Thursday, 10 October 2013

Jewelled Basmati Rice

I have been procrastinating for days about writing this post and for that I apologize. I snapped my pictures and took my notes Monday evening but one thing after another came up and I never got around to posting. Now its already Thursday - only 2 more sleeps before we fly out to Idaho and Portland for a week of wonderful food, hiking and fabulous company!! I, still, have yet to even think about packing, but I knew if I didn't get this out now, I might never and that would be a shame because this meal is simple and delicious. Besides if I don't post some food, you might all think I exist on cookies and protein powder!

Sometimes when I am feeling lazy and don't want to tackle anything too complicated I make us a simple one pot rice dish. This happens far more often than I like to admit, but the result is always delicious. The flavours and add-ins for this meal are forever changing but lately I've been in the mood for the smell and taste of saffron. 

This week I ran out of pretty much everything vegetable-wise and as we are heading to Portland next week didn't want to stock up on more. I always keep some pre-soaked and cooked lentils and beans in the freezer so I decided to make this delicious meal of rice. I threw in some mung beans and green peas while the rice was cooking and added in some toasted pistachios and golden berries at the end for flavour and colour! Tasty and beautiful - just the way I like it.

I always like to pre-soak my rice for somewhere between 30 minutes to a couple of hours as it quickens up the cooking time. This is also supposed to make the grains easier to digest though I think for health benefits soaking is really supposed to be more on the order of 8 hours+! Maybe next time if I plan in advance I'll soak overnight.

Jewelled Basmati Rice 
1 TBSP coconut oil
2 Bay Leaves
5 Black cardamom pods (remove before eating, because biting into one of these is THE worst)
1 or 2 shallots, chopped
1/2 tsp saffron (expensive but worth it)
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup rice
1/2 cup pre-cooked mung beans
1/4 cup green peas frozen
1/4 cup pistachios
1/4 cup golden berries (or cranberries or currants)   

  1. Heat coconut oil over medium to high heat.
  2. Add bay leaves and cardamom pods and swirl around for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  3. Add shallots and saute on medium heat until golden around edges (around 5 minutes).
  4. Add saffron and stir to coat.
  5. Add rice, mung beans, green peas, water and salt.
  6. Bring to a boil over medium to high heat and cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Stir once, cover and turn heat to low. Cook for another 10 minutes. Right before the end add in pistachios and golden berries.
  8. Keep rice covered for 5 minutes, then fluff with fork and serve.

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