Vegetarian Indian Stew with Basmati Rice and Garlic Naan

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I’ve been wanting to make an Indian-inspired dish (obviously involving naan) since I started my blog back in March, yet being that Indian cuisine is so far outside of my comfort zone, I’ve clearly been putting off. However, my old roommate (old as in like, one week ago), Danielle, was headed to Italy for grad school and I wanted to cook up an old roomie/new roomie dinner before she departed. Given her vegetarian diet and love for Indian food, I figured this was the perfect opportunity to finally bring this idea to life.

Now, let me be honest: I was completely and utterly clueless regarding Indian spices, so I spent a lot of time researching them before I attempted this meal. I still have tons more to learn, but I’d say that this meal was a solid first attempt. Now that my pantry is stocked with Indian spices, I can’t wait to experiment some more. If you’re interested in learning more about Indian spices yourself, I found this guide to be extremely helpful.

Anyway, it goes without saying that it was so bittersweet saying goodbye to Danielle and her sweet dog, Minnie. I’ll miss all the memories her, Amanda, and I have made over the last year or so, but I’m ecstatic for her as she begins this exciting chapter. I can’t wait to stalk her Insta as she takes on Milano!

I’d also like to give a huge shout out to my new roommate (new as in like, one week ago), Domenica, for being the best sous chef in town!

Note: This recipe yields eight servings. I recommend getting started on both the rice and the stew while the dough for the naan rises.

PART 1: GARLIC NAAN

What you’ll need:

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp. pure cane sugar
  • 2 tbsp. almond milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, melted
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

What you’ll do:

  • Combine yeast, warm water, and 1 tbsp. of sugar in a small bowl; stir and allow to sit for 10 minutes
  • In a large bowl, combine the remaining 1 tbsp. of sugar, almond milk, egg, salt, baking soda, 4 cups of flour, and yeast mixture
  • Knead the dough, using the remaining 1/2 cup flour, until it begins to form; once formed, place in well-oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and allow to rise for 1 hour
  • After an hour passes, pinch off small handfuls of dough, about the size of a baseball, and roll into balls; place each on a baking sheet until there is no more dough; place a damp cloth over the balls of dough and allow to rise for an additional 30 minutes
  • Meanwhile, combine the melted butter and minced garlic
  • Once the dough has been given additional time to rise, one ball of dough at a time, roll into a thin cirlce, place onto a large, lightly-sprayed frying pan, cover with a lid, and allow to cook for 2 minutes; then, on the non-cooked side, brush on the garlic butter, and flip over; cook an additional 2 minutes, covered
  • Repeat the previous step until every ball of dough is cooked

PART 2: BASMATI RICE

What you’ll need:

  • 3 cups dry Basmati rice
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • A splash of grape seed oil

What you’ll do:

  • Rinse the rice thoroughly; then, soak it in plenty of water for at least 30 minutes; once soaking is complete, drain the water
  • Add the soaked rice, 6 cups of water, and a splash of grape seed oil to a large pot; bring to a boil, uncovered
  • Once the water begins to a boil, turn the heat down to its lowest setting, cover, and cook for an additional 10 minutes

PART 3: VEGETARIAN INDIAN STEW

What you’ll need:

  • 10 Roma tomatoes
  • 6 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 4 tsp. grated ginger
  • 1 medium-sized Vidalia onion, sliced
  • 2 red bell peppers, sliced
  • 1/4 cup grape seed oil
  • 4 tsp. ground tumeric
  • 2 tsp. garam masala
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Cracked black pepper and Himalayan salt to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-milk yogurt (not Greek)
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch (or thickening agent of your choice)
  • 4 cups baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 8 sprigs of fresh cilantro for garnish

What you’ll do:

  • Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil; meanwhile, de-stem the tomatoes and slice an X onto their bottoms; place the tomatoes into the boiling water; meanwhile, fill a large mixing bowl with ice water; when the skins of the tomatoes begin to peel off, remove the tomatoes from the boiling water and transfer to the ice water; once cool, remove them from the ice water and peel the skins off, run six of the tomatoes through a food processor or blender to make a tomato puree; chop the remaining four and set aside
  • Then, over medium heat, sauté the garlic, ginger, onion, and red bell pepper in the grape seed oil; once the onion and pepper begin to soften, stir in the spices
  • Once the spices are thoroughly mixed in, add the tomato puree and cook until it comes to a boil; then, reduce the heat to its lowest setting and cook for an additional 10 minutes
  • Next, stir in the yogurt, almond milk, and starch; once the sauce begins to thicken, add the chopped tomatoes, mushrooms, lemon juice, and cilantro; stirring occasionally, simmer for an additional 30 minutes to allow the mushrooms to soften and the spices to blend
  • After 30 minutes has elapsed, plate each dish as pictured and be sure garnish with a sprig of fresh cilantro!

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3 thoughts on “Vegetarian Indian Stew with Basmati Rice and Garlic Naan

  1. Julie says:

    You always do such a wonderful job with the photos and the dish looks impressive. It must’ve been complex! I used Naan today for our lamb gyros since we ran out of pita. It worked!

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