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.