Baked potatoes, kidney beans and tarragon rice

Baked potatoes served
Tarragon rice served with kidney beans and baked potatoes

We have been having a series of unfortunate events going on at my place.

First we bought a new 6th sense Whirlpool washing machine on 1st September and it conked off on the 21st itself. We have complained and the same is yet to be addressed responsibly. All the engineer told us was that the circuit board has spoiled and that it will be replaced when available. Four days later the situation is still the same.

Second, a day after the machine fiasco my daughter slipped and sprained her ankle and my son slipped and banged his toes against the wall. When I returned from office I found two limping children. My daughter had already diagnosed that my son had suffered a hairline fracture in his toes and Jr.P who enjoys medical attention decided it would be fatal if he was not shown to a doctor at once. My own reflexes were already dulled by the hectic day and I thought it better that we visit the doc rather than risk a massive injury. As luck would have it we reached the building that houses the clinic and found the elevator out of order! My son limped two flights of stairs and then I took him piggy back to get to the next floor. Luckily the medical opinion was that we had no cause to acutely worry and that Jr.P is all well. Unfortunately the piggy back ride resulted in backache and I had to take a day off to rest.

Now comes the good part!

Rest is something I cannot do too long. I saw the day as an opportunity to use some of the herbs I recently bought. It is not easy to find pasta ingredients or Italian herbs or Chinese ingredients in Thane but recently a new mall has opened up which to my glee offers all these fresh! I decided on an easy lunch of tarragon flavoured rice, baked potatoes and kidney beans in tomato sauce.

This is the first time I have tried flavouring rice with things other than standard Indian spices like bayleaf, cumin or saffron. I browsed the net and found that a few sites recommend adding tarragon towards the end of cooking to avoid the loss of flavor. I did not follow any recipe but just did my usual thing. The rice tasted very very good. I liked the fresh flavour.

I followed my other recipe for rajma/kidney beans as this is somewhat quicker than the usual apart from the fact it is more suited to flavoured rice.

The baked potatoes was done only because I had a packet of baby potatoes that just needed to be used. I had fresh rosemary so I decided to use this instead of oregano which I reserve for this kind of thing usually. Again the flavours were very good. The three put together made for a simple, easy and delicious meal.

Tarragon rice:

3tbsps. - fresh, chopped tarragon
1 tbsp. - julienned galangal or ginger root
2 cups - any long grained rice, I used basmati.
4 cups water to cook the rice
Salt to taste
1 + 1 tbsp. - Olive oil

Fresh tarragon leaves and almonds (about 6-7 - chopped and roasted golden brown)
Caramalised onions

Tarragon leaves

Heat oil, add washed and drained rice and saute for about five minutes. Add galangal.

Add water and salt and bring to a boil.

Now add the chopped tarragon leaves and cook till the water is absorbed and rice grains remain separate. Let cool for a while before adding another tbsp. of oil and fluffing gently with a fork.

Roast blanched almonds to golden brown and mix them into the rice before serving. Caramalise some onions before adding the oil to rice.

I used an electric rice cooker.

While the rice was cooking I prepared the potatoes.

Baked potatoes:

200gms - baby potatoes
2 tbsps - chopped rosemary

1 tbsp - olive oil
red chilli flakes to taste
black pepper ground - to taste
Salt to taste

Baked potatoes Hi contrast
Baked potatoes

In a bowl pour the oil and mix in the herbs and seasonings.

Add halved baby potatoes and mix till evenly coated.

Spread in a single layer on a greased oven tray.

Pre-heat oven for grilling at the highest temperature and then grill the potatoes for about 10-15minutes till they are speckled brown and the skin shrinks.

Serve hot. Sprinkle more pepper if needed.

I put in some onions too. Some got charred but the rest were good.

Don't worry about the oil. It just settles in the tray and does not really stick to the potatoes!

Kidney beans in tomato sauce:

2 cups kashmiri rajma - soaked overnight, washed and cooked till soft
3 medium sized tomatoes - blanched, skinned and pureed
A tsp. of powdered organic jaggery
A tsp. of wholewheat flour
1 tbsp. - oil/butter (I used sesame oil)
salt, chilli powder to taste

Heat oil and roast the flour till aromatic and brown.

Add the tomatoes, salt, jaggery and red chilli powder.

Keep cooking till thick and well blended.

Add cooked beans with a cup of liquid (discard liquid in excess of 1 cup). Stir well till saucy and creamy. Bring to a boil and remove from fire.

Serve rice topped with kidney beans and potatoes on the side.

Tarragon rice, kidney beans and baked potatoes
A full meal - burrrrp!

I am planning on making tarragon bread tomorrow to use up the rest of it!


Some suggestions and variations with:

Potatoes - Aloo Chaat, Tandoori Aloo/Potatoes - I,
Tandoori Aloo/Potatoes - II and Ullakazhainga Roast / Potato Roast

Grills - Tandoori Gobi / Grilled Cauliflower, Pan Fried Tofu,
Mushrooms Stuffed, Khatti Arbi / Colocassia stir-fry

Rice - Avadhi Tahiri Biryani, Baayamma Upma , Corn Rice / Makai Chaawal - I
Corn Rice / Makai Bhaat - II, Kidney Bean and Brown Rice Risotto, Lime/Lemon rice,
Mint Rice - I , Orange Saffron Rice, Szcheuan Rice Supreme, Vegetable Pulav

Beans - Rajma / Kidney Beans in Tomato Gravy

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