied, “Well, ours come in a package from the store and we just slice them. They are way better than these.” Ah well… I tried!
And I”m with you on the past photos, I haven’t changed a one since day one. Occasionally I redo a recipe that I love with an updated post, but I keep the old one up too. It sort of makes me happy to see the path that I, and you, and other bloggers have taken and how they have evolved.
And as for the burrito bowl… I will take her peppers!! And I will also take a double helping of those caramelized onions you have on there! I’ve yet to perfect the homemade caramelized onion… still working.
I love the stories I am hearing from other parents about feeding other kids. This is hilarious also! And yes I agree completely about the old photos.
Jameson Fink says
I think people appreciate seeing the journey from where you started with photography and where you’re at now and I’m sure they’ll feel the same way with Photoshop. There are certainly older posts of mine that I look back on and think “Ugh” but they’re still there for better or worse….
That’s right! I refuse to hide any of them. And some are really scary!
Ok, so first off thanks for mentioning caramelized onions because that tickled my brain that I have some in the freezer and I keep thinking they’d be great on a pizza after the oven is already hot. Now I’ve got time to let them thaw!
I once made a smoothie for my daughter’s friend–no veggies were harmed–but she didn’t like the seeds from the raspberries or blackberries even though she was slurping from a straw and could have just lifted it up half an inch to avoid them. Okay then, buttercup!
I’m intrigued by the idea of taking the burrito bowl concept and expanding it–kinda like Bi Bim Bap for all different cultures I suppose.
And I love reading your words about blogging! You’ve got such a great way of putting things, Laura!
Thank you and that is hilarious!!!! I am going to start calling all of these girls Buttercup in my head lol! And it is a lot like bi bim bap!
What gorgeous colors! The flavor combinations look excellent as well. Especially the cranberry chutney. It’s got all the right notes, Savory, spicy, salty and sweet. I think I may have to find some chutney and give this a go.
Let me know how you like it if you do! And thanks!
Thalia @ butter and brioche says
This looks like such a delicious dinner for tonight. Good thing I have all the ingredients on hand!