Cuisine Calling: Rice is nice

Photo courtesy Wendy Rahamut
Photo courtesy Wendy Rahamut

Rice, a staple at mealtimes is very nutritious, but of course it can get a little blaze if wnd garlic, adding some chicken or vegetable stock and simmering until cooked.

Different types of rice will give you different tastes as well; parboiled rice is great in sturdy meat and rice cook-ue don’t work with our rice to turn out appetising and delicious dishes.

Delicious rice dishes can be done in just minutes, by simply sautéing a few aromatics, like peppers, onions aps as well as in fried rice. White rice makes great rice puddings and basmati rice makes wonderful flavoured rice dishes. Brown rice, which is the most nutritious type of rice, has a flavour all its own and a rather chewy texture, but once you’ve become used to these characteristics you’ll love it as well.

Rice is an easy do-ahead dish, and tastes as good the next day. What’s even better is cooked rice freezes well too, so go ahead and enjoy your rice in all different flavours.

Remember also that brown rice can be substituted into all of the following recipes, simply adjust the liquid to suit the rice you are cooking. The package directions are usually good guidelines for the liquid to rice ratio.

Split pea kitcheree

½ cup yellow split peas, washed and picked over

1 cup parboiled rice

2 tbs vegetable. oil

1 2-inch stick cinnamon

2 sticks clove

1 large onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

½ tsp saffron powder, turmeric

2 ½ cups broth

salt to taste

Cook split peas in water for about 10 minutes, drain.

Heat oil in saucepan; add garlic, cinnamon, cloves, onion and ginger.

Add saffron and cook for a few minutes, add split peas and rice, stir and fry for a few minutes more.

Add broth, bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Fluff with a fork and serve.

Serves 4

Hot and spicy pigeon pea pilaf

1 cup pigeon peas

1 cup parboiled rice

1 cup coconut milk

1½ cups broth or water

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 onion finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 hot pepper, seeded and chopped or to taste

1 pimento pepper, chopped

1 tbs vegetable oil

1 tbs chadon beni or cilantro

Preheat a saute pan or saucepan, add oil and heat, add onion, garlic, and peppers, saute until fragrant.

Season with salt and black pepper.

Add the pigeon peas and stir, add the rice and toss to combine, add coconut milk and water or broth, stir to combine.

Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes until rice is tender. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Fluff with a fork. Sprinkle with chadon beni

Serves 4 to 6

For a lighter side, omit coconut milk and add one half cup more broth.

Parboiled rice is great in sturdy meat and rice cookups as well as in fried rice. -

Caribbean rice pilaf

1½ cups parboiled rice

1 clove garlic minced

2 tbs coconut oil

1 onion, finely chopped

½ cup chopped red bell pepper

½ cup raisins

2 large dried Chinese black mushrooms,

3 tbs chopped chives


2 ½ cups chicken stock

1 tbs rum, optional

2 tbs light soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp Chinese chili sauce

½ tsp salt

2 tsp grated orange peel

Soak black mushrooms in 2 cups warm water for 2 hours.

Remove the stems from the mushrooms and slice.

In a small bowl combine sauce ingredients and stir well.

Melt oil in saucepan; add garlic, peppers, and onion sauté until fragrant.

Add rice and stir to coat.

Add raisins and sauce, cover and simmer until cooked 18 to 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in chives.

Serves 4 to 6

Basmati rice makes wonderful flavoured rice dishes. Photo by Wendy Rahamut

Spiced rice pilaf with chick peas and pine nuts

1 ½ cups basmati rice

3 tbs olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp paprika

1 14-oz tin chick peas, drained and rinsed

⅓ cup toasted pine nuts

3 cups chicken stock

salt and pepper

½ cup currants or raisins

Rinse basmati rice in lots of cool water until the water becomes clear, soak rice in more water for 20 minutes then place in a strainer and drain there for another 20 minutes.

Heat oil in a saucepan, add onions, and garlic, sauté until tender, about 4 minutes.

Add cinnamon, turmeric and paprika, stir, now add the chickpeas.

Add pine nuts and combine.

Add rice and sauté with spices so that all the rice grains are coated.

Add chicken stock, stir well.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add raisins or currants, bring to a boil and cover and simmer until rice grains are tender.

Fluff with a fork.

Serves 4 to 6


"Cuisine Calling: Rice is nice"

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