I’m getting behind in making note of new recipes I’ve tried lately which I will forget all about otherwise.
This is from Jaffrey’s Step by Step Cookery, which is, as you would expect of her, Asian and South Asian in content. She warns you here:
When rice is cooked in a thick liquid, there is a tendency for the grains on top to remain slightly underdone. The solution is to turn the rice over halfway through cooking. This must be done quickly to minimise the amount of steam lost.
Advice you will do well to heed, I found when I first tried this Malaysian way with rice. It’s good and it reminds me of home – meaning Australia, of course – over this way you can’t get good South-East Asian. In fact, you can scarcely even get bad South-East Asian!
450ml long-grain rice
4 canned plum tomoatoes, drained
4 tblsp yoghurt
50g shallots/onions peeled and thinly sliced
2.5cm cube fresh root ginger, peeled and finely diced
8-10 fresh mint leaves chopped or ripped coarsely
3 tblsp vegetable oil
5-6 whole cardamom pods*
5cm stick cinnamon*
1/2 teasp cumin seeds*
1 star anise*
Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes. Drain.
Mash the tomatoes, beat the yoghurt in a measuring jug until smooth and creamy, then add the tomatoes and water to 600ml mark. Mix well.
Heat oil in heavy-based pan over moderate heat. Add the dry spices marked *, stir and add quickly add the shallots which you fry until they are reddish-brown. Shallots cook MUCH more quickly than onions. Add the ginger and stir once, then the rice which you mix into the pan so that it is coated in everything. Lower the heat if it starts sticking. Pour in the yoghurt-tomato mixture, the mint and salt to taste. Bring to boil and cover well, with foil before lid if that seems necessary. Turn heat to very low, cook for 15 minutes and then quickly mix as described in the quote above. Recover and cook another 15 minutes – ie this takes much longer than rice cooked with water.
Jaffrey suggests this with anything Malaysian on the side. I’m tempted to thrown in something that might make it a meal on its own – something you might take in a thermos, which is on my mind at the moment. I imagine spinach mixed into it after the rice is otherwise ready would be an acceptable addition and might do the trick.