Holler will be hosting the September edition of No Croutons Required. The challenge this month is to make a vegetarian soup or salad with fruit.
Plagiarism is unfortunately a common occurrence in the blogosphere. To have someone lift the fruits of your unpaid labor for their own gain, the content you work so hard to provide to your readers free of charge, is simply odious. So angered am I that I am led to reconsider my efforts here.
I left a comment asking that my material be removed from their website. Fortunately, it appears as if the owner(s) of the site have complied. If material from your website is appearing there, you may wish to do the same.
Red lentil soup with baby arugula
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
5 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
8 ounces baby arugula, chopped or left whole
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot, toss in the olive oil, wait a few moments, then swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the onion and garlic and fry for 6-8 minutes or until the onion is soft. Stir in the ground cumin to coat the vegetables.
Add the vegetable stock and raise the heat to bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and stir in the lentils. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the lentils are soft.
Now stir in the arugula and remove the pan from the heat. Cover and let the arugula wilt for a couple of minutes. Lift the lid and season with salt and pepper.
Serves 4 to 6.
This month, the focus is on Jugalbandi. In addition to some stunning photography, Jai and Bee offer up mouthwatering and tempting recipes each week. How was I decide what to try first? I finally decided to make these Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Muffins after stumbling across the recipe while doing a google search. I can't quite recall what I was looking for originally, because I immediately gave up my search at the prompting of my rumbling tummy, and decided to make these muffins as I recalled I had goat cheese in the fridge and also that the deadline for the event was fast approaching.
I essentially followed the original recipe, though I did include a roasted cayenne pepper from my garden, some chopped black olives and sun-dried tomatoes because I never can resist adding my own little touch. The result was a deliciously moist, slightly spicy, savory muffin that deserves to be appreciated all by itself, though it is a good choice if you are looking for a side bread option to serve up with dinner.
I roasted my own peppers instead of using the jarred variety. If you wish to do the same, detailed instructions, complete with pictures, can be found here.
Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Muffins
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 cup of chopped green onions (both the white and green parts)
1 cup of milk
2 large eggs
2 cups of unbleached white flour (or 2 cups of wholewheat pastry flour)
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne
1/4 cup of black olives, pitted and chopped
1/4 - 1/3 cup of sun-dried tomatoes
1 large red pepper, roasted, skinned, seeded and finely chopped
1 cayenne pepper, roasted, skinned, seeded and finely chopped
7 ounces of goat cheese, cut into small pieces
Grease 12 muffins cups with butter or oil. Soak the sun-dried tomatoes in hot water for 20 minutes. Squeeze out excess liquid, and finely chop.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the cumin seeds, stir for a few seconds, and then add the white parts of the chopped green onion. Stir and fry for a few minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Pour 1/2 cup of the milk over the fried onion.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs until frothy. Blend in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Now stir in the chopped green onion parts, the fried onion with milk, along with the remaining 1/2 cup of milk.
Now add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, oregano, salt, black pepper and cayenne, stirring gently until just combined. Fold in the roasted peppers, goat cheese, olives and sun-dried tomatoes.
Spoon into the prepared muffin tins and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until the muffins are nicely browned and a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.
Yields 12 muffins.
This lovely little warm wilted spinach dish will enhance a quiet summer evening meal of pasta, bread, olives and cheese with a loved one … there's no need to tell your special friend that it's especially nourishing and healthy besides. Adapted slightly from Martha Rose Shulman's Mediterranean Harvest.
Wilted spinach with pine nuts and lemon-yogurt dressing
2 garlic cloves
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup whole-fat yogurt, drained in a cheesecloth for several hours or overnight
juice from 1 lemon
10 oz. baby spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 fresh green cayenne pepper, seeded and minced
1/2 teaspoon demerara or rapadura sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste
To make the dressing, mash together the garlic with the salt in a mortar and pestle. Mix together with the drained yogurt and lemon juice. Add more salt if desired and set aside.
Put the baby spinach in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand for just a couple of minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water. Squeeze dry and chop.
Heat a medium saucepan or wok over medium heat. When hot, add the olive oil, wait a few moments, then swirl around to coat the pan. Toss in the onion, cayenne pepper, sugar and cumin and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the onion is tender. Stir in the pine nuts and continue to stir for a couple of minutes until the pine nuts are lightly browned.
Remove from heat and season with salt and fresh ground black pepper, or set aside to reheat gently with a little water later on if preparing ahead of time. Transfer to a serving plate and top with the dressing. Serves 2.
