3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups basmati rice
4 cups chicken stock, divided
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
1 lemon, zested
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom, optional
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium eggplant, peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 (14-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
1 (15-ounce) can chick peas, drained
Salt and pepper
2 rounded tablespoons mild or hot curry paste
2 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped roasted cashews
Heat a medium pot over medium heat with extra-virgin olive oil. Add rice and toast for 1 to 2 minutes. Add 3 cups chicken stock and the bay, lemon zest, turmeric, coriander, cumin and cardamom. Cover pot and bring rice to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer rice 18 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork, remove bay leaf and add butter. Toss to coat the rice evenly.
While rice cooks, make the vegetables. Heat a deep nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. Add onion, garlic, eggplant and bell pepper. Cover and cook stirring occasionally 7 to 8 minutes until tender. Uncover and add the tomatoes, chick peas, salt, pepper, curry paste and remaining 1 cup chicken stock. Simmer 6 to 7 minutes longer. Mix scallions into rice and top with vegetables. Garnish with cashews.
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