April is the awkward 12-year-old of months. It doesn’t quite know what it wants to be yet. Is it still winter? Or is it spring? In the middle of its tweendom, it just can’t quite decide.
Last Saturday was one of those perfect spring days that felt like the earth was giving us a surprise party. After months of being shut inside or drowning in coats and scarves, the thermostat on the sun finally turned up, and it was time at last to throw open the windows and break out the short sleeves. David and I spent the day with friends at a park, watching children playing on swings and slides, and then we relaxed on the porch outside, sipping on tall glasses of ice water.
Then yesterday I looked out the window at the very slow moving spring rain and deduced after a squint or two that it was actually not rain at all and instead was… snow. Not much snow. Not enough to stick. Just enough snow to be insulting to the daffodils that had only just started to show their yellowy heads.
But April is like that. You’re hungry for farmers markets with their sweet carrots, ripe bell peppers, and spring peas, but the winter-coat-weather doesn’t always get the memo. So it takes a bit of compromise. No longer wanting to be weighed down by heavy stews, something refreshing and light is in order – but still substantial and warming enough in case that light spring rain decides to go in an icier direction.
Today’s Light & Filling Indian Fried Rice is just the ticket for that. It’s called fried rice, but very little oil is involved. In fact, most of the flavor happens with fresh cilantro, lightly sautéed garlic and ginger, and spices like cumin, coriander, and turmeric that have been pulled through the dish by deglazing with lime juice and a bit of water.
Loaded with vegetables, this is a hearty one-dish-meal that gets better the next day and is perfect for packing into lunches and reheating at work. The raisins dotting the top give it an edge of sweetness, and I highly recommend adding the optional peanuts or cashews for a bit of salty crunch.
This dish can be tweaked, depending on the vegetables you have on hand. Just remember to sauté hardy vegetables earlier in the cooking time and lighter vegetables a little later on, so that they don’t overcook and get mushy.