Though not technically a grain, quinoa walks and talks like a grain … except even more so, with an almost perfect amino acid balance that's extraordinarily rare in plant foods. Also a good source of fibre, protein, iron, calcium, phosphorus and vitamins B and E, it's a wonder I've seemed to stop setting an example to myself and my readers.
Mint and tamari are not an intuitive combination of tastes, but proved to be irresistible when mixed with the nutty flavour and slightly crispy texture of quinoa and the added crunch of toasted pine nuts.
Minted tamari quinoa and cauliflower with pine nuts
1 cup quinoa
2 cups cold water
1/4 head of cauliflower, cut or torn into pieces
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 green onions, sliced
3 tablespoons fresh mint, minced
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons tamari sauce, or to taste
sea salt to taste (optional)
Rinse and scrub the quinoa under cold running water. Add to a medium saucepan and cover with 2 cups of cold water and leave to soak overnight.
Add the cauliflower to the quinoa and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, lightly toast the pine nuts over medium-low heat until just turning golden brown.
Gently fold the pine nuts, green onions, mint, sesame and toasted sesame oils, and tamari into the quinoa. Taste for seasoning and add sea salt or more tamari sauce if desired.
Serve hot or at room temperature. Serves 6.
Thanks to Ricki for suggesting the theme for this month and a big thanks to all who contributed a dressing recipe. Do vote for your favorite in the comment section or by email. Please note that Holler and I do not qualify for the crown.
Our very first entry this month is from Ivy of Kopiaste, who submits a traditional Greek Ladolemono. In it's simplest form, this refreshing dressing is made with an equal mixture of lemon juice and olive oil, and seasoned with a bit of salt and oregano, though you can also add garlic, capers, black pepper and fennel to suit your taste. This sounds like an ideal way to enhance the flavour of your favorite blend of vegetables. (Athens, Greece)
Helen of Food Stories makes a mouth watering Raspberry Vinegar and Poppy Seed Dressing that is just perfect for hot summer days when you don't feel like cooking. This saucily elegant creation is then splashed over fennel, orange slices and purple radish shoots. Fit for the finest of tables, this would be an ideal salad to make if you are looking to wow your dinner guests. (London, United Kingdom)
Srimathi comes up with another few minute wonder with this Green Devi Salad Dressing that she tried while out for dinner. Though she usually doesn't enjoy dressing, Srimathi helped herself to seconds of this rich and creamy delight consisting of olive oil, avocado, apple cider, garlic, lime juice and cilantro. (San Diego, California, United States)
Our next submission is a gorgeous Blueberry Vinaigrette from Trisha who posts at The Zest. The idea of this dressing consisting of blueberries, yogurt, white wine vinegar, honey and herbs was inspired by some leftover Blueberry Soup. Trisha drizzled her dressing over baby greens, almonds and crumbled blue cheese. What better way to celebrate blueberry season? (Phoenix, Arizona, United States)
Tessa of The Portobello Kitchen whips up a Beetroot Vinaigrette that she says is ideal for the summer time. This colourful dressing of cooked beets, honey, cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic and olive oil was served over a Nectarine and Gorgonzola salad with rocket leaves and endive leaves. Cheese, fruit and veggies all on one delicious plate! (Portobello Road, London, United Kingdom)
Inspired by an overripe mango staring out accusingly from the fruit bowl, my co-host for this event, Holler of Tinned Tomatoes, came up with this tempting Mango, Basil and Balsamic Dressing. This fresh and creamy dressing was used to dress up some basil leaves, cucumber, celery, strawberries, and chunks of feta cheese. This is yet another salad ideal for a warm summer day. (Scotland, United Kingdom)
Val of More Than Burnt Toast submits an intriguing New Age Caesar Dressing. A twist on an old classic, this creamy dressing is made with tofu, lemon juice, garlic, red pepper flakes, tamari, Dijon mustard, oil, Parmesan, and parsley. Served with some Romaine lettuce and croutons, this could easily be a satisfying light meal all by itself. (British Columbia, Canada)
OhioMom of Cooking in Cleveland comes up with a delicious Herb Dressing that she drizzled over fresh salad greens, plump blueberries and yummy chunks of feta cheese. You just can't go wrong with a blend of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, paprika, oregano, garlic, basil and honey. (Cleveland, Ohio, United States)
Wandering Chopsticks dresses up some steamed strips of eggplant with a Chinese-Style Dressing. This classic blend of soy sauce, Chinese black vinegar and sesame oil would be a perfect enhancement to a wide variety of vegetables. (Southern California, United States)
