Ways I have with arsenic. Rice, that is.

I know I’m supposed to be feeling bad, I love rice and I’ve been poisoning my loved ones and myself with it. But actually, I’m feeling pretty smug. Apparently the worst offender is brown rice, which has always struck me as some sort of punishment from God. I’ve known people who flagellate themselves and they eat brown rice too. Enough said. If you haven’t followed the story, you can see the FDA’s analysis here and a blog discussion of it here.

I’ve been meaning to put down some ways of cooking basmati. You start off with the best rice there is, but that’s not to say one can’t make it even better. If your plan is to bump off the rich rellie and inherit the dosh, I wouldn’t necessarily pick doing it with rice, but if you are choosing rice as your murder weapon, these recipes aren’t for you. Basmati is the lowest scoring on the arsenic measurement. Go brown rice. Trouble is, the rich rellie will probably disown you for daring to dish up the dreadful tasting stuff long before you’ve managed to bump them off.

Yellow rice

This is off the top of my head, from Jaffrey.


450 ml Basmati rice
half a teaspoon of turmeric
half a dozen cloves
half a dozen cardamom pods, slightly opened (this is my addition)
half a dozen peppercorns
a bay leaf
a stick of cinammon
600 ml chicken stock or salted water.


Rinse the rice thoroughly, and then soak in water for half an hour. Drain.

Put rice in saucepan with everything but the butter and bring to the boil, stirring. Cover and turn heat as low as possible. Cook for 12-15 minutes. Turn off and let sit for a bit. Take out whole spices and add maybe a couple of tablespoons or so of butter, mix gently.

That’s it!

Freezes well.

And this is a Charmaine Solomon recipe, again from the top of my head. Love this.

Rice with sesame seeds


Basmati rice to 450ml mark, washed, soaked for 30 minutes and then drained for the same amount of time.
A medium sized carrot (or thereabouts) peeled and grated.
Sesame seeds, a heaped teaspoon (I put in more, love sesame seeds). Toast them first.
Dried sultanas, maybe a handful or so.
600 ml Chicken stock


Fry the rice gently in a little ghee until nicely covered with fat, add all the rest of the ingredients, bring to the boil, and then simmer very low for 12 minutes or so. Turn off, you can let it sit before you fluff it up with a fork – gently done – and then serve.


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