11. Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy bottom pan or kadai at medium heat. Fry the chili, cinnamon sticks and curry leaves for about 10 seconds each, one ingredient at a time. Set aside.
2. Add all the spices in the same oil, fry for about fifteen seconds or till seeds splatter, making sure they do not burn.
3. Add the chopped tomatoes, fry for another minute or so, till well incorporated in the spice mixture.
4. Add the vegetables to the spice and tomato mixture and fry for 2 minutes, until tender.
5. Add the rice to the spice, tomato and vegetable mixture and fry for a minute, constantly mixing.
6. Add water, reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until desired texture, stirring the pilau occasionally so it does not stick to the pan.
7. Serve the pilau hot, garnish with the fried chili, cinnamon and curry leaves.
Finding the absolute best ingredients such a big part of Chef Antoine Westermann’s culinary career and the main drive behind all of his expertly crafted dishes. His relationship with farmers and purveyors are critical to his work as a chef. While visiting one of his providers in New York, the French chef describes his efforts to find the best local ingredients for his restaurant.
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