My contribution this month is a creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette. Sun-dried tomatoes are a staple in my kitchen; whisked together with balsamic vinegar, garlic, oregano, black pepper and olive oil, this turned out to be the perfect accompaniment to some leafy greens, sliced red pepper, pitted olives, chopped tomatoes from my garden, feta cheese, and a few chopped cremini mushrooms. (London, Ontario, Canada)
TS and JS of Eating Club Vancouver share a delightful recipe for Miso-Sesame Dressing made up of red miso, tahini, rice vinegar, a touch of honey and a dash of soy sauce. This was tossed with some strips of tofu, baby spinach, and strips of carrot and red pepper and served up at a birthday dinner. (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)
A big fan of artichokes, Andrea of Cooking Books prepares an irresistible Curried Ginger-Lemon Vinaigrette. The combined flavours of lemon, egg yolk, curry powder, ginger, sherry vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, olive oil and scallions are poured into the center of a cooked artichoke. It's no wonder her vegetarian friend can never resist this tempting dish. (Manhattan, New York, United States)
In an attempt to make tabbouleh with quinoa, Johanna of Green Gourmet Giraffe comes up with a refreshing Lemon Dressing. Lemon juice, olive oil, cider vinegar, honey, black pepper and garlic are whisked together and tossed up with some quinoa, pea, avocado, tomato, mushrooms and parsley. This fine salad would be ideal anytime of year. (Melbourne, Australia)
From Allie of Yum in the Tum a serving or maybe two of Minty Salad Dressing. Mint, olive oil, lemon juice, feta, and marjoram are combined in a container and splashed over a salad of greens, carrots, palm hearts, carrots and feta. This pleasing salad is nestled next to some steamed potatoes and artichokes, complete with some drawn butter with lemon. (Houston, Texas, United States)
Last, but not least, is this Creamy Avocado Dressing from Victoria of The Days are Just Packed. A ripe avocado was combined with the goodness of lime juice, garlic, yogurt and a bit of milk and tossed with some pumpkin seeds, salad greens, radishes, pine nuts and almonds. Certainly a lovely addition to any meal. (Southwestern, Pennsylvania, United States)
Holler will be hosting the September edition of No Croutons Required. Check back at the end of the month for the theme and the winner of this month's challenge.
Fresh local peaches and blueberries are just bursting with juices and flavours right now in southwestern Ontario, and I'm lucky to keep my hands off of them long enough to consider the incredible things that can be accomplished by combining fresh fruit with the basic kitchen essentials of flour, eggs, dairy and sugar. If nothing else were ever needed in a woman's diet I shouldn't complain, but I do have one regret — I only made one of these baked blueberry and peach pancakes when two would have been just as easy (and would have lasted no longer).
This is a slightly denser but just as simple and delightful variation on the baked strawberry pancakes I shared during strawberry season last month, but now that other fruits are in season, there's no reason why strawberries should have all the fun. Perfect on a weekend morning with a hot cup of coffee or tea, or even for a summer's evening dessert.
|Baked Blueberry & Peach Pancakes|
|Recipe by Lisa Turner|
Published on August 19. 2008
A beautiful, sweet and custardy baked pancake topped with bursts of fresh blueberry and peach flavors
Print this recipe
For my contribution this month, I settled on a creamy Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette. For the salad base, I tossed together some leafy greens, sliced red pepper, pitted olives, chopped tomatoes from my garden, and a few chopped cremini mushrooms. I sprinkled each serving with some chunks of feta cheese and drizzled on the vinaigrette.
Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette
1/3 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes
1/2 cup of the reserved soaking liquid from the tomatoes
2 - 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
pinch of sea salt
1/3 cup of olive oil
Drain the sun-dried tomatoes, reserving 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid. Finely chop the tomatoes and transfer to a small bowl. Add the reserved soaking liquid, balsamic vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper and olive oil. Whisk vigorously, until well combined.
Yields roughly 1 1/2 cups of dressing.
And so these melt in your mouth cookies were born. It's been many months since I have embarked on the relatively easy, though rather time consuming process, of making a batch of cookies. The key to perfectly browned cookies is to use parchment paper rather than greasing your baking sheet. I've found that even my finest buttered baking sheet is outperformed by my oldest baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I've not yet burned any of my baked goods since my conversion to this no stick alternative to oil.
