10 May 2012

Spicy Rice is Twice as Nice!

We have been asked to post a blog as quickly as possible by two of our greatest fans one living in Kuala Lumpur and the other currently studying in Melbourne Australia. They are Julie and Josie two of my lovely nieces. Josie is experiencing living away from home for the first time and Julie too has struck out and now has a trendy apartment in KL. Earlier this year Julie came skiing with me to Baqueira in the Pyrenees where we had great fun cooking together. We even used to get up in the middle of the night to polish off the left overs of what we had made that day. Learning to ski can be a hungry business. We have blogged about this earlier and you can read about the delicious tummy filling Spanish tortilla below. 

This recipe is equally filling and just as simple. It is a one pot rice dish so makes no mess and could have been specially designed to utilise any items lying around. The ingredients are variable and so the list below is intended only as a guide. The only rule is there are no rules. Just remember you are looking for colour and the vegetable pieces should be roughly the same size. I should mention at this point that I use a rice cooker for this dish. Yes even in far away Baquiera the rice cooker travels with us along with much other kitchen paraphernalia, much to the disapproval of our host who is concerned about the damage to our image on arrival at Spain's premiere ski resort. Personally I have never worried about such things, years ago I brought one back as hand luggage from KL before they were widely available here in London. If you don’t have one you can use a large saucepan. If you like rice, however perhaps you should consider investing. They take all the guess work and uncertainty out of rice preparation. Either way you just place all the ingredients listed below together and do NOT stir. If using a rice cooker the switch will pop up when the rice is ready. If using a saucepan heat vigorously at the start and then allow to cook gently on a low heat for about 10 to 12 minutes or until you are happy with the texture of the rice. 

Ingredients (4 portions)

2 ½  cups Basmati or long grain rice
1 tbsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tbsp curry powder
¾ tbsp salt
½  tsp turmeric powder
Vegetable or chicken stock cube
2 star anise or 1 cinnamon stick
2 or 3 Bay leaves or 8 curry leaves
4 tbsp cooking or olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
3 carrots chopped
½  cup peas
1 red pepper chopped
2 sticks celery chopped
1 small can sweet corn
1 inch ginger chopped
3 ½  cups water


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