Cream Cheese Cookies
1 cup of butter, softened
3 ounces of cream cheese, softened
1 cup of sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 1/3 cups of unbleached white flour
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and cream with an electric mixer. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and beat for another minute or two. Now gradually add the flour, stirring to incorporate between each addition. Chill the dough for 20 - 30 minutes.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured board, roll the dough out to 1/4 thickness. Cut with a cookie cutter, transfer to prepared baking sheets, and gather up the scraps and repeat until no dough remains.
Bake the cookies until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.
Makes 3 - 4 dozen cookies.
Parmesan Potato Puff
2 pounds of potatoes
2 tablespoons of butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 –1/2 cup of milk
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
Cook the potatoes until they are tender. Drain well, and mash. Season with salt and pepper, add the butter and milk and whip until the potatoes are light and fluffy.
Grease a small casserole dish. Beat the egg yolks well. Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Stir the spices and Parmesan into the mashed potatoes. Now beat in the egg yolks. Fold in the egg whites. Transfer the mixture to the prepared casserole dish. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 – 40 minutes or until the potatoes are lightly browned.
The instruction here for a 1-inch piece of tamarind pulp is based on the cake form of the dried pulp sold in every Indian and Asian grocery here in North America.
Spicy tamarind black beans
1 cup dried black beans
1-inch piece tamarind pulp
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 large tomato, finely chopped
2 fresh cayenne peppers, seeded and chopped
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
large handful fresh parsley, trimmed
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
Rinse the black beans under cold running water and soak overnight in several inches of cold water with a little yogurt whey or lemon juice added. The next day, drain and rinse the beans, then place in a medium saucepan and add 2 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are tender but not falling apart.
Meanwhile, prepare the tamarind and roast the first portion of ground cumin. Soak the tamarind pulp in 1 cup of very hot water for at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour. Strain the liquid into a bowl with a fine-meshed strainer, squeezing as much liquid as possible out of the tamarind pulp. Discard the pulp and set aside the liquid.
For the roasted ground cumin, heat a small frying pan over medium-low heat. When hot, toss in the 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cumin and dry roast for 5-10 minutes, stirring or tossing occasionally, until the spice darkens a couple of shades and releases a smoky aroma. Remove from heat and set aside the cumin. Wipe the pan dry with a damp cloth and set aside.
When the beans have cooked to a tender but firm shape, drain and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Return the beans to the pan with the reserved cooking liquid and add the tamarind liquid. Cover and continue to simmer.
Now put the frying pan back on the stove and heat the olive oil over medium heat. When hot, toss in the onions and fry, stirring frequently, until they turn brown around the edges, about 10 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and fry for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly and scraping the pan. Stir in the unroasted ground cumin, turmeric and cayenne to coat the vegetables, then add the tomato and cayenne peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes until the tomato has softened and the oil begins separating from the vegetables.
Spoon the fried vegetables into the beans and stir in the roasted ground cumin, garam masala, and half the parsley. Cover the pan again and let the mixture gently simmer at low heat for several minutes to let the flavours blend. Stir in salt to taste.
Serve in bowls garnished with the remaining parsley. Serves 4.
Feel free to substitute any type of berry for the blueberries. You might even want to consider using fresh pitted cherries instead.
Dumplings in Blueberry SyrupI'm sending this along to Maninas, who is hosting Eating with the Seasons.
1 cup of unbleached white flour
1 tablespoon of sugar + 1 1/3 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon of baking powder
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup of butter, softened
4- 5 tablespoons of milk
1 quart (2 pints) of fresh blueberries
2 cups of water
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or fork until the butter is reduced to small bits. Now gradually add the milk, mixing with a fork until a dough forms. Shape into 8 dumplings.
In a large pot, stir together the berries, remaining sugar and water. Bring to a boil, drop in the dumplings, reduce to the heat to low, cover and cook, undisturbed, for 20 – 30 minutes. Resist the urge to lift the lid until after 20 minutes have expired.
Serve one dumpling in a bowl, along with a few scoops of the blueberry sauce.
…it's like nothing else than a light and fluffy, slightly sweet but mostly savoury dinner cake spooned into the most astonishing little morsels on your plate. If this picture sounds inadequate it's because this dish pretty much exhausts my powers of description. But don't let that stop you — this rice, adapted from Martha Rose Shulman's Mediterranean Harvest, is a perfect accompaniment to any light and garlicky Mediterranean summer meal, like the Turkish yogurt hummus I served with fresh vegetables.
Look for dried sour cherries, also known as Morello cherries, in most large grocery stores and in natural food stores. Readers in London, Ontario can obtain them at Quarter Master in Wortley Village.
Turkish sour cherry pilaf
1 1/4 cups basmati rice
1 cup (about 3 1/2 oz. or 100 g) dried sour cherries
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon demerara or rapadura sugar
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
2 1/4 cups water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup whole-fat yogurt, drained in cheesecloth for several hours or overnight
Thoroughly rinse the rice under cold running water for several minutes until the water runs clear. Let stand in a strainer for half an hour or longer to air dry. Meanwhile soak the dried cherries for 10 minutes in hot water, then drain and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the cherries and sugar and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, giving the pan frequent but gentle shakes. Stir in the rice and caraway seeds to coat the grains with butter, then add the water and stir in the salt. Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes undisturbed.
Remove from heat, remove the lid, and cover the pan with a dishtowel. Put the lid back on and let sit for 15 more minutes, undisturbed.
Serve warm on bowls or plates with yogurt if desired. Serves 6 to 8.
This is my contribution to My Legume Love Affair - Second Helping - hosted by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook.
Turkish yogurt hummus
1 cup dried chickpeas
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 tablespoons whole fat yogurt
juice from 3 lemons
1 teaspoon sea salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon pine nuts
Rinse the chickpeas and soak overnight covered in several inches of water with a little yogurt whey or lemon juice added. Drain and discard the soaking liquid the next day and add the chickpeas to a medium saucepan covered in several inches of fresh water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the beans are buttery soft. Drain and set aside.
Place the garlic cloves in a food processor fitted with steel blades and pulse until the garlic is finely chopped and sticks to the side of the processor. Scrape the garlic down to the bottom and add the cooked chickpeas and cumin. Process until the beans form a coarse paste. Add the yogurt and lemon juice and purée until smooth. Stir in the salt and add black pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish.
Just before serving, heat a frying pan over medium-low heat. When hot, toss in the olive oil, wait a few moments, then swirl to coat the pan. Add the pine nuts and gently fry until golden brown. Spoon the pine nuts and drizzle the oil over the hummus.
Serve with fresh vegetables and/or triangles of pita bread. Makes 2 cups and keeps for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Taken from Chandra Padmanabhan's delightful Dakshin with a few minor modifications for taste or ingredient availability, I served this rice with a mild, cooling and lightly spiced yogurt with chickpeas and tomatoes to balance its heat and make a delightful meal.
Spiced urad dal rice
1 cup basmati rice
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup raw cashews, halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon urad dal
1 tablespoon chana dal
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
8 dried curry leaves
4 hot thai chilies, slit down one side to expose the seeds
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida powder
2 hot green chilies, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons urad dal
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons dried flaked coconut
1 1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
As preparation the night before making the rice, rinse one tablespoon each of the urad dal and chana dal under cold running water and soak for 1 hour under cold water in a bowl. Rinse and soak the 2 tablespoons of urad dal for the dry masala in the same way in a separate bowl. Drain each bowl of dal and leave to air dry overnight in separate strainers.
At the same time, or at least a few hours before cooking, rinse the rice under cold running water and let air dry in a strainer, shaking the rice once in a while to bring the moist grains to the surface.
Heat a small frying pan over medium heat and toss in the dried urad dal for the dry masala along with the sesame seeds, coconut and black peppercorns. Dry roast the ingredients while stirring until the urad dal is nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Remove to an electric grinder or small food processor and process to a fine powder. Set aside.
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. As soon as the water comes to a boil, add the now dry rice and immediately turn down the heat to low and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook undisturbed for exactly 15 minutes, without lifting the lid. Remove from heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a 9- or 10-inch frying pan over just less than medium heat. Toss in the cashews and stir-fry until browned to your liking. Remove with a slotted spatula and set aside.
Return the pan to the stove, turn up the heat to medium, and add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil as well as the butter. Add the dried urad dal and chana dal as well as the brown mustard seeds, curry leaves, and thai peppers. Stir once, then toss in the asafoetida and continue to stir until the brown mustard seeds begin to sputter. Add the green chilies and sauté for 2 more minutes.
Remove the thai chilies to set aside for garnish, and stir the contents of the pan into the warm rice. Add the salt and the dry masala and combine well.
Serve on a warm plate garnished with the thai chilies. Serves 4 to